Summer has come on strong. Muggy humid days appeared seemingly out of the blue around Memorial Day and with them, all the sneezing and sniffles and lethargy of springtime allergies. On the days in-between rides to the subway or around the neighborhood, my bike seat was covered in a thin film of green powder and even the cat is sneezing daily.
On Sunday, after an impromptu barbecue with friends the night before and a flurry of spontaneous morning cleaning, we sucked down icy coffees and headed for the India Street pier. The East River Ferry is neck-and-neck with riding a bike as my favorite way to travel in New York. The view is spectacular, the air is (relatively) fresh as it rises off the river, and for the price of the aforementioned iced latte, you get a few moments of watery respite from the hustle and bustle. We touched down on East 34th Street and scurried beneath the FDR towards Second Avenue and the Kips Bay movie theater. A few hours in air conditioned darkness seemed like the perfect way to escape both the humidity and promised thunderstorms forecast for later that day.
Two and a half hours later, the engines of Mad Max still humming in our ears, we stepped out of the cinema to scattered raindrops and a blackened sky. Timing is everything. After fifteen minutes in the supermarket for baguette and tins of cat food (we have become Those People) and chickpeas for that night's dinner, the skies had opened and Second Avenue was flooded. I immediately thought of California, and of the doormen on the Upper West Side who clean off the sidewalks with a hose every morning in the heat of the summer, instead of with a broom.
We decided to brave the rain. It's only water after all. Ten minutes and ten blocks later, the rain had eased and we had arrived at the subway. Timing is everything. A couple of train delays and another downpour later, with a fresh bottle of gin in hand, we were back across the river and ready for cocktails.
I drank my negroni as I wandered from room to room to room to room (there are only four) closing the windows to keep the rain from wetting the carpet. The smell of roasted garlic emerged from the oven. We listened to jazz. I noticed that my watch had stopped ticking.
I might leave it that way all summer.