So today marks the first official day of summer, and I know after that Polar Vortex we all braved I should be happy it’s finally here, and I AM, but there are a few realities about summer in this city that need to be addressed.
Summer, the season when all the beautiful people of New York make up for all the time they spent bundled up during the winter months by walking around half naked.
Summer, the season of humidity so bad that girls with long thick hair like mine are driven to chop it off like I did two years ago, or if they don’t are forced to fight the frizz.
Summer, the season of lip sweat.
So basically from the end of May to the end of August I get to walk around looking and feeling like a troll. Not cute.
Now I grew up with my fair share of heat and humidity during my summers spent down south as a child, but here’s the difference: In the south you’re not walking everywhere. In the south you don't have to brave the underground subway stations that feel like you’ve descended into the 7th circle of Hell once you reach the bottom of the stairs. And in the south, if you DO have to be outside, it’s at a barbeque eating delicious food, drinking ice cold sweet tea, and sitting near some sort of water to refresh yourself in, be it a lake, a pool, or even a slip n slide made from a plastic tarp and a water hose. I guarantee you won’t find a plastic tarp/water hose situation in Manhattan, and you’d be in cuffs for trying to dive into Central Park Lake before you could yell cannonball.
But when it comes to summer in the city, where New York DOES win out is in its nightlife. Outdoor summer movies in Bryant Park and at The South Street Seaport… Walking along the Hudson River at sunset and ending up at The Boat Basin Café for a margarita… Shakespeare in the Park, both at The Delacorte sponsored by The Public Theater (their “Much Ado About Nothing was BEYOND) as well as independent companies (I have a friend doing a production of “As You Like It” with The New York Classical Theater that is touring parks all over NYC this summer… it’s wonderful as well)… and last but certainly not least, dining al fresco. There’s nothing more wonderful that sharing a meal with friends on a patio watching life in one of the most incredible cities in the world go by. And if you time it right, say after 7pm, lip sweat can be avoided all together. It's these things that make summer in the city feel like how summer used to feel back when we were young and unafraid (Les Mis reference, couldn't help myself). Sometimes, in a perfect moment when the sun is just setting and there is a warm breeze blowing through your hair and you allow yourself to take a deep breath and really appreciate the truly remarkable nature of your reality, a reality that says you're a living breathing part of this city... in that moment it feels like "summer vacation".
Don't you miss "summer vacation"? I do.
So tonight, to celebrate the Summer Solstice, I dined al fresco on my patio. I would have loved to have been out with friends, it is a Saturday night after all, but I’ve been quarantined to my apartment for the past 48 hours throwing up and watching Ally McBeal (food poisoning woes), so this is about as crazy as I get. Broccoli and cauliflower have never looked so good. Except maybe after my juice cleanse. They looked like steak after my juice cleanse. But even so, with my mason jar full of tea and my candles lit, it felt a little like summer vacation.
Happy Summer Solstice, everyone. I hope you went a little crazy on my behalf.
With Grace and Good Humor,