What to do on the 4th of July
- Nathan's Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest
Drop by Coney Island before it drops into the bay! Maybe you'll run into last year's winner who gorged his throat on 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes.
From 116th and Broadway, take the 1 train to Times sq, then the Q or N downtown to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave. Opening festivities begin at noon.
- Roosevelt Island
If you want to beat the Manhattan crowds, head to the other Island for the East River fireworks display. It's not free, but a ticket will get you a seat with a view, live music and entertainment for the kids, including clowns, jugglers and face painting. Grab a hot dog or hamburger from the food court, sit back in your folding chair (they're provided for all ticket holders) and watch the show. Leave the coolers, backpacks and alcoholic beverages at home; they're not allowed. 5pm adults, tickets $18 available at Manhattan Tram Station (2nd Ave. and 60th St.), online (rioc.com) or at the site on July 4; Southpoint, southern tip of Roosevelt Island. From 116th and Broadway, take the 1 train to Times sq, then get out and walk to 42nd and 6th ave, take the F from the Bryant Park station Uptown to Roosevelt Island.
- Dinosaur BBQ in NYC (their slogan is "if you leave here hungry it's your fault!) has live music and outdoor seating near the water where you may be able to catch the fireworks. It's a Harlem tradition to roll into this large-living rib-joint anytime you have something to celebrate. They take reservations, and have info about their music online (http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com
/nycIndex.php). From 116th and Broadway, just walk north to 131st st, and turn left. The cross street is 12th ave.
- The Great Fourth of July Festival
Wander up and down water street in a spectacular spectacular of American culture with an international twist . Ever had a deep-fried snickers bar before? It's probably time. Ever eaten the worm before? Now you have! You'll also meander by 600 global food, arts, crafts and merchandise vendors. From 116th and Broadway, take the 1 train to Fulton (you can transfer to the 2, 3 express at 96th if you want).Water St. between State and Fulton Sts, 10am-8pm.