With the 4th of July fireworks back on the East River, exactly where they should be, the Brooklyn waterfront has become a prime viewing spot. To get a good look at the explosions in the sky—a display that lasts around 25 minutes—many waited for five hours or more in Brooklyn Bridge Park and on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade yesterday.

Was it worth it? Once the show started, thick crowds went a block deep into Brooklyn Heights, where there were less than ideal views.

Photographer Lee Towndrow captured the scene (and some fantastic portraits) at the Brooklyn waterfront area yesterday as it started to fill up with revelers—click through for a look.