Everyone knows America celebrates Independence like no other country! Take Albania. Who wants to celebrate Independence in November?! They should have waited until the following JULY to declare independence from the Ottoman Empire, then they might really know how to party! Canada can try and get a head start on us with their Dominion Day but everyone knows July 4th is the best!

Okay okay all verbal smiting aside, I hope everyone that could take advantage of it had an enjoyable July 4th.

Mine began with an early trip to Coney Island to watch the 2007 annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, a competitive eating sport aired nationally on ESPN. thankfully ESPN’s own website was wrong and the competition didn’t begin until 12-noon, not 9am as previously thought. Getting to Coney Island by 9am would have been a total bitch. Getting there by noon was already a stretch – I caught the N at 36 Avenue, only 4 stops shy of the complete length of the train, through three boroughs, which took nearly 1 hour 20 minutes. Did I mention that ‘competitive eating’ was involved? Oh yeah so Joey Chestnut not only set a personal best but also broke the world record, with 66 hot dogs, out-eating Takeru Kobayashi who ate a meager 63 (also a personal best). All this in 12 minutes. Humans are amazing.

Coney Island from the pier
Coney Island from the pier – next year, CONDOMINIUMS!

This was my first outting with my new cameratoy, and . . . wow. 147 photos for the day (at the time of writing this I’m actually at 398, in a week’s time!). Of course a good number of those were sequential shots in order to make an animated gif (someday) of the Cyclone as shot from the West 8 Street/NY Aquarium bridge overpass:

Coney Island Cyclone

My matey Josh Picker was in town from St. Louis (specifically for the eating competition!) and after some boardwalk food and a walk around the area we continued our day’s journey in Bedford-Stuyvesant, to attend a barbeque at my matey Cassie Thornton‘s home. She made some not-only-colourful-but-also-extremely-delicious ‘Pretty in Purple’ cous-cous. Yums.

At dusk we continued forth and more or less finished off the night at Brooklyn Bridge Park to watch the fireworks. Some hipsters I later had the misfortune of hanging out with commented that they didn’t think the fireworks this year were that impressive, they didn’t ‘feel the energy’. Anybody who says that I think is a crock of shit! Fireworks are just awesome, incredible. Show me five fireworks and I’m impressed – show me 120,000 and I’m blown away!

2007 fireworks

And speaking of anniversaries, it wasn’t until earlier this week that I realized I’ve now been blogging for over a year. June 18 was the day this database published its default first entry. So happy birthday to the blog, how about some virtual celebratory fireworks: