So, last Wednesday was the Fourth of July: a day that inspires thoughts of barbeques, beaches, baseball, beer + fireworks! Realizing that I will be in Taiwan next summer, I decided to make this 4th count in the New Yorkiest way possible.
The weather reports had predicted rain, but luckily the rain held off!
I started the day at the beach, going to the little strip between Brighton and Coney Island with my friends Angela + Nancy.
I rounded out the day at a roof party some friends of mine were throwing in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn.
We could see fireworks all over Brooklyn + Queens, as well as some of the Macy’s fire show on Manhattan’s west side. As exciting as the fireworks were, we could not believe how beautiful the moon was that night.
Just when we thought that the show was over, some neighborhood folks set off fireworks from the street directly below us! They happened too fast for any of us to grab our cameras, but they were a nice treat we were happy to enjoy (especially since no one was hurt!).
Thinking about what it means to live in the United States, where the concepts of freedom + independence are the foundation on which our society was built, I cannot help but wonder what my experience will be like in Taiwan, a young democracy. The word “independence” will take on many more meanings as I exercise my own by embarking on this journey + as I learn more about Taiwan’s political relationship with China, where a “status quo” of no independence + no unification is being maintained.
Participating in one of the few holidays that is purely a celebration of all things American, I began to look forward to learning about the holidays that are special to Taiwanese + Chinese tradition. I have a feeling that Chinese New Year’s fire shows will put our Independence Day hullabaloo to shame… After all, fireworks were invented in China.
The jam that got me going today? “I Only Wanna Give It To You,” Elle Varner feat. J. Cole.