New York in August is hot. Sweltering. Whatever you believe about global warming, there’s no denying that the Big Apple is a sweaty, sticky, occasionally stinky place to be during the dog days of summer.
Luckily, relief can be found in air-conditioned movie theaters, rooftop pools, spas, and other ultra-cool spots. We scoured the scorched city to bring you some much-needed relief this month.
Flix and Chill
Seeing a movie during the day—especially a workday—is one of life’s great pleasures. Moviegoing is especially delightful in summer, when theaters can double as walk-in freezers. New York has dozens of single-screen and multiplex theaters, but WSWD’s Danielle Murphy recommends the recently reopened Quad Cinema (34 West 13th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues). For decades, the Quad has been the destination for art-house and foreign films, and its 2017 renovation makes it even better. In addition to the great films, there’s a bar featuring beer and wine, making this is the ideal place for a cool afternoon. We’re excited about the very weird-looking Lemon (directed by Janicza Bravo), which starts its exclusive New York engagement at the Quad starting August 25.
Up on the Roof
For a more immersive way to beat the heat, experience adviser Kristen Cavalieri has some suggestions for rooftop pools. Scattered around the city and perched atop hotels, gyms, and social clubs, these refreshing oases are a bit pricier than a matinee but totally worth the indulgence. For particularly amazing views with your swim, book yourself a staycation at 1 Hotel Brooklyn (60 Furman Street, Dumbo) or The William Vale (111 North 12th Street, Williamsburg). If you’re looking for some spa luxury, head to the West Village’s Equinox Printing House (421 Hudson Street between Leroy and Clarkson Streets). But if swimming isn’t your thing, just go for a drink at a rooftop bar and enjoy a cool breeze and some distance from the sun-baked sidewalks.
One place where it’s always cool is a bowling alley, where they keep the AC cranked and cold beer flowing. Cool out at two of our favorite 10-pin alleys, Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg) and The Gutter Bar’s newest location in Long Island City (10-22 46th Avenue).
When it’s hot, nobody wants heavy, hot food (with the possible exception of barbecue). Now’s a good time for chilled ramen, the cooler sibling of those steamy noodle bowls. We like Ivan Ramen (25 Clinton Street between Stanton and East Houston Streets), where you can get a tuna “sashimi” chilled ramen with ahi tuna, watercress, and rye noodles in yuzu-dashi broth. Another good eatery is Kung Fu Little Steam Buns Ramen (with locations in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown East, and Times Square), where the cold ramen with sesame sauce will chill you right out. Or you can put your trust (and taste buds) in the chef’s hands at one of New York’s omakase spots. At restaurants like Sugarfish (33 East 20th Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue South) and Akashi (14 Christopher Street at Gay Street), expert sushi chefs follow their muses, and hungry diners follow their appetites. Don’t forget to top off any chill eats with a boozy ice cream, cones ready for their (social media) close-up, or some of our fave frozen cocktails.
This one’s definitely not for the faint of heart: Our wellness expert, Amanda Taylor, tried cryotherapy at Fuel Stop (200 Central Park South at Seventh Avenue), where she exposed herself to extremely cold temperatures (minus-250 degrees Fahrenheit!) for her health. Why? As she explains, “When you sprain your ankle or jam a finger, you’re instructed to put ice on it to reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation, and decrease pain. That’s cryotherapy. At cryotherapy spas, you’re not just icing a sore spot, you’re submerging your whole body in freezing-cold air.” If you’re not interested in freezing your buns off (three minutes in the cryotherapy chamber burns 800 calories), take a dip in Air Ancient Baths’s (88 Franklin Street between Sixth Avenue and Church Street) Frigidarium instead. Just like the name implies, you can immerse yourself in an icy plunge pool before taking on the blazing streets—possibly back to your suite at Hotel 50 Bowery, a Joie de Vivre Hotel (50 Bowery between Canal and Bayard Streets, Chinatown)?
Of course, when things get too hot, the best thing you can do is head to the beach. We’re partial to Rockaway Beach in Queens, where surf, sand, snacks, and style come together for the perfect chilled-out day trip. If an afternoon spent learning how to surf, people-watching, and taco eating doesn’t make you feel cooler, we don’t know what to suggest!
It’s hard to keep your chill in a city this hot, so let us cool you down in the best ways we know how.