Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Venice for the Day

As you probably know, New York City is experiencing its second heatwave of the season (not counting the three July days we had in April).  In Harlem, where many people can't afford air conditioners or the accompanying bills, they have to find other ways to cool off.  Opening up a fire hydrant is a popular one, and kids aren't the only people I'll see cavorting in the resulting streams and fountains.  The one up the street from my place almost always gets opened and since it's right in front of a Fire Station, I suspect it has official sanction.

Yesterday, with the temperature edging towards 100F, and the humidity pushing it still higher, every single hydrant I passed in the neighborhood was open.  Every street had been turned into a creek.  Corners had pools where two or more rivers met, and at least one storm drain had been temporarily blocked to create a small pond.  There may have not been any gondolas, but for the day Harlem was a shallow Venice.

Below is the scene outside my building.  

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