New York City, August 1, 2017

★★★ The freshly washed sidewalks were reeking. A man plucked at his t-shirt to flap air into it on the subway platform. Each leg of the crosstown slog had its own new particular stench: sweat and possibly vomit in the long corridor to the Eighth Avenue trains at Times Square; sweat and battling colognes on the long escalator out in the East 50s; breakfast exhaust on the cross street. The light was clearer and the sky bluer than they could have been. A bicyclist did a wheelie up onto Union Square and across it. The sun pressed down hard on the chest. At day’s end it gathered into a swelling, formless purple glow, while the high scraps of cloud stayed white.

Like what you read? Give Tom Scocca a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.