Somewhere between shoveling down handfuls of peanut butter M&Ms and almost missing my stop on the train home because I was falling asleep, I crossed over from stressed out zombie human to stressed out zombie human that cannot layer any more stress on top of what already exists so chose instead to find the fun in the insanity. The insanity of course being the looming midnight Monday deadline for getting host families for the first wave of our 2,360 exchange students. Every time I slogged through a phone call with an overly chatty reference, or left that 14th voicemail about needing a picture of a family’s bathroom, it was all in the name of getting to hit that ‘family placement confirm’ button to make another kid’s dream come true.
It’s easy to complain about summer in the city. The concrete and glass canyons we inhabit become convection ovens on a giant scale, cooking all those who dare to step into the street. The subway platforms are even worse- stuffy, sweltering, subterranean torture cells that all but guarantee you arrive at your destination a disheveled, sweaty shell of the person who left your apartment. Tourists pour in by the millions and our already crowded sidewalks grow ever more jammed with those from Iowa and India who haven’t mastered the delicate NYC space-sharing dance. The entire city takes on the scent of heated garbage, and air-conditioning units in the rooms above drip onto your already damp forehead. So yes, there are plenty of reasons to long for cooler days as you sit, unmoving, next to your tiny window fan and dream of snow or even one really great, cooling thunderstorm. But, there are just as many reasons to fall in love with what the city has to offer in the warmer months.