It turns out that the beach behind our building is a popular place to launch fireworks on the Fourth of July. And after two hours of listening to concussive blasts and watching the flashes light up the entire beach, my curiosity got the better of my common sense and I went outside to see what was going on.
When we lived in the Heights, every fourth of July, and especially every New Year’s Eve, was awash in the sound of firecrackers, occasional M-80s, and most of all, small bore arms fire shot into the air.
But these people on the beach were serious. And apparently flush with stimulus checks. These fireworks were the real deal. They shot up about a hundred feet into the air and came down in pretty showers of sparkling color. These were not lose-a-finger fireworks; these were lose-your-entire-arm fireworks. And they were launching less than a hundred feet from our building. I watched one go off, admired its beauty, got covered in a cloud of black powder smoke, and immediately went back inside, leaving a surprisingly large group of people still out on the beach.
There was only one report in the newspaper of a young man blowing his hand off. So I guess these things are a lot safer than they appear.