NEW YORK – Temperatures in New York City peaked at 102 degrees on Tuesday — 110 degrees with the heat index — with no immediate relief in sight.
Forecasters were predicting triple-digit temperatures again on Wednesday, with a heat index that could reach 115 degrees.
At noon Tuesday, when it was a still-chilly 91 degrees, FOXNews.com hit the streets of Midtown to find out how New Yorkers were coping with the sun and the sweat at their jobs.
Perhaps no one knows how to handle the heat better than Time Square's own Naked Cowboy, a tourist attraction unto himself in the City That Never Sleeps But Sure Could Use a Siesta.
"Well, I dress appropriately," said Naked Cowboy, whose uniform consists of cowboy boots, a Speedo, a cowboy hat and a guitar. "You all look crazy to me. I'm out here everyday, when it's hot as living s***, and cold as hell."
He added: "I live for days like this. Anything else is for mere mortals."
One street vendor near the intersection of West 47th Street and Broadway positioned his hot dog cart in one of the few shady spots available in Times Square and had a bottle of water on hand.
"I'm not afraid of my power going [out]," said the vendor, a native of Morocco who gave only the name Mustapha. "The streets are so hot — business is just so-so. It's way worse than Morocco."
Midtown Manhattan, a concrete city within a city with its high-rise office buildings, ongoing construction and crowded sidewalks, is a convection oven for summer haze and scorching heat. But as rough as it is on the streets, it's even worse underground, where temperatures soar in the subway stations.
Officer DeJesus of the New York Police Department offered some perspective on the heat from his position in the depths of the Times Square subway tunnel.
"I just stay hydrated," DeJesus said as he wiped sweat from his forehead and baked in the heat with his complete police uniform of dark long pants, short-sleeved shirt and hat. "Midtown is bad because of the crowded conditions and all the different trains [that merge] here," he added.
DeJesus , who lives in Manhattan, said he fears losing power but hasn't lost it since the citywide blackout of 2003.
On extremely hot days, health officials encourage people to stay out of the sun, wear light clothing, stay hydrated with water or diluted drinks, and keep rooms ventilated with fans or air conditioners. Click here to read more tips on how to stay cool and what to do if you experience a heat-related illness.
The city encouraged those who couldn't stay cool in their own homes to go to one of the 380 cooling centers it set up across the boroughs.
The heat wave has brought sweltering temperatures to the bulk of the country. It's been blamed for some 140 deaths in California alone.
Meanwhile, city officials in New York and elsewhere are keeping close watch on their power grids.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday detailed steps the city government and major private employers were taking to reduce energy consumption. He also urged citizens to conserve energy to avoid blackouts.
Earlier in the week, he issued an executive order declaring a heat emergency in the city's five boroughs.
About 100,000 Consolidated Edison customers in the New York City area were without power for almost two weeks late last month after an outage related to too much stress on the energy grid during a heat wave.
About 20,000 people in Chicago also lost power late Monday, with about 1,200 evacuated from South Side apartment buildings in the fifth straight day of 90-degree weather. ComEd power officials stressed that the cause of the outage was not necessarily the heat. Click here for more on that story.