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Best Views of Macys 4th of July Fireworks

The skies above New York City will explode with some of the most amazing fireworks ever viewed this Independence Day. Once again Macy's, with the world's largest store in Herald Square, NYC, will host the 30-minute fireworks extravaganza that has the entire City of New York "oohing" and "aahing."

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in NYC is the largest display of pyrotechnic creativity and firepower in the nation. The show takes over a year to create from the musical score to the perfectly timed explosions of color that fire into the night sky. This awesome display will fire over 1,100 shells per minute and feature over 35,000 fireworks.

The Macy’s fireworks display last year was coordinated from 6 barges at two locations on the East River in New York City. Macy’s fireworks barges will be positioned at the East River between 10th and 24th Street in Manhattan and at the South Street Seaport. A double barge configuration will be positioned just south of the Brooklyn Bridge for the show.

The Macy's July 4th fireworks display originally made its debut on the Hudson River in 1958 before becoming an East River tradition in 1976. Well this year it is back to the Hudson.

Here's where you can catch the action:

Scrap those plans to spend July 4th in Brooklyn or on FDR Drive. This year, the best views will be from Manhattan's West Side between 23rd and 59th Streets and choice spots along the New Jersey waterfront.

Keep in mind that the public viewing areas get extremely crowded, so arrive early (well before 7 pm if you want a decent spot) and bring chairs or a blanket to spread out and whatever other supplies you need to enjoy the wait (water, food, iPods, etc.).

The West Side Highway will eventually turn into a giant New York City block party. Just make sure you hit the loo before you get there – public restroom facilities will be crowded and disgusting if available at all (no official word on bathroom situation as of yet). And be prepared to spend some time getting home. It takes a while for the crowd to thin out.

See below for the best places to view the 2009 Macy's July 4th fireworks.

  • West Side Highway and Surrounding Area
    In Manhattan, 12th Avenue and the northbound lanes of the West Side Highway between 23rd and 59th Streets will be closed to traffic for public fireworks viewing. Pedestrian access to the viewing area will be via the following streets: 24th, 26th through 30th, 34th, 40th through 44th, 47th through 52nd, and 54th through 57th.Other prime West Side public viewing spots include:
    • Dewitt Clinton Park (access from 11th Avenue)
    • Pier 54 (limited access from 14th Street)
    • Pier 84 (limited access from 44th Street)
    • Selected side streets between 11th and 12th Avenues

    According to Macy's, the following West Side spots will NOT be open for public viewing of the fireworks: Battery Park, Battery Park City, Hudson River Piers (except Pier 54 and Pier 84 as described above, the Hudson Park Promenade between West Houston and 59th Streets, and the Hudson River Park Bike Path between West Houston and 59th Streets.

  • New Jersey
    You'll find great views of the Macy's 2009 fireworks from Hoboken and Weehawken, with decent views from Jersey City and North Bergen. The Chandelier Room at the new W Hotel in Hoboken offers great views of the fireworks and a special menu of summer snacks and cocktails (Elderflower margarita, anyone?).
  • Empire State Building
    Watch the Macy's Fireworks from the top of the Empire State Building. Only 250 tickets will be sold so you'll have to book well in advance. For $125 per person, you can get access to the 86th Floor Observatory between 8-10PM to watch the fireworks. Purchase tickets by calling 212-736-3100.
  • Hudson Terrace
    Located right off the West Side Highway (621 West 46th Street), the Hudson Terrace rooftop will offer panoramic views of the 4th of July fireworks. For $125 per person, you can also enjoy all-you-can-eat BBQ and an open bar from 7-10 PM. For $200 per person, you and your posse can hang out in a private cabana for 15.

For more info, call Macy's Fireworks Hotline: (212) 494-4495

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