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SUMMER ROLLS IN

Posted on: Friday


With great ceremony this year, the solstice came and went, bestowing the city with promises of long adventure-laden days and warm fire-escape nights.  And so the seasons officially turned; Summer has arrived.

The New York City of the summer months is an entirely different creature than that of the rest of the year.  She is a brightly colored, scantily clothed, slow-moving yet fast-dancing creature, with wild hair and sweaty skin and a voice that both bellows with the same strength and urgency that the city eternally holds, and sings with an enticing softness. She is unpredictable.  She is daring. She is at once both a perfect partner to run full-throttle with into the arms of chance, and a magnificent fiery personality so heavy and overbearing that you want nothing more than to hide away from her in your air-conditioned apartment.  

I've found that most New Yorkers either love or hate summertime in the city. For the latter, the warmer months mean time to pack up and head out to the Hamptons, or the Mediterranean, or Europe. They want nothing to do with the heavy humid air piled upon and in between the buildings, so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, or the constant feeling of wearing wet clothes as sweat pours out of your every pore in the sauna-like air, or the random daily summer showers where, in the midst of a boiling sunny day, the skies open up for a few moments and flood the streets, soaking you and everything you're carrying in the blink of an eye.  Many New Yorkers simply can't stand it, and so they get up and go, and the streets become a tiny bit quieter. 

And yet others choose to remain- are eager to remain -  in the quieted streets and in their little apartments with walk-up stairwells and window air conditioners and old buzzing fans.  They feel the sticky heat wash over their body and it reminds them that they are alive.  A flowing park fountain or busted fire hydrant beckons them to strip down, jump in, and wade in the water.  An unexpected rainstorm calls for whisking off their shoes and sprinting through the park singing at the top of their lungs.  With the summer energy comes a certain sense that sweaty, loud, spontaneous adventure lurks around every corner, just waiting to be had.  

I count myself as a city summertime lover.  It's a difficult season, especially with kids, but a wildly magical one as well.  You walk out your door and things just happen. Whimsical things. Unbelievable things.  If you're up for an adventure, an adventure will find you.  And if it all happens to feel unbearably heavy at times, I just head underground.  I stand on the sweltering subway platform, waiting for the train, and close my eyes.  As the tracks screech and the train pulls into the station, the wind begins to blow.  The enormous rush of tepid underground city-scented air that rushes before the train hits me and blows my hair back, tousling it violently.  And in that moment, if I try hard enough to see the expansive white sand and the crashing waves, I can almost taste the salt in the windy air. And then I am renewed, and ready for all that New York City has in store for me next. 

26 COMMENTS:

  1. Anonymous3:37:00 AM

    This is a very beautiful post! Here I am in Serbia and literally could feel that subway wind, that's how great you write! I had an internship in DC 9 years ago and have fallen in love with the US madly :-) While in DC, I visited NY as well, those two cities are my favourite in the world...yes, it was a summer internship and yes, it was humid :-), but I felt so glorious just being there, feeling the opportunities in the air, daydreaming...my life changed so much after US and I will forever be thankful for that experience...write about NY, it feels good to read, almost as if I am there again... :-)

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    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words! Once in awhile I read a comment like yours and just can't believe that my words can be so meaningful to someone around the world. Thank you so much for reading!

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  2. This post really reminded me of that film, 'The Seven Year Itch.' Don't think it would be for me though, I get extremely grumpy in the heat xx

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    1. Wow, thank you! I love that film!

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  3. I live in the Mediterranean and we have the same kind of humid, oppressive heat that tourists love so much. Not only that, but our sun is really REALLY strong, so leaving the house with the kids between 11am and 4pm would be crazy. I try to see the positive in it, like you so well described summer in the city, but I guess I'm not a summer lover.

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    1. I didn't realize it was so humid there! I do the same thing, trying not to leave the house during the hottest hours. I'm not a true summer lover either actually- I'm more of a New York summer lover. :)

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  4. You are such a talented writer! Love this post, makes me want to visit my favorite city!

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    1. Thank you so very much Taylor! You are so sweet!

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  5. The way you paint pictures with your words is astonishing. You instantly brought me back to the year I spent in NYC as an 18 year old. All that magic was everywhere I turned, all the time. And today, I miss it so much it kind of hurts. Soak up that beautiful summer for all of us who can't be there!

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    1. I will Emily!
      Maybe you will make it back someday!
      Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. Reading a compliment like yours really means so much to me.
      xx

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  6. Oh this is sooo sweet. I love these pictures. You have the most beautiful posts!

    -Jade
    gracious-silhouettes.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Jade!

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  7. Wonderful images and memories in this post. Thank you. I am a Vancouver, BC transplant, having lived in and loved NY for years. I miss the summers (gosh, I miss a lot more than just the summers...), so thank you for reminding me of that piece of the year in that amazing city.

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    1. Thank you for reading Sarah.. and for your kind words!

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  8. such great imagery belle! i totally feel you on the wind rushing through with the train. I always stand there and just wait in excitement for that wind.

    And the image looks so much an American Apparel ad no?!! love it!

    LaTonya

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    1. Ha! It does look like an American Apparel ad! (totally unintentional!).
      xx

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