New York City, June 27, 2016

★★ The four-year-old, looking for something to complain about, complained that the breeze was making him too cold, in the uniform-compliant polo shirt and shorts he was wearing for the next-to-last time. A school bus with a summer camp placard on it turned through the crosswalk, from the nearly empty street to the nearly empty avenue. The sun as it went higher was too hot on a black shirt. The smells on the air were foul and powerful—something fecal around an innocuous corner, something rank and fishy along a stretch of sidewalk where no fishmongering was even theoretically possible. Two women talked and smoked deep in the shadow of a doorway, off the sunstruck sidewalk. Humidity seeped in and the sun went away. Somehow, despite the dwindling light, a pair of sandals flashed brilliantly with each stride as their wearer jaywalked across Fifth Avenue.