I will be in NYC for the 4th of July, what events usually take place???? Also what happens in the days following? I believe there is a public holiday (or two?) on the following days. Does this mean all shops will be closed? Do residents go home for the holiday or will NYC be jumping??
Certain government offices will be closed (banks, courts, schools, libraries, federal offices, post offices). It's hit-or-miss with shops and restaurants. Some will close, but others may have big Fourth-of-July sales. The days following return to normal. It's rather a one-day only event.
The most popular activities on Fourth of July are picnics, cook-outs and outdoor celebrations. Lots of public parks will host live music, street food... that sort of thing, and it culminates in a big red/white/blue fire-works display. There will be plenty to choose from in New York City.
Some people don't like the 4th because of the traffic and crowds, but I happen to like it. It's one of those days where everyone puts aside their political differences and celebrate in unity. No matter what your passport says, everyone in the states gets to be a little American on Independence Day, so there's no reason not to participate in the celebration, unless of course you don't want to. You will probably encounter lots of people eager to share the festivities with you.
Ahhh just as I hoped it would be. That sounds great! Thanks for the information :D
If you want somewhere to view the fireworks from consider Rosevelt Island. You have to buy a ticket there (from the island of Manhattan it's free but you have to stake your spot) and you get a seat, all the seats have good views and there are porta-potties there.
Enjoy your stay in NYC!!!