Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NYC heatwave: The Sunnyday Roast


Summer in New York City is something of a climatical groundhog day.

You wake up in an air conditioned bedroom that feels like a giant freezer. You go outside into a sauna. Walk any distance and you are perspiring like a human hog roast. Eyeball sweat blinds you before you have reached the end of your block. You escape back inside again and you're back in the freezer. Outside Sauna...inside freezer. Sauna. Freezer. Sauna. Freezer.


NY1 is in it's element right now is as this heatwave is upgraded from 'regular' to 'record breaking' There are stories of fainting firefighters, power outages and constant tips to stay cool.

Right now I cannot walk out of my house without raising my hand to my head and saying "Owww!", while puffing like a Grandma in pain. Sometimes I even start singing Billy Idol's Hot in the City to myself like a social retard or I yell "Scorchio!" like Caroline Aherne's weathergirl on the Fast Show.


Today it was 99 degrees with no sun. Cloudy with a chance of heat rash. Disgusting. As disgusting as the sweat that is running down my back and into my arse. Butt crack sweat, what could be erotic than that? Good thing I'm married already.

From that image, I segway neatly into our bedrooms, where we have relief in the form our air conditioning units. The rest of the apartment has to make do with a freestanding fan that just circulates the hot air. The bathroom and kitchen have become go-only-when-necessary zones. It's so hot in those rooms, I am considering renting them out for Ashtanga Yoga classes. I have all but given up cooking- summer in the city is no time to turn on an oven, just the exertion of chopping means perspiration is the main seasoning in my homemade coleslaw.

Leaving the house is no better. It's for the foolhardy and employed only. As well as facing the roasting rubbish scented Eau de New York streets, you also have to pack a survival kit: Copious amounts of water, dollar bills to buy more water and a scarf in your bag to cover your arms when you go back into buildings with over zealous air cons. Take my office for example-better known to most as 'The New York Library'-it's the worst culprit. Never mind the petitions to stop closures, try making it a little less igloo and you'd save enough taxpayers money to solve the budget deficit.


The stifling heat is all to do with the humidity apparently. Am I alone in not knowing what that really means? Everyone is always banging on about it, but I don't really think anyone truly understands it. All I am certain of is that humidity is a city problem and my Mother would describe it as 'close', which is as nonsensical as the rest of what she says.

The American is a bit obsessed with humidity, mainly because it's another factor in his growing weather related arsenal against New York and in favour of his California homeland.

"Whiney whine whine New York weather whine whine whineyyyyyy." he says

"Uh huh." I say

"Blah blah blah terrible humidity."

"I know!"

"Na na noo na, not like this in California."


"La de da da lovely L.A. blah blah bad New York, la de da da DRY HEAT."


I didn't think it was possible to become more weather obsessed than when I lived in Cardiff, but since the start of Welsh Alien I have blogged about all the seasons and have now come full circle with Summer, or 'Satan's armpit' as I heard it referred to recently.

There are a few days of perfection in September and April. Precious Manhattan times when it's in the early 70's and the wind blows gently and no one needs clinical strength deodorant and everyone's in a good mood. I don't really remember them, I must have been inside blogging about the weather and missed them.

So what is the ultimate way to keep cool in the city? Aside from frolicking in a virus infected public pool like this foolish child?


I just stick my head in the freezer. Right in there. Ahhhhh. I have the perfect spot, between the ice lollies and the frozen prawns.

It is the only corner of Manhattan where true solace from the heat lies.


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