Beat the heat before it beats you: Cheap ways to stay cool in the summer

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BBP’s pop-up pool. Photo by Julienne Schaer

Oh, for the love of all that is a visual of Michelle Williams clutching Jonathan Safran Foer’s tight little body, we know already. We know about the heat. You know it’s hot, we know it’s hot, and it doesn’t have to be the End of Days. Summertime in this city has always been brutal—and remember winter, guys? We should thank our lucky stars we only have to wear one layer outdoors.

The heat won’t last forever. But while it’s here, why not find some creative ways to deal with it instead of kvetching? In the spirit of summer, the Brokelyn staff got together and submitted a list of cheap ways to beat the heat without breaking the bank.


Brooklyn Bridge Park Pop-up Pool. Or Cobble Hill Cinema (265 Court Street)! It’s always freezing, and flicks are only $8.50 at certain times: all day Tuesday and Thursday, until 5pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and until 2pm Saturday and Sunday. And they’re still only $11 at regular price.”
– Margaret Bortner

“Oh man, I’m a huge fan of abusing gigantic, overwrought corporate store/industrial store conditioning systems. I’ve spent many a hot summer day in a Barnes and Noble, in a shopping mall, Macy’s or deep inside a grocery store, just taking advantage of the fact that they pump out enough A/C to cure meat with.”
– Tim Donnelly 


“Hang out at the NSA Supermarket (720 Washington Avenue). It’s actually freezing. Like, so cold that even when it’s hot out, I run through the store quickly to get back outside because my sweat freezes to my body immediately and I turn into a human popsicle. This sounds like a hyperbole, but it isn’t.”
– Meghan Stephens

“My #1 escape is nursing a drink at a bar. You can get a lot of work done if there’s wifi. Otherwise there’s always lingering in a supermarket if you’re really desperate. Key Food (493 5th Avenue) in Park Slope is great. They play oldies all the time, so it’s not sad.”
– Rachel Eve Stein

“The heat is a great excuse to spend time in an ice cold back room of a dimly lit bar with the curtains drawn—looking at you, Boat (175 Smith Street).”
– Tim Donnelly


Have you considered babysitting again to get to these? via flickr user Chris Goldberg
Have you considered babysitting again to get to these? via flickr user Chris Goldberg

“My thing is after I go running in the heat, I reward myself by running through a playground sprinkler. It’s a really incredible feeling. The sprinklers are running 24/7 in all the public playgrounds, so unless there are a bunch of kiddos around there’s no reason not to indulge in that free cold water.”
– Kate Mooney

“Borrow a friend’s kid and run around with them in the sprinklers of your neighborhood playground. Not weird when you’re looking after someone’s kid, right?”
– Daniela Ramos


“A powerful fan goes a long way, and they use up to 80% less energy than ACs. Not to mention, they’re cheaper upfront purchases.”
Rachel Eve Stein


Better yet, just use all the fans at once. via flickr user Gino Carteciano
Better yet, just use all the fans at once. via flickr user Gino Carteciano

 “Set your fan up in front of an open refrigerator!”
– Chris Inoa

“Peppermint oil mixed in with lotion, applied to skin, sitting in front of a fan, is almost equal to AC.”
Rachel Eve Stein

“A two-ingredient popsicle recipe: Strawberries and OJ. Frozen strawberries…YUM!”
– Daniela Ramos


Kids love 'em, parents get rid of leftover pickle juice with 'em. via flickr user amanda
Kids love ’em, parents get rid of leftover pickle juice with ’em. via flickr user amanda

“Picklesicles. Last summer my nephew was visiting and wanted to make popsicles.  I had the popsicle molds, but no juice.  All I had was a jar of pickles.  So we used the pickle juice, invented picklesicles, and they were amazing.”
Margaret Bortner

“Ice wine. It’s ice cubes + wine, and you drink it until you pass out in your horrible 90 degree apartment.”
– Maddy Owens

“Cold showers are great, obviously. It’s like a mini pool that comes out of your apartment walls and doesn’t involve any children’s pee (that I know of).”
– Tim Donnelly

“Take a cold shower, and then lay on the floor directly in front of your window unit until further notice.”
– Meghan Stephens


Take the blue pill. via flickr user Eelke
Take the blue pill. via flickr user Eelke

“Soak your feet in a tub of ice water before painting your toes or while you’re doing anything.”
– Daniela Ramos

“Put your socks in the freezer an hour before bed, so your feet are cold enough to trick you to sleep.”
– Chris Inoa


“When washing your hands, use cold water and run it over your wrists. At least, my mom said that works. She’s not an expert, but she is my mom.”
– Havilah Brewster

“Whatever you do, don’t put ice down your pants. Trust me.”
– Conal Darcy

“Use The Secret to manifest cool. If it doesn’t work, that’s on you.”
– Havilah Brewster


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