4th of July

July 4, 2011. Happy Birthday America. We celebrated at Beekman’s Beach

Maybe Beekeman’s Beach is just a microcosm of America. Free, clean, full of hope. The mini van pulled up next to us. Eleven people got out.

“La playa, la playa”…. the little girl ran around in circles.

The littlest of the little girls didn’t want to go in the water We watched numerous attempts by the older ones to get her to dip her toes. But as soon as the water flowed within an inch of her feet she ran back screaming – “no, no”

We got distracted.

Only to notice an hour later our little beach goer had overcome her fear and was happily splashing the others.

The other America-

We paddled the kayak well into Oyster Bay. Through years of gossiping with the free beach goers we’ve learned that the enormous houses across the bay could be owned by, Rudolph Murdock, Billy Joel and the attorney who defend Exxon in the Exxon Valdez oil spill lawsuit.

Their expansive lawns were eerily quiet.

Then on to the Macy’s fireworks to confirm my point. I commented on a blogger who complained that it was impossible for a Black man to get a cab in Manhattan after the fireworks. Here was my comment:

We are a white middle aged couple and we could not get a cab Monday night. We ended up packed like sardines onto the 7 train – but that is not my complaint.
I have always loved the fireworks but this year it became another disenchantment with Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City. For many years we watched them from parks and overpasses and in lucky years from the rooftops of the then very working class Long Island City. Now that they are on the Hudson, I know no one who could afford the rents in the apartments that would have a view. We ended up penned into a holding area where our view was largely blocked. Folks who could afford the expensive private parties on the piers got the best view.

I hope you had a great view. I fear that the fireworks are just another example of a city divided into two groups- the very rich and the rest of us.

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