Local Law 11 is the ordnance in New York City that requires all air conditioners be installed with proper reinforcement on multi-dwelling buildings. It’s good that this law exists because too many people are doing what I did and installing their air conditioners with a jerry rigged effort involving a 2×4, cardboard and tape. People without drills still need to keep cool too.
So in our apartment we recently had a new air conditioned installed in the manner that meets this requirement. Our old air conditioner was broken anyway. The problem is that the company we bought this service from installed the wrong air conditioner (#FirstWorldProblems). They’re coming back to replace it, and just in time. The official summer season starts this coming Memorial Day weekend and it’s going to be a long, angry summer.
Despite the harsh, snow-heavy winter, we had a record-breaking warm March and we’ve already seen temperatures approach the 90s before May hit double-digits.
The subways are getting more crowded and service is deteriorating even as fares increase. People cram on to subway cars even when there’s really no room. Being pressed up against strangers is a lousy way to start your day, turning up the heat on this commuter bullshit sandwich is only going to make things worse tenfold. I’m surprised I have not seen more violence on the 7 train as people try to make room where there is none. Maybe the increased temperature will finally bring things to a boil.
New York, like the rest of America, is a melting pot that is always on the verge of boiling over into something ugly. Summer adds more tension to the played-out and media-fueled racial dramas that have come to consume our news feeds with controversies both real and manufactured.
But despite all of this, despite the humidity that turns my skin to an oily slick before I’m even done getting dressed for work, despite the fog of heat that shrouds you and clings to you through every day, despite the intense blowback heat reflected off of our streets and buildings and topped off with car exhaust, New York does not lose its magic over the summer.
Surviving summer in New York is like going into a hot tub filled with bum piss and meat sweat, but you haven’t lived in New York until you’ve been through a few summers here. There will be times you will retreat to the sanctum of a heavily air conditioned movie theater but be relieved to feel the awful yet real and true weather on your skin when you come out.
Living through summer in New York means being happy that on some weekends the city is less crowded, that many of the effete snobs who crowd our weekends are off in the Hamptons.
Summer in New York means not having to deal with people who would use summer as a verb. Summer in New York also means free Shakespeare in the parks, good people watching, ice cream trucks, air conditioning and iced coffee.
Living through a New York summer means you’ve endured a crucible that makes you a stronger person and a more seasoned urbanite.
New York City is a cauldron of fetid misery between June and August. Don’t miss it.