A New York Heatwave. Through A Photographer’s Lens.

Over-heating is worse than shivering……at least in my opinion.

If you are too cold you can simply put on warmer clothes and don a scarf or beanie. If you’re too hot then there’s only so many clothes you can take off before the authorities show up. And that’s what can make summer in New York a tricky proposition.

Those July or August heatwaves are oppressive.


I have been lucky enough to have travelled extensively around the world and love heat. I also live in a city that routinely exceeds 40 degrees Celsius (110F) in summer yet all this didn’t prepare me for a NYC heat wave.

It wasn’t so much the actual temperature that was the problem rather the oppressive humidity that was its boiling bedfellow. This heat and humidity became almost unbearable as they combined midst the concrete jungle that is Manhattan.

Baking in Greenwich!

I prefer humility to humidity!

Humidity and I don’t get on. Never have. In Singapore or Hong Kong for example  I spend most of my time in shopping centres. And to be very clear – I hate shopping!

So I was aghast in late July on my last visit to NYC when I encountered a week of unrelenting 100+ degree Fahrenheit days. And boy were they humid! Who whaddya thunk it – New York stewing like the jungles of Borneo!

This was only my third visit to the Big Apple so I didn’t know some of the local tricks and coping mechanisms to escape the melt.

Splish, splash. Ahhhhhh the relief!!

One of the most popular that I noted about three days in was the marked increase in fire-hydrant ‘malfunctions’. Not only did the resultant drenching provide much-needed relieve but many wonderful photo opportunities.

It was so hot I lost my sole.

In my days spent meandering down-town Manhattan capturing these images I lost about five kilograms and one pair of thongs (flip-flops). They actually melted! Melted I tells ya.

If you are planning a summer in New York, a quick visit or longer stay, I have some abridged advice for you. Just in case you too encounter a sweltering NYC heat wave.

First is…

Washington Square Park.


A leafy oasis from the bombast of heat around you. Its an amazing spot to sit and people-watch while you rehydrate. You can easily lose hours here such is the serenity in the midst of the maelstrom of activity that is Manhattan. Last time I was here I was even entertained by  an incredible Shakespeare busker!

Cafes and bars are your friends.

A rather obvious tip I guess. If you too find yourself, or your footwear, melting into the pavement then head into the air-conditioned oasis of a NYC deli, cafe or bar. There are worse things thing they say than being forced into a bar. And besides you’re just being sensible!

Necessary rehydration at the renowned Bill’s Bar & Burgers – Meatpacking

Oh and that last tip if you are meandering around Manhattan sweating as if you were stoking a Little-Italy pizza oven? Two words…

Dark Clothing!

More information.


Travel is my passion and also my career. I’ve spent my entire working-life in the travel industry with roles as diverse as tour guide, travel agent and marketing manager for some of the worlds largest travel brands. My favourite city in the world to visit is NYC and France is my most beloved country to explore. I travel to learn and observe to understand always with camera in hand.

17 thoughts on “A New York Heatwave. Through A Photographer’s Lens.

  1. Love the pics and tips. Staying cool in NYC in August takes some ingenuity. Some shops keep their air conditioned entrances open so a pedestrian can pause for a cooling off minute (of course the store hopes you’ll go in!) Note: Manhattan is, on average, 5-7 degrees F(2-4C) warmer than the other 4 boros.
    Also the Hudson River Park usually offers sea breezes,the only downside is that you have to look at New Jersey. NYC has over 500 miles (800km) of shoreline and ample public beaches,swimming pools and free kayaking.
    Walking under sprinklers as last resort while the Parks Dept is watering the lawns is not encouraged but not prohibited.
    I would love to show you some of the techniques that I’ve used to keep cool during a NY Summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great shots. I love them all. You’ve captured the vibe of the city heat really well. I’m not great with humidity either … and I don’t get on well with aircon, which leaves me in a difficult place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no – that is rather awkward. I think a spring or autumn visit to NYC might be the go then for you 🙂 Thanks for you lovely words. Cheers


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