Best Illegal Display of Fireworks - 2007
Mission District Roofs
Living in a third-floor walkup with three roommates may not be ideal, but it has its perks that's the mantra Mission District residents recite. And they get validation every Fourth of July. As the sun goes down on that patriotic evening, Missionistas climb up fire escapes and crack open trap doors, and set up plastic lawn chairs on the conveniently flat rooftops. Then the illegal glory begins. Bursting up from the streets all around you are fireworks to rival the city's official display, bought by generous scofflaws at more firework-friendly cities. The geysers of light, the percussive blasts, and the wail of fire engines roaring by combine to give the Mission a distinct war-zone atmosphere. Vets with PTSD should stay away, but everyone else can add a charcoal grill and a few friends, and suddenly it's an apocalypse party.