Ready for the First Heat Wave of Summer?

Weather: Expect sunshine and highs that could climb above 90.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Aug. 11.

Are you ready for the first heat wave of the year?

Temperatures are expected to climb above 90 degrees during the week, and over 95 degrees on the weekend.

Here’s what you need to know:

When is a heat wave declared?

The designation happens when the temperature reaches at least 90 degrees for three consecutive days. Between 1876 and 2011, there were 263 heat waves in New York City, according to the National Weather Service.

Most of those heat waves lasted three days. One lasted 12 days.

What are the temperatures going to be this week?

Today’s high temperature will be near 90 degrees, the Weather Service predicted. Tomorrow it may hit a high of 91 degrees. Thursday may be a little cooler, at 85 degrees.

After that, watch out. The temperature really starts to increase: Friday through Sunday, the highs could reach 95 degrees or more.

Upper Manhattan and the Bronx are “particularly heat sensitive,” according to Jaime Madrigano, a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation who was featured in a video by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

How can I cool off?

Parks with sprinklers! The city’s Parks Department has a website listing each park with spray showers, which spout clean, cool water. They operate on days when it’s 80 degrees or higher. And they’re free.

So are the city’s public pools, which my colleague Corey Kilgannon recently explored.

Public libraries are excellent indoor alternatives.

New York Public Library branches (Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island) are listed here; branches of the Brooklyn Public Library are listed here; and the Queens Public Library branches are listed here.

Drink up.

Drinking plenty of water is essential. Mint leaves or sliced lemons and limes can add flavor without adding sugar. Sorry, folks: Beer may feel refreshing, but it’s not ideal for hydrating purposes.

When was the longest heat wave?

New York City’s longest heat wave lasted 12 days. It started on Aug. 24, 1953, and ended on Sept. 4. Temperatures reached 100 degrees, and then 102 degrees, before waning.

On six of those days, the temperature was 98 degrees or higher.

A screening of “En el Séptimo Día,” an independent drama, is part of the Museum of the City of New York’s “Moonlight and Movies” program in Manhattan. 8 p.m. [$15]

— Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

Usually, when two powerful forces meet, one yields. Usually.

In the late 1980s, Audre Lorde — the black, lesbian feminist writer who later became New York State’s first poet laureate — was reading a poem at Stanford University in California when an earthquake struck.

“She did not stop reading the poem, and there were people, like, fleeing,” Jacqueline N. Brown, who was a graduate student at Stanford at the time, recalled recently.

The poem Ms. Lorde was reading: “Power.”

The opening line itself feels like it can move the earth.

The difference between poetry and rhetoric

is being ready to kill

yourself

instead of your children.

JP Howard, a writer, poet and activist, said the earthquake reading “really symbolizes what she was about.”

“To keep raising our voice,” she said. “She wrote and spoke up until the very end, she was very sick at the very end but she continued to write. Continued to speak as long as she could.”

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