Cleanout 2005 | Main | Early Compulsions

June 9, 2005

Please Send Me Your Cool Thoughts

The air system in my office has been malfunctioning for the entire week. As a result (and you will never believe this), I am HOT. Uncomfortably hot, not unlike the furry sprawled manatee pictured below.

2005-06-09 fur0011.JPG

Summer has taken hold over Brooklyn. Everything has slowed down. People creep. Trains malfunction. People smell. The bus is hot. The pungent scent of rot begins to waft from the gutters. I always forget what the first days of real dog day heat are like in the city until they hit.

Yesterday, while booking it from High Street over to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, I ripped several holes in my feet. The heat had caused every part of my body to swell, seemingly, and my unforgiving heels nipped at my skin until it was raw and bloody. When I got back to the Summer House, all I could do was sprawl out pathetically on the couch, mimicking Lex's two felines-turned shedding machines, gasping for A/C.

Please, in your spare moment, write me a little something about cold. I will take the images and run them in my head like a slide projector, a little psychological air conditioning, as I hobble, feet covered in band-aids, through the day.

Posted by callalillie at June 9, 2005 8:55 AM | City Life


now, in theory, Olga should remain pretty cool since she has SO MUCH SURFACE AREA from which to radiate heat.

Posted by: bobtrancho at June 9, 2005 9:18 AM

here are some good places to get ice cream -- both cold and delicious

Posted by: yp at June 9, 2005 9:18 AM

okay, now for the cold thoughts...

remember back to a Christmas a few years ago with 24" of snow falling in Vermont, snowshoeing in 13 degree temperaures, and huddling under a comforter in the downstairs guest room.

Posted by: bobtrancho at June 9, 2005 9:23 AM

I don't know if it will help, but here in Laramie, Wyoming, we had six inches of snow on Saturday. High of 61 is predicted today, but . . . it's still a bit cool for shorts and t-shirts.

Posted by: Leslie at June 9, 2005 9:24 AM

Hmmm I had no idea you could access the brooklyn navy yard..? There's some sort of menacing gate restricting public entrance from what I've seen.

Posted by: Ignorant londoner. at June 9, 2005 9:42 AM

Simply put, you can have access to the BNY if you have permission to access it. I was meeting with someone there.

SNOW? I want snow. No, actually, I do not want snow. I want 75 degrees and no humidity, but I want it in New York, not CA.

Posted by: corie at June 9, 2005 9:59 AM

There's a great passage in "Dandelion Wine" where the main character is sick in the middle of summer and he's cured by the junk man coming and giving him bottles of cool air collected from around the world to breathe.

Posted by: Liz at June 9, 2005 10:24 AM

Think of the peace that will prevail in the office next week, and go over and visit Joan and the jar of Swedish Fish -- her side of the office is always cooler.

Posted by: Velma at June 9, 2005 10:38 AM

I remember one day in March 2003, not so long ago. It was a Saturday morning, really early, and it was pouring. It was cold. And it was generally miserable. So how did we deal with this? We got on the train and went uptown to that St Patricks day run, where we met Lu (did you talk to her? she is moving). We did that run, which I swear was uphill in both directions to the tip of the cloisters. Now granted it was a very fun run. The bagpipes playing, the different environment, the really ugly (and I mean UGLY shirt), it was great. But when the race was over, all wet, drenched actually, with the cold weather starting to set up, cooling down from the race, it was miserable. We were so cold, we had to go and get some cafe con leche (yum), ok and eat. So maybe this wasn't so much a story of the freezing cold, but it we did survive that icky feeling, and you will survive this too?

Posted by: skutchie at June 9, 2005 10:46 AM

mmm...cold new york winters. oh how i miss thee.

Posted by: tien at June 9, 2005 10:50 AM

Out here in Los Angeles, it's cool and overcast with "June gloom" and such.

Posted by: Petrie at June 9, 2005 11:08 AM

ice cubes down the back of your shirt

Posted by: breana at June 9, 2005 12:16 PM

Here in DC it gets really stinky sticky hot, starting now and ending mid-September. What helps me is re-reading "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch." All that snow and ice sounds good during Heat Index days of 100.

Posted by: Divaah46 at June 9, 2005 1:47 PM

the fact that I was on the office construction team has no correlation to the cooler temps in the "Admin" wing!
p.s. Skutchie, we miss you!

Posted by: joanw at June 9, 2005 3:33 PM

Oh, as for Madame Olga: Maybe make some Clam Juice ice cubes for her to lick, if she's into that sort of thing. I feel her pain, being large-bodied and thick-furred (haired) myself.

