Yay for pyrotechnics

The LA Times has posted their annual list of Fourth of July fireworks displays, some of which, counter-intuitively, have already taken place. We stumbled upon the Santa Monica bombs bursting in air quite by accident last night on our way from dinner at Lare’s to SM’s Third Street. (Dinner, by the way, was fantastic, and I’m enough of a non-native to admit that it was made even better for me by the fact that we were seated next to Hilary Swank.)
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Cruising down Pico, we pulled over and watched and took some phone pics when the gunpowder bouquets started. (This photo courtesy of Ken Justice who wishes he had an iphone for this and so many occasions.)

We’ll probably hit the Culver City school fireworks on the fourth because it’s convenient to the bf’s place and the crowds and traffic at the bowl and Dodger Stadium are more than I want to deal with. As a DC native, it feels a bit wrong to not at least make an effort to see some fireworks for the holiday. Though the Times does have a list of five patriotic films you can watch if you choose to opt out of the explosive option. (I’d add Easy Rider and Manchurian Candidate (1962) myself, but that’s just me.)

There are two fireworks options I can give an experienced thumbs-down to:

My first year here I went hiking with Sierra Club to watch the Pasadena fireworks from above, an idea that sounds better in theory than in execution. It didn’t offer the best view, but it provided me with plenty of amusement nonetheless. A relative newby to LA/So Cal, I was unaware of what Los Angelenos consider hiking food. When we reached the top, people broke out the Merlot, tapanade, and chocolate dipped strawberries. (What did I know? I had been going to grad school in Wisconsin where the hiking fare ranges from gorp to venison jerky.)

The second fireworks experience I’d just as soon not repeat is last year’s viewing from the seventh floor of Kaiser Sunset while bf recovered from a bone graft. You do get an excellent view of miles of illegal fireworks, but it’s not very festive.

So here’s to hoping all of yours are more of the chocolate-and-strawberries type of holiday and less of the antiseptic-smell-call-nurse-button kind.

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