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   xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jul 6 12:00 AM

July 6, 2009: Boston Fireworks

There's a million fireworks shows on the 4th of July. Of course the public displays are the biggest, and the bigger the city
... read more money... the bigger the show. I've seen a lot of them and my favorite is Boston. Their whole package, with
the Boston Pops at the bandshell by the Charles River, the cannons, and the fireworks over the river is just a wonderful show...
and Sam Adams too.

Cellar member kisrael lives in Boston and has a choice of viewing spots.
He could bike down to the bandshell, or over the Mass Ave bridge to the Dark Side (Cambridge, Harvard, MIT ),
or find a highrise viewing spot like the wussies.

But nnnooooo, Kirk and his band of merry (wo)men, kayak 4 1/2 miles down the Charles River and anchor up in the thick of it!

Oh, then paddle back afterward.

Now unless you've been up close and personal with fireworks, or a civil war veteran, you can't imagine how much smoke,
grit and debris those fireworks dump in the air, Shhhh, don't tell Al Gore but this picture shows some of it.
Plus the reflection off the water doubles the show.

Thanks Kirk!

capnhowdy  Monday Jul 6 07:25 AM

Danger always enhances pleasure. Looks like fun. I'm surprised the "water cops" didn't interrupt.

spudcon  Monday Jul 6 07:44 AM

All those millions of tons of pollution shot into the air every year, how green is that? I think everyone should just blow up a bag on holidays and then pop them Much greener. Maybe we can get the Feds to make it a law.

glatt  Monday Jul 6 08:12 AM

I've been to the Boston fireworks once, and it was great. The war of 1812 Overture with the three or four howitzers firing blank shells in perfect sync with the music is freaking awesome.

Alluvial  Monday Jul 6 08:22 AM

Kayaks have anchors?

ZenGum  Monday Jul 6 09:20 AM

Awesome. Pretty risky, too, I'd be worried about being run down by some other boat; but worth the risk.

glatt  Monday Jul 6 09:38 AM

When I was there, the viewing area in the river was very popular and very policed. No speedboats flying through. Idle speed for everyone and everyone was watching out for one another. If you go to kisreal's web page there are other pictures of the event that show how the river is like a parking lot. You can almost walk across it without getting your feet wet by stepping from boat to boat. It's safe.

Sundae  Monday Jul 6 09:43 AM

Wonderful shot.
Thanks Bruce and Kisrael.

dar512  Monday Jul 6 10:50 AM

We were up close to a very good fireworks display in Champaign Il. Let me tell you that getting popped by the cardboard shells from the fireworks hurts like a bugger.

We moved back.

Sheldonrs  Monday Jul 6 10:57 AM

I went to the Boston 4th of July once when I lived there. It was hot, humid and elbow to elbow crowds. Never need to do that again.

glatt  Monday Jul 6 11:01 AM

I was at a private show last year that scared me. Hot embers occasionally rained down on us. So we moved back after a minute or two. Plus, the guys doing it appeared to be drunk. I kept expecting a major tragedy, but they pulled it off.

This year we stayed in Arlington and watched them from the Air Force memorial near the Pentagon. Very nice view from there, and easy to get to.

kisrael  Monday Jul 6 11:27 AM

Thanks for the link etc Bruce!
* at the risk of making myself sound less rugged (THAN I CLEARLY AM), Charles River Kayak rents these things, and the 4.5 mile journey each way ain't too difficult, even for a newbie kayaker like me. This is the 3rd time I made the trip, previously though I rented tandems.
* Kayaks don't usually have anchors, but they're hecka useful for stuff like this. The one I borrowed from a friend was almost overkill - and you need maybe 75-100 feet of line.
* Yeah, the cops /coast guard etc make a pretty clear boundary... in fact you can see their boat in the shot. Get too close before hand and they'll warn you off.

It's a pretty friendly time w/ the boats. You get a few drunken louts on some of the pleasure boats, but nothing too bad.

Even more photos here:

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jul 6 12:00 PM

Thanks for slide show.
I wonder though... Depends?

Clodfobble  Monday Jul 6 01:06 PM

Originally Posted by Sheldonrs
It was hot, humid and elbow to elbow crowds. Never need to do that again.
This has been my experience with every fireworks show, ever. I really, really just don't understand the appeal, at all.

