Happy 4th of July!

Best holiday wishes to all our readers! May you keep hydrated and be free of sunburn on July 5th!

2012 might be a year when our founding father’s opinions are being tossed around like they were sitting next to my father’s cousin’s best-friend’s neighbor on the bus this morning, but that is no reason not to be thankful for the Declaration of Independence and to celebrate appropriately! Afterall, according to Wikipedia, George Washington celebrated July 4th in 1778 by giving his soldiers a double ration of rum. Not a far cry from our contemporary celebratory BBQs (I imagine the risk to fingers from explosive elements is not so different either).

As an Urban Planner, I like to use the 4th as a yearly reminder about not only the importance of visual corridors, but also that while density can be environmentally friendly, a sustainable city must have open spaces that allow for civic engagement. Independence Day is my personal favorite example of an occasion where such space is necessary, not in a basic survival way, but in that social cohesion, let us remember we have much to be thankful for, air some long standing grievances (they don’t have to be about Great Britain), and could you pass me a vegan hot dog, a bacon cheeseburger and some potato salad, please, kind of way.

2011 Fireworks in NYC

For those of you kicking around NYC today, still without plans, yet eager to see some rockets’ red glare, New York Magazine has a dependable guide for free and not so free festivities. While Gothamist has some spendy options. Coney Island is always fun and here is a guide for doing the 4th at Coney. For those of you who are still upset that Macy’s is catering to their New Jersey customers (and not their Brooklyn and Queens ones) for yet another year, you can enjoy some civil liberties by signing a petition. But however you choose to celebrate the Fourth, please don’t shoot off illegal fireworks, aside from the risk to you, April gets very scared.

"4th of July is best served quiet"

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