New York Heat Wave: What it looks and feels like

Umbrellas, paper fans, fluffy dresses, felt hats, hand-held neck fans. Everywhere, water: bottles of sweat beads condensate, water cannons in parks and inside apartments. Fire hydrants convert to sprinklers.

Here are some tools New Yorkers are using to work and play in the first heat of summer. wave, as the daily temperature is close to 100 degrees. As the planet continues to warm, it will only get worse next summer.

On a long, sultry day this week, city dwellers approached the challenge with a mix of serious awareness of being ready for anything and a sense of deadly seriousness. Heat can kill.

It was such a hot day that a subway employee blinked at the sun and cursed at it. It was so hot that the road surface swelled, making the bridges on the river unable to open to boats. However, in the Flatbush section in Brooklyn, Noel Willis, a flagger at a road repair site, danced and sang as he rotated his Stop/Slow sign.

Mr. Willis, 60, steps and sways as the sun comes out late in the morning. “I am singing, I am working, I am happy. I like to sing to entertain people, dance to keep my work going.”

Compared to cutting sugar cane in Jamaica, where he grew up before moving to Queens, standing on a hard hood and protective gear isn’t as hot, he said. a reggae song that he recorded under the name Christmas Melodies:

Summer again

And the girls are getting hot

See all the girls go around in this and that.

Around the same time in Washington Heights, two workers digging trenches for Con Edison struggled in heavy, fireproof clothing. Partners working for seven years, they say they have noticed the summer getting hotter and remind each other extra break. But law against idling rule out screwing up their truck’s air conditioner.

One of the workers, 42-year-old Danny Monahan, who was holding a shovel, said: ‘For the past few years, it’s felt like it’s 90 degrees every day. “It has to be done if it’s 10 degrees or 90 degrees. It’s not my favorite thing to do in the heat, but it’s one that I love. “

As emissions from fossil fuels heat the planet – last summer was the hottest on record – extreme heat developing danger Because cities. This week, parts of Europe beat temperature was once only expected in deserts and tropics, and some of those areas could be uninhabitable in the coming decades. Heat is more extreme In poorer area and more deaths for vulnerable populations, and labor advocates are calling for stronger rules to protect workers.

New Yorkers with outdoor work, or without the need for efficient cooling at homeshowed off their ingenuity across five counties on Wednesday.

For Jerome Sanford, 36, the heat puts on top of another crisis: the pandemic, which he battles as a mobile Covid-19 tester. On a scorching street near Prospect Park, he yearned for a misting fan. Instead, he ducked into the cool library for a break.

Rosalyn Campbell, 63, a nanny sheltering in the dark of the library, said she studies the movement of light as when reading sundials, the shaded streets of buildings to spots. cool under the shade of trees and the playground has sprinklers. One of her crimes, 9-year-old Siya yelled her own solution: “Water guns and water balloons!”

Ehab Salem, 46, an Egyptian immigrant, had fewer options. To attract pedestrians at the Brooklyn Museum, his halal food cart was placed in direct sunlight. He worked on a blue hot gas flame and a hot fryer, barely cooled by a greased fan the diameter of a basketball.

“I drink a lot of water; I have a small fan,” he said. “I am good.”

Kemoy Walker, 30, prepared a hydration system for her washer-dryer repair of the day. The night before, he put six bottles of water in the freezer – “one for each job”. By midday, he was in Flatbush with two empty seats in the seat of his service van. A defrost bottle has taken up the cup holder. The last three are in the cool shade of the dashboard.

“It’s fine when you’re in the car,” he said, wiping his eyebrows. “When I’m on the pitch, it’s a completely different situation.”

Across town, the midday sun glistens orange lifeguard umbrellas and electric blue waters at Highbridge Pool. Loud whistles and screams were heard as Hannah Grier’s grandsons Maddox Diaz, 4, Alex Diaz, 10, and Nicholas Williams danced and played in the large public swimming pool in Washington Heights. Grier, 44, said every morning when she wakes up after another sweltering hot day, she activates the emergency heat-fighting plan she’s followed since she was a child.

“Breakfast, pool, breakfast, pool, breakfast, pool,” she said.

One lifeguard, Anthony Almonte, worried that his 31st summer at the pool could be tough, eventually having to close due to a lack of lifeguards and the kids pool being renovated.

“This is going to be really bad,” he said.

But Loraine Villegas, working on her tan, saw good news in the crowd after three years of the pandemic.

“People are together more this year,” she said. “Can live every day.”

Temperatures stay in the 90s as evening approaches, and heat waves are most dangerous if not cooled at night.

But two exposed fire hydrants rescued neighbors in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx. Around each tire base is a slanted sign to spray water onto the road, a system devised by Merlin Flow, who has a tire business nearby.

“I made it for everyone,” said Flow, 34, in Spanish. “For everyone to stay cool.”

Getting soaked, 33-year-old Ana Rivera and her two young children giggled and splashed. Mauro Zambom, 28, washes his car with a spray bottle, after a day making 200 FedEx deliveries in a truck without air conditioning.

“I have to pay rent,” he said.

Bathers at Marcus Garvey’s pool in Harlem were amazed to see the hours running until 8 p.m. Terry Chan, 44, a commercial worker, took his children to rest as he scrambled to his computer. Air conditioning and a dip in the water.

“My house is always flooded,” he said.

At dusk, families seek a breeze by the Hudson River, especially after Warning from ConEd Limit the use of air conditioners to avoid power outages. Damian Pieter, 43, has been walking for three hours with her children, their mouths bright Popsicle blue, but won’t come home until the darkness makes their apartment bearable.

After dark, young men play basketball in the basement of the Manhattanville Community Center, one of the scores of city ​​cooling center. Even though the air conditioning failed, the fans kept the court usable.

“Fan, cold water, no stress,” is how Charles Buckner, 20, a teacher there, beat the heat.

But he planned another trick: a nighttime visit to his classroom upstairs. “The AC is blowing up there,” he said.

Matthew Sedacca contribution report.

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