I didn’t see this blog coming but when I looked through my archives I realized the only time I did write something about this holiday it was 2011 (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/07/for-4th.html). That is too long without a public comment from me. The holiday I am referring to is of course The Fourth of July, as it is presently the eve of said holiday.
Independence Day is a holiday for friends, family, and food. As I mentioned in 2011 it is also a holiday for the founding fathers, another of my favs that also begin with F. I like to stick to a theme.
My first memories of these days are as a small child in my Brooklyn backyard. I assume we had a feast during the day and I am sure I was in my pool as I was in there as much as possible. The memories that are the strongest came at night. Once it was dark all the fun came out, and so did the sparklers. I knew I had to be careful but I loved those things. I thought it was the greatest invention ever. I also liked those little beige knots you throw on the floor that make sounds. I never knew what they were called but I was mostly afraid of them (I know now they are called Snaps). This did not stop me from using them when my father would go into his garage and hand them out to us. Me, I was a sparklers kind of girl.
While we were having our fun we would always been in for a show on our block. The sky would burst into a flash of colors and there would be audible noises in our collective oohs and ahhs. We always had a crowd of neighbors and friends trickling in and out. I never ever wanted to be at anyone else’s house on this day. I knew Brooklyn had other towns beat when it came to noise and firecrackers. It would get so bad we knew that it was not even safe to drive down the block because inevitably someone would be setting something off.
When I think back to those days I am filled with calm and tranquility, ironically enough. It was a tradition and even though I wasn’t aware of it, I was proud to be an American.
Nowadays being proud of my home country has meant exploring the past and studying for the future. There are so many places where you can go to feel your American pride and what that means to you. For me it means trips to Philadelphia and Washington D.C. It means standing in the shadows of the past amazed how a few bright men got together and decided to create a nation unlike any other. It saddens me but the possibility of that ingenuity coming together again is unlikely. I just hope I can elevate to some level of that kind of intelligence. Their positive attributes inspire me.
In New York City there is another important tradition, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating contest. Nathan’s Famous in Brooklyn is almost as iconic as the Statute of Liberty. If you have ever eaten a hot dog or wanted to this is probably one of the best in the country. The only one I have eaten as good, was a classic Chicago dog at The Weiner’s Circle (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2014/05/for-wonderful-weekend-in-windy-city_17.html).
If you are in N.Y.C. for July 4th you can go down to the boardwalk and watch the contestants go for the gold (they don’t actually win any) and see who can set the new record. I believe it is now whoever can eat at least seventy hot dogs in ten minutes. That includes the bun. I can’t imagine doing that but the people who compete are serious and train for months ahead of time. If you cannot make it to the live event no worries you can tune into ESPN they broadcast the contest live. While it grosses me out I am curious how much one can put their body through for no reason at all.
We are not the only country that celebrates their independence, countries all around the world do it in one way or another. Consider Bastille Day in France and Cinco de Mayo for Mexico. But I doubt they celebrate with sparklers and chugging hot dogs.
Anyway you celebrate the fourth I hope it makes you happy and you find more than one thing to rejoice about.
So how do you know if you feel like writing a post for a specific day? I suppose I found my answer when my fingers hit the keyboard and took off like a flash. Good instincts help I suppose.
For All Things For the 4th:
For All Things Hot Dog Related: