An American Weekend: Downtown Brooklyn

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Penelope Drumming
Penelope Drumming. Photo by Lakin Starling/The Brooklyn Ink

New York City is the largest city in the world, with a huge reputation for celebrating well, but residents of Downtown Brooklyn seemed to celebrate July the Fourth by commemorating on a more intimate scale.

When asked, What’s the most American thing you’ll do for July Fourth?, Sharma Gordon, a twenty-two-year-old law student responded, “I’ll be at a cookout. I’m home for the summer from California and I’m realizing that for some reason it’s hard to find a really good cookout in Brooklyn.” She continued, “A lot of people go to Jersey or outside of the city, where friends and family have bigger backyards to host more people. When I think of an American cookout, there just has to be a lot of people, from babies to old people. It’s just one happy party.”

Jamie Williams, 23, said she was planning to  find some free food somewhere as well, but that she also had to see fireworks with loved ones. She said, “July Fourth isn’t right without fireworks. It feels like I celebrated “the American way” if I ended the night with watching fireworks with people I care about.”

Another Brooklynite, Penelope Drumming, shared a different perspective on American festivities for our Independence Day. She began, “I’m going to most likely find a good drink, a good plate and attempt to see fireworks, and to have a good day. But I’m not really sure what an American thing to do is. Everything we do for July Fourth just honors festivities and not what the actual day symbolizes.” People lose focus, she said, on “what the real significance and importance of what that day is.”

Drumming persisted, “In America we’re like, ‘let’s have a good-ass time.’ We take things for granted.”



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