Oy, I'm shvitzing, and so are you. What is this, August? Jesus. You don't even want to know what the West 4th St subway station smelled like this afternoon. But three ways to keep cool, short of covering yourself head-to-toe in Tasti-D-Lite:
1. Hit the Gel'Otto cart, in the far NW corner of Washington Square Park, at the corner of Wash. square West and Waverly Place. Walk almost out of the park and you'll see it, a little green-and-yellow cart serving four flavors of gelato from Otto, Mario Batali's pizza place nearby. The sweet but disgruntled guy working the cart is cranky because the Otto folks keep giving him the same four flavors: chocolate, vanilla, coconut and lime sorbet. Sympathsize with him, but secretly pray that he keeps that lime sorbet all summer, because it's insanely, naked-on-a-Thai-beach refreshing. They have girl portions for $3.50, but hey, it's lime juice and water. Get the bigger $5 cup, trust me.
2. Buy a bunch of cute cheap sundresses at H&M. normally, I loathe H&M, because they never, ever have enough dressing rooms or cashiers, and you could wither and die just waiting to try on some piece of beaded turquoise $24.99 crap. But today I walked in and miraculously walked out with three cheap-o dresses that actually fit on the first go-round and made my cleavage look a couple of scoops of really tasty gelato. Of course, the very best, most gelato-y dress (bias-cut black linen with a halter top) was only available one size too small. Damn.
3. Watermelon margaritas at Pacifico, on Pacific between Smith and Court Sts in Brooklyn. Sit at the bar all the way inside, where there's some AC, not on the too-sweaty patio (or at the oddly diner-ish formica-topped tiny tables). Then get as many pink juicy drinks as your wallet will allow (since they're cash-only.) Plenty of the Chowhound folks sneer at this Mexicali joint, but when you want a girly drink and some snacks, they're better than they need to be. Good huge quesadillas stuffed with carnitas, decent guac, and my fave, the grilled-salmon-and-shrimp stack, which mixes up salmon and shrimp and corn and guac and lots of lettuce and tomatoes and other salady stuff over and between a couple of warm flour tortillas. It sounds sloppy, but it's not, and just right for a summer night.