Lick a block of ice – Beat the Heat

Children lick a massive block of ice to stay cool on a hot day. July 6, 1912.
Library of Congress; Ryan Stennes

What do you do when you don’t have AC?

We got through the July Heatwave, but temperatures and humidity in NYC are still running high:

  • Tuesday – Still steamy with a high of 90.
  • Wednesday – Thunderstorm or two with a high of 88.
  • Thursday – Heavy storms with peeks of sun. High 84.
  • Friday – Still a chance for a storm with a high of 82.
  • Saturday – Humid blend with a high of 81.
  • Sunday- A chance for a shower or thunderstorm. High 81.
  • Monday – Hot and humid. High 90.

The humidity is enough to warrant using the AC. But parts of NYC don’t have electrical service and that wasn’t an option in July 1911. All along the East Coast of the United States, temperatures climbed into the 90s and stayed there for days and days, killing 211 people in New York alone.

Though temperatures never quite broke 100 degrees in the first two weeks of July in New York, the city was poorly equipped to handle the heat and the humidity that went with it. Poor ventilation and cramped living spaces exacerbated the problem, ultimately leading to the deaths of old and young alike, with children as small as two weeks old becoming overcome by the heat.

In the peaks of the wave, people abandoned their apartments for the cool grass of New York’s public spaces, napping beneath trees in Central Park or seeking shade in Battery Park.

The streets were anarchic: People reportedly ran mad in the heat (one drunken fool, described by the New York Tribune as “partly crazed by the heat,” attacked a policeman with a meat cleaver), while horses collapsed and were left to rot by the side of the road.

Around July 7, when temperatures returned to ordinary levels of July sweat, the humidity remained high. It was this, reported the New York Times, that was responsible for so many of the casualties, “catching its victims in an exhausted state and killing all of them within the hours between 7 and 10 a.m.” The New York Tribune phrased it still more dramatically: “The monstrous devil that had pressed New York under his burning thumb for five days could not go without one last curse, and when the temperature dropped called humidity to its aid.”

City authorities did what they could to handle the heat, including flushing fire hydrants to cool off streets. At the end of the first week, even a terrific thunderstorm did little to alleviate the discomfort. In New York, the Times reported, it was simply a few showers “accompanied by much thunder, which rumbled as early as 5:45 a.m., giving promise of big things, and then disappeared into the ocean.”

A second thunderstorm, around the 13th, finally brought temperatures back down to manageable levels. As it did so, however, five more people died from lightning strikes.

Original information by Natasha Frost, modified by dievca


sheen

 

 

 

the river slides by
silky, sexy

much like the sweat
enveloping my body

moisture rise
denied

leaving a sheen

Photo: dievca, Delaware River 07/2020

moist with a hint of the ocean

Photo: dievca NYC Hudson River 06/2020

The sun is peeking up to reveal a world cocooned by humidity.
Moist air smells of the ocean, a river glistens like glass.
Suspended motion

broken by the cry of a seagull, the honk of a car horn

 


Melting – and not in a good way.

dievca had the brilliant idea of riding her bike to 60 Centre Street to reschedule her Jury Duty.
she thought it would save time and avoid sweltering in the subway.

Reviews of the subway:

“It’s like a wet sauna,” said Todd Ronin, 36, as he waited for the R train, “like a dirty wet sauna with all the germs and the lovely things you find here.”

Paul Pope, 40, an electrician lugging about 40 pounds of equipment with him. The sensation, he said, was not pleasant. “Do I look too pleasant? Look at me, I am drenched right now. I am so drenched.”

“If it’s humid, that’s the worst part, ’cause New York turns into a swamp,” said Diego Medina, 33, who was heading home toward Ditmas Park. “There’s something about the humidity in the city and the crowding, I think, just gets people, makes people a little more crazy.”

That bike ride?
A Bad Idea.
dievca was completely drenched with sweat, too.
Her dress, her underwear, her hair – everything was…..soaked.


Then she ran back to work and froze in the Air Condition because she was completely wet.

That brought to mind the 2005 NY Times Article about Luxury Retail vs. Low End Retail Air Condition temperatures. The findings were, the more exclusive and expensive the store, the lower the temperatures (click here for the article)

After melting, things did get better. dievca decided since she came home wet, she would just go up to the rooftop to soak up some sun. It was really windy up on the roof and that dried dievca’s dress quickly. Lying in a bikini for 45 min warmed up her fatty tissue (boobs and ass).

Pasta and kale salad for dinner.

Then dievca topped the evening off with a silly Pinot Grigio (the bottle made her smile) and a Good Humor Ice Cream sandwich (childhood memories)
Inspired!

Stay cool!