Works of Fire


Another unique aspect about living in Lincoln Heights, or East LA for that matter, is that on the 4th of July, you don’t have to travel very far to enjoy a fireworks show: the neighbors bring it to your door! Mind you, ALL fireworks are illegal in the city of LA, even the “safe and sane” type, but when has some lil’ old law ever stopped people from having a good time? I bet it’s been a shitload, but nevermind that. On the 4th, most people turn down the volume on legality and crank up the bass on celebration! And since breaking the law just a little bit -say by bringing in some of the ‘safe’ fireworks from the neighboring communities that sell them mostly to LA residents- is still breaking the law, why not go the extra step and break it all the way? Thus the reason for the vast amounts of crazy colorful rockets and the non-stop boom of M80’s.

I tried to capture some of that booming energy on video but I did a lousy job: I started too late and it was too dark for my camera to take decent clips. But who cares, i’ll post them anyways! Here’s a short video clip where you can still see some of the homes around LH. This clip has some nice bursts and a loud M80 boom. And this final clip is quite sucky in that you can’t see the young boy holding the roman candle; his dad just showed him the proper way to enjoy the risk of a burn! The candles always come printed with a safety warnings about placing them on the ground but who the hell can’t resist the thought of waving a wand that shoots colorful balls of fire? I know I can’t!

If the video clips do nothing for you, well then, here’s some text I posted a year ago on a local email list, maybe it’ll convince you to celebrate our changing seasons!

Los Angeles may not have the visual cues of the changing seasons, those supposedly beautiful times when green leaves turn a rotting brown or when the nourishing fluid rain becomes a frozen task on top of your car (at least that’s what the pages of Better Homes Than Yours tell me) but we can bask in the glory of our own changing climates, namely the shift from the common urban sounds to the glorious wisps of the pop-boom-pop of the firecracker season.

Yes my fellow neighbors, the celebrations of Summer are upon us, let us rejoice! For a brief moment we shall cherish the joys of the bone-rattling explosions, those thunderous acclamations that remind us that we are alive… ALIVE! We may desire to rest forever in our tranquil domiciles, with nary a bother but the postman, but the season has a mind of it’s own! It awakens us to remember that gathering humanity at the doorstep, to recognize those untempered masses with a singular pursuit for celebration. Though the 4th of July is historically irrelevant to Los Angeles, let us keep up the facade by encouraging the fireworks celebration, a bit of boom is better than irrelevance!

Boom-Chaka-Chaka-Boom! EL CHAVO!

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One Response to Works of Fire

  1. Art says:

    There is nothing like a 4th of July panorama of LA from my abuela’s City Terrace hillside garage roof. There is nothing like driving down Gerhart by Whittier (or the eternal illegal FW spot on Rowan near Michigan) and getting tons of rockets shot at or above your car at 3 pm on the 4th. When I bitch out and move back Norte I think the 4th will be a more coveted family home trip than Xmas.

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