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Seinfeld Directs, Portugal The Man, 4th Fireworks: N.Y. Weekend

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks
The Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display in New York. On Sunday July 4, 2010 at 9 p.m. the annual fireworks will ignite over the Hudson River. Source: Macy's via Bloomberg

It’s tough guys versus smart guys in Colin Quinn’s “Long Story Short,” a funny, politically incorrect history of the world. Directed by his pal Jerry Seinfeld, Quinn’s 75 minute routine hits a variety of targets, including the Catholic Church: “It’s hard to confess to a priest who likely has a Justin Bieber poster on his wall.”

The only props are a drink and an armchair he never really sits in, as Quinn pops up to explain that Marie Antoinette would never have lost her head for “Let them eat cake,” if she could’ve added “LOL.”

An experienced stand-up, Quinn spent five seasons on “Saturday Night Live.” He co-stars in the new Adam Sandler comedy “Grown Ups.”

At the Bleecker Street Theater, 45 Bleecker St. Information: +1-212-260-8252;

Afterwards, head to Lil’Frankie’s for Neapolitan pizza with artichokes, mushrooms, prosciutto and mozzarella, or fresh trout with lemon and caper sauce. Sit in the backyard garden and sample the extensive Italian wine list.

Lil’Frankie’s is at 19 First Avenue at First Street; +1-212-420-4900.

Saturday Afternoon

Climb through the weird leafy grandeur of “Big Bambu” on the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Doug and Mike Starn’s winding ramps rise 40 feet above the roof and 110 feet above Central Park.

The artists and a team of rock climbers will continue building the bamboo structure through the fall. To ascend, you need a ticket, nerves of steel and the right shoes.

When you descend, wander around the Met’s Picasso show or take in Leon Levinstein’s photos of “Hipsters, Hustlers and Handball Players.” Have a bite in the cafe at the Petrie Court or the American Wing before heading off into the park for some serious people watching.

The Met is at 1000 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-535-7710;

Saturday Night

Escape the heat and hop a ferry to Governors Island for the pop-psychedelia of Portugal. The Man. Self-conscious punctuation aside, Portugal. The Man crunch out addictive, anthemic rock so sexy your clothes will stick to you regardless of the humidity.

Lead singer John Baldwin Gourley is a native of Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, so he may know something about warming up a crowd with vocal acrobatics.

Governors Island ferries leave from the Battery Maritime Building and the doors open at 6:00 p.m. when wristbands will be distributed.

Get there early for openers Alberta Cross and Hopewell. Information: or

Sunday Afternoon

Grab a ribbon with someone’s wish printed on it, write your own deepest desire on a piece of paper and stick it into a hole in the wall at the New Museum and you become part of Rivane Neuenschwander’s show, “A Day Like Any Other.”

You can also describe your first love to a police sketch artist and add the resulting portrait to the exhibit.

The museum is filled with the Brazilian artist’s painting, sculpture and film, and there is a playfully paranoid installation exploring our disappearing privacy, based on Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation.”

The New Museum is at 235 Bowery. Information: +1-212-219-1222;

Sunday Night

“American Harmony” is the theme of Macy’s no-holds-barred fireworks extravaganza this year. Beginning at 9:20 p.m, more than 40 thousand shells will explode at the rate of 1,500 per minute, some reaching 1,000 feet, from Hudson River barges stationed between 24th and 50th Streets.

Bring a chair and some major refreshment and head over to the West Side Highway, closed to traffic for the annual party. Book a dinner cruise to see the sky light up from the water. Information: a dinner cruise to see the sky light up from the water. Information: and

Or repair to the Empire Hotel rooftop for the Liberty Belle Spectacular, featuring Gelber @ Manning and the Star Spangled Orchestra, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die and Jezebel Express, with guest mixologist Fredo Ceraso.

The hotel is at 44 W. 63rd St. Information: +1-212-265-7400;

For a more elegant celebration of the nation’s birthday, head up to Caramoor, a bosky 90-acre estate with villas, art collections, gardens and an international music festival, for “Pops, Patriots and Fireworks.”

Sousa, Ives, Gershwin, Hermann, Grofe and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture will be performed by the virtuosic Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the baton of Michael Barrett.

Order a picnic to enjoy in the gardens or get hamburgers and hot dogs on the lawn beginning at 5 p.m. The concert starts at 8 p.m. and fireworks follow.

Caramoor is at 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, New York. Information: +1-914-232-5035; Information: +1-914-232-5035;


Smell the blooms in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, admire hydrangeas and lilies galore and learn to make great seasonal food in the New York Botanical Garden’s Conservatory Kitchen.

Dan Latham, executive chef of the Cornelia Street Cafe, will demonstrate how to cook Cornelia Black and Blue Berry Squares and summer corn risotto with tomato basil coulis at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The official park gardener, Sonia Uyterhoeven, shows how to make tasty herbal butters, pesto, vinegar and teas from the kitchen gardens at 2 p.m.

To satisfy your soul, check out Emily Dickinson’s Garden, “The Poetry of Flowers,” an exhibit of manuscripts, books, watercolors and photographs that display the poet’s botanical talents.

The Garden is at 200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard in the Bronx. Information: +1-718-817-8700;

(With assistance from Lili Rosboch. Zinta Lundborg is an editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

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