This morning was eerie on the subway. Nearly empty at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday? This never happens unless it is a holiday. Perhaps there was premonition of the earthquake that would occur later in the day. That would be good enough reason for me to stay in bed. With summer coming to an end, and autumn weather approaching, New Yorkers must be getting in that last bit of rest and relaxation. August in New York–hot, humid, steamy, sweltering, sultry, sweaty, stinky. Oh, I forgot the most important one–QUIET.
The summer months in Manhattan are the calmest of the year. New Yorkers leave and go to the beach, country, mountains or any other place outside the city that is cooler and calmer.
Of course, this time of year is also popular with the tourists, so a few more people get added back in. The sum of the equation is still the same – peace and quiet.
With more space to walk the streets and tolerable traffic, August is an ideal time to get out and experience parts of town that would otherwise be avoided. Broadway, Off-Broadway, and films are less crowded. Landing a table at a top NYC restaurant is possible; reservations are available within days or hours, rather than weeks. Even simpler things like grocery shopping and Duane Reade runs are more enjoyable. No long lines and they are all super air-conditioned!
One of the unknown perks about living in New York City is summer hours. Many businesses close early on Fridays at 12 or 1 p.m. Yes imagine having a half-day every Friday during the summer. This is a standard NYC business practice. It does not apply to banks, retail, hospitals, etc., but many offices and showrooms will close or go half-staff after lunch. Since so few transactions will occur at that time of the week anyhow, the focus is on keeping employees happy and balanced. New Yorkers need their time away.
As August in New York comes to an end, the air changes, fall gets closer, and the city will be at full-speed in no time. With the schools in session and vacationers back in the swing, September will arrive in a matter of days. I better enjoy it while I can. The locals will be rejuvenated and ready to go! The chaotic Manhattan street scenes will return, and it will be standing room only again.