Jul 02

Are There Fireworks In Your Relationship?

fireworksjpgThey say that if there are no fireworks in your relationship, you’re in trouble.

I was in trouble.

The guy I eventually married— the key word here, folks, is “eventually”—and I were about to have our first Fourth of July together. Yes, that SUCH a girly thing to say. But I take these things seriously and I wanted there to be, well, fireworks! Literally.

Macy’s has great fireworks every 4th of July in NYC, and I heard that the River Café would be perfect for viewing them. So even though it was kind of last minute, I called to make a reservation for dinner. Wow! I got it! A table for two by the window! This must be a sign of good things to come, hopefully involving fireworks. Right.

The River Café is romantic and beautiful, set just under the Brooklyn Bridge. The only problem was getting there from Manhattan. We probably should have taken the subway, but I was in my prime taxi taking days. Besides, I have what is known as Kab Karma: I can get a tax just about any time, any place, any weather. Not that night.

When we finally got one, the highway had more traffic than the 60% Off Sale Rack at Macy’s  (I feel I owe them a plug here) and even though we had left early we were lucky to arrive before dark. But we did. Phew! A few sips of a very dry martini, stirred not shaken, and some nice piano music later, I casually asked the waiter where was the best place to see the fireworks. He rewarded me with one of those looks I have come to know only too well in the course of my life: What the hell is this woman talking about . . .

The River Cafe:

The Wrong Place At The Right Time.  
Or was it the other way around?

After a few minutes of panic, we found out the cold, clear truth: you could go outside, stand on a milk carton, crane your neck, and sort of see the fireworks ,but  this was NOT the best restaurant for that purpose.. That would be the Water Club on East 30th Street. In Manhattan. Not far from where we live, on East 22nd Street.

Water Club? River Café?, Anyone could make that mistake, right? Oh, never mind.

So anyway, determined to make the best of it, we headed outside at 9:30, where we stood on milk cartons, craned our necks, and sort of saw the fireworks. They probably were spectacular, but who could tell. My chiropractor was the only one who profited from this experience.

Coming home, we decided to take the subway, which was hot and crowded, everything I never wanted and more, then we missed our stop and had to walk the rest of the way. When we finally got to our building, the doorman asked us how we were doing (don’t ask) and wondered why we hadn’t been up on the roof watching the fireworks with the rest of the tenants. They were great (the fireworks, not the tenants), according to Jose. Jose couldn’t see either, because he was stationed at the desk. He, at least, had a logical reason for not going up to the roof that night. Our apartment is on the 14th floor, so it would have been a really short commute. We could have seen the stars, and it wouldn’t have cost the moon. Talk about feeling like an idiot.

I wish that I could tell you that we never had any problems with fireworks ever again, but that’s not entirely accurate. Every year, something seemed to happen. We froze our asses off on the beach in East Hampton a few times, where you could hardly see the fireworks because of the fog. Several years it rained. Once there were thunderstorms. A few times we were away and saw local fireworks. Cute, but not spectacular.

And Then. . . Venice!

Finalmente. . . it happened! By some amazing piece of pyrotechnic providence, we ended up in Venice on July 15, for the Festa del Redentore. That’s a holiday celebrating the end of the plague in 1576 (like they really know what DAY it ended on?), and as if the Italians need an excuse for anything, it’s a really good opportunity for extraordinary fireworks. Fantastico!

Truly, they were the best I’ve ever seen. Lou got the fabulous photo you see above. Is that one fine shot of fireworks, or what?

And so, our story has a happy ending.

And a moral even:
Stick around long enough and they’ll be fireworks in your life.
Or at least a good photo op.


Photo by Lou Chisena,Venice, Italy, 2006.

Fireworks ‘R Us originally appeared in July, 2009

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