By David Caplan
It’s that time of year again in New York City. We’ve got high temperatures, high humidity and millions of citizens sweltering in the street. Throw in thousands of cars, trucks, buses and a landscape incased in concrete and things can really heat up.
But nothing compares to the New York City heatwave of 1896. For a period of 10 days temperatures sizzled well into the nineties, humidity hovered above 90 percent and the thermometer never went below 70 at night. 1300 people died in what many consider to be one the least chronicled urban natural disasters in American history. Teddy Roosevelt, the 37 year old President of the Board of Police commissioners, remarked that “the heated term was the worst and most fatal we have ever known”. Most of the casualties were poor working class while the mercury hit 120 degrees and above in the many overcrowded tenements.
Through the years New Yorkers have found many ways to cool off from the heat. Opening a fire hydrant or taking a ride on the train to Coney Island to take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean are two popular choices. Before air conditioning became available to the masses, a trip to the movies would provide a respite from the heat for many. Another option to cool off is by visiting one of the 55 public pools in the city.
If you are visiting New York and want a break from the heat, your best bet is to escape the concrete jungle and head out to the water. New York City is almost completely surrounded by water and taking a trip on a boat is the most refreshing and exciting way to see the city. Hop on an iconic New York Water Taxi at any of our 6 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, bring an ice cold drink up to the top deck and chill out.
Last blog’s trivia answer-Flatiron is at 23rd st and 5th ave.
Last blog’s mystery photo-French Frigate Hermione
Trivia question-Where was the original Waldorf Astoria?