Living in New York City comes with its own unique set of challenges, but living in New York City during the summer? You must either be really brave or really nuts to willingly put yourself through that kind of soul-crushing torture. Brave, in that you are accepting the fact that you will see, feel, and smell things that you will never be able to un-see, un-feel, or un-smell. Nuts, in that you had a chance to leave this rock of an island, but for some inexplicable reason, you decided to stay for three scorching hot months. Most likely, though, you're stuck — the majority of us just can't pick up and leave our friends, family, and jobs behind the second Memorial Day makes an appearance on the calendar. And that puts us in an interesting position.
Don't get me wrong — New York City can be a breathtakingly beautiful and thrilling place to call home ... most of the time. And at the start of summer, especially during those first few days of warm weather where anything seems possible and all things glimmer with glamour and expectation, you really do think Jay-Z got it right when he and Alicia Keys waxed poetic about this concrete jungle's amazing potential. But then the temperatures start to creep up, you're walking down the street minding your own business during a cloudless summer afternoon, and hold up what is dripping on your head right now?!
Are sweating, leaking air conditioners gross? Absolutely. But are they the worst part about living in New York during the summer? Hardly. Here are 92 (yes, 92) very real and very terrible struggles that all New Yorkers have to deal with once warm weather hits — each one more disgusting than the next.
1. Dripping air conditioners
A big fat droplet of something just landed in your eye, and you better hope to god it was water.
2. Hot, steaming subway platforms that make you feel like your soul just melted
Were you even a person capable of feeling happiness before you descended down the steps into subway hell? You honestly don't remember.
3. Subway cars that are overly air conditioned
True, you were a puddle of human waiting for the train to arrive moments earlier. Now, you are a barely functioning popsicle, and you don't know which is worse.
4. Subway cars that have zero air conditioning
The lesson here is that when it comes to the 6 train, no one wins.
5. Sweaty subway pole leaners
You know who you are, and you should be ashamed.
6. Riding a crowded subway with sweaty arm pits literally in your face
Whether you're standing or sitting, moist cavities of body odor abound, and they're about two inches away from your nose.
7. Subway lines that randomly don't run during the weekend
Oh, is the L train out of service for the fourth consecutive weekend in a row? I wish I could say something, but my face is too busy being not surprised.
8. Sweating through your clothes during the five-minute walk from the subway to your office
Hope you packed a spare change of clothes, because girl, you're a mess.
9. Sweating in places you didn't know you could sweat
Seriously, though, how is your body capable of producing so much moisture?!
10. Feeling your makeup completely melt off your face the second you walk outside
Lolzzzz it's cool, because "sad, drippy clown" was totally the look you were going for this morning.
11. The constant smell of rotting garbage
Nope, a small animal didn't crawl up your nose and die. That's just how your life smells right now.
12. The constant smell of rotting garbage, mixed with the warm scent of bodily fluids
Welp, this day just keeps getting better and better.
13. Smells you can't 100 percent identify
Honestly, you don't even want to know.
14. Feeling instantly refreshed by the hot breeze of an oncoming subway train ... and then feeling instantly grossed out
Yeah, that warm gusty wind is pretty putrid, but you're lying if you said you didn't like it at least a little.
15. Blasts of warm air that take you by surprise as you're walking over a subway grate
Did the whole street just see your skirt fly up? You bet it did.
16. Blasts of warm air that take you by surprise, period
But really, where did that even come from?
17. Stepping in gross, dank, mystery puddles when you're wearing sandals
You're gonna want to throw your shoes away after that, probs.
18. Ruining every single pair of summer shoes you own
Don't wanna say I told you so.
19. Dirty feet
Honestly, it doesn't matter if you are wearing closed-toe shoes — your soles are gonna be black with dirt.
You thought those sandals were comfortable, until your feet started to swell from the heat.
21. The sheer mass of people surrounding you at any given moment
When you are walking down the sidewalk surrounded by literally hundreds of strangers, and you're like, DON'T YOU PEOPLE HAVE SOMEPLACE BETTER TO BE?!
22. Tourists everywhere. EVERYWHERE
Too bad they didn't realize they booked a vacation to the place where happiness goes to die in the summertime.
23. Tourists walking in groups
No no no no no no no.
