People talk about how humid and hot it is in New Orleans in the summertime, that somehow dry heat is much better. Well, here is my take on all that.
A few weeks ago I went to Las Vegas for a business event. It was the middle of July. During the day when we had a break from the seminar I would walk outside the hotel and even before stepping into the sunshine it was hot. I mean it felt like opening an oven door. In fact, it felt like I was walking around inside an oven. That’s how hot it was.
Yeah, New Orleans is Hot but What About Las Vegas?
Shot outside the Venetian in Las Vegas. More brutal in the summer than New Orleans. Who says dry heat is better?
Now, OK, so I may be exaggerating a little but that’s what it felt like. And there did not seem to be any relief from it other than stepping back inside the air conditioned hotel.
Because the air is so dry in Vegas when the breeze blows it’s hot. It’s a hot, dry breeze, and it feels like there is no relief from it. And here’s another thing: I was standing outside in long sleeves and pants and I didn’t sweat at all. It all evaporated from my body before I could feel any moisture on the skin.
So it was in the 100s when I was there. I know at least 104 or so and the weather man was talking about how it was going to go to 108.
And all these folks who say well dry heat is better then humid heat have never walked around in Las Vegas in the summertime. I mean it’s brutal. That is the only phrase that kept coming to me, “It’s Brutal” I’d say to myself. I mean it feels as if the heat and the sun is just beating down on you. And the night was not any better. Even after the sun goes down it’s hot, I mean hot, oven like hot, brutal like hot.
Anyway, all that being said I like Las Vegas. Although I didn’t put even a nickel in a slot machine I like going into the hotels, like seeing all the stores. They have a lot of real upscale stores there now. It seems that the strip is a lot more classy than it used to be. And some of the newer hotels like the Ballagio and the Venetian are really very nice, beautiful even. All of the comforts on the inside of these building belies the reality of the brutal heat outdoors.
In New Orleans I like to go outdoors and do my exercise, ride my bike and do bodyweight stuff like pullups and pushups and squats. And yes, I sweat a bunch. But I would not even contemplate doing that in Las Vegas.
Here in New Orleans the weatherman says “well, it’s going to be 91-92 degrees tomorrow but it’s going to feel like 102.” Who came up with that? I know what 101 feels like in Las Vegas and it certainly doesn’t feel like no 91 degrees in New Orleans. Here when the breeze blows at least it’s a cooling breeze, at least it gives you some relief and standing in the shade makes it feel a whole lot cooler than in Vegas. Even in the shade there it’s still damn hot.
And here I have no compunction to go outside during the day and get some exercise. When I start to sweat it cools me off and the heat doesn’t really feel brutal. I can’t imagine doing in Vegas the kind of outdoor workout I do in New Orleans. I mean I wouldn’t even consider it. Well… I did consider it but my inner voice said, “Your insane.”
OK, it’s true that here in New Orleans you can walk outside and just start sweating without exerting any effort, and yes it makes your clothes sticky but at least the sweat is cooling you off. Not so in the desert.
But here’s the thing, if you don’t want to deal with the heat in New Orleans or Las Vegas then here or there in the summer is not the place for you. Even back in the day before there was electricity, folks with means would hightail it to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to get away from the stifling conditions in New Orleans so they could enjoy the cooling gulf breezes.
It’s hard for me to imagine what it was like living in New Orleans before the advent of electricity and fans even, let alone air conditioning. But thousands of people did it and thrived, New Orleans at one point being one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest city in the country.
Folks just dealt with the heat, wore cool cotton and linen clothes, closed their shutters to let in the air and keep out the sun, built their homes with 10 to 12 foot high ceilings, had big windows they could open to let the breeze blow through and basically did not move around much during the day. That’s one of the reasons the South has the reputation for people who take their time when doing things. People just don’t want to move around very much and get overheated. Kinda makes sense.
I can remember when I was a kid going to art classes that was in an second story studio at the teacher’s home near the park. No AC, windows wide open and a fan or two. Yeah, I can remember sweat on my forehead but the breeze that came through the windows was nice along with the summer scents. It was kinda nice and it’s a good memory.
So give me humid heat anytime over that brutal desert heat. I don’t mind the heat in New Orleans and I’m glad we have air conditioning. Las Vegas, a nice place to visit but don’t think I’d want to live there.