In 1969, LIFE photographer Vernon Merritt III captured both the energy and the misery of a hot summer day in New York City.
Regardless of the unbearable humidity, these New Yorkers were able to brave the heat with impeccable style. Whether stomping down the street, relaxing at Bethesda Terrace, lunching on the steps of the New York Public Library, posing in Central Park, flirting on the Staten Island Ferry, or dancing the night away at a nightclub, these New Yorkers put their best fashion foot forward.
Here’s some wonderful photographs from the sweltering heat of New York in 1969, a look back on the free spirit, fashion and individuals that defined an era.
(Photos: Vernon Merritt III – Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)