Hot Town, Summer In The City

Solstice is just around the corner and there have already been a few steamy days in June, hinting at the sweltering New York summer to come.

I’m an August baby with very fond summer vacation memories but I’m also a typical ginger: extremely pale and sun-sensitive…crispy-fried-from-the-sunlight-vampire-skin-sensitive. UV exposure aside, I simply don’t function well above 84F.

Keeping that in mind, I’m starting to plan my Summer Studio Strategy.

My goal is to maintain a relaxed work schedule that will allow me to feel like I’m having some summertime fun while still getting work done.  I’m thinking of it as a self-directed summer arts camp (extremely limited enrollment ;-)).

Here are my strategies for enjoying the NYC summer in a productive, cool, and inspiring way:

10 Ways to Not Hate July & August in NYC

  1. Art Galleries & Museums: Sure, I’m one of the lucky sods who has a studio equipped with air-con but it’s summertime and the 10yr-old artist in me craves some field trips.  I plan on taking full advantage of my idNYC card and getting free admission to at least one cultural institution per week (a new series inspired by visits to the Met is tickling my brain).
  2. Mid-day Matinees: There really is nothing nicer than sitting in a dark, cool theater during the hottest hours of the day.  My favorite old-school cinema is The Paris Theater on 58th Street.
  3. Riding Round-trip on the East River Ferry: I plan on sitting in the shady, covered middle section of the ferry and basking in that delicious river breeze as I take a break from my computer screen and hand write my next blogpost.  Lunch on Governor’s Island might happen, too.  Just sayin’.
  4. Morph My Workday: Incorporating longer studio days that start early in the morning before the heat settles in and stretch into the evening seems like a good way to avoid melting my ambition on the hot walk to my work space.
  5. Ride Trains to Coney Island: Another summer-comfortable venue for writing activities or covertly sketching strangers (not to mention I’m over due for some freak show research).
  6. Channel Your Inner Vampire: This is pretty extreme, and I may not do it, but in a city that never sleeps putting yourself on night shift and sleeping through the heat of the day is a viable option for someone who is self-employed.
  7. Indoor Swimming: I’ll hedge a bet that everyone else is going to be at one of the many, many outdoor pools and that the indoor pools will be less crowded this summer.  Time to get that Greenpoint YMCA membership!
  8. Lounge at the Library: There are plenty of air-conditioned exhibitions, events, and author talks that I look forward to taking advantage of in NYPL branches all over the city.
  9. Adult Only Water Park: I don’t know if there is such a thing here, but this is NYC – the city where anything and everything is possible.  I’m pretty sure someone has started, or is in the process of starting, an exclusively adult water park (if you hear of one, please let me know).
  10. Evening Central Park Walks: There are FIREFLIES!  Fireflies are magical – I never tire of seeing their drunken dance at dusk.  Taking the E train, exiting at 53rd and Lex and detouring to Sprinkles Upper East Side cupcake shop to pick up one of their late July specialty flavours – Lemon Meringue – is mandatory (oh, heck, buy a whole box, this flavor is only available July 17-31. I am not going to judge you).
Night time is the right time for walking through the city.  Queensborough Bridge at dusk (from the Manhattan side).

Night time is the right time for walking through the city. Queensbor0 Bridge at dusk (from Manhattan side).

I’m hoping these strategies will keep my head cool while fulfilling my heart’s desire to play in ways that will inspire me to keep creating, even in the New York summer heat.

Got a few keep-cool tips up your sleeveless shirt? C’mon, I know you do!  Please share your favorite summer city cool tips in the comments below.

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