Labor Day was exactly a week ago and fall is officially approaching. In the United States Labor Day mark the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The days are getting shorter and the nights get colder. I am excited for fall to arrive, because I heard it is beautiful in New York City. One of the things New York is known for is its extreme weather; the winters are very cold and the summers are really warm. I arrived in the beginning of July, so I got to experience the extreme summer weather.
July and August are the hottest months in New York City. Before I left, my dad had warned me that it was going to be warm during those months, but nothing is able to prepare you for a summer in New York. The temperatures were very high and it was humid. I have lived in The Netherlands my whole life and it is only 35 degrees Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit for two or three days a year. We consider 25 degrees C (77 F) warm. When those temperatures occur everybody gets out their summer clothes and they stock the up on ice cream. That weather is nothing compared that of New York where it was above 35 degrees C (95 F) for about 30 days in total this summer.
The week before I left for New York, I was still wearing sweaters and it was the end of June, so coming here was a bit of a shock. I remember when I was packing, I had to try on all my short to see if they still fit, because I would only wear short a few days a year in The Netherlands. Here, I finally got to wear my shorts and dresses. It was so nice to just put on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt in the morning, you did not have to think about it. Although, on a lot of days it was so hot that no matter how little clothing you were wearing; it was still way too warm.
That is because the humidity in the city is extremely high. It felt like it was over 40 degrees C (104 F) on at least 10 days this summer. There is absolutely nothing that compares to those temperatures to give to an idea of the weather. Just being outside is dangerous, because you can get dehydrated very quickly and the sun in burning very strong. Even when you are wearing light clothing you are sweating like crazy after 5 minutes outside. In New York you either walk from one place to another or you take the subway. On those hot days, walking is not really an option so you take the subway, but the train stations are even warmer than it is outside. On those hot days I always looked at the train schedule before entering the station and if the train was more than two or three minutes away, I would wait outside. Fortunately, there is air conditioning on the train.
When it is warm back home, I will sit in the shade or I will find a place where the wind is blowing, but in New York that is no use, because it is hot everywhere. The heat wraps around you like a tight blanket, it is hot in the shade and the wind is warm. There is really no place to hide from the heat, except inside. The problem in New York is that the air conditioning is always very low, it is usually around 15 or 16 degrees C (60 F), so when you are inside while wearing shorts and a T-shirt, you are cold. When you go outside after being at a coffee shop for example, it will feel even hotter outside. You really just go from one extreme to another.
It was interesting to experience a summer like this. The warm weather was a good excuse to get an iced tea or iced coffee whenever I was able to. I can handle the warm weather pretty well in The Netherlands, but spending the summer in New York City has completely changed my view on summers and on warm weather. I am excited to start wearing long jeans and sweaters again in the fall, but first I will enjoy the end of summer.