New York City, July 31, 2016

★★ The rain fell just hard enough to make surfaces shine under the cloudy but barely darkened. Eyebrow-shaped bits of blue showed through. A glimpse of sun came, for no real reason, and then a gray rainless afternoon followed. The heavy air was less than hot but never gentle. Young people clustered around a sidewalk USB post. “See, if we waste a lot of time, it may start to rain,” a woman said. There were some darker clouds and inscrutable little gusts and a speck of falling rain, adding up to a nonspecific or diffident warning. In the lobby, the floor mats and umbrella bags were waiting.