Tuesday, July 10, 2007

East Village, June 2007

After a long, long spell of unseasonably cool weather, summer has finally descended like a wet washcloth. It’s sticky and humid and smotheringly hot. The nights aren’t so bad - with my fan I’m pretty comfortable - but walking around during the day is fraught with unpleasantness. Like when one of those big city buses go by and you get a face full of superheated diesel fumes.

And my office, like many air conditioned buildings, is absolutely frigid. So I walk through an oven to get to work, and then plunge into a refrigerator.

I’m not a huge fan of air conditioning. I like to be in touch with the natural world - “Mother Earth,” in today’s photo - enough to feel the weather. I think it’s important for our biology, somehow. Of course, if it were dangerously hot, I’d turn on the air, but otherwise I think we’re meant to be slow and reserved with our energy use at this time of year.

In a few weeks I’ll be off to my annual Buddhist retreat, where we have no a/c at all. So sleeping without the air is probably a good way to prepare!


  1. One of my clients got air conditioning just this summer. He said he finally had to, because living without it meant he was totally out of sync with the culture around him. He said he would slow down, but no one around him slowed down a bit. He felt time passing very differently and it was hard to co-exist with the prevailing culture. Interesting thoughts.

    A retreat is the perfect place to avoid A/C. Today in DC I'll hardly be anywhere except inside, keeping my core temperature within a normal range. I love nature, but on a day like today? Forget it!

  2. I think I'm pretty energy focused...however, for some reason, I get really really sick if I get too hot. I get headaches and all. Even in the winter at work, I'm opening my windows because I have to be cold.
    I run my ac a lot, and love it.

  3. we never ever need AC in the Mtns, it is breezy up there and the nights seem way cooler than the days. Not the same in the burbs--it is just broiling hot hot hot and everyone has central air set on a timer and auto degree so the temp never goes above 78 indoors but the system isn't on all that much.

    I love the Earth Mural, and the girl walking with the cup is such a familiar sight. We have dozens of her walking around Mytown, USA.

  4. I like the AC a lot. I'm pretty sure that you would die here without AC. Come to think of it, all the people who lived here before air conditioning are dead, which proves my point.

  5. Actually, everyone, I turned on the a/c tonight. So I'm not so tough after all. :)

  6. Your fan! Monday night it was 91 degrees!