Even playgrounds with sprinklers nearly empty during scorcher

A few Stuy Town residents like Ryan, with son Tommy, braved the heat, heading out to the playground sprinklers to cool down. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

A few Stuy Town residents like Ryan, with son Tommy, braved the heat, heading out to the playground sprinklers to cool down. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Can it be too hot to play in the sprinklers during a heat wave?

Town & Village found that it might be, in a recent visit to the water parks in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in the midst of the oppressive heat on Monday.

Stuy Town residents Dennis Mulligan and Anne Marie, who were out sitting in the shade by the Oval on Monday afternoon, said they noticed a mysterious absence in the playgrounds that day.

“No one’s outside,” Mulligan said. “It’s too hot. Even the kids aren’t out.”

The National Weather Service recorded the highest temperature in Central Park as 94 degrees Fahrenheit around noon on Monday, but officials warned that the combination of the high heat and humidity made it feel like it was over 100, creating dangerous conditions, especially for seniors.

Most of the non-sprinklered playgrounds in Stuy Town were desolate when this reporter went by, and Oval staff members who were stationed at the basketball courts in Playground 11 said that even the parks with sprinklers that were usually packed with kids were almost empty that afternoon.

“The moms and nannies probably don’t want to take the kids out because then they just have to sit at the sprinklers, melting themselves,” one of the staff members theorized.

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Cooling centers open during Monday’s dangerously hot weather

Joey and Sammy Haskell load up their water guns at Stuy Town's Playground 9 on a recent afternoon. Photo by Sabina Mollot

Joey and Sammy Haskell load up their water guns at Stuy Town’s Playground 9 on a recent afternoon. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

With Sunday’s hot and humid weather expected to continue on Monday, the city has announced cooling centers will be open.

Additionally, due to the dangerously hot weather, Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat, including vulnerable individuals such as seniors and those with chronic health problems.

Forecasted temperatures for Monday are in the 90s with heat index values reaching as high as the low 100s. Additionally, an Air Quality Alert is in effect today through 11 p.m. New Yorkers should use air conditioning to stay cool, go to a place that has air conditioning if it is not available at home, drink water at regular intervals and limit strenuous activity, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

Local cooling centers include the following locations. Hours may change during heat emergencies.

Epiphany branch of the New York Public Library, 228 East 23rd Street (between Second and Third Avenue). Call (212) 679-2645 to confirm hours.

Stein Senior Center, 204 East 23rd Street (between Second and Third Avenue) through 6 p.m. UPDATE: The center announced it will be closing at 4:30 p.m.

Campos Plaza, 611 East 13th Street (between Avenues B and C). Call (212) 677-1801 to confirm hours of operation.

Sirovich Senior Center, 331 East 12th Street (between First and Second Avenues). Call (212) 228-7836 to confirm hours of operation.

Tompkins Square branch of the New York Public Library, 331 East 10th Street (between Avenues A and B). Call (212) 228-4747 to confirm hours of operation.

Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village residents can also head to the Community Center at 449 East 14th Street (First Avenue Loop at 16th Street). Another option for cooling down is heading to one of the playgrounds with water features.

Waterside residents can head to the Community Center at 40 Waterside Plaza through 6 p.m.