Yesterday afternoon people started staking out their spots for the fireworks around Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Promenade pretty early on, prepared to wait at least 5 hours for the big show.

Brooklyn Heights provided the best views on the Brooklyn side of the East River, with the three Macy's barges directly in front of the neighborhood (the one barge that was supposed to be in front of DUMBO got moved over at the last minute due to currents). Even away from the prime viewing spots, the normally quiet neighborhood looked more like Bourbon Street than New York's First Suburb. Streets were blocked off, allowing foot traffic in areas normally meant for cars, and locals without roof access were happily setting up on their stoops with bottles of wine... despite the massive police presence.

Just a couple of blocks from those waiting on the waterfront, the few bars and restaurants on Henry Street were overflowing, with wait times for food approaching an hour for those who got seats. Jack the Horse Tavern on Cranberry Street even opened up their new upcoming side bar for the night to accommodate crowds (it will open for real in a couple of weeks). And the joints stayed open longer than usual... after all, the smart move was to settle in for a cocktail and wait out the insane subway lines after the fireworks. All in all, the evening scene was a calm chaos, and by 11 p.m. the streets were already being cleaned.

Photographer Lee Towndrow captured the scene at the Brooklyn waterfront area yesterday, as it started to fill up with revelers between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m.—click through for a look.