Heat does not bother me all that much, it can at times make me a little uncomfortable but that can be said about any number of people, chairs and religious conversation.
Unlike the cold, which cuts through you, the heat simply melts you. It forces you to stay still and extracts your fluids, filtering out the toxins of modern living through your pours. The cold induces frantic shivers and convulsions.
It’s a good thing I enjoy the heat so much because I was in it often while in New York City last summer. I didn’t have an AC unit in my room but having lived through several summers in Florida without it before, I knew what I was getting into. It forced me to stay out of the house during the day, finding refuge in movie theaters, pizza parlors, and bars. Yes, some nights were a bit balmy but nothing a late-night shower couldn’t remedy.
During my off days, when the sun was high and bright, it made more sense to get outside, if I was going to be sweating, I might as well enjoy myself. I was smart enough to bring my bicycle which I spent a fair amount of time riding around my neighborhood of Park Slope and its surrounding areas, seeking out bowls of Chicken Pho, tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza and of course cold beers. I rode around the Prospect Park bike and got lost trying to go see the new Jurassic World movie. I had to go to three theaters to find one that was not sold out. Once I did, it felt good to be in the company of others who were clearly in the same kind of air conditions situation I was.
Somehow, Rosé wine started tasting fantastic. Normally this, pink, over sweet, flat excuse for wine was pushed away for a real drink. Seeing how this stuff was increasingly available to me at little to no cost, and often chilled, I allowed myself to indulge in its mysteries. Eventually, I developed a taste for it’s more dry and sparkly varieties. It felt like the right thing to be drinking on rooftops, near pools and at the beach. It made me feel a little more refined. Did mention that they were practically giving the stuff away nearly everywhere I went?
2018 was a world cup summer and I found NYC to be one of the best places to experience it. Unlike some of my colleagues who squeezed into crowded parties in warehouses, I enjoyed finding the small musty bars that played the games with the sound on. I’m not that big of a soccer fan but I’m intrigued by the sport and its culture. I chose to root for England before the tournament began which was a good choice seeing how my office was full of ravenous British soccer fans.
That summer the heat, as it has in the past, forced me to get out and explore beyond my comfort zone. I could have just sat in my room enjoying the comforts of a window unit. I’m glad I spent it in sweat-soaked shirts riding around aimlessly looking for adventure, cold beverages and people to share them with.