New York City, June 30, 2014

★★★★ What might have been a rural dream broke to twittering birds in the predawn dimness, the sound carrying up to the 27th floor. Out in the real morning, the clouds were interfering with the sun, and a damp breeze from downtown contended against the heat in a low-intensity pushing match. New tar shone wetly at the edge of a repaired patch in the street. In the afternoon, a line of cloud like a wing stretched along the sky in the west. It was hot up on the roof, but a heat cut by breezes, a fine natural heat, superior by far to the grim air conditioning below. A heat for louvered shades and cross-ventilation, for architectural counterrevolution. Dried red Japanese maple leaves lay curled up in the corner like dead insects. Down in the street, the balance of hot sun and breeze was less favorable. On the way toward the river in the late light, the sidewalk texture was overdefined, while everything higher up was impossible to look at. After sunset, the east and west alike were unobtrusively washed with pink, as was the south, at an avenue crossing. Fireflies seemed possible in the twilight, and then there they were, in the deeper shade by Lincoln Towers, brightening as they floated upward.