With temperatures again rising into the 90s and New York City coming off the second-hottest month in its history, the Alliance for Downtown New York has come up with 10 ways for you to stay cool amid sizzling August temperatures.
“Summer in the city doesn’t mean you have to sweat it out,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth H. Berger, who in 28 years as a Lower Manhattan resident has discovered many secrets to cooling off Downtown. “It’s easy to enjoy all that Downtown has to offer when you know all the best places to cool off.”
New York City hit 90 degrees or more on 16 days in July, and the temperature exceeded 100 degrees twice as well this summer—the first time the city has seen triple digit temps since August of 2001. Last year, the temperature didn’t hit 90 degrees at all in July.
“This was the second-hottest month on record in New York City,” said New York 1 News Meteorologist John Davitt. “The average temperature for July was 76.5 degrees, so we ran about 5 degrees above normal in July, and Downtown Manhattan is traditionally cooler than the rest of the city. On most summer afternoons and evenings, Downtown gets a river sea breeze that can make it 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the rest of Manhattan.”
So the Downtown Alliance has come up with 10 ideas to help beat the heat Downtown this summer:
1. Go sailing. Hop a ferry or a yacht. For instance, take the Shearwater—a double-masted schooner—from the North Cove Marina at the World Financial Center. Or reserve your spot on the Monster boat at the South Street Seaport or get a ticket for a Statue Cruises Harbor Tour. And there’s always New York Water Taxi, which can take you to destinations all around the harbor.
2. Catch the right breeze. Downtown is the ideal spot to catch a breeze, especially on the Elevated Acre at 55 Water St., or as you walk along the Hudson River promenade in Battery Park City or along the pier at the South Street Seaport.
3. Stay indoors. Take a stroll through the World Financial Center—a great air-conditioned comfort zone—and check out the photo exhibit and the shops, or visit the mall at the South Street Seaport. You could also eat your lunch inside The Atrium at 60 Wall St. Or, take a load off your feet and enjoy both the AC and a movie Downtown at the Embassy Theatres in Battery Park City.
4. Take a cool free ride. If you’ve got to move around, you also could hop onto the Downtown Connection—the Downtown Alliance’s free, air-conditioned bus service—to make your way from Battery Park City to the South Street Seaport.
5. Find a fountain. Take a stroll through the Spiral Fountain in Battery Park or catch the mist while sitting near the fountains at Wall Street Park, Old Slip or Bowling Green. Or, sit in Bowling Green and wait for the sprinkler system to kick in to water the flowers. There are also water play areas for kids at West Thames Park and Teardrop Park in Battery Park City. And visit the newly opened Imagination Playground on Burling Slip where buckets, sandbags and wooden dams have been integrated into the water play.
6. Toy store. Pick up a squirt gun for some innocent fun. Drop by Boomerang Toys at the World Financial Center Winter Garden (they have two kinds of Super Soakers).
7. Become a fan. It’s easier to think cool when you’re surrounded by so many fans. Drop by J & R at 23 Park Row to check out the vast selection of fans for your home, and you could also visit the new second-floor J & R Café for an iced coffee.
8. Think drinks. Enjoy summery drinks at any of a slew of establishments, such as Battery Gardens at 27 State St., where you can watch the ferries go by amid a light breeze while sitting under an umbrella on the patio. Nearby, there’s also Picnick in Battery Park or Gigino’s at 20 Battery Pl. If you prefer to imbibe indoors, well, Cowgirl Sea-Horse at 259 Front St. makes a wicked frozen margarita (check out the Happy Hour), the Andaz’s Bar Seven Five at 75 Wall St. mixes up some sophisticated and colorful summer drinks, and Trinity Place offers the delicious and refreshing Donal’s Watermelon Delight: Pureed watermelon with Three Olives Watermelon Vodka.
9. Read about cooler weather. Visit your local library. Read Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” from one of Lower Manhattan’s two public library branches, the New Amsterdam Library at 9 Murray St. or the Battery Park City Library at 175 North End Ave. Or head up to the always-air conditioned Barnes and Noble at 97 Warren St. or Mysterious Bookshop at 58 Warren St.
10. Scream for ice cream. Get a cup or a cone of tasty ice cream at one of the dessert spots downtown. For example, step inside for a rich, chocolaty scoop—or even a frozen hot chocolate—at La Maison Du Chocolat at 63 Wall St., or visit Ciao Bella at 2 World Financial Center or Haagen-Dazs at the Seaport. There’s also homemade gelato and ice cream at the new Takahachi Bakery at 25 Murray St. and gelato at Financier at 62 Stone St. If you want a snow cone, Southwest NY has a nice view of the North Cove, a fun bar, and provides guests with free snow cones on weekends.