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What is expected to be the final day of a weekend heat wave continued to scorch the city early Sunday.
Still, the temperatures — which were hovering around 90 before 8 a.m. — did not stop throngs of intrepid tourists from braving an impressively suffocating city.
“You get the fresh wind there, blowing through the streets,” said Roeleb Molemaker, 55, a visitor from Holland who was in Lower Manhattan with his family. “We can walk slow.”
Across the city, restaurateurs said they had noticed mostly intrepid crowds of tourists, as many New Yorkers opted to stay inside.
“These tourists just want to come and eat, drink and then be on their way to find a new place to cool down,” said Maria Gonzalez, 26, a waitress at Il Piccolo Bufalo restaurant on Mulberry Street. “So we’ll be open for them.”
Ms. Gonzalez said many were even willing to brave the sidewalk tables and eat outdoors.
“A lot of people still ate outside yesterday in this heat,” she said, hoisting a patio umbrella.
New York, like much of the country, has been in the grip of a heat wave, pushing officials in the city to declare a state of emergency lasting through the weekend as they fear the worst consequences such weather can bring. Meteorologists have issued extreme heat advisories stretching from the East Coast through the panhandle of Texas and the Midwest.
The temperature in New York was expected to shoot right back up to the edge of 100 degrees on Sunday, renewing worries about overburdening the city’s power system and the most vulnerable residents falling victim to the heat.
There were limited power failures in the city on Saturday. Con Edison reported at one point that more than 3,300 customers were without electricity, including about 1,400 in eastern Queens. Thousands of others across the country also lost power.
Forecasters said that oppressive heat would continue on Sunday across the Atlantic Coast, from South Carolina to Maine, with highs reaching into the upper 90s, and humidity that would make it feel well over 100 degrees. But showers and thunderstorms, and with them cooler temperatures, are expected closer to the Midwest. In New York, rainfall — and relief from the heat — is expected on Monday.
Besides tourists, a handful of New Yorkers emerged Sunday morning to take advantage of the relatively cooler morning temperatures. In Williamsburg’s McCarren Park, the R Bar Softball Team gathered at 10 a.m. for a slow-pitch game.
“The league is so competitive,” said Ashley Mundy, 33, who trekked from Astoria by subway to play. “We have to get our record up for the playoffs.”
Still, Ms. Munday said, they were considering playing fewer innings if the heat was prohibitive.
By the third day temperatures that climbed well into the 90s, even law enforcement agencies were losing patience. The New York City Police Department wrote on Twitter that “Sunday has been canceled,” and in Braintree, Mass., the police requested that anyone thinking of committing a crime wait until Monday, when it had cooled down.
“We are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday. It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there,” the Braintree police department said in a now-viral Facebook post.
As part of the city’s response to extreme temperatures, it opened hundreds of cooling centers this weekend, including one at the Jacob A. Riis Settlement House, a community center serving Queensbridge Houses residents in Long Island City. It did not draw a huge crowd, but the people who took advantage of it, like the group assembled for a tenants association meeting, were grateful.
“Doesn’t it feel delicious?” said April Simpson, the president of Queensbridge Tenants Association.
Many without air-conditioning poured into the streets on Saturday. They queued up in long lines for community swimming pools, played in the water shooting from fire hydrants and sought shade wherever they could find it.
Paris Campbell, 50, sat on a stoop on 125th Street in Harlem, smoking a cigarette and listening to soul music. Mr. Campbell works as a janitor in the building, which does not have air-conditioning. “All I can do to deal with the heat is come out here and take a break,” he said.
Dream Harris was among those trying to take advantage of the situation.
“Ice-cold water! One dollar!” Dream, 7, shouted on Saturday afternoon from the corner of 152nd street and Morningside Avenue in Harlem.
“I don’t mind the heat,” her mother, Monica Harris, said. “New Yorkers always complain about it being too cold. Well, now they got a tropical climate, they should just enjoy it. Besides, it gives me an opportunity to teach my daughter about entrepreneurship.”
In less than an hour, Dream had made nearly $30. She unzipped the pink fanny-pack around her waist, and pointed to a wad of damp singles shoved inside. She planned to keep working until she was out of water. At that point, the plan was to dash through the sprinklers in St. Nicholas Park, pick up some more bottles and get back to work.
“Go on, Baby, you’re letting all your customers get away!” Ms. Harris said, nudging her daughter to chase after someone who walked by without buying a bottle of water.
Rebecca Liebson, Derek Norman, Sean Piccoli and John Surico contributed reporting.