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Sightlines for fireworks in question for Queens

Visitors to Astoria Park are assured of a great view of Queens' own Independence Day fireworks show on Monday.
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When the mayor announced in April that the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks were moving back to the East River this year, there was excitement among business owners and elected officials that there would be an economic windfall along the Queens waterfront.

But a review of the plans for the nation’s largest pyrotechnic display show that the closest barge will be anchored between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges way too the south.

Amy Spilatnick, a spokeswoman from the Mayor’s office, said, “We anticipate that the 4th of July fireworks display will be visible in part from a variety of locations in Queens, including but not limited to a good portion of the East River waterfront. The optimal viewing areas are listed on the Macy’s website.”

Macy’s website lists several viewing spots in Brooklyn and Manhattan, but there are no locations listed in Queens.

Asked about Queens, Macy’s spokesman Orlando Veras said, “With fireworks reaching heights of between 600 to 800 feet, there may be areas in the vicinity that may also have views of the show.”

The best bet for a view from Queens is to watch from a rooftop bar with unobstructed views, like at the Z Hotel, at 11-01 43rd Ave. in Long Island City.

“We’re having our 4th of July Picnic on our 12th floor rooftop bar,” Marketing Director Lisa Gneo said. “We can see both bridges from there, so we know we’re going to see the fireworks.”

At ground level, they’re not too sure.

In Hunters Point South Park, LIC Landing by Coffeed is throwing an All-American high-end barbecue for $100 a person. “I’m hearing mixed things, but I know from our event space you can see the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, so I think we’ll have an unobstructed view,” owner Frank Raffaele said. “At Gantry Park they think they won’t see it because their angle is a little bit different. It’s a leap of faith, but we’re going to put on our rose-colored glasses and party either way.”

Veso Buntic, owner of the waterfront restaurant Anable Basin, a bit further north, doesn’t think they’ll have a view of the fireworks.

“It’s very disappointing. We booked a live band and everything,” he said. “We waited so long to get them back on the East River. It’s really sad that they’re down in Brooklyn.”

A spokesman for Borough President Melinda Katz said she will work with the mayor and Macy’s to move future shows further north to make the fireworks more visible to the 2.3 million Queens residents.

Fireworks fans can still get their fill, earlier in the week, thanks to the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s 32nd Annual Waterfront Independence Celebration June 30.

“Thanks God for Astoria, right?” CALDC Executive Director Marie Torniali said. “What better view from the lawn in Astoria Park? The Gruccis shoot them off of Randall’s Island right over your head. We really pack them in with crowds of 10,000 every year. Ours is much more intimate.”

City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) is a proud co-sponsor of the event.

“They do such a great job every year,” he said. “It’s a unifying event for the community and an economic boom for the neighborho­od.”

The 25-minute fireworks display will be presented by the Grucci team, fresh from delivering a world record-setting display in Dubai.

“We’re delighted to be able to produce a fireworks extravaganza that can be a shared experience for the entire community,” Chief Executive Officer Phil Grucci said. “By using the most advanced science and envisioning our fireworks as performers and the sky as a stage, it’s a fantastic and theatrical fireworks performance guaranteed for all in the audience.”

The show gets underway at 9:15 p.m. and it follows a performance by the 50-piece Queens Symphony Orchestra that begins at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a great night and we love it or else we wouldn’t do it every year,” Torniali said.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 1:02 am, June 30, 2014
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archie from bayside says:
Are there fireworks in bayside
July 4, 2014, 6:52 pm

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