Oh My Stars and Stripes: A Southern Guide to 4th in the North
As a displaced Southerner (Proud Charlestonian) living in the North, patriotic holidays are always a bit of a conundrum. With many of our staples not being available above the Mason-Dixon it can be a bit of a bummer. But in 5 easy steps you Yankees can have a Southern style 4th too! Darn Tootin’!
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All beverages must be consumed from a mason jar. The pinnacle drink to fill said jars is Swamp Water or what y’all call an Arnold Palmer or Half-and-Half. For those off the wagon there’s Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, created in the great state of South Carolina. Other acceptable options are anything domestic, light, and cold. For a full spread of snacks your basic cookout corners stones are acceptable. As backyard BBQ space is limited if you live in the city there are a few restaurants to cater to your dixie pallet. The Dutch (131 Sullivan at Prince) is doing an à la carte menu full of hush puppies, a barbecue plate with smoked brisket/pulled pork, and peach pie with blackberry-buttermilk ice cream. If you’re looking to splurge a little Sotto 13 (140 W.13th Street) is doing a whole hog (how Carolinians do it) and serving dishes for brunch and dinner for $35. Don’t forget your fixins and corn bread.
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Somewhere between Classic Rock and Classic Country, let’s make peace. I personally don’t listen to much modern country but am more than happy to have Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Waylon Jennings blastin’. Take this and mix in your Southern Dad Rock; Alabama, The Allman Brothers, .38 Special… And don’t act like you don’t love the Zac Brown Band, I know you do! If it’s loud and from the Midwest to Southeast, it’s good. Get all cattywampus on it.
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As much of America’s history is rooted in the South, no one is prouder of the start of this great nation than us. The first permanent settlement was in Virginia for Pete’s sake. So be unapologetically patriotic, verge on obnoxious! Be as bold as possible. RED, WHITE, and BLUE everywhere. Nothing beats the stars and stripes in any form of clothing…any. I highly recommend getting an American flag bandanna and making yourself a pair of jorts. It’s humid down there…we rock a lot of cut offs. So ladies don’t be shy about your daisy dukes.
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Where I’m from sparklers and fireworks are totally legal. So throwing your own light-show might be tricky and I wouldn’t recommend it. Sadly sparklers aren’t supposed to be used in the boroughs’ counties….however, they are allowed in 31 other NY counties. Tell your pals from upstate they can crash with you over the holiday if they come prepared with sticks that could melt your hand off. Oh my word.
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Loud and proud is a tenant of Southern life. Let everyone know how much you love your country. A good ol’ U-S-A chant never hurt anyone either. It’s pretty contagious from my experiences. Also remember that we pride ourselves on hospitality on politeness. Show respect to any veterans you bump into, they’ve played a very important role in our independence. And don’t be afraid to make new friends or share your beers/food/etc. Southern charm is a real thing and hard to turn off. Thank you kindly.
Not matter how you celebrate remember to be smart and safe. Embrace your roots whether you hail from the North or South, East or West. Today we are all Americans and so lucky to get to grow up in such an amazing country. So kiss my grits and butter those biscuits in the name of freedom!