A different kind of New Yorker doesn’t stay in the city when the summer comes. Too hot. Too sticky. Too stinky. Too many people in the streets. Too many fire hydrants turned on and forgotten about. Too many children in the street. Those New Yorkers remove themselves to summer places in the Hamptons, Fire Island or perhaps just stay inside under the cool of air conditioners and indoor swimming pools or rooftop views that get a little more breeze.
I’m not a New Yorker but I sometimes claim to be and when I do I proclaim quite loudly that I love New York summers. It is sticky. It is sun drenched, humid and it does stink. There are way too many fire hydrants left open and I love it.
Today I walked past an older man sitting on a chair on the sidewalk. His chair had an awning. I loved it.
Yesterday I saw a group of children out on a field trip from summer camp. They all had on bright lime green t-shirts and they crowded the streets. I loved it.
New York does something to me. Perhaps because it is where I really grew up, not from childhood to a teenager but where I truly became an adult. I moved to New York during summer. It’s where I paid my first rent bill. It’s where I first went out on real dates with no curfews. It’s where I learned to be responsible enough to count coins so I could purchase $1.50 slices at Kennedy’s Fried Chicken and still have enough left over an ice cold Heineken from Papi’s bodega on the corner. It’s where I first sat outside on a fire escape and watched people go by.
If New York never had a winter I never would have left. Probably.
Coming back to New York always excites me. I am thrilled to be here. I never want to leave until I do. The trains are simple and easy, people smile and spit and curse and laugh. I love New York. I love New York summers. I’ll never be a New Yorker who runs away from it. Give me hot, sweaty, stinky NYC.