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The worst things about summer in NYC

Hot town, summer in the city. These are the times that try men's souls. At least that's what we say every single year as the temperatures hit 90 and we all begin to question how we ended up with 8 million other people sweating on the sidewalk.

As we head into July, we're preparing ourselves this year by listing the worst things about New York City in the summer.

Flip flops

This is controversial, we know. On the one
Photo Credit: Flickr / bettyx1138

This is controversial, we know. On the one foot, the streets in NYC are disgusting and the odds of vomit, urine and more just seem more likely in the summer and your feet are so exposed. When you walk to the bodega down the street, the bottoms of your feet are black when you return. From what? Nobody wants to know, honestly.

On the other foot, NYC is disgusting no matter what and is a flip flop any worse than a ballet slipper? Shudder. At least your feet can breathe in flip flops. If you think they're gross, don't wear them and leave everyone else alone. Your feet alone will survive the plague, and you can dance on everyone's graves (not in flip flops, though).

But flip flop defenders: Think of your loveliest flip flop memory and why you are defending them. The memory probably involves the beach, or a pebbly country road or even a casual outdoor wedding. Not the streets of NYC. And then there are flip flop haters who never stop complaining about another person's footwear. All.The.Time. For those reasons alone, flip flops make the list.


Nothing says boulevard of broken dreams like the
Photo Credit: Flickr / 77799978@N00

Nothing says boulevard of broken dreams like the piles of garbage on NYC's streets. Is there more garbage in the summer? Who knows. But it definitely smells worse.

Subway platforms

Remember when you first moved to New York,
Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

Remember when you first moved to New York, and you told everyone how great public transit is? So many less energy-sucking cars! So affordable! So democratic!

It only takes one summer on a subway platform to want to punch yourself in the face. While subway platforms are not exactly the nicest place any time of year, the summer is a particularly horrible time. Subway trains are (usually) air conditioned, but the platforms are not. The smell of the garbage wafts up from the tracks. The dirt and the grime look even worse when you think of the sun outside. It dawns on you: You are in an underground hell of your own choosing. At least if you punch yourself in the face, everybody around you understands.

Air conditioners

The NYC heat is oppressive. In 1896, a
Photo Credit: Flickr / bondidwhat

The NYC heat is oppressive. In 1896, a heat wave killed nearly 1,500 people in NYC, many of whom lived in tenements, according to NPR. Air conditioners have made this city liveable in the summer, there is no denying it.

But that doesn't mean air conditioners are not without their problems. Just take a look at your electricity bill (sob). And carbon monoxide poisoning wasn't an issue before air conditioners. And then there's the drip, drip, drip of excess water from the air conditioners as you walk down the street, constantly reminding you that an air conditioner can fall on your head anytime, without warning.

Freezing cold offices

Home air conditioners aren't the only problem. There
Photo Credit: Caroline Linton

Home air conditioners aren't the only problem. There are also the freezing cold offices, which require blankets or space heaters, like the one pictured above. There's nothing you can do, because the one person who is always hot always wins and you are left with a space heater that is probably not 100% safe. In 90 degree weather. But is there even a better way? Who knows.

Roaches and more bugs come out

Cockroaches prefer warm and moist weather. So after
Photo Credit: Flickr / mikelehen

Cockroaches prefer warm and moist weather. So after living underground and in our nightmares in the winter, they crawl out onto the streets brazenly in the summer. And not just the streets, but our apartments. You can have a clean apartment but it only takes one less-than-stellar neighbor to ruin it for your whole floor. Or even the whole building.

There's not even any satisfaction as you hear the crunch of the roach dying because you know that there's no stopping them. If there's one, there will be more. Welcome to New York, roaches. Just take over the city already and put us out of our misery.

Public park crowds

There are some truly lovely NYC days. You
Photo Credit: Flickr / dolapo

There are some truly lovely NYC days. You wake up with the sun shining through whatever passes for a window in your apartment, and you are inspired to brave the hot streets to sit in a park. Maybe even Central Park--this is NYC after all! Central Park is our crown jewel!

The problem is, every other person in NYC has the same thought. Unless you arrive as the sun rises, the entire park is filled with people. It's somehow hotter and louder than the streets. And there is always someone playing frisbee right over your head. This is why we can't have nice things.


Twice each summer, the sunset lines up Manhattan's
Photo Credit: Instagram/ tpwnyc

Twice each summer, the sunset lines up Manhattan's grid, a phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge. It's one of those beautiful NYC moments that can bring a tear to your eye, a reminder to your broken soul of why you moved to this city.

When everything works out, that is. Because so many things can not work out. For instance, it's dependent on the weather. And then there are the crowds that gather on all the cross streets, ready with their iPhones and Instagram. Does everyone in this city have an Instagram account? Don't answer that, just remember that sometimes a taste of beauty can make the ugliness seem even worse.


