You’ve got explosives and COVID-19. New York City. And six long, hot nights. So what could go wrong?
If you’ve got Mayor Bill de Blasio planning a series of mini-fireworks shows for pyrotechnics-hungry New Yorkers, the answer is – a lot.
The Macy’s annual July 4th fireworks display 2020 has been drastically changed, unrecognizable from last year’s event, in which mondo rockets went off from the Brooklyn Bridge. Replacing the single spectacle in the age of COVID-19, a series of five, unannounced, five-minute shows are due to go off without warning in each of the five boroughs starting June 29, culminating in a larger, televised “grand finale” on Independence Day, the mayor announced jointly with Macy’s brass on Tuesday.
The Twitterverse exploded like a bottle rocket.
The plan is “about what we already have nightly,” tweeted Al Jones.
“A department store is hiding secret caches of explosives around the city with the intent to set off sudden, quick, and unexpected blasts at unpredictable times?” tweeted Coriolus Nimrod.
“What could go wrong?”
The pre-shows leading up to the main event were designed as surprises to discourage crowds from gathering. Or, as the official news release from the Mayor’s Office put it, “Each show is brief and will be over before residents can gather at the source … With heights reaching up 1,000 feet from some firing locations, staying close to home and following social distancing guidelines is the best way to enjoy the show.”
But as many social-media users pointed out, a wealth of illegal fireworks has lately disturbed the peace in the city, with many complaints about them coming from Brooklyn. City residents called the 311 complaint line more than 1,700 times about fireworks in the first half of June alone.
It’s reminiscent of the fireworks that terrorized animals and humans all over Brooklyn until 1990, when Mayor Rudy Giuliani snuffed out the party.
At the same time, the number of shootings in Gotham has skyrocketed, which could make the abrupt, unexpected crashes of fireworks particularly triggering.
A Twitter user with the handle She Is Dr. Zoroaster posted, “Who thought up this turkey of an idea? New Yorkers will be under constant threat for 6 nights?”
Is this someone’s bizarre idea of fun?