THE BLOG
07/02/2010 05:05 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The New York Guide to the Perfect Fourth of July

What better way to celebrate America's independence than with a little rebellion? This holiday, don't settle for the same old, dull routine...here are three tips to help you celebrate with a bit o' bang.

Every masterpiece begins as a blank canvas, so pay a visit to Elena Capo at Soho House NY's Cowshed Spa. The secret weapon of magazine editors and fashion elite, Elena will administer her trademark 40-minute Full Leg Wax ($65) and Brazilian ($55), using only the mildest of Azulene sensitive skin waz. And yes, you're really going to do it this time--no chickening out on the table. Masterfully, and mercifully quickly, she'll whisk away any and all (and I do mean all) unwanted hair, distracting you with an education on some of the finer points of Russian beauty school--it's basically a full dermatology degree, coupled with alchemy, homeopathy, and reflexology--no wonder she's the best! Afterwards, you'll have a rub down with a cleansing oil and hot towel, and will saunter out soft as a baby's behind with nary a red bump in sight.

Next, it's off to Cheap Jacks on 30th Street and 5th Avenue for an appropriately cheesy (and perhaps a little scandalous) vintage costume. Anyone can tie on a flag bikini, but it takes true genius to find a way to pair this patriotism with cowboy boots and an authentic Hula skirt or 70's jumpsuit (bedazzled, of course). Whatever your liking, the helpful sales clerks are sure the find a way to deck you out in powerfully American regalia that can easily transition from barbecue, to beach, to after party (providing your compatriots have a sense of humor).

Get back into your real-person clothes and hit Whole Foods or your local health food store to pick up some vegan hot dogs and hamburgers. I know I might have lost some of you with that last sentence, but trust me when I tell you you won't know or won't mind the difference. Consider it your magnanimous offer of liberty to the cows and pigs who would otherwise have satisfied your barbecue needs. Smart Dogs are the best faux-hot dogs (boil them along with the sauerkraut for minimal cleanup) and Garden Burger California Burgers come grill-ready, packed with plenty of real-burger taste. Stock up on some whole wheat buns, Sweet Vidalia onions, vine-ripened tomatoes, and some crisp, organic lettuce--and all the condiments of your choosing--for the perfect barbecue menu. And, if you happen to pass a farm stand on your drive to a lovely beach spot, spring for New Jersey's finest sweet corn on the cob and the variety of fresh fruits in season.

Now, all you have to do is select your party place, decorate it to the nines, invite your favorite people, and give Uncle Sam some love.