6 Most Disgusting Things About Summer in the City

New York City in the summer: filled with fellow young professionals, strolls in Central Park, great happy hour places, fantastic nightlife, and memorable adventures … but also these six unavoidable things that are just plain gross:

1. Slimy subway car poles

This one gets me every time on my commute to and from work. I try my best not to think about it, but it’s so difficult no to when you have no chance but to hold on to these germ ridden and filthy subway car poles that the guy who just picked his nose also held on to. Unless you find a seat (which is nearly impossible during rush hour, a.k.a all hours) or you want to be flung around, the slimy poles definitely make this list.

2. Inevitable sweating

It happens from the moment you wake up, unless you have an air-conditioned apartment that many millenials simply cannot afford. We all know the situation: girls, you cant even put makeup on in the morning without sweating it off and guys, you wake up with a bad case of swamp ass. When you step outside, you immediately start sweating and your hair becomes a mess. Then you think about all the things you have to do that day and start sweating even more. Sweating is an inevitable, disgusting part of summer in the city. Even the beautiful people sweat. 

3. Sunburns

Even after the massive skin cancer and suntan lotion campaigns, you still go to Coney Island and come back a tomato. You can’t shower, you can’t put on clothes, you can’t move … and then eventually you start peeling all over. It’s projected that over the next 40 years, the number of sweltering summer days in New York City could double or even triple, making it as hot in 2050 as Birmingham, Alabama. Imagine those burns. For those of you that listened to those campaigns, you still have to look at those burnt people on the streets and can’t help but to wince and start stinging yourself. 

4. Perpetual stench of stale urine

Whether it be from the unkempt garbage on the sidewalk, the homeless guy (who is inevitably sweating), or the actual presence of urine, the city air smells like piss all the time. If you want to experience a real pungent smell, go to Chinatown during the summer time and you’ll be trapped in a zone of rotten fish-stank. The humidity, coupled with extra smelly people (see next item on the list), coupled with frying garbage and dog defecation, you will constantly be immersed in these scents.

5. Body odor in cramped places

This brings me to my next disgusting thing about summer time in the city: body odor. Since you are sweating, and are walking through the streets with a urine-like aroma to it, you yourself are going to start smelling. This will come out most prominently in cramped spaces (which is virtually everywhere in the city these days): the Starbucks Line, elevators, office meetings, the subway, heck I even smelled a guy sitting two tables down from me in Bryant Park today. Personally, I carry deodorant on me just in case. I recommend you do too. 

6. Cicadas

Ah, the summer of bug love … the cicadas are coming, the cicadas are coming!!! Apparently they surface every 17 years or so, and lucky us, they’re surfacing this summer of 2013. These vile insects are after us, feel free to track them here. And guess what? They smell too. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Katherine Costello

College student, DC dweller and avid writer

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