Man, it is hot today (it’s hot, too). With temps hitting the high 90s, the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory from noon until 6pm tomorrow. In light of what Mayor De Blasio calls “extremely dangerous” conditions, the city is opening dozens of “cooling centers” for those at risk of heat stroke. We stopped into a couple of them and rated them on a scale of 1 to 5 fans — and, just for good measure, we also tried Muji’s new chill-out area to see if we were bigger fans of that.
MUJI REST STOP (photo above)
52 Cooper Square, East Village
Muji recently created this most comfortable of marketing gimmicks in order to lull passersby in with their zen sensibilities (zensibilities?). “Like the compass that points due North, we continue to orient ourselves to the basis and universality of daily life,” reads Muji’s website. Like the compass that points toward free places to take a nap, I oriented myself straight for their wood-paneled, in-store oasis.
I’m a seasoned Muji loiterer and the addition of this beanbagged haven makes it too damn easy. Between the store’s soothing minimalist score and the Rest Stop’s ultrasonic aroma diffuser and complementary neck pillows, I was dozing in no time. That being said, after a while I started to sense from some of the staff that I might have overextended my welcome. (This could have been due to my use of their second body fit cushion as a footrest.) I’d also suggest bringing your own beverages and reading material, if you’re in it to win it.
OTTENDORFER PUBLIC LIBRARY
135 Second Avenue, East Village
JOHN PAUL II FRIENDSHIP CENTER
103 East 7th Street, East Village
Our visit to this next cooling center, with its slogan of “if you are 60 plus, join us,” might be considered gratuitous reporting. But if there are any retirees reading this, John Paul II might be just the place to cool your jets.
I arrived at the strike of 1pm, just as daily lunch was coming to an end. John Paul II boasted the crispest of airs I’d yet experienced, plus a large-screen television screening tennis and a flyer for an upcoming trip to Atlantic City. It may not be the most welcoming place for the youth, but one thing’s for sure, John Paul II is putting the sexy back in sexagenarian.
Rating (if you’re over 60):