New York City, June 8, 2014

★★★★ Shapely cumulus clouds occupied the near sky with cirrus wisps behind them, but downriver was bleary grime-colored summer haze. A blimp cruised up the Hudson just above the line where the clear blue began. Out on the street, under clear hot sun, the puddle garbage was softening and cooking into a gray stew. Pale legs of all adult ages were on display; it was the last chance to pretend there was any volition behind putting on shorts or summer dresses. The street fair was on the far lanes of Broadway, where it could be ignored. A beach breeze was blowing up Amsterdam, offering relief no longer than the duration of a gust. By early afternoon, the sun from its height felt like a sunburn. The blown-out hazy fraction of the sky increased. The pigeons were active and self-assured. Deeper in the afternoon, down inside the shaded brick plaza, a robin perched upright on the scalp of one of the statues overlooking the three-level water fountain. The water burbled hypnotically, and only a few enfeebled rays of light bounced down to the bricks. All was suddenly cool and drowsy. A piece of fluff floated slowly by. People came home with rolls of wrapping paper; a girl headed out in a full party dress. A greenish fly rested by a planting bed. The ugly haze-clouds claimed whole the sky for a spell, then broke open in the west, leaving silver contrails aglow between purplish gauze and high lingering white.