Surviving the Summer Heat in NYC
Summer in New York City can be unbearable. It’s hot and it’s humid and you feel like you’re cooking in a steamer whenever you’re out on the street. Part of this is geography. Most Northeast cities suffer muggy, “dog days” in summer. They share not only humidity but frequent severe thunderstorms that pelt the streets with water yet never seem to take the humid blanket of air with them when they pass. At those times, you’re not only hot and humid, but you’re weighted down with dripping raincoats, rain hats, and umbrellas. Then there’s something called the “urban heat island effect” which just is a fancy phrase for what you’d expect to happen if you covered green grass and trees with asphalt, concrete, and brick. These not only collect more heat, they save it and continue baking like a brick oven after the sun goes down. Finally, add the press of other humans, all trying to radiate away their own body heat, and you’ve got a pretty uncomfortable set of conditions. A day that the thermometer says is a hot-but-pleasant 85 degrees feels like it’s well over 100. The heat and humidity can take the spring out of your step and make your brain feel like a bowl of yesterday’s oatmeal. Since the invention of air conditioning has made life much more pleasant, we can mostly ignore the weather when making plans for business or pleasure. Yet folks who wouldn’t dream of staying in a hotel or renting a car without A/C travel to places like New York without really picturing themselves getting from place to place. Since you’re not likely to drive yourself around the NYC, you’ll need transportation. Most people figure they will just take a cab when they need one, not thinking that if the weather takes a miserable turn, everybody will suddenly be wanting a cab, even folks who usually walk or at least hoof it to the subway. In a sudden squall or during a brutal heat wave, cabs are hard to come by. Standing on the sidewalk at those times makes New York seem more like Purgatory than a mecca for business, culture and travel. And when you finally do get a cab, it's A/C may not be working.The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has regulations requiring yellow cabs to be able to provide air-conditioning, but, according to the New York Times, that depends “more on luck than any rules.”
If you have to move around in the city all day on business or shopping, consider hiring a car and driver to make your goings and comings seamless with the rest of your air-conditioned life. There’s no reason to suffer and all sorts of reasons why going from point A to point B should be relaxing and revitalizing instead of exhausting. The same goes for a night out, where if anything the temperature and humidity go up even as the sun goes down thanks to the urban heat island effect.
If you value saving, think of saving yourself from fatigue, from sweat, from uncertainty, and from overheated discomfort. Hire a car and driver to transform your New York City business and travel into one smooth ride.