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If you think it's hot outside...

Then you haven't been in the 1 station at 50th and 7th Avenue (formerly the 1/9, I still call it that even though the 9 is gone). It's hot in there! Although I've never walked into hell, I imagine that's what it must be like. It's swampy and smelly and the air doesn't move, except when a train happens to rumble by. There is one spot on the platform, on the northern part of the uptown side, where, if you hit it just right, you can get an occasional wiff of fresh New York City air through a vent in the ceiling. You know it's bad when you're praying for air from the outside, and its 98 degrees outside.

Another place where it's really hot? Crossing the street behind a bus or taxi, when the exhaust hits your legs or, worse, your face. Bus exhaust is hot! Even when it's already 95 degrees outside. Then, when the exhaust dissipates, you feel nice and cool. Aaaaaah...

On a related note, I stopped by the new Columbus Circle yesterday and was delighted! For those who can't make it, it looked like this:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
(Thanks, New York Times!)

It was just lovely. It was very, very hot and disgusting outside, even at 6 pm. But once I was in the middle of Columbus Circle, all that melted away. It was cool and refreshing. It was shaded by the new Time Warner mall buildings (not sure what they're officially called), and the noxious sounds of traffic were drowned out by the water. Children were laughing and playing in the water (some official quoted in the NYT said that they didn't intend for people to go into the water--what were they thinking?), and some adults had rolled up the pants on their stuffy work clothes and had their feet in the water, too. So nice! I wouldn't mind if it was a little bit more green, but Central Park is only a hop, skip, and jump (and a careful street-crossing) away, so I guess that's okay.

The new Columbus Circle is almost enough to make you forget that the city smells like rotting garbage all summer!


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