"Where can I get a good view of the fireworks on 4th of July? Should I bring a folding chair? Can I bring alcohol? "

2006_07_fwsites.jpgIf you haven't made friends with someone who has East River and/or Statue of Liberty waterfront views yet, we have some answers. The Macy's Fireworks Spectacular has 3 different fireworks launching sites this year (here's the map) - on the East River between 23rd and 42nd streets, between Liberty and Ellis Islands, and south of South Street Seaport. The fireworks are set to light up the sky over the East River around 9pm.

There are plenty of places around the city to catch the display tomorrow night, and the Daily News gives a detailed description of sites, including:
- The FDR Drive from 14-42nd will be closed to traffic from 7pm-10pm for spectator viewing
Liberty State Park in Jersey City
- Long Island City
- The South Street Seaport
- Brooklyn Promenade

Many people do bring folding chairs because they get to a viewing location early to stake their ground and there is a lot of waiting around. As for open alcohol on the street, that's illegal, but that hasn't stopped people before, so use your best judgment - police are out in full force on July 4th. Also note that no pedestrians will be allowed to watch fireworks from the bridges and/or Roosevelt Island - and the city really would like people to leave their cars at home. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can also watch them on NBC at 9pm and/or hear them on 1010WINS.

Update: Reader Julian points out that Roosevelt Island actually does allow spectators to watch - for a fee. Here's the RIOC information on watching the fireworks - tickets are $18 in advance and $20 after 5PM tomorrow, plus there's a long list of things you cannot bring.

You can get more information on the Macy's Fireworks Hotline at 212-494-4495. And this year, there will be five new colors and have twenty-five new fireworks!

Photo of 2004 fireworks by Jake Dobkin