24. Tourists walking slower than what you thought was humanly possible
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
25. Tourists walking with selfie sticks
Let me tell you a little something about self-respect ...
26. New Yorkers get downright mean
Well, OK. They get meaner.
27. Construction sites pop up on every street corner as if by magic
And you better believe the jackhammering is going to start outside your window at 7 a.m., sharp.
28. That feeling when you're halfway to the subway, and you realize you forgot to put on deodorant
At this moment and at this moment only, you hate yourself.
29. That feeling when you're stuck in an elevator full of sweaty people who also forgot to put on deodorant
At least you're all in this together, am I right?
30. The fact that you live in a heat-reflecting concrete box with no relief no matter where you turn
Nothing to see here — just steaming hot asphalt, everywhere the eye can reach.
31. The fact that your five-story walk-up probably has no central air conditioning
Haaa did I say probably? I meant definitely.
32. Convincing yourself you don't need a crappy little AC window unit to survive
... and then realizing that you are the world's biggest fool.
33. Caving and buying a crappy little AC window unit, and then having your very first heart attack when you see your electric bill
See ya later, money.
34. Realizing that even with air conditioning, it's still hotter inside your apartment than it is outside
Misery knows no end.
35. Not being able to cook in your apartment because you literally cannot stand the heat in your kitchen
At this point, you and your favorite delivery guy are on a first name basis.
36. Living with the crippling fear that an AC window unit might fall from the sky and kill you at any second
You don't actually know if this has ever happened to a person before, but you've heard stories, and you're pretty sure you're next.
37. Bugs sneaking in through your AC window unit
The more the merrier, I guess.
38. House centipedes coming in with no chill
Hey girl, meet your new roommate!
39. Speed demons on Citi Bikes threatening to end your life at every turn
RIP, it was nice knowing you.
40. Fighting your neighbors for space on the roof
That is, if you're even allowed access to your building's roof.
41. Fighting complete strangers for two feet of sand at the beach
Good thing you don't care about personal space, you know?
42. Accepting that it's going to be at least a 40-minute train ride to the beach ... despite the fact that you live on an island
Ughghghgh, what's the point, even.
43. Getting stuck behind a garbage truck as you're walking to work on trash day
Whoops, there goes your breakfast.
44. Doubling over from the smell as you take a casual jaunt down Mott Street
Those open fish stands are no joke.
45. I mentioned everything smells bad, right?
Tell me when I start to sound redundant.
46. Random storms that swoop in with zero warning
And then you're stuck huddling under scaffolding without an umbrella until it's over, because there's no way you'll manage to catch a cab in these conditions.
47. Lines at Shake Shack that leave you without a single glimmer of hope
Hope you have an hour or two to spare during your lunch break, because you're going to need every last second waiting for that cheesecake blondie concrete.
48. Trying to find an outdoor brunch spot without a three-hour wait
Props for trying, though.
49. Trying to find a restaurant with outdoor seating at any time of day, for that matter
Watch out world, because there is a hangry demon inside you, and it's trying to break free.
50. Frozen margaritas cost approximately a zillion dollars
But you'll still end up buying three or four of them anyway.
The subway, the park, the trash cans outside your apartment ... rats are everywhere, and yet at this point, they don't even really faze you.
52. Pigeons get more aggressive
If you haven't been attacked or pooped on by at least one pigeon during the summertime, you haven't lived.
53. There's never enough room for ice trays in your tiny-ass freezer
Let's see you try to put your problem-solving skills to work, here.
54. Warm tap water
No worries though, because you have ice — OH WAIT.
55. Getting your groceries home before everything melts is a dream you're too afraid to dream
It's a five-minute walk from Whole Foods, and yet you don't know if you're entirely up for the challenge.
56. Stores are freaking freezing
You feel silly complaining that it's too cold but, like, HELLO. Your life goals don't include turning into an ice zombie.
57. When you take a cab because it's too hot to deal with the subway, and your bare legs get stuck to the disgusting seat
Sorry if you thought you could win this round.
58. When you take the subway because it's too expensive to deal with a cab, and your bare legs get stuck to the disgusting seat
And you know someone else's bare legs were stuck there just moments before yours.
59. You never really know when the bus is coming
Oh nothing, you've only just been waiting in the sweltering heat for the M15 to make an appearance for the last 20 minutes.
