I tried to periodically follow along with the East Coast on the flight up from NC (Delaware turns out to be endless), surprised by how close Long Island lies to Connecticut and equally surprised by how much water cuts up Rhode Island. We landed in Boston just before dusk, drank a couple of white wines, and carried our luggage to the esplanade in time for the fireworks. Deep into the crowd, we caught the top half of the show over the the trees at Chestnut and Mugar, engulfed in people from all over the city waving lights and shouting for lost friends. There were lots of patriotic melodies beforehand, of course. “Geeze,” said the woman next to me in the flag t-shirt, “They really know how to milk it.” I have to say the bus ride home at the end of the night was my favorite — all walks of life in a good mood: a little girl play-punching her father’s face next to us, awkward couple texting each other in front, huge brother and sister smiling toward the street. And I’m relieved like as a loose balloon to be back on the porch with my legal pad and my mechanical pencil, writing a story about Hollywood.