I hope you are well and safe and not miserably unhappy.
Fireworks are illegal for good reason. We're brittle and dry and everyone is already frazzled and jumpy and uncomfortably close to the edge. Sleepless nights with a battle-scene soundtrack don't help. Being unable to comfort terrified pets is heartbreaking, and infuriating. And the fear of wildfire is real. In fact, we passed a brush fire on the shoulder of the 2 the evening of July 4th, which may have been ignited by an illegal firework. We called 911 4 times to report it but got a busy signal every time.
Even without a wildfire, wildlife must be freaked by the explosions and smoke. None of us need more pollution.
But in spite of my county's official COVID-19 disapproval and cancellation, this year's Independence Day Fireworks happened and were astounding. We'd all heard them rumbling for weeks in preparation, and they are grumbling still. But the night of the fourth all of LA and its skies, horizon to mountains were bursting with celebration!
We drove the 2 freeway to the 5 to the 110 and back around and the spectacle was everywhere at once. I love the city lights at night and the changing views at 70mph anyway, but this was something else.
There were little fireworks like cartoon poofs way in the distance, enormous ones on the side of the road; strobes and chrysanthemums and comets, all colors. Overhead, straight ahead, everywhere. If they rose through the windshield, they exploded in the rearview mirror and vice versa, in all directions. Not from a barge like we had on the Detroit River, sharing the spectacle with Canada. This had no central launching point like the Hollywood Bowl's or the Dodger fireworks, which I look forward to and love. These were the stray personal fireworks we'd see other years from the 134 on the way home from our Eagle Rock Neighborhood Firework Celebration, or off the 210 while rolling downhill from Crescenta Valley Highschool's's annual display. The difference was in magnitude. It wasn't just the scale, though, or the effort, or the expense, the actual display was greater than the sum of it's pops.
This was like no 4th of July I've seen anywhere and I've lived through 66 years of them, as a fan. This was an urban art event, subversive, risky, anonymous, and grand! An event with thousands of creators but no curator or conductor. Just people igniting a massive public performance free for all to see by just looking up!
Back home, I moon-bathed on a lawn chair listening to the percussion concert echoing and thundering in the background, hissing, popping and booming in the fore. Brilliantly complicated surround sound, under a fully ripe moon.
Again, it was ill-advised here in drought-parched fire danger territory, and it was stinky and smokey and relentlessly disruptive, and dangerous, and against the law. But it happened and it was magnificent. I'm so grateful to have seen and heard some of it, live, in America, this of all years.