Endless Summer: The Gift and The Curse

To use the word “endless” in relation to summer in the northeast is dramatic at best, romantically cliche at worst. But there comes a time in New York CIty when it starts to feel just that: endless. A time when the weather flirts with crisp air and cold breezes, but day after day, it skirts the line.

The gift.

These last days of summer when the crowds in front of the local bodegas stay thick, the salsa from boomboxes blares, the domino game keeps going and the piragua man hasn’t melted down his ice. The sun is still up when we get home, but sets early enough for a cool night’s sleep. Ladies still got their thighs out and fellas are still in their white tees.

New York summers are times of endless possibility whether you’re a party animal, a beach bum, a homebody or some combination thereof like myself (well…party animal was stricken off my list of adjectives looooong ago, but you know what I’m getting at here). Coney Island, a place that serves a purpose every season, is especially magnetic. We drink water every day, but never are we so happy to hear “WATAH HEAH…I GOT ICE COLD WATAH HEAH!” Nutcrackers and mangoes and toes in the sand. The last ride on the Cyclone. The last drink at Ruby’s.

Heaven.

photo by me

The curse.

It is September 27th and it is 80 degrees at 11:30am. Summer has become the once warmly invited guest who is overstaying his welcome.

I can’t speak for everyone because I know many people would prefer a yearlong summer (climate change is pretty much gonna guarantee that happens. So…congrats?), I am specifically speaking for my tribe. Those of us who are ready to say goodbye to Dear Summer even though we go together like Nike Airs and crisp tees.

Those of us who are ready to put an end to thigh chafing and underboob sweat. Those of us who are tired of leaving a train car that is 80 degrees only to step out onto a train platform that is 95 degrees (I’m looking at you Broadway Lafayette). People like my mom who refuses to go to the beach after Labor Day because goddammit summer is supposed to be over by now so she performs a silent protest of one.

Unlike early summer there is now an irritability in the air. You took out your air conditioner, but now it’s 90 degrees at 8pm. You put your summer dresses away but next week’s low is 82. The trains are slower. The traffic is thicker. The mosquitoes are still biting, and your hoodie is lonely in the back of the closet and it’s itching to come out and play.

Do the Right Thing. I can FEEL the heat in this picture.

Dear Summer, I know come December we’re gonna miss you, but it’s time for your grand closing.

Signed,

A Cranky Hot New Yorker With Underboob Sweat in September