TGFAC. Yes, that stands for “thank goodness for air conditioning.” The East Coast is quite literally the hot spot this week with temps expected to hit triple digits. The National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning just in time for the weekend.
The streets of America's eastern cities, though filled with greasy ponytails and sleeveless tees, continue to bustle. Usually a breeze is a welcome relief from temperatures this high, but in this case, it offers a sensation more similar to standing in front of a hot oven as it’s opened. Underground is even worse as sweaty agitated commuters make their way down stifling stairwells, running out of patience before reaching their nice cool trains. But that sweeping wave of air conditioning that resembles a tiny miracle every time it’s felt is a luxury that is far and few between for some people.
“I’m not a wimp. I can brave the steamy subway with the best of them. But even I had to break down and sleep over at a friend’s air-conditioned apartment last night,” says Tracey Lucas, of New York City.
Even those who have air conditioning are finding their electric bills make them more uncomfortable than the heat. Tracy Kaler is on her fourth summer as an NYC transplant from Atlanta. “I keep my shades down and my apartment dark! I only run the AC periodically or my power bill will skyrocket. A ceiling fan is my best friend. Forget about cooking. Delivery is my other best friend,” she says.
Meanwhile, people who specialize in keeping you cool say business has never been better. Lisa Radano, assistant to the owner of L’Arte Del Gelato in Manhattan's Chelsea Market says the store’s traffic sees a major increase when the temperature becomes unbearable. “It might be terrible weather for the city but it’s great weather for gelato. When it’s hot like this water is not enough. You need something along with it.”
As if you needed another reason to eat gelato. Stay cool, America.
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