11 August 2005

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

I spent yesterday on beautiful Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts. I frolicked in the waves, wallowed in the sand, observed several piping plovers (piping plovers are endangered but recovering, so I watched and listened to them only from a distance), took a nice long beach walk, and got a bit of a sunburn. I don't get up there very often; Crane Beach, like most Massachusetts beaches, requires a car for access (meaning public transportation won't get you there).

Mostly I enjoyed the 63-degree water and the stiff sea breeze that made the beach much more comfortable than 90+ Cambridge. My apartment usually soars to 87 during the day, falling to around 82 at night. I don't have air conditioning, and all my windows face the same direction, making the stimulation of a cross breeze impossible. So I move all that hot air around with a few fans.

And through the open windows comes the hum of air conditioners. Air conditioners, that is, for the office suite that manages this Harvard apartment complex. Let me lay it out for you: Harvard won't allow its workers, reasonably enough, to spend eight hours in unairconditioned offices. But it will allow students who are paying market rates for apartments to go without air conditioning. It will go so far as to force them to go without air conditioning: my lease expressly forbids the installation of an air conditioner. So I lay last night, very hot in my apartment, not really sleeping, but listening to the hum of the air conditioners in the (empty) office across the way. Lovely.

This is really only a problem a few weeks a year, when heat and humidity invade Boston and make the city very uncomfortable. But during those uncomfortable weeks, I really wish Harvard would let me put in AC.

2 Comments:

At Tuesday, August 16, 2005 6:56:00 PM, Anonymous Sharon said...

(Started to write a comment, but then it turned into a post over here...

 
At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 12:22:00 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

I work in Florida so there's no way we could live without A/C. Lightining knocked out our A/C unit here on campus 2 weeks ago and we sweated for 2 days. The students were miserable. Almost as bad as the day some construction workers cut our Internet fiber optic cable ... it was really funny to see people on campus wandering around in a daze ... with no Internet ... I went home to work on my Internet courses. It's amazing how dependent we become on electric-powered stuff.

 

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