60. Citywide blackouts are a legit concern
Which is why you carry an extra flashlight with you in your purse at all times.
61. Outdoor bars are so crowded you actually think you might weep
This is not what you signed up for when you told your friend you'd meet her for a drink.
62. Drunk people at Artichoke Pizza on a Saturday night have completely turned you off pizza
How is that line ALWAYS so long?!
63. Iced coffee is, like, 50 cents more expensive everywhere you go
This is exploitation.
64. Iced coffee sweats all over things you love
When did your life become such a series of moist tragedies?
65. There's a parade taking place pretty much every weekend, and it's always in your way, closing off the street
How have we not run out of things to celebrate, yet?
66. Street fairs make it basically impossible to walk down the block on any given Saturday
These are fun for all of about 20 seconds, before you realize it's way too hot to be eating arepas in crowds this huge.
67. The thought of eating hot food off the street repulses you
And yet, that's all you can smell as you walk along Sixth Avenue.
68. Ice cream truck lines are ridiculously long
But you'll stand in them anyway, because you deserve this.
69. Ice cream truck jingles get stuck in your head for weeks
IS THIS WHAT MADNESS FEELS LIKE?!?
70. You discover you don't have the emotional werewithal to fight through the weekend crowds flooding SoHo
Every warrior has her limits, and you know better than to venture down Broadway on a Saturday afternoon.
71. Movie theaters are more crowded too, because they have central AC
As if spending $16 on a movie ticket wasn't bad enough, you also have to make sure you get there an hour early if you want a seat.
72. Smorgasburg lines are the scariest things you'll encounter all summer
And to think you trekked all the way out to Williamsburg just to experience this mass chaos ...
73. Trying to get into Shakespeare in the Park is the ultimate challenge
Unless you're willing to wake up at 4 a.m. to stand in line, in which case, may the odds be ever in your favor.
74. The hell that is Sheep Meadow in the summer
There is nothing like the sight of hundreds and hundreds of picnickers crammed into a single greenish lawn to make you feel relaxed and calm on a nice lazy Sunday.
75. The line outside Big Gay Ice Cream is OUTTA CONTROL
There are 25 people in front of you, and you're pretty sure you've reached your breaking point.
76. Don't even get me started on the wait time at Brooklyn Crab
Basically, being a New Yorker means spending two-thirds of your life waiting in line.
77. Two words: HERALD. SQUARE.
But like, that's nothing compared to Times Square.
78. The High Line becomes the least leisurely thing you could possibly do in the summer
Ughghghgh. All you want is a People's Pop, but it's not worth the crowds.
79. You're essentially putting your life in danger crossing the Brooklyn Bridge
Just remember: Unless you have a death wish, the left lane is for cyclists only.
80. Skateboarders are out with a vengeance
And they DGAF about you as they zip by at approximately 100 miles per hour.
81. Children on scooters are everywhere, and they are your worst enemy
Don't be fooled by their size — these tiny humans are out to kill you.
82. There are more dogs out ... along with owners who don't clean up after them
Who's a good boy?!
83. There is no such thing as the shady side of the street
It's every woman for herself out there.
84. Running outside makes you feel pain you never knew existed
TBH, the closest thing to a near-death experience I've ever had was jogging along the East River in 90-degree heat.
85. But going to the gym is disgustingly crowded, because no one else wants to be outside either
I hope you brought something to read while you wait 20 minutes for an elliptical.
86. You suddenly realize there are stairs everywhere ... and they're all just waiting to break your spirit
Two flights up the subway, five flights up to your apartment ... When did New York City become one huge, constantly in-your-face StairMaster?
87. Getting stuck on Coney Island's Wonder Wheel is a thing that happens to people sometimes
This world is an uncertain and terrifying place.
88. Summer FOMO is real and terrible
All it takes is a 20-second scroll through your Instagram feed to convince you that everyone is having an amazing time at SummerStage without you.
89. Seeing people in line for the Jitney on their way to the Hamptons ...
... and knowing there is a better life to be found outside the stifling confounds of Manhattan.
90. Summer is usually when you have to move, and it sucks
But your lease is up in August, soooo ...
91. You're too afraid to take a breath of fresh air, because you're not sure what you'll actually inhale
Go ahead and smell the roses ... at your own risk.
92. Everyone in New York complains a lot