I have just returned from a truly delightful sojourn in the town of Putnam Valley, New York, where I spent the day (and this morning) at the home of my roommate, sunning myself by/in her pool, drinking and eating to excess and enjoying the small town life that I so rarely experience (even at home).
It is now Independence Day, which I have thus far celebrated by more sunning myself by Kelly's pool this morning, eating more, and taking the train back to Harlem where I have baked on my porch until the 95 degree heat eventually beat my will to be tan. That having been said, I am sporting some pretty severe tan lines and I'm pretty happy about it.
I've always loved the 4th of July. For one, I've always (unpatriotically) referred to it as the nation's way of celebrating my birthday - I think I mentioned this to both Marines I met this Fleet Week, and neither was particularly amused. Sorry guys, I love America as much as... okay, maybe not the next person, but as much as a lot of people. Just a liiiiittle joke, promise!
I also always associate 4th of July with the very fond memories of the giant parties we used to have in Toronto (for years, actually, I missed Canada more on the 4th more than any other day of the year), and in the last 10 or so years, with the tacky but amazing little Naglee Park Association parade in my neighborhood, eating my dad's ribs in the backyard, and perhaps a little "Little Giants" baseball.
This is my second 4th in New York City and truthfully... 4th of July here sort of sucks. I'm not, as you can see by the aforementioned joke about the 4th/my birthday, the most patriotic ra-ra American you've ever met. See also the comment about how 4th of July used to make me miss living in Canada. Nonetheless, however, there's something about the family time and the summer thing and the tacky but totally acceptable demonstrations of Americana that I love. And frankly, you just don't see it much in super-metropolitan NYC. Now yes, there are fireworks - and though the hood is very far from where the fireworks are taking place, I'm going to be able to see most all of them from my 16th floor balcony. Which is awesome. But ordering my barbecue to be delivered to me is NOT the same as eating it in the backyard where my dad has been smoking ribs all day using my grandpa's recipe, and something still feels slightly wrong about the fireworks without my dogs going ballistic in the background.
Don't get me wrong - I'll still be celebrating. I will still be eating bbq. And I'm still wearing red white and blue. It'll just be as I think somewhat longingly of California (where of course, ironically, the same minority of the population is American born as in NYC) and Toronto (in um, you know, Canada). All things considered though - delightful mini-vacation, fireworks, BIRTHDAY IN TWO DAYS HOLY CRAP EXCITED, and home in just twenty short days. I love July.
Happy 4th :)