Even in the dead of summer.

How I love NYC. Slowed to a crawl by the heat, I barely left my neighborhood this trip, but that’s okay. People travel from all over the world to visit our neighborhood, so I was content to amble up Broadway, lean toward the cooling spray of the fountains at Columbus Circle, nod at the statue of Dante gazing down from his pedestal across from Lincoln Center, tread the paths in Central Park seeking a holy alcove of cooling shade. Thank you, thank you, Central Park.


I won’t lie. I was thinking about pillowy marine layers of coastal California fog the day it was 96 degrees here with a heat index of 110. As every New Yorker on every stoop and at every street corner and deli counter will tell you, “It’s not the heat. It’s the humidity.” The Bull Terrier I saw at Columbus Circle did not comment. He just went straight for the fountain:


The days were stunningly oppressive, but summer nights in the city are languid and sultry and magical. One evening we braved a sky pouting with heavy gray clouds and sat outside for dinner. Good thing our table was under an umbrella – a thunderstorm broke right over our heads. The lightning was spectacular; the sound of brief but torrential downpour was a gift to us rain-thirsty Californians.

Another night we took the elevator up to our roof and instantly forgave our beautiful city for its daytime transgressions of heat and grime. The bridges sparkled like diamond necklaces; the moon shone full and cool. Have I mentioned that I love New York?


Today is our last day. I watched the sun rise and thought, have at it, New York, whatever you have in store for us on this dog day of summer. You are an elegant and unruly city, posh and gritty, strutting in bright lights, serene and reposed in leafy glades, and always unapologetic. No matter how hot it gets, you are unmistakably, irrefutably cool. I’m so grateful to be, however briefly, along for the ride.

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“Who, who makes much of a miracle?

As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,

Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,

Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky”

                                                                                                  — Walt Whitman




About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in New York city, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Even in the dead of summer.

  1. Katherine Fintzy says:

    It’s possible the original quote was “if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of Hell’s Kitchen.” (You know me – I can never resist. Even though I should.) How can I read this post about stifling heat and still wish I was there? Ah yes, polloplayer prose strikes again.

  2. citymama says:

    Oh how I love New York, too. So glad you had a special trip. The photos are gorgeous.

  3. dizzyguy says:

    Absolutely beautiful post; both verbal and visual. Favorite was the nighttime photo from the roof top.

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