Summer in New York City brings seasonal delights (long days! free concerts! free swimming pools!) as well as seasonal irritations (slow-walking tourists, the smell of hot trash, firecrackers). While there are a host of classic annoyances we’ve grown used to, a batch of new nuisances have arrived to make the sunny months even more challenging.
Which ones are merely aggravating, and which are absolutely intolerable? It’s up to you to choose what’s worse.
As the most common New York City roommate who doesn’t pay rent, the cockroach has been a local pest for decades, if not centuries. A 1988 study claimed the city’s cockroach population might be declining — but years later, evidence from inside your apartment building says otherwise.
A flashy invasive species that government officials have asked New Yorkers to murder on sight, the spotted lanternfly doesn’t bite humans, but it is very destructive to certain plants. And since it has an affinity for grapevines, it puts your glass of locally grown wine at risk.
There’s nothing quite like a random droplet of mystery liquid hitting an exposed shoulder to send a shudder down your spine. Summer’s drips and drops, combined with breezy ensembles, are a recipe for ick.
Summer showers have always been common. But thanks to climate change, New York City is now a subtropical environment, and storms are increasing in severity, bringing flash floods and destruction — and, at the very least, ruining beach and pool days.
Lately, spending the day at the beach also means keeping an eye out for a dark fin in the water. Statistically, the chance that a New Yorker will be bitten by a shark is very, very low — but never zero.
Most of the time, subway cars provide exquisitely cool air, even when platforms are hot. But every now and then, you stumble on an old friend: the stifling “hot car.” Savvy riders know to avoid empty cars on an otherwise-full train — standing in air-conditioning beats sitting trapped in oppressive heat.
In early June, millions on the East Coast were exposed to the worst air quality on record as Canadian wildfire smoke drifted down into the area. Expect more Mars-like skies, and choking ash to come, thanks to the hotter temperatures and drier conditions created by climate change (the new normal!).
The New York pigeon is also known as a rock dove, which explains why they love the city: hard, rocky surfaces everywhere. They’re a classic New York pest because in addition to flapping closely overhead, they like to leave their mark: on balconies, benches, cars, statues and, sometimes, you.
This summer, clouds of tiny bugs appeared suddenly, making their way up New Yorkers’ nostrils and into their eyes. The aphids were technically harmless, but psychologically traumatizing; it was almost as if pigeons were microscopic and there were billions of them.
Summer sightseeing and Hamptons-visiting brings the eardrum-pummeling noise of helicopter blades, reverberating between buildings and ruining quiet moments in the park. Over the past few years, it’s gotten bad enough to spark proposed legislation banning the aircraft over the city.
The fact that it’s illegal to fly a drone in New York City doesn’t mean that YouTube and TikTok are not full of drone videos from rule-flouters. Serene summer days are often interrupted by the whining whir of a little machine hovering above, possibly filming you without your consent.