Hot Town

20 Aug

Back of my neck getting burnt and gritty

When I was 6, we moved to Brooklyn on the 1st of July.  We were welcomed by the sound of illegal fireworks.  Day and night.  For a week.  That was my introduction to the very uniqueness of summers in the city.  My little suburban self knew nothing of italian ices, ice cream men, fruit men, and perhaps the most magical of all; the carnival ride man.  Actual rides (hopefully) bolted onto trucks would arrive on our block.  Real rides!  It was a step beyond awesome. 
On the more sweltering of days, a grown-up would open the hydrants for us.  The braver and older of us, would charge right into the spray.  The smaller and lighter-weight of us, played in the puddles.

We moved out of the city the following winter, but I still think of these city summer hallmarks.  They mingle with the images of people sleeping on fire escapes and sunbathing on tar roof, and the mass of humanity at Coney Island.

Yesterday I experienced a brand new (to me) summer in the city phenomenon.  It was about 87 degrees (not sweltering, but a breeze would have been nice.)  I made my way into the subway (at a location I had never frequented) and saw grown men (18-35 years) using the subway platform as a clubhouse.  Some had brought folding chairs.  Now what is still so puzzling about choosing to hang out on a subway platform, is that we were all of 2 blocks from Riverside Park.  What kind of bet do you think they lost?  Do they do this every day?  Perhaps only on weekends?  Did I mention that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky?  I’m so very puzzled.

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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Cultural Critique


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