Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hot City

Free yoga class in Bryant Park on a hot and humid night – that's a lot of yogis. (click on photos to enlarge)

Although we had a cold spring, we are now suffering in New York, along with the rest of the east, from a serious heat wave. It's too hot to be outside, which is a drag. The summer so far in general has been very hot and humid, and the air has been heavy with discomfort. I've lived in New York a long time and I don't ever remember it being this humid, like a tropical climate. I wonder, with the changes in global warming, if this is how we will live now. I don't mind heat and I like summer but I long for dry, light, crisp air.

One night when the heat abated a bit TD and I walked over to Madison Square Park which used to be nothing special but has been transformed into a lovely city escape on Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street. Danny Meyer's Shack Shake is located there, and we got a glass of wine which is served in a sculptural plastic glass that is shaped for holding with a notch for your thumb. Disposable chic. We had a seat on a park bench, and, delightfully, a free jazz concert soon started with a wonderful singer named Rene Marie. Everyone around was entranced by her music. The classic Flatiron Building, built in 1902, rose above the trees in the park. There was peace in the city. It was one of those unexpected magical New York moments.
Stylish cylists are now tooting around town on 6,000 blue shiney Citibikes, the new bicycle sharing system in New York City. I like this guy's casual shorts worn with dressy lace-up leather shoes. As a bicycler, I am a fan of this new program. I say more bikes in the city and less cars.

A cool place always to take refuge is the New York Public Library main branch at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, the Beaux-Arts Edwardian pile which was completed in 1911.

The branch is now slated for a controversial renovation, and a group has just filed a lawsuit to halt the renovation. I really hope this library is not ruined.

Speaking of global warming, this delivery was a first. This pamphlet recently arrived in the mail from the Office of Emergency Management in response not doubt to last year's Hurricane Sandy.



Dean Farris said...

Maybe Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly will buy you an ice cream cone!

Bart Boehlert said...

Or a margarita...

Splenderosa said...

Bart, I remember a summer in NYC in the 80's when the heat was unbearable, so I know what you mean. None of us are used to our city being this hot. Now, here in Texas, my home, it's a different thing, isn't it? We've got those hurricane books too. No one EVER gets used to nature's destruction, but we cannot move entire cities can we? xx's

A Super Dilettante said...

Hello, Good afternoon.

What a fascinating post about summer in New York. Although I've never been to New York, I heard from my friends who visited there during the summer that it can be incredibly humid and sweltering. I love the idea of sitting in the park and listening to the free jazz concert. This is so wonderfully romantic way to end the evening with a glass of wine to cool down.

Here we are (in Scotland, UK), like a shock to our system, enduring the heatwave (the longest heatwave in seven years, so the newspapers said) days of unbroken sunshine and azure blue sky. Even in this cool latitude in Scotland, the roads become shimmering like a silver tray and the steam rising from the sea under the melting sun.

It is so enchanting to see the photographs of New York Public Library. I really hope that renovation of the building would not ruin the original architecture of the building. I have a particular fondness for this building because I have read the most beautiful story that describes the most vivid sensations and sensuous descriptions of this library in a book.

I've always imagined in my head how this famous library would look like in real life ever since I've read the most captivting story set in New York public library titled "Back Issues" (1981), written by Elizabeth Hardwick.

I remember Hardwick's stylishly evoking description of the architecture of the building and the last unforgettable scene in the freezing rain in front of the library. I hope that this library, its uniqueness and original architecture would be preserved for the future.