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.