Hot child in the city

Oh, have you heard it's hot outside? That there's a heat wave? Or, as some people are calling it, a heat dome? Yeah, it's hot.

At first, I thought New Yorkers were a little hyperbolic about how hot they thought it was in New York. Before last weekend, temperatures hadn't even exceeded 95 degrees, which sounded great to me. I'm used to 106 degree humid summers in Missouri.

But it can get hot out here, I'll admit. I've been perfectly happy all summer but lately I've been struggling with almost passing out from the heat and, with anyone, just trying to stay cool! And staying cool isn't so easy when you're walking most places, taking the subway or surrounded by skyscrapers.

I visited my friend Theresa Berens in Manhattan this weekend, per usual. We've been exploring a lot since we're both in New York this summer. We decided that if we were going to be in the city this weekend though, since we knew it was going to be hot, we had to prepare with cool activities.

Luckily we found an article in "Time Out," which appropriately had a cover story on "ways to stay cool" in New York. Flipping through it, it suggested visits the various museums in town, which we had planned to do, since they're air conditioned. And it also suggested cooling off in a fire hydrant, but I thought that was too drastic. Apparently the fire department will even help you do it! But it also mentioned swimming in the fountains at Washington Square Park. It was a bit of an unusual activity for the two of us to do, but we were adventurous — and, well, desperate!

Washington Square Park was a mad house. People were either swimming in the fountain — which conveniently had a sign saying no swimming was allowed — or laying out on the grass. We definitely wanted to be in the water, even if it was a sinuous green color.

Kids were going crazy in the fountain. I think being a kid is really an advantage because when you're swimming in green water, you just really couldn't care less about all the germs and bacteria floating around in there. They were swimming on their bellies around in it, squirting it out of their mouths. I stuck to just sticking my feet in and occasionally getting into the actual fountain, which was spewing clean and clear water.

Staying cool isn't easy in weather like this, that's for sure. But with enough adventure, popsicles and a bathing suit, it's possible no matter where you are!