Many happy returns, America! Cranky New Yorkers are understandably peeved that our nation’s birthday falls on a Wednesday. Just go with it, people.… Discover your inner patriot! At the New-York Historical Society, there’s a historical-re-enactment alert in effect as some actor shows up in a powdered wig to shake hands as “General George Washington” and storyteller Jonathan Kruk talks about the importance of the Hudson River to the Revolutionary War. But it’s the other river that has the fireworks, so charm your way onto whatever rooftop you can, and enjoy the smell of toasted sky. Downtown, there’s another block party with drunken hussies in their cutoff shorts; and out in a part of Brooklyn yet undiscovered by Corcoran, Nathan’s is having a hot-dog-eating contest (burp), and fingers are crossed that Joey Chestnut, America’s Great (and fat) White Hope, can dethrone Japan’s reigning champ, Takeru Kobayashi.
[“Celebration of America’s Birthday,” the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Speigelworld’s Fourth of July Summer Block Party, South Street Seaport, Pier 17, 3 p.m. to 4 a.m.; Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, Coney Island, at the corner of Surf and Stillwell, noon.]