July 4th wasn’t just a day to celebrate the good old USA. It was also the day that Brazil met Colombia on the field in a game of futbol. (That is football to some of us Anglos out there, soccer if you are pure ‘merican). I had heard that the celebrations had spilled out into the streets when Brazil had won earlier in the week, so we headed to what we thought would be the epicenter. Broadway and Steinway in Astoria, Queens.
There were definitely crowds but the Police were also in full force. Guess they didn’t want a repeat of dancing in the streets, note I said DANCING). I get that crowds can become rowdy and sometimes violent but I have yet to see anything that comes close to that kind of behavior in any of the neighborhood celebrations. All I saw was a show of force that far exceeded the need. The NYPD are good at that.
The police were diverting anyone showing any kind of Brazilian support at Broadway and not allowing them to continue down Steinway past the crowds of Colombian supporters.
But it seems the police didn’t know where the real action was. Right there across from our apartment on our own corner, both groups of supporters were gathered. Yes, they jeered at each other but it seemed to be all in good fun. Many were carrying both flags and ALL were dancing to the Samba beat.
Our neighborhood also has a large Pakistani population, everyone came out to see what all the fuss was about.
The drumming and dancing continued on well after dark. From my bedroom window I could hear shouts of “COLOMBIA” and “BRAZIL”… to the semis we go!
So, next time then…