Posted by: Divaah46 at June 9, 2005 4:16 PM

january ice storms in northampton, never been colder in my life

Posted by: gg at June 9, 2005 4:28 PM

Quietly sitting neck-deep on the sandy bottom of a cool, shaded stream... as a mysterious beer cooler floats past... Oh no! There's an innertube-armada of loud, obnoxious, sun-burnt frat boys heading downstream and they're cranking Limp Bizkit! Run! Run!

Sorry. I tried... but those damn frat boys!

Posted by: matt at June 9, 2005 7:38 PM

yesterday the high was about 43 degrees with icy cold winds blowing off the mammoth Lake Superior....the rain was ice water and you could see your breath.

Posted by: carrster at June 9, 2005 7:43 PM

100 degree air temp. 98 percent humidity. That giant Texas sky without a single cloud as far as you can look.

And, Barton Springs Pool. A massive, public swimming pool built around a series of natural springs where the surface temp. of the water hovers around 68 degrees every day of the year.

It is bliss.

Posted by: Bill at June 10, 2005 4:01 AM

When I was younger, I did out door construction with my cousins in Florida during the summer. I learned tricks on how to keep cool out doors under the Florida Summer sun. If you take a big bag of crushed iced and place it on the back of your neck like you would a towel hanging over your shoulder from behind your neck, the cold bag of ice cools your spinal cord and the blood flowing thru going directly to your brainstem. You will feel cool thru out your whole body in ten seconds flat. If you also put ice cubes or little bags of crushed ice on your wrist or bottom of your feet you will get cold real fast. Be hind the neck is your best bet.

Posted by: William at June 11, 2005 7:34 PM

The Little Match-Seller
Hans Christian Andersen
T was terribly cold and nearly dark on the last evening of the old year, and the snow was falling fast. In the cold and the darkness, a poor little girl, with bare head and naked feet, roamed through the streets. It is true she had on a pair of slippers when she left home, but they were not of much use. They were very large, so large, indeed, that they had belonged to her mother, and the poor little creature had lost them in running across the street to avoid two carriages that were rolling along at a terrible rate. One of the slippers she could not find, and a boy seized upon the other and ran away with it, saying that he could use it as a cradle, when he had children of his own. So the little girl went on with her little naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried a number of matches, and had a bundle of them in her hands. No one had bought anything of her the whole day, nor had anyone given her even a penny. Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along; poor little child, she looked the picture of misery. The snowflakes fell on her long, fair hair, which hung in curls on her shoulders, but she regarded them not.

Lights were shining from every window, and there was a savory smell of roast goose, for it was New-year�s eve�yes, she remembered that. In a corner, between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank down and huddled herself together. She had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not keep off the cold; and she dared not go home, for she had sold no matches, and could not take home even a penny of money. Her father would certainly beat her; besides, it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only the roof to cover them, through which the wind howled, although the largest holes had been stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost frozen with the cold. Ah! perhaps a burning match might be some good, if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall, just to warm her fingers. She drew one out��scratch!� how it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her hand over it. It was really a wonderful light. It seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove, with polished brass feet and a brass ornament. How the fire burned! and seemed so beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them, when, lo! the flame of the match went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the half-burnt match in her hand.

She rubbed another match on the wall. It burst into a flame, and where its light fell upon the wall it became as transparent as a veil, and she could see into the room. The table was covered with a snowy white table-cloth, on which stood a splendid dinner service, and a steaming roast goose, stuffed with apples and dried plums. And what was still more wonderful, the goose jumped down from the dish and waddled across the floor, with a knife and fork in its breast, to the little girl. Then the match went out, and there remained nothing but the thick, damp, cold wall before her.

She lighted another match, and then she found herself sitting under a beautiful Christmas-tree. It was larger and more beautifully decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door at the rich merchant�s. Thousands of tapers were burning upon the green branches, and colored pictures, like those she had seen in the show-windows, looked down upon it all. The little one stretched out her hand towards them, and the match went out.

The Christmas lights rose higher and higher, till they looked to her like the stars in the sky. Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire. �Someone is dying,� thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls, a soul was going up to God.

She again rubbed a match on the wall, and the light shone round her; in the brightness stood her old grandmother, clear and shining, yet mild and loving in her appearance. �Grandmother,� cried the little one, �O take me with you; I know you will go away when the match burns out; you will vanish like the warm stove, the roast goose, and the large, glorious Christmas-tree.� And she made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother there. And the matches glowed with a light that was brighter than the noon-day, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far above the earth, where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were with God.

In the dawn of morning there lay the poor little one, with pale cheeks and smiling mouth, leaning against the wall; she had been frozen to death on the last evening of the year; and the New-year�s sun rose and shone upon a little corpse! The child still sat, in the stiffness of death, holding the matches in her hand, one bundle of which was burnt. �She tried to warm herself,� said some. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, nor into what glory she had entered with her grandmother, on New-year�s day.

Posted by: Jane at June 12, 2005 5:43 AM

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