Rooftops across the five boroughs have become launching pads for all-night fireworks displays over the past few weeks, leading to a drastic increase in 311 calls and nuisance complaints. And Flatbush tops the list of neighborhoods with the most complaints, Gothamist reports.

Over the last two weeks, there have been 171 complaints about illegal fireworks in the neighborhood, the highest number of any zip code in the city.  Although neighborhood fireworks are not uncommon in the weeks leading up to July 4th, the city had received 849 complaints about fireworks in the last two weeks, which was a 4,000 percent increase from the same period in 2019.

It is not clear whether those figures reflect an actual increase in fireworks displays from last year, and Gothamist reports 311 nuisance calls are often a better barometer of gentrification, rather than changing behaviours.

But Flatbush resident Phoebe Streblow told Gothamist, “There’s something louder, longer, and crazier about it that’s weird. Just the sheer cost alone of these productions is suspect. They’re about the size of fireworks at a minor league ballpark.”

Councilmember Farah Louis told the Gothamist she had recieved an influx of complaints, and said, “We must find ways to curtail access to these incendiary items which are illegal to sell, purchase, and transport in New York City.”


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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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