A few suggestions of ways to manage New York City summers (notice I didn't say 'ways to stay cool' because it's never gonna happen) when it's "hotter than a match head" and everything smells like pee.
-By Leah Bonnema (Stand Up Comic)
My dad and I always sing 'Summer in the City' by Lovin' Spoonful and I remember him playing it when I was growing up. I always thought it was such a fun song. Until I moved to the city. As a kid in the country you think "Oh his neck is 'getting dirt and gritty' that must be from being outdoors and playing in the yard..." BUT NO! It's because there is actual dirt (and who knows what else) IN THE AIR and it sticks to your skin as you slowly turn into swampland.
I am pretty sure that like whatever hormone women release after labor (this is something I have heard, I'm not going to google it because if it is only rumor it still works for me) that allows them to forget the pain so they are more apt to have another child, my body protects me by forgetting how horrible getting around NYC is every July and August.
Every year, a few days after the humidity has been as unmanageable as my hair, it settles below ground not to clear until fall. I walk down into the subway on the wonderous day, immediately am covered two inches deep in sweat and think to myself "This can't be..." After the shock and awe wears off of how incredibly uncomfortable I am, I remember that this happened last year, and the year before that.
A few survival tips:
-Fabreze trash bags, which seem incredibly too middle class and frivolous, are worth it. Trash heats up like a mofo. Unless you want your apartment to smell like the back alley behind a chinese food restaurant, keep that garbage scented bro.
Train platforms are the devil's playground. The lower down you go, the closer to hell you get. Sometimes I can't take it anymore and I get on the next train that comes, even if it's not mine, just for the few minutes of AC I need to regroup. I suggest staying away from the stations at 34th Street and Times Square, the F stop at 63rd and Lex and the D/E at 7th Ave if at all possible. Is contemplating your mortality worth walking to the next stop? You decide.
Oxy Pads. The wipes for teenagers with acne. Buy a little tub of them, pop them in your bag and wipe yourself down when you get to your destination. It cleans your skin and it's awesome to see the white pads turn gray with dirt after one swipe of your forearm. Honestly, they are refreshing.
When you get home, resist the urge to sit down because you won't get up. Walk immediately to the shower, stand under freezing water for a few moments and then sit on your AC.
When you are walking down the street and are immediately enveloped in a cloud of the strongest "Sweet Yeezus, what is that smell?!" KEEP WALKING. Power through it. There is some need in us to stop and figure it out, to try and make it go away. To find where all the pee is coming from. Don't. Just walk on.
Do not open the window in your apartment. Sometimes we lose ourselves in this beautiful thought "Maybe I can get some sort of cross breeze going if I open windows at the opposite ends of my home. Maybe if I stand in between them and swing my arms it will create enough of a swirl to get some fresh air!" THERE IS NO FRESH AIR.
I had been keeping the window cracked because I may or may not have guinea pigs (depending on if my landlord is reading this) thinking if would get them some new air. Then one day I shut it and woke up to find huge puddles all over my kitchen that were from the humidity that had finally been caught and shut down now that the window was closed.
I wish you all a lovely summer and lots of clean fresh pairs of cotton underwear!