Reporting Dan Wing
By Syma Chowdhry, Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Whether it’s sitting in the shade or pretending to be on the beach, folks in the city are trying to beat the heat.
“Finish the sentence: It is hotter than…? Hell – that’s how hot it is,” joked Luis Gonzalez, of Philadelphia.
Two ladies, who were visiting from Ohio, said it doesn’t normally get this hot back home.
““It feels hotter than an oven. I feel like it would be a little cooler in an oven,” said Brandi Shepard. “I think I saw it was 75, so it’s not as hot as here.”
They tried cooling off by putting their feet in the Swann Memorial Fountain, but the city doesn’t allow it – something the ladies didn’t know.
“But people were here all day yesterday – tons of people. And they don’t like that?” said Robin Shepard.
“Yeah, we didn’t know it was frowned upon because we saw everyone in here. Well, it’s hot – let’s see if it’s cold,” laughed Brandi.
Heading up the Ben Franklin Parkway, artists were gearing up for a beach celebration in Eakins Oval.
“Right here, we are going to have an actual sandy beach,” said Nathaniel Lee, of the Mural Arts Program.
And it does seem beachy with the sun ruthlessly shining down on the artists, who are on a tight deadline since the Eakins Oval project opens to the public on Wednesday.
“We all have hats, sunglasses, lots of water,” said Lee.
And if you don’t need to be outside, it’s best to stay indoors – just ask the seniors at a local center.
“What I’m trying to do is stay in air conditioning, because it’s my only savior,” explained Martin Krasner. “In this weather, I have to be extremely careful. The humidity and the heat…they could do a job on me.”
There are five senior centers open with extended hours this week.
And imagine fasting for Ramadan in this heat. Two Muslim truck vendors CBS3 spoke to who can’t eat or even drink water from sunrise to sunset but continued to work serving others outside were taking it without a single complaint.
“This is okay for me!” said Gamal Elgawy, one vendor.
“It’s great that they are dedicated to their religion,” said Pam Spotwood, a customer.
But after their shift, they should seek shelter indoors.
Temperatures were still hovering around 90 degrees in the early evening Monday, but that didn’t seem to matter much to runners along the Schuylkill River.
“I drink a lot of water before I run. You pretty much just have to barrel through it,” said a runner.
A group of skateboarders at Paine’s Park were definitely feeling a little sick of the heat.
“It’s not even really hot, it’s just humid. Like I’ve sweat this past month more than I have in my entire life. Just walking down the block feels like I ran a marathon,” said a skateboarder.
“I went swimming in the Love Fountain a couple weeks ago, and it’s been so hot I’m thinking about doing that again,” said another skateboarder.
But they wouldn’t let some sweat stop them from doing what they love.
“I don’t leave the house until four o’clock now. I used to leave at like twelve, now I leave at four,” said another skateboarder.
Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight to the high temperatures, which are supposed to continue into the weekend.