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JULY 4, 2009   

Fourth of July

View from the lower level seats towards the diamondDue to the generosity of a friend I spent part of the holiday doing very American activities: going to a baseball game and watching fireworks.

This was the first Cleveland Indians game I've been to in at least two years. I was only there because it was a special "Strike Out ALS" game spotlighting the work of the ALS Association that fights Lou Gehrig's Disease. A friend of a friend had extra tickets and invited me.

The view from our seats deep in right field was actually pretty good, and we were well within range of the bizarre spinning SUV that shoots out T-shirts after every home run (and other occasions as well). People all around me were aggressively snagging shirts as they plummeted from the sky. Oh yeah, and we could see the game too.

Fireworks over scoreboard at Progressive Field, Cleveland, OhioAfter the game there was an impressive fireworks display. The range of colors—yellows, greens, blue and purples as well as red and white—was beautiful.

We were sitting nearly underneath the bursts, and the noise was deafening. Still, it was a fun way to spend a warm Fourth of July evening.

More fireworks

It was no surprise that when I got back home to West 32nd Street it sounded like the news reports from Baghdad during the American invasion. People in Cleveland neighborhoods love their fireworks. We've been hearing occasional pops and bangs since we got home from Kelleys Island last Saturday, but of course tonight is when it peaks. At midnight things are only a bit quieter than an hour ago when I stood in my front yard and recorded this:

By 3 or 4 a.m. it should be relatively peaceful. In a good year the next day or two will be a bit noisy, in a bad year the invasion continues for a week.

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