New York City, July 8, 2014

★★ Armpits. Men had given up or allowed themselves to give up and were walking around wearing tank tops. Early clouds, separated by fissures of blue, had drawn briefly together and then dispersed, leaving the sun impeded. Leaves tossed in a not at all cooling wind. A truck forced its way through a crosswalk, sending its rear wheels up over the curb for extra emphasis. A man with a butterfly of sweat darkening the back of his pale orange shirt body-checked his way off the B train, desperate to reach the A across the platform. Up on the street, a woman fanned herself with a folding fan in mid-stride, then folded it away again. BMW motorcycles, plural, were parked at the curb, and Vespas, with innumerable bicycles up on the sidewalk. The air in the shade felt hot and solid; the sun hurt. The buildings on Broadway needed to be taller. Even toward dusk, as the departing light traced the verticals on the Empire State Building, it was still stifling out. Only long after dark did a sudden rush of wind relieve it.

An earlier version of this post included a photo of the sky taken on a day other than July 8th. It has been replaced.