Just to get this out of the way:
Photo Credit: Flickr / scalino

Just to get this out of the way: We are grateful to tourists for visiting our city during their summer vacations and dropping their dollars on theater tickets and overpriced food. It's just ... can please we just ride the Staten Island ferry home without the west side of the boat being packed with tourists, ready with their cameras for the Statue of Liberty? Can we just get to work without the tourists outside the "Today" show on Rockefeller Plaza? Can we ever get Broadway tickets on TKTS, or will they all go to enterprising tourists? And then there are selfie sticks ... Look, we all heart NY. But maybe you could heart another city this summer vacation?

Wedding season

When your first friend got engaged, tears welled
Photo Credit: Flickr user Barry Pousman

When your first friend got engaged, tears welled up in your eyes. "Of course I'll be a bridesmaid!" you said. Even though it was expensive and time-consuming, it was so worth it. And the summer wedding! It was so beautiful, you danced under the stars.

That was a long time ago. Now when it hits March, you start to get the summer wedding invitations in the mail. Your weekends are soon all booked with trips to your friends' childhood homes, you need new dresses or suits to accommodate all these parties, your Facebook feed is filled with engagement photos, you are desperately searching for a date or holding on tight to your relationship lest you bear this burden alone and you're a little worried you're developing an alcohol problem. Summer is the season of love, right? Hell no.


Raising your child in NYC is great. There's
Photo Credit: iStock

Raising your child in NYC is great. There's diversity, exercise and a special bond that comes with four people sharing a 600-square-foot one-bedroom apartment that kids in the suburbs will never understand. Having a child with a birthday in the summer in NYC is also a breeze: Take a bunch of kids to the sprinkle park and give them Mister Softee and you're golden.

Also there are some of the best hospitals in the world in NYC. But here's the thing: You have to actually survive being pregnant in the summer here, which is no small feat. You have to walk everywhere in the heat, you have to deal with rude New Yorkers who push you around on the sidewalk, rose season is a cruel joke, you live in a fourth-floor walk-up and you have to ride the subway. That's not even mentioning the hot subway platform. NYC summers ruin everything, even the sacred bond between a pregnant woman and her baby.

Summer Fridays

Summer Fridays are an urban myth. Allegedly Summer
Photo Credit: Flickr / joeshlabotnik

Summer Fridays are an urban myth. Allegedly Summer Fridays are an office policy that allow workers to either leave early or even take off Friday completely. Do they exist? Sure, your roommate probably has Summer Fridays. He or she heads out to Fire Island and comes back smiling and refreshed while you cry on the sofa with your only treat, a Mister Softee cone. But that's the torment: You never have Summer Fridays. They exist for other people to torture you. It's like Instagram, except you can't log off.

For those people who have Summer Fridays, the dream of a weekday off will never live up to the expectation. How can it? The name even sounds like what dreams are made of. But be warned: The LIRR, LIE and NJ Transit will be jam-packed all day. You might as well just stay in your apartment with your work, so you won't be behind on Monday.

Social media envy

Here is a typical summer day in NYC:
Photo Credit: Instagram / clinton926

Here is a typical summer day in NYC: You battle the heat and the dripping air conditioners to the nearest subway station. As you fan yourself with one hand, you aimlessly scroll through Instagram with the other. Every person in your feed is on a beach, or at a castle on a mountain or God even knows where else but you are looking at garbage on the subway tracks underground.

There isn't even a name for the envy that boils through your veins at this moment. It's that intense. Sometimes NYC can feel like it is chipping away at your soul, and August Instagram is the splinter that breaks it all and sends those pieces out into the universe. Take a photo of that and post it on Instagram, it's kinder than posting that castle in Germany. Instagram should be banned in August.

Iced coffee

Yes, iced coffee tastes like what a refreshing
Photo Credit: FLICKR/jeremybrooks

Yes, iced coffee tastes like what a refreshing slice of heaven would taste like. And cold brew is something dreamed up by the gods. But you, a common New Yorker, cannot afford these luxuries. You are the type of person who trudges up to the bodega in your flip flops because you are too poor to afford real sandals and you pull out four quarters from your laundry money to buy your coffee. There is no $3.25 cold brew for you. Harry Truman once said the reward of suffering is experience. But there is no experience to be gained as you look into the window of your local coffee shop (which NYC puts on every corner just to hurt your heart) and seeing chilled coffee.

Summer cocktails

Oh summer cocktails. So refreshing, so sweet and

Oh summer cocktails. So refreshing, so sweet and so, so deadly. Here's the thing: Hard alcohol gets you drunk the fastest. And what makes hangovers even more painful is sugar. That fun, fun, fun drink you drank is a gamble with the contents of your stomach. And your soul as you wake up in a hot apartment hungover, nauseated, sweating from all that sugar and alcohol and full of so much regret. A sultry summer night on a rooftop bar with Christmas lights strung on the railing with a lively cocktail in your hand can make you feel like anything is possible. But that is the cruelty of an NYC summer. We're all still human after all. Just try not to vomit on the subway.


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