Last year, I crashed parties and spent the next day with two compadres running down the train tracks off 107th and Cedar with a camera taking pictures of graffiti, and the year before that was a family reunion in southern Ohio that involved kegs, polka music, and my cousins blowing off illegal fireworks at the bottom of the hill. The year before that was in Kent, where I watched fireworks at the community festival, went to a show in the back of Turnup Records, and spent the fourth itself with the elderly neighbors of one of my friends, who were completely drunk and when I asked for a water, was somehow served a gin and tonic instead. Thankfully the porch swing we were on collapsed and my glass broke so I didn't have to drink it.
I spent my Friday off slacking around the house before going out to Berea to hang out with some of the family and then Jerusha and I were supposed to go to Udupi but the power went out in the neighborhood minutes after we got there so we drank mango lassis in the dark before going back to my parents' house in Parma to chill for awhile.
My dad was off on the 4th so I got to hang out with him and help my sister cook for the festivities. My sister and her fiance are moving to an apartment in Lakewood just a block from the park, so we went up on the roof to watch the fireworks.
There ended up being a huge crowd of us, between my family and my aunts and uncles and cousins, the future in-laws, and a few phone calls later, eight of my friends came up too, prompting jokes about my "entourage" from my cousins and aunts.
Most of us parked by my apartment and walked, and I love how on this holiday everyone's out and hanging out on their porches, walking in the streets, there's the smell of firecrackers and food on the grill. Mukhtar brought along some firecrackers and we were taking turns lighting them and throwing them into the street as we were walking down.
The mood on nights like these is so festive and we were all having such a great time and finding everything entertaining.
Since a lot of the suburbs have canceled their fireworks this year, everyone seemed to be coming up this way for them, and the streets were packed by the time we got to my sister's place (which is beautiful by the way). We climbed up all these stairs just as the fireworks were starting and it was the best view for fireworks, never seen them so big or so loud in such a good place.
Part of the ambiance I'm sure is from watching "Mary Poppins" as a kid and movies where people live in big cities and chill on the rooftops all the time. But it really was the perfect night and the perfect ending.