An (almost) regular 4th of July

2020 is going to be written in huge block letters in the history books, mostly due to the tragic events that have been happening in the World so far. But every now and then, there is a little ray of hope that suggests life is going to go back to being somewhat normal, as we know it. This year’s Independence Day felt like it.

Once we’ve heard that the beaches were going to open with the city’s Phase 2 of its reopening sequence on July 1st, we immediately knew we were going to spend at least one day at Coney Island in the following Independence Day weekend, since the weather is almost unbearable at his time of the year in New York. Fortunately, there were no hiccups in the reopening plans, so we were finally able to get to the ocean.

When you hear about New York City, the first things coming to mind are surely not the beaches, but New York never ceases to amaze. Living in Brooklyn, you have the opportunity to hop on the subway and get to Coney Island in less than an hour. And although everyone wore masks and people stood a little further from each other, the general vibe of the beach hasn’t changed a bit. It’s still Coney Island.

July 4th wouldn’t be the same without the fireworks. Although the city announced that they would limit the number of officially scheduled fireworks to 20% of the usual due to COVID-19, the people of New York delivered the show. We gathered on our rooftop in Bushwick with a few friends, and to our amazement, thousands of fireworks covered the horizon for hours, shooting from all the different neighborhoods of the city, filling all of us with hope, and positivity about the future. The community of this city is truly one of a kind, and after a day like that in the midst of this pandemic, we were finally able to shake off the anxiety and fear that loomed over the city for months.

Ákos Orbán


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