Between UV and Me

Living in New York City is no day at the beach. Except when, you know, it is.

Every August, when hot, garbage-scented air drops over New York City like a sodden duvet, locals are forced off their stoops—and toward the water.

The ozone is no longer depleting at the rate it once was, since the international Montreal Protocol of 1987 committed us to phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals; even the infamous hole in the atmosphere over Antarctica has been working on its bikini bod, shrinking by more than 1.7 million square miles between 2000 and 2015. But enough UV rays still reach the sand to turn pale New York sun-seekers into flash-fried versions of their former selves. Which is exactly what many of them are hoping for.

New York has more swimmable shoreline than you might think. Temporary tent (and umbrella) cities erect themselves along the beaches in the Rockaways and across Long Island on weekends, their denizens basting themselves alternately with sunscreen and tanning oil. There’s no need to dream of Maui: just hop on the train, claim a patch of sand as your kingdom, and settle in.

It’s just another relaxing summer day in New York, that chill little beach town of 8.5 million.


Enough UV rays still reach the sand to turn pale New York sun-seekers into flash-fried versions of their former selves. Which is exactly what many of them are hoping for.
There’s no need to dream of Maui: just hop on the train, claim a patch of sand as your kingdom, and settle in.

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