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MIT student blogger Chris S. '11

Remember the Fourth by Chris S. '11

Another reason why I'm happy I chose MIT over Stanford.

My most vivid recollection of a July 4 celebration came from a book that I read in middle school.

The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin.

Basically, the book is about a bunch of strangers coming together to live in an apartment, only to find that they’re all related at the end to a rich man. The mysterious rich man (who never shows his face) instructs the heirs that the race is on to claim his treasure, and leaves behind a series of puzzles for the heirs to solve. At the end of the book, after much intrigue and humorous dialogue (the book is quite entertaining, actually), the fireworks go off over Lake Michigan, in celebration of America’s birthday.

As a US citizen, this is actually my first time ever seeing Fourth of July fireworks/celebration, because I’ve never really been in the States during Fourth of July. (or if I was, I was in little-town Maine for Mathcamp and the valleys of Ojai, Cali for SSP, so I probably didn’t feel the Fourth-of-July-ness).

I had a truly “American” Fourth of July.

I was on foot (the American way of travel – look at how much Americans jog!) the entire day, I went to Quincy Market for chowda for lunch (the American meal), and listened to patriotic songs at the Hatch Shell at night (the American musical tradition).

That, and a few other things. Hope you enjoy.

3. Get to the Hatch Shell early and get a wristband for the night’s concert! (they go out fast, so get there before noon, at the latest). After you have a wristband, leave (and come back around 6 or so).

2. On the same note, July Fourth is a wonderful day for free stuff. FREE toothpaste, FREE Starbucks Iced Coffee (unlimited trials!), FREE pork, FREE cereal, FREE Pillsburys….celebrate Independence Day with FREE goods!

1. For good measure, take FREE pictures with Blackberry mascots. Especially if this one has Facebook on it. :)

0. Just a taste of the festivities! :)

The National Anthem and the flyover with F-15s! (this is also the very first time I’ve ever stood for the US National Anthem, lol. I’ve never heard the US National Anthem played live on American soil before).

Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture performed live! with cannons! and fireworks!

There were SO MANY of these sing-a-long thingies. Be happy I didn’t put up take me out to the ball game or casey at the bat. =p

The uber-famous Boston song I’m Shipping Up to Boston that I actually heard for the first time (I think someone danced to this on America’s Got Talent though…). I didn’t like the original because there was too much screaming in the vocals, but I like this instrumental version!

Rascal Flatt’s Life’s a Highway performed live. I’ve personally never heard much about them save a few random songs on the radio, but judging from the crowd’s response – they’re pretty popular, I guess.

As for fireworks, I believe that fireworks lose their magic once it’s captured via images or video, so come to Boston and see it for yourself! I was pleasantly surprised the fireworks lasted for so long (nearly 30 min!). My favorite was the American Soldier set of fireworks, for those that also saw the fireworks and know what I’m talking about. To use a cliche, it’s no understatement to say that there really was “magic in the air.”

Hope you also had a great Fourth of July. Remember, the early bird gets the worm, er, wristband, and Starbucks always taste nicer when it’s free. :)

24 responses to “Remember the Fourth”

  1. christine says:

    i watched from the MIT side– they were awesome!

  2. Anonymous says:

    It looked fantastic! Wish I was there to see it. :]

  3. old fart says:

    Wait, Americans’ way of traveling is on foot?
    mmh… Boston fireworks are definitely magical though…

  4. Tim says:

    Whoa! That’s a month’s supply of toothpaste? I must not be brushing enough.

  5. Piper says:

    Adorable smiley!

    And I’m confused. Who was giving out toothpaste? Where?

  6. Isabel says:

    So I’ve only read the first part of the post, but I must comment:

    I love the Westing Game! It’s one of my favorite books ever.

  7. Daniel '12 says:

    Free Pork?! Was it tasty?

  8. Noelle says:

    I remember reading The Westing Game in 6th grade too, though I haven’t thought about again it until today. It was one of my favorites from middle school.

    I watched the Boston Pops on television. Probably not as great as seeing it live, but I still thought the performances were great.

  9. kayla '12 says:

    hahah Tim i had the exact same thought about the toothpaste. like “Did he mean to says ‘year’s supply’…”

    i want to be in boston noooow.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me sir, might i inquir- Bubbles.

  11. Anonymous says:

    No, its bearable. but the thing is,

    were all out of bears.

  12. Snively says:

    Well, that’s one of the more interesting spambots I’ve ever seen.

    Being out of bears sure is tragic!

  13. Judy '12 says:

    LAWL to the “Free pork”

    4th of July is fun. We have so many block parties (and we go party hopping).

  14. omg the smiley is amazing, even china doesn’t have that.

  15. Hey the storyline of the book you mentioned, and this movie here, , are similar :D lol

  16. i wanna go to the mit~~~

  17. Grace '11 says:

    the free stuff was at harborfest, by govt center/faneuil hall…what about the free face painting! and free egg burritos + sausages!

    my eyes were closed in my picture with a blackberry =(

  18. Oasis '11 says:

    ^ Hahaha, Grace, I wonder why you knew where all those free stuff were coming from smile lol

    Tho seriously, I can’t remember all the free stuff, so that’s all I could remember. I did sample like 15 starbucks coffees though…=p

  19. Aditi says:

    I I <3 the fireworks.
    I’m not going home next year. I *must* see them!

    Plus its my birthday. ^^

  20. patrick '11 says:

    i loved the 1812 overture…i watched it on tv, and when the fireworks came out at the end, i was half expecting the fireworks to form a huge V, if you get what i mean =P

  21. Lauren '12 says:

    Free stuff!?!??! Living in Boston all my life, I’ve never found that much free stuff on the fourth, though then again I’m usually with family.. oh man, gotta look harder next time! grin

  22. Anonymous says:

    That’s a lot of toothpaste for one month!

  23. Anonymous says:

    yeah, dude, Waterville, Maine sucks.

  24. Taiwanais says:

    Great day for you!!!!!