Sweat and the City

2 Jun

It’s been in the high 80s for days now, which to most of my friends back home in ocean-breeze-cooled Southern California won’t seem so bad.  But this is New York City, Manhattan specifically, which is home to almost 2 million (yes, million) people on 23 square miles.  By comparison, my own hometown of Santa Ana, CA, is 27 square miles, with just around 356,000 inhabitants.  This is actually a lot of people per square mile – about 13,000.  But then you have Manhattan, which has about 87,000 people per square mile.  Eighty thousand?!?  It’s insane, I know.  I have no idea how they’ve managed to quell widespread violence and terror for this long.

What this means in the day-to-day is that you will be living, working, moving, traveling with thousands of people pressed up against you.  All.  Day.  Long.  And by you, I mean me.  Lucky me.  So eighty-degree temps + Eastern seaboard humidity = one unhappy Jho.

Exhibit One:

One sad, sweaty bastard (courtesy of Wired.com)

This guy, in any other city, would be shunned like the black plague of sweaty death.  In New York City, he’s just another guy at the indie band concert.  No one pays any mind.  

The ladies are no better.  On a recent Wednesday afternoon, I decided to explore the near-ish neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn (someone recommended getting out more to battle my early summer depression).  I took a shower in the morning, as is my wont, and, knowing it would be warm, dressed in shorts and a tank top and headed to the subway.

I failed to realize two very important things:  a) Greenpoint is made up of mostly smaller buildings (less than 6 stories high), and b) Greenpoint has almost no trees.  This will seem irrelevant to you, unless you also know that that day turned out to be the clearest, sunniest, and thereby warmest day of the week.  Oh, and I arrived in Greenpoint just around noon.  Can you say, hello unavoidable, flaming ball of sun?

When I finally arrived back home, foot-sore (I developed one terrible blister from my damned, sweaty flip flops) and exhausted, the first thing I did was take a cold shower and then collapse on the sofa.

An hour later, I was re-dressed and heading out to a Mets-Phillies game, courtesy of a last-minute invite from a friend with extra tickets.  At the game, I learned two other important lessons: a) always bring a hat if you leave the house and it’s still sunny out, and b) wear long shorts (or pants) to baseball games.

Within seconds of finding our seats, I began to sweat profusely, thanks to the complete lack of shade in our upper-upper-upper deck section and the excrutiatingly-slowly setting sun.  Also, sweatiness, short shorts, and plastic theater seating do not go together.  Unless you enjoy the feeling of your sweat pooling under you as you slowly roast in your seat.

Several hours, one hot dog, and one burger-and-fries later, I enjoyed my third shower of the day.  Yes, folks, third.  As in 3.  I’m sorry, I know I’m supposed to be more environmentally conscious and conserve water, but I needed that shower.  All through the game, I had fantasized about filling the bathtub with ice and sleeping in it.  This was my best compromise.

Today promises to be slightly cooler, in the low 80s.  If I ever leave the apartment.

As always, rockin’ on in the stinky, sweaty city,

Jho

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