Monday, July 25, 2011

Beating and Retreating from the NYC Heat

When the living room hit 93 degrees, it was time to turn on the air conditioner.

I had resisted all summer. I not only have a high tolerance for heat, but also get cold extremely easily. When others are comfortable, I'm wrapped up in a blanket. When others are sweating, I'm finally comfortable.

That's generally true, but not the past few days. Central Park hit triple digits, and Newark, New Jersey, even reached 108. The extreme humidity made it feel even hotter.

Our sole air conditioner is in our bedroom, so Paul and I have been camping out. On Friday night, we assembled turkey wraps with cold cuts and lugged our supper and laptop onto the bed and watched a few episodes of the first season of "Fringe" on DVD. Armed with books, newspapers and the laptop, I barely left the room for the next 20 hours.

On Saturday night we were invited to a backyard barbecue whose start time understandably got pushed further and further back as the forecast predicted higher and higher temperatures. By the time we arrived at 7 p.m., the sun had mostly set. Even when the sky was black, however, the heat and stagnant air made most people's drink of choice plain old water.

Sunday was cloudy and "only" in the high 80s in the mid-afternoon, a welcome reprieve. I even ventured into the living room for an hour or so earlier in the afternoon, but the indoor thermometer still read 90 degrees. I retreated into the bedroom.

This is only our fourth summer here, and each year there have been a few terribly hot, uncomfortable days (not so different from Ohio in that respect). Usually we've had a couple by now. The last few days, however, truly have produced record-breaking temperatures. But when it comes right down to it, does 95 really feel all that different from 105? Not when you're holed up in an air conditioned room.

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