Fireworks of the New New York

Who knew I would be nostalgic for the overnight wail of ambulance sirens through the empty streets of New York during the height of the pandemic. In those days it was predictable and, while spooky, became almost soothing as it was predictable over time. Those sounds have faded away as we as a city finally bent that tough curve. Night sounds here in Northern Manhattan have become markedly different.

In the days just prior to American Independence Day we were used to kids and some of their parents setting off illegal firecrackers in our neighborhood every year. However, as restrictions eased near the start of June an entirely different level of explosions have begun. Much larger displays of near-professional level fireworks have been a nightly (until the wee hours of the morning) cacophony in certain New York neighborhoods, especially here.

All kinds of theories have been postulated for what is a clear trend. People just want to let loose after lock down, out of state shipments of larger ammunition create chaos, or suspension of community fireworks this year have diverted more sophisticated shells into neighborhoods. Worse, rumors have it that the police, in a snit that they are under appreciated, have declined the many fold increase in community complaints to enforce the law. “Fine,” they seem to be saying, “see how you like it when we’re not around anymore.” So every night, all night we are in Beirut.

The capper is that at a mayoral press conference today our fearless leader says he will “crack down” on the problem. After two weeks of unrelenting noise bombs. He will direct police to focus on the sellers and distributers of the fireworks, but not the people setting them off as that would be a “waste of police resources.” Sorry guys, this stuff is already sold and distributed and stockpiled. With that approach we have another two weeks of this nonsense and potential for serious damage to life and property. Not impressed with the police or leadership during this time. Pardon me, I need to put my earplugs in to get a little rest.

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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