Mayor Bill de Blasio has always wanted the Macy’s Fireworks closer to Brooklyn and this year he got his way… again. I was on a boat in 2014, close to the fireworks and getting there and getting home was a nightmare. Everything is closed and diverted.
Four barges in the river will fire off pyrotechnics, and the Brooklyn Bridge will be a major part of the 25-minute display.
With all of those people crowding either side of the East River—the prime viewing spots are in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights, and Dumbo. The NYPD has announced its list of street closures for the fireworks, and expect parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn—including big chunks of the FDR Drive and Flatbush Avenue—to be shut down.
- All streets included in the area bounded by Grand Street, Catherine Street/Slip, South Street/FDR Drive, East Broadway
- Allen Street between Division Street and Canal Street
- Battery Place between State Street and West Street
- Beekman Street between Pearl Street and South Street
- Broad Street between Water Street and South Street
- Dover Street between Pearl Street and South Street
- FDR Drive between Brooklyn Battery Underpass and Delancey Street (including exit/entrance ramps)
- Frankfort Street between Gold Street and Pearl Street
- Front Street between Old Slip and Dover Street
- Fulton Street between South Street and Gold Street
- Gold Street between Fulton Street and Frankfort Street
- Gouverneur Lane between Water Street and South Street
- John Street between Water Street and South Street
- Little Water Street between Fulton Street and Beekman Street
- Maiden Lane between Water Street and South Street
- Old Slip between Water Street and South Street
- Pearl Street between Fulton Street and St. James Place
- Peck Slip between Pearl Street and South Street
- Pike Street between Division Street and East Broadway
- Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place between Pearl Street and South Street
- South Street between Whitehall Street and Jackson Street
- St. James Place between Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place and Oliver Street
- State Street between Whitehall Street and Battery Place
- Wall Street between Water Street and South Street
- Water Street between Whitehall Street and Dover Street
- West Street between Battery Place and West Thames Street
- Whitehall Street between Water Street and South Street
- Adams Street between Tillary and Joralemon Streets
- Adams Street between York Street and John Street
- Atlantic Avenue between Furman Street and Flatbush Avenue
- Beard Street between Conover and Van Brunt Streets
- Coffey Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
- Columbia Street between Atlantic Avenue and Degraw Street
- Conover Street between Pioneer Street and Dead End
- Degraw Street between Columbia and Van Brunt Streets
- Dikeman Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
- Ferries Street between King and Van Dyke Streets
- Flatbush Avenue/Flatbush Avenue Extension between Tillary Street and Atlantic Avenue
- Front Street between Jay Street and Old Fulton Street
- Furman Street between Old Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue
- Henry Street between Old Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue
- Hicks Street between Brooklyn Queens Expressway and Old Fulton Street
- Imlay Street between Summit and Pioneer Street
- Jay Street between York Street and Dead End
- John Street between Jay Street and Adams Street
- Joralemon Street between Furman Street and Adams Street
- King Street between Conover and Ferries Streets
- Main Street between Front Street and Plymouth Street
- Montague Street between Court Street to Montague Terrace
- Old Fulton Street between Cadman Plaza West and Furman Street
- Old Fulton Street between Hicks and Furman Streets
- Old Fulton Street/Cadman Plaza West/Court Street between Henry and Joralemon Streets
- Pearl Street between York Street and John Street
- Pioneer Street between Van Brunt and Conover Streets
- Plymouth Street between Adams Street and Main Street
- Reed Street between Conover and Van Brunt Streets
- Remsen Street between Court Street and Montague Terrace
- Sullivan Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
- Summit Street between Van Brunt and Imlay Streets
- Tillary Street between Prince Street and Cadman Plaza West
- Van Brunt Street between Degraw Street and Dead End
- Van Dyke Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
- Washington Street between York Street and Dead End
- Wolcott Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
- Water Street between Adams Street and Old Fulton Street
- York Street between Jay Street and Front Street
Additionally, the Brooklyn Bridge will be closed entirely starting at 2 p.m. on July 4 (it’ll open again after 1 a.m.), and the Manhattan Bridge will have intermittent closures throughout the day. In both boroughs, the closures are at the discretion of the NYPD, but expect them to begin sometime in the afternoon and last well after the fireworks end.
On Thursday, the subway will operate on a Saturday schedule, so you can expect service changes, particularly to the trains that stop near the prime fireworks viewing areas. Buses are also likely to be affected. The MTA has helpfully listed all of the planned changes here.
Here are our suggestions for a great time.
Try heading to FDR Drive at Houston Street or at East River Park. There are lost of bars to cool down at
Go up to the One World Trade Center Observatory and see the spectacular display from above.
Just at the Manhattan waterfront, the East River Esplanade and Pier 15 offer great views of the East River as well as the Brooklyn Bridge (which has a grand display on its own).
Grand Ferry Park (1 Grand Street) has scenic Manhattan skyline views and a paved walking path down the waterfront. There is room for lawn chairs and picnic blankets, perfect for relaxing on the grass.
As for where to watch, any place with a clear view of the river (not as easy as it used to be) and there are five official elevated viewing spots on the FDR:
- Broad Street & Water Street
- Pearl Street & Dover Street
- Robert F Wagner Sr. Place & St. James Place
- Pearl Street & St. James Place
- Montgomery & Cherry St.
You can also access the Lower Promenade with the following entry points: Pike Slip & Cherry Street, and Market Street & Cherry Street.