Summer heat means tough days for outdoor workers
Summer officially began Wednesday, bringing with it near-record temps that made for a sweltering day for New Yorkers who work outside.
The city hit 93 degrees, just five shy of the all-time record set in 1923. And while office workers savored their air-conditioned workspaces, those who work outdoors spent the summer solstice roasting under the hot sun.
"This is not easy to work in heat like this, you have to stop and take a lot of breaks in the shade," said Aziz Ouedrago, 28, a Harlem resident who gives pedicab tours of Central Park.
"With weather like this we have to come early in the morning. When it's too hot it can be just too much," he said, adding that he goes through nearly half a dozen bottles of water on a day such as Wednesday.
Jafor Uddin, 22, works at a newspaper stand in Times Square and said the heat inside his booth gets "pretty bad," but that a blazing sun can lead to booming sales.
"It's actually good for business," said Uddin, who lives in Ozone Park. "Lots of people are coming here to get drinks."
Today is expected to be even worse, with a likely high of 97 degrees, which would tie the record set in 1988. But for some of these outdoor workers, the heat is just part of the job.
"I love what I do," said Domonique Paciitto, 24, a dogwalker from Bedford-Stuyvesant who spent Wednesday in the heat her four-legged clients.
She added: "I'd rather be outside than in an office."