I went for a ride the other day. The round trip went from Sunnyside, Queens to Dumbo and Red Hook in Brooklyn, up past Prospect Park, and then down past Kensington and Ocean Parkway until I arrived in Brighton Beach.
From there, reverse course and head home. All in all, it’s about a 35 miles round trip. It’s a great way to do a neighborhood by neighborhood take through the city. Fast enough to go through it. Slow enough to look around and take in the Middle Eastern shops and restaurants here, Eastern European shops and restaurants there, and Caribbean shops and restaurants over there.
Which is nice. If you’re in shape. And if you’ve payed a little bit of attention to what the weather’s going to be like.
But I’m not, and I haven’t. At most, I notice it’s comfortably hot about 10:30 when I go outside. Mostly though I fiddle with a playlist that’ll carry me along my ride.
By the time I get to Brighton Beach my brain is mid-boil. It’s noon and the place looks more or less like this.
That’s people getting started with their day, realizing it’s hot hot hot and making it to the beach.
There’s a hose on the boardwalk. It pours cold water and there’s a line of people using it to wash sand off their feet and legs. I use it to douse myself and cool my brain. I’m soaked, get on my bike and start my return trip to queens.
But I fade. My brain is dull white noise. My legs are too heavy. I’m very much baked, in a roasting oven sort of way.
Back at Prospect Park there’s a Lebanese food truck. It saves me with a fresh lemonade. The sugar a final bit of fuel to get me back home where, finally, I sit and drip sweat in my kitchen, a puddle forming on the floor.
Here’s the playlist that pushed me along.