Great Escape

Escape to the Magical World of Humanity

An illustrated guide to being somewhere else when you can’t be somewhere else

Mari Andrew
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readAug 13, 2018


Illustrations courtesy of author.

EEven New York’s die-hard defenders want to flee the city come summer. When popsicle-colored dreams of warm afternoons watching kids run through gushing fire hydrants fade, we’re left with all the obligations and dress codes of regular life — plus the added challenge of enduring tropical subway stations. An air conditioner always breaks, a promise of summer love goes flat like a soda left out in the sun, ambitious walks home are overwhelmed by packs of tourists and layers of sirens and an unexpected rainstorm. Once again, I’m forced to buy yet another bodega umbrella that will break upon opening, and my new sandals are soaked.

This summer is particularly oppressive, and not just because of the overwhelming heat. Social media feeds were a disorienting mess this Fourth of July: jubilant babies in sunglasses interspersed with reflective captions about what patriotism really means. Local, national, and international news has been weighing so heavily, it’s no wonder everyone seems to be on edge and desperate for escape.

Have you tried Tindering in the past few months? Everyone’s coming at it on the defense: quick to judge, to snark, to cancel, to ghost. Summer romance feels at once out of reach and pointless. It’s as easy to spiral into despair as it is to fall for the French tourist on the subway with the bright-blue shoes. Summer normally heightens our feelings of longing, nostalgia, excitement, and possibility, but in 2018, we carry an added sense of dread and despair to every beach bonfire and rooftop brunch.

We are dreaming of taking off to some foreign mountains, to some country where the people are still…