Independence Day in Astoria


Last night marked my favorite night of the year in my neighborhood. It’s the 4th of July. On June 30. Or sometimes June 28, depending on when the date falls on the calendar. Yes, we in Astoria like to get the party started early. It’s how we roll.

What makes it my favorite day? Well, the fireworks display is a no brainer. You can look at the face of the most cynical person on earth while they are watching colorful explosions in the night sky and you will see awe. I’ve seen grown men jump up and down gleefully while watching fireworks. It’s splendid.

But that’s not it. Not entirely. I love this day so much because the entire community comes out to celebrate. Thousands of people bring their picnic blankets down to Astoria Park to camp out. The kids buy light up glowy thingys to annoy their parents with all summer long. The pizza place on the corner is a buzz with folks carrying their pies down to the park. The West Point band played before sunset (Astoria really stepped up their entertainment game this year.)

My skin tingles when I witness my neighborhood come together this way. It is such a beautiful reminder that we need people around us. We need that connection. To lift our heads from the screen. Stand away from our cubicles. Get outside. See our neighbors. It will do everyone good.

I wish you all a Happy Independence Day.

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