Why August in NYC?
August is the quietest month – the city empties out into the Hamptons and beyond and the New Yorkers left behind have had the stuffing knocked out of them by the heat.
What always strikes me about NYC, and not just in August, is the temporary feel of the place and the manic construction in the city. That and the noise and crazy energy, and the immaculately coiffed dogs; there are doggy day spas on every other corner.
It’s 35 degrees and the heat and humidity is breath taking and makes for an all-day detox, you just can’t move without breaking into a sweat. T-shirts are out, much too hot; the best way to stay cool (if you want to that is) is with the thinnest cotton or silk tops
The darkness of the hotel lobbies and restaurants, like the icy air conditioning, makes for a different kind of visual and physical assault to the dazzling light and heat outside. A torch and a balaclava are almost de rigeur.
New York walks everywhere – I did 60 blocks and several avenues on my last afternoon there. Past caring about the limp hair and general sweatiness with no more meetings or restaurants and just a British Airways night flight to face up to.
Here’s my route from the NoMad to the glorious new Whitney Museum on the river:
And this picture in the current exhibition at the Whitney sums up the NYC experience:
Good to see a street sign honouring the genius Nikola Tesla who was described by Arthur Brisbane of the defunct New York World newspaper as ‘almost the tallest, almost the thinnest and certainly the most serious man who goes to Delmonico’s regularly.’
The health shops are packed to the gills with brightly coloured pots and potions of promise and, in my book, no visit is complete without a trip to Wilner’s which is just round the corner from Grand Central Station. It could be the heat, but the shoppers within are far from vibrant… it looks like their last ditch attempt to health-up before the inevitable.