★★★★ Out in the open, the clarity was a bit punishing. Noise seemed muffled, the colors bleached out. The side street was tranquilizingly dark and breezy; the avenues piercingly hot. Just inside the Park, liquid birdsong flowed. A sparrow ate a Cheerio in the shade of a parked stroller, crunching it with sharp, predatory strokes of its beak. Indoors, a small and active fly had ridden the fresh air currents through the window, and the relative dimness made it all but impossible to pick out and track. The once-empty blue sky acquired a few ribbons and dotted clusters of white. A hot eddy lifted and spun some sidewalk garbage. Heavy-duty squirt guns took up positions around the playground; a boy in a wheelchair, injured leg elevated, carried one across his lap while another boy pushed him in and out of combat. Even in the benevolently shadowed end of afternoon, the unfiltered sun was harsh wherever it reached. The heat from the kitchen stove, combining with the late-day sun load, was overwhelming. The air conditioning had to come back on.