Shawnee123  Monday Jul 6 01:35 PM

I could hear the fireworks from my place, but didn't go see any!

However, my mom has been to Boston f-works and loved them. I'm sure it's very pretty. I guess they watched NY and Boston on TV? I didn't even turn on my TV Saturday.

Happy Monkey  Monday Jul 6 01:37 PM

I go down to the National Mall every year. It's not too crowded on the Mall, and this year the weather was perfect. But, as for crowded, part of the fun is the mad rush to squeeze into the subway when it's over. We tried a different stop this time, and even with the post-crash Red Line slowdown we managed to get on the first train that came along.

Stormieweather  Monday Jul 6 01:38 PM

The fireworks I attended was the usual one, with the fireworks being set off over the intercoastal waterway. It looked a bit like this first.

However, there wasn't really any air moving, so the smoke sort of hung in the air and the debris rained down on the crowd (ie: incl me and family). By the finale, the smoke was so thick, you couldn't really see much of the actual 'sparklies'. Never had that happen before. I didn't hear of anyone getting burned, seemed the debris was just ashy crap by the time it got to us.

kisrael  Monday Jul 6 04:11 PM

Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
This has been my experience with every fireworks show, ever. I really, really just don't understand the appeal, at all.
It's fireworks! Duh.

Either you intrinsically get the appeal of beautiful lights in the night sky and fun pseudo-scary big noises (along with a kind of facile patriotism and sort of shared group enjoyment/camaraderie with the masses around you, and possibly just a nice excuse to chat and hang with friends (no not that you need one)) or you just see feel the crowds, heat, drunken jerks, time spent, and (in some cases, though this is the first year I'd ever noticed) smoke + debris.

Kayaking to fireworks is a real synergy, either activity I'd do on its own, probably, but the mutual justification was terrific. (Plus, the water wasn't nearly as crowded as the land...)

Clodfobble  Monday Jul 6 04:58 PM

See, the kayaking thing I can get behind. You avoid the crowds, and the temperatures are cooler over the water. I would love fireworks if the venues they were displayed in didn't suck one-thousand-percent. I'm willing to concede that things are worse due to my location: "heat" has a totally different meaning to me than it does to the state of Massachussetts, and the drunken jerks here are not pleasantly amusing, they are the type who will accidentally gesture the wrong way in the tight-packed crowd and stick their lit cigarette against your arm.

Only good fireworks experience I ever had was once as a kid when my friend's parents let us climb up on the roof and watch them from her house. That was awesome. But my parents or a neighbor must have complained, because they never allowed it again.

capnhowdy  Monday Jul 6 05:10 PM

They have the Redneck Games about a quarter mile from my house. This year it will be held on July 11. I always sit out in my pool and watch while sipping whiskey. Now that is enjoyable.

I didn't make up the Redneck Games thingie, either. You can google it. I do, however have a little too much class to attend. I can hear the bands and see the fireworks from here fine anyway. You talk about a bunch of drunk ass idiots. Sheesh.


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jul 7 12:54 AM

I want to know how the girls spend all that time in the kayak without a bathroom break? I mean the guys can just tie it to the anchor and throw it over the side for awhile.

capnhowdy  Tuesday Jul 7 10:00 PM

Guy 1:
"Waters cold, ain't it?"
"Yeah. And deep, too!"

* I believe one of them fellers was from Arkansas.

kisrael  Wednesday Jul 15 01:17 PM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I want to know how the girls spend all that time in the kayak without a bathroom break? I mean the guys can just tie it to the anchor and throw it over the side for awhile.
Heh. Actually when I went a few years ago, my companion DID have to go so we made a furious paddle for shore, she found a portalot, and then we came back just in time.

This year we had a strict-ish "lets not bring drinks" policy (except for the little illicit mini bottles of wine we stowed)

monster  Wednesday Jul 15 10:08 PM

you can't get a friend to hold one side of the kayak steady while you pee over the other? sheesh

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jul 16 12:49 AM

In the middle of a thousand boats? Your butt would be all over the internet.

Your reply here?

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