Brief - The Hustle

It’s not just in your neighborhood — fireworks sales are booming

Written by Michael Waters | Jun 22, 2020 7:33:30 AM

Please go easy on your friends from Brooklyn: They probably haven’t slept in weeks.

No matter where you live, early July can be a perilous time to get those 8 hours. But especially in cities, the firework scourge looks different this year. Like everything in 2020, it’s bigger, louder, and poised to go on for way longer than any of us can stand.

In NYC, fireworks complaints for the first half of June are 80x higher than the same time last year. In Boston, complaints flared up from just 22 a year ago to 1,445 (!).

Everyone needs a white-noise machine 

New York Times writer Jamelle Bouie started a thread about the Great Pyrotechnic Explosion of 2020 — and residents of Charlottesville, Oakland, Minneapolis, Rochester, and other cities chimed in to say they were suffering, too.

Our Nick DeSantis can attest: Living in DC means he’s used to July 4th being the worst night of sleep of the year, “but I’d say this year they’ve started earlier and they’re louder.”

Cracking the firework mystery

One explanation is that people are bored in lockdown. But plenty of states have also recently relaxed their fireworks laws, making it easier than ever to stock up on everyone’s least favorite banger.

The American Pyrotechnics Association noted that fireworks sales have exploded across the country, and — god help us all — it’s expecting a “banner year.”

We hope all that melatonin panic-buying will finally go to good use.