AdviceNew York

How To Stay Cool in the City When It’s Hotter Than the Underside of Your Gramma’s…

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Ever taken a ride on the Rank Express?

If you’re a New Yorker, you have.

It’s the one car on seemingly every subway train (usually toward the end) that doesn’t have air conditioning. And it’s always a surprise, isn’t it? There you are on the platform, sweatin’ like a whore in church, anticipating the arrival of brief relief. Except, when the doors open, it’s as if Lucifer himself drop kicks you with a foot full of pestilence and perspiration.

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Yep, the summer months in Gotham can be tough – there’s no doubt about it. And unless you have a coveted membership to Soho House or a friend who can get you in (I visited its famed rooftop pool in Manhattan for the first time last week and I’m completely in love – thanks, friend!), you have to find innovative ways to chill the fuck out while maintaining some measure of sanity.

That’s why I’ve asked regular folks just like you (uh huh – they’re schlepping it to work half naked, too) advice on how to beat the heat. Granted, they come from all over the country, but let’s face it: Our balls all stick to the same leg – no matter where we live.

Here’s what they have to say:

Lyssa from Austin, Texas: “Use the hikers’ trick of dipping a bandanna in freezing cold water (ice cubes and water will do the trick) and tie it around your neck. It’s remarkable how much this cools you off, and when you get to the office simply remove (or refreeze) the bandanna.”

Cher from Boston, Mass.: Mint essential oils (like peppermint and spearmint) feel very cooling. They contain menthol, which turns on cooling receptors. They don’t actually cool your skin, but they make your skin feel much cooler and more comfortable in hot, sticky weather.”

Paul from Las Vegas, Nev.: “Put a box fan on the floor and point it at a chair with a wet towel draped over the chair. I used this when I was in university to create a swamp cooler effect that could drop the temperature in my room 20 degrees. If it was really hot, I would sleep on the floor with a setup like this at my feet and at my head. Ah – cool and relaxing! Two box fans, two fold-out chairs and two wet towels made for a good night’s sleep!”

Rachael from Chicago, Ill.: “Wear sandals and carry a small, misting bottle of water – the kind you can get in the travel size aisle of a drug or discount store. To keep cool, randomly mist your face and feet. It really does help and helps keep the kids from getting overheated too.”

Lauren from Houston, Texas: “I don’t live in NYC, but I live in an equally hot, large city – Houston. I’ve found a quirky solution for cooling off that’s free and fun for moms and kids. It’s the Whole Foods Market. Our location (I can’t verify that they all have these) has an amazing play area with toys and art supplies for the kids to play with. And to make it even cooler, literally, it’s in the frozen foods department. Weird, I know, but it totally works. We pick up snacks from the surrounding aisles, eat, chat, and the kids play.”

Leslie from New Britain, Conn.: “I put ice in my bra.” (That shit right there is hilarious. Right on, Leslie!)

Want to share a tip on how not to spontaneously combust in urban America? Leave your suggestion in the comments section.

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Mikey Rox - Cut-Rate Copywriter

Mikey Rox - Cut-Rate Copywriter

Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist/writer whose work has appeared in more than 80 regional, national and international print and digital publications. He resides in Manhattan with his partner. When Mikey's not uncovering the best that NYC has to offer, he's crashing roof parties with open bars. Because he can.

1 Comment

  1. Patrick
    July 1, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I find exercise to be a real benefit in nyc’s hot months! The more I run during the week the better I find my body has control of my blood sugar level so I sweat less, but I always remember to take lot