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New York City Says Goodbye To Air-Conditioned Sidewalks

Driely S.

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It’s an understatement to say that New York City is unbearably hot in the summer. While the intense heat is a given during the hot-July months, so is the phenomenon of shops keeping their doors wide open, in hope of luring in sweaty, potentially chafing, customers with the hopes of air conditioning salvation.

In hopes of combatting air conditioned sidewalks, almost all shops and restaurants in New York City will have to keep their front doors closed starting next summer, the New York Times reports. That means that if your neighborhood boutique is caught keeping its perfectly rustic door open during the summer months, the shop owners could face fines ranging from a first offense $250 to $1,000 for further violations.

Previously, a law limiting the "co-mingling of indoor and outdoor air" only applied large-scale chain stores. So while Zara and Forever 21 had to keep their doors permanently shut, smaller boutiques and businesses were allowed to keep their doors wide open, opening the air-conditioned flood gates.

That law was deemed not big enough in scope by many. Mayor Bill de Blasio cited personal reasons as well as environmental reasons for supporting the bill. At a City Hall ceremony, de Blasio said "it’s always been a pet peeve of mine." Later, the mayor then recognized the environmental impact, stating "that’s wasting a lot of energy. That’s having its own impact on global warming."