Friday, November 23, 2007
Star-burst Over Prince Street : The 4th of July Before Giuliani and Gentrification in "Little Italy"...
No ... on the next 4th of July DO NOT try this at home but ....
Before the Giuliani administation took charge allowing the developers to take over the neighborhoods , the people still ruled in this city and every 4th of July some of them provided the best pyro-technics display in the city ... or in any other city for that matter .
Every year in "Little Italy" right after the big Macy's show over the river a pyro-technic extravaganza took over the streets and sky of downtown NYC . You saw the same fire-works as in the Macy's show but downtown you were 25 ft. or less from them when they were launched or exploded....not across a damned river surrounded by cops .
The display downtown was perhaps not the safest of public events . Sometimes , for example , the aerial bombs didn't make it out of the mortar tube before they exploded . When this happened the immediate area was showered with hot sparks ... falling on the by-standers as well as on the near-by large mound of yet-to-be-launched bombs . There were surprisingly few injuries .
The event was entirely a neighborhood administered affair with many visitors present and consistant with a desire for a safe neighborhood display only certain experienced individuals were allowed to launch the bombs . Traditional custom and sensibility as well as the summer heat demanded wearing sensible traditional fashion such as here a "wife-beater" for instance . We recollect that tradition also dictated that the bombs be lit by cigar as often as possible .
We would show you more of this traditional event but for the problem that the images are lost somewhere in our enormous file-room here at NMNL world headquarters .
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