It’s Summertime in New York City and the city that never sleeps is getting very drowsy. The temperature hit 103 humid degrees the other day and hasn’t gotten much lower, putting a huge crimp in our high-octane style.
Which is a good thing, really, since most New Yorkers you see buzzing around the streets the other 3 seasons of the year with that I’m-a-huge deal in-a-big-hurry look on our faces really don’t have anywhere important to go or anything all that pressing to do.
We do it to fool the out-of-towners. Which is why we talk this way too, that whole New York Accent deal. Let’s everyone know where you’re from right off the bat wherever you go and establishes you as someone who at least knows his ass from a hole in the ground.
Sorry, people from other places, that’s just the way it is. Saves a lot of time-consuming chitchat. We’re all about the expedience around here, and the way we operate is designed to get places more quickly in order to dedicate more time to not doing much.
The extreme heat always exposes us, though. We still go through the motions of pretending to be world-beaters as we cruise the canyons of Manhattan and boulevards of the boroughs, but it’s a tired act, and every bench, bus stop, set of library steps and public park is draped in limp New Yorkers trying to catch their breath in this oppressive heat.
This time of year is when you can tell who the real movers and shakers are. They don’t alter their New York Sidewalk Charge one bit, barreling along confidently, and never alter that earnest, almost manic expression, even in the most barbaric heat. They don’t even seem to break a sweat, either, when the rest of us are a sodden mess.
It’s days like this when you realize how few of them there are, sort of scary in a world capital and a city of 8 million. Maybe you start thinking that you should shoulder a little more of the load, make more of a difference.
Then the sun reminds you it’s Summer and you forget that nonsense and join the sensible New Yorkers lying around relaxing, thinking of not much at all, except maybe Coney Island.