It is 102 degrees in New York City today.
I repeat, it’s 102 degrees in New York City today.
On any given day, this city is bustling, moving so fast that if you blink you just might miss something. Commuters pack onto the trains like sardines, stabbing at their Blackberries with one hand, sipping Starbucks in the other. The city moves so fast that you rarely get an “excuse me,” but often get pushed, jostled and cursed at.
But not on a day when it’s 102 degrees.
When it’s 102 degrees in New York, everything seems to slow down. You can feel it as Manhattanites swipe their foreheads with one hand before blearily crossing the street. You can see it when you notice how many people have opted out of work due to the blazing heat when there are actually seats on the subway car in the morning. You can hear it when you notice that people are reserving the energy normally used for morning chatter to keep themselves cool.
Seeing this phenomenon today made me think about how southern and coastal towns are usually so laid back. I’m a laid back girl at heart, so I’ve always admired the “yeh, mon” mentality of people of the islands and the cool, relaxed manner of Floridians and Californians. Because, really, how can you be uptight and in a rush to go nowhere fast like a New Yorker when it’s so hot you swear you can see the heat?
So as I walked my commute this morning with my handheld mini-fan, I thought, “Wow, New York today almost feels like a beach town.” Just as I got carried away imagining a few palm trees scattered along 6th Ave and the water of the Hudson turning a light, clear blue, my fantasy was interrupted by a blaring car horn and the sound of a taxi driver cursing out a pedestrian.
Ok, nevermind. No matter how hot it is, New York can never be anything but New York.