Happy birthday to us! 


If you’re looking for something to do to commemorate July 4, there are plenty of events to choose from, including the fireworks that begin downtown at 9:45 p.m. (Bring a lawn chair and a way to cope with anxiety if you’re not fond of crowds.) If you’re lucky, your best friend will be hosting a backyard barbecue with beer and brats. If you’re luckier, your friend will be out of town and the beer fridge will be stocked anyway.

Whatever you decide to do, be safe, especially considering most neighborhoods will sound as though they’re under siege from all the explosions. Avoid the fireworks whose remnants look like thick, black garter snakes. You never know when they might start twitching.

Last year, I celebrated the nation’s birthday with two parties. At the first, friends competed in games ranging from a three-legged race to a marshmallow toss. It’s extremely patriotic to be pelted in the face with hot cocoa accoutrements, in case you didn’t know. At the second party, I smoked a hookah for the first time and watched the rain from a friend’s porch, which luckily cleared up in time for the neighborhood to sound off in a series of whistles and pops.

My favorite fourth, however, was about 10 years ago. I ran into out-of-town friends while shopping at the sadly-now-closed Out Word Bound Bookstore. We ended up at the Metro Nightclub (707 Mass Ave), where we spent the next several hours chatting on the patio, beating the heat by standing in a baby pool, and, as you might guess, enjoying some libations. As the evening got dark, we found our way to the roof of a nearby building where I learned how to salsa and had the best view of the city’s fireworks I’ve ever seen. It was a good, good day.

Happy 4th, everyone!


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