Carpe sunshine! You’ve still got time to make the most of your summer

You've still got time to be carried away by summer! via Flicker user  Lara Wechsler aka Shveckle Havameyer
You’ve still got time to be carried away by summer! via Flicker user Lara Wechsler aka Shveckle Havameyer

Yeah, I see you. It’s the dawn of August, it’s hot outside, and you’re ready to put a fork in your summer, ‘cause she’s cooked. Memorial Day weekend, so full of summertime promise, feels simultaneously like yesterday and a distant memory. You had a vision for summer 2015, and then, without fail, your weekends filled up as quickly as an affordable housing lottery. And now you’re already writing off those untapped activities as maybe-next-years. Surrender your utensil. I’m here to remind you that there’s still plenty of summer left– and you need to embrace it.

Sure, opening your door now feels like opening the Ark of the Covenant, but I also have a theory (rooted in no science or research) that most of us have been conditioned to feel a sense of dread in August regardless. Way back in your school days, this month meant the party was almost over, you’d be returning to another, older grade, your precious youth, assuredly slipping away. But the good news is that you’re old now, and summer ends when you say so! This time around, don’t get “excited for fall” like a chump when the weather turns ghastly hot for a week. Live in the freaking moment for once in your irreversibly smartphone-addicted life. Here are some pointers for using your summertime wisely, mitigating common regrets, and, as your roommate’s tattoo roughly translates to, seizing the day.

Swim, or at Least Get some QT by the Water
ICYMI, there’s only about one million cool things happening on Brooklyn’s waterfront this summer. The stuff literally has us surrounded, and this is the time of year when being simply a few yards away from water offers much-needed reprieve from the blistering heat. Most importantly, engage in the ultimate short-term, self-serving remedy for climate change… swimming. Go to the ocean, escape to a neighboring lake, immerse yourself in the sublime cerulean artifice of a manmade pool. You definitely aren’t swimming enough, and it’s what summer’s all about.

If you haven't worn jorts yet this summer, you're doing it wrong. Photo by Mary Dorn
If you haven’t worn jorts yet this summer, you’re doing it wrong. Photo by Mary Dorn

Indulge in Some Type of Seasonal Clothing
What’s cooler than being cool? Your workplace in winter!! You’re probably bundled anachronistically when you’re at your job, but that doesn’t mean you always have to subscribe to that weird NYC phenomenon where everyone wears Doc Martens year round. Be sure to get some mileage out of those patterned, sleeveless, cutoff, open-toed articles of clothing you stare at forlornly during the rest of the year. I’d like to see the world in jorts, in perfect harmony.


Have Fun at that Wedding Weekend You’re Like “Eh” About Attending
Yes, that parade of hastily posted iPhone photos depicting engagement rings paired with dubious manicures will eventually give way to a metric shitload of weddings, and many take place in summer. And you’ll be genuinely stoked about blocking off a weekend for most of these, but sometimes, you just aren’t feeling it. Maybe it’s a wedding for a distant cousin that you must attend in interest of family politics, maybe you just got out of a long-term relationship and celebrating someone else’s everlasting love sounds less appealing than waiting in line for a Williamsburg club on Friday night, maybe you just got laid off and are sorely regretting these expensive travel plans. Or maybe the only person you know is your s/o, who’s in the wedding, and the wedding party is sitting Last Supper-style on an elevated platform, so you’re surrounded by strangers at the Table of Misfit Dates.

These situations are all destined to inspire social and financial anxiety, but remember: you’re most likely eating and drinking on someone else’s dime. Enjoy yourself! Capitalize on the open bar, request Cher’s “Believe” until the DJ plays it, hook up with a bridesmaid and/or groomsman.

Don't just talk about visiting City Island, actually get out there and do it. via Fickr user Doug Kerