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In a place known for its mean streets and street smart locals, many Manhattanites rely on their pets when they just need a little TLC . And of course, there are those animals who are just as wild as the concrete jungle they call home…

Growing up in New York sounds magical in theory: field-tripping to The Met, long afternoons on Central Park playgrounds, Broadway only a subway ride away...but there's also a grittier, less glamorous side to coming of age in a city that—seemingly—has it all.

June, July and August find New Yorkers both basking in the sunshine and desperately escaping the steamy heat. In these tales, they share how they made the most of the warm weather months as kids and beyond — in sprinklers, on stoops, through blackouts…