New York and much of the East Coast finished off its fourth heat wave of summer last night with a spectacular storm that pummeled Manhattan with hail, set off flash flood warnings, and thundered and lightning'd the hell out of the sky.
You might have seen this photo (source: http://a.yfrog.com/img862/9806/oeves.jpg), which is not mine:
But before that, it was freaking hot and we kept going out and doing things.
Rabbit enjoyed the drain pool at the W12th water park (we prefer our name: Jane St. Park but no one knows what we're talking about when we say that).
Techincally, we were closer to that park when we lived in SoHo, but it was about 1.5 miles to walk and who, really, who wants to walk that in the summer heat? So we almost never did. But now, it's a C train ride away. My favorite park, yippee! And on this day, you'll see no pictures of Bama who was running around with her bestee A and a friend from school. My only complaint about this park is lack of shade. Plant a tree or erect more awnings, please!
This week, the heat reached into the upper 90s. Yes, I do know the difference now. Mid-80s are manageable, 90s make you grumpy all the time. Me, I said I was channeling Joan Crawford with bursts of "just do it!" during the day. To be fair to me and my frazzled state of being, we had three utter crap days in a row with public transit. I'm a die-hard subway rider. I loathe taking cabs because I don't want to spend the money and because I don't like to strap Bama and Rabbit in without seats (it's legal). But after the fourth trip down several flights of stairs carrying an 18-month-old in a stroller and hoping your 3.5-year-old won't wipe out and bounce down to the platform, I was crabby. When our regular local train turned out to be an express (WHAT? an Express C?) and we blew by our station, and further blew off Rabbit's nap, I nearly lost my mind.
I lost track of the stairs I descended and ascended within the two hours I tried to get us home (from Dumbo, it's usually a 15-minute trip), and arrived home bitter despite our triumph over the vagaries of train schedules. Also, at almost every station (except for High Street with its trecherous four flight madness) someone offered to help with the strollers, but I was generally on my way and just kept going. Until Utica, when I practically asked the guy who carried Rabbit down the two flights of stairs if he would go to our station to carry him back up the four flights of stairs we take to the street.
On Tuesday, we hit the NYC Transit Museum with Megnut. Again, easy? C train or bus. We try to take the bus because I don't want to go down the stairs. There I am, rivers of sweat criss-crossing my body, steaming up my glasses as we wait for the bus. She pulls up and says, you have to fold up that stroller. AAAAAAH. How did I not know this? I basically tell the bus to fuck off and crank the three of us around to the stairs, Bama in tears, rightfully, because her mother has turned into one of the melty wax guys at the end of Indiana Jones. She also teared up when we arrived (finally) at the museum only to be faced by two flights of stairs. The transit museum is in an old subway station, how quaint! It wasn't the stairs that got her, it was me muttering, the subways hate us.
Once in the museum and out of the hazy grey Brooklyn air and stultifying heat and humidity, equilibrium returned. More on the full trip tomorrow, but here's a glimpse of the four yahoos checking out one of the old trains.
Beat the heat day three, Wednesday, took us to the American Museum of Natural History (AIR-CONDITIONED!) where we were again kicked in the ass by the subway system, this time by the broken exit gate. (Turnstyles aren't big enough for strollers, so the infirm and caretakers go in and out through the emergency exits.) We went around, happily because we ended up at the wheelchair/stroller access entry on W 81st. And we renewed our membership thus allowing us to avoid all crazy-ass lines at the regular stroller totally unsafe entrance we normally use.
We met up with friends from California! One of my mamas from my OaklandMamas group and Bama's friend from her early(er) days. It was awesome to see this little boy who was a quiet and aloof baby become funny and rambunctious. Bama and the dude ran around the Central Park lawn we found to enjoy our Shake Shack lunches (um, second day in a row for this trio).
We made it home (after being fooled AGAIN by the still-broken gate) in time for Rabbit to fall asleep. Bama, who is over naps, passed out in the stroller, a concession to her as we made the slog home from the subway station. I carried Rabbit, snuggled under my chin, and pushed the Bob along, feeling the weight of the heat blowing away as the storm gathered. We all fell asleep, undone by too many days of hard travel and hot nights, waking at 5pm to a thrilling storm.
Today, pushed along by cool breezes, we passed Camel Park on our way to a friend's for a coffee date. I wore jeans. I didn't swear. Joan Crawford gone with the 97 degree weather.