Posted tagged ‘People’

Weather or Not

June 13, 2008

nyc central park sheeps meadow


Nearly anywhere else in the world, talking about the weather is a total cliché, a verbal recognition of an awkward silence or a lack of anything else to discuss. But here in New York City, the weather is always relevant. It affects us in our cramped apartments, where central air is as non-existent as extra closet space. It affects us every time there is a heavy rain that prompts bugs to seek shelter in our already overcrowded dwellings. And worst of all, it affects us whenever we leave for work and don’t have a cushy car waiting for us, ready to keep us cool, or warm, or dry, in those blustery downpours that take the lives of expensive shoes and cheap umbrellas all at once.



You can predict the conversations as easily as The Weather Channel predicts the seasons. We’ve been complaining about the cold since November but as soon as the heat comes sweeping in, those of us who can’t run away to The Hamptons or our country club’s pool easily shift into whining about the heat. Maybe it’s not actually our fault. Maybe its global warming’s fault that we can’t live at a perfect 75 degrees for more than three days a year. But while Al Gore works on that, we continue to complain. 


We’re all guilty of it. Gawker does it , Jossip did it, even respected publications like The New York Times blog about the weather, most especially this horrendous heat wave we’ve been experiencing. And for some reason two out of three decided to accompany their posts with pictures of half naked old men. Of all things. Not little kids playing in fountains or eating ice cream or cute couples tanning in Central Park. Nope. Wrinkly old half naked men.



To oppose that I decided to I wanted to collect pictures of buff young men who were excited to show off the muscles they’d been cultivating all winter long. But as soon as I got the courage to break New York’s public code of ignoring one another and ask strangers if I could take their pictures, the weather turned and men lost their excuse to walk around half naked. When its 100 degrees women walking down 5th Avenue in bikinis are socially acceptable, but now that it’s down to the 80’s there is not as much to oogle and the city streets are verging on boring again. No expanding sweat stains to stare at or camel toes to try not to stare at. No excuse to call in sick because you absolutely have to spend the entire day outside, soaking it all up, or inside, huddled next to your window unit, depending on your skin tone. No excuse to put on those short shorts that are trashy on any other day or make four separate trips to Tasti in one day. And there I go complaining about the weather again.