Independence Day in a flat place

I like a front-row seat at a bone-shakingly loud fireworks display as much as the next person, but you know what I like even better? Finding a spot where you have a wide angle of unobstructed view, all the way to the horizon — it helps if you live someplace with no terrain to speak of — and watching the Independence Day displays of a dozen municipalities at once, nicely spaced along a horizontal line, swinging into and out of sync with one another, all very small, all very quiet.

In Princeton I used to watch this from my office on the 8th floor of Fine Hall. But the shore of Lake Mendota is almost as good.

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2 thoughts on “Independence Day in a flat place

  1. For a few years, I lived in a 9th floor apartment in Chicago with an unobstructed view of the fireworks of all the western suburbs. The “proper” fireworks in Grant Park are actually on the 3rd, rather than the 4th, so I didn’t have to choose between the two kinds of displays you mention. Actually, I found the watching the distant fireworks displays fun but also a little spooky; it reminded me a bit of CNN’s Baghdad coverage during the first Iraq war…

  2. The Tenth floor balcony and roof of Evans are good spots for this if you’re in Berkeley. If there isn’t too much fog, you can see several fireworks displays around the bay. Unfortunately, it is nontrivial to get to those places in the evening, requiring someone with a key or some climbing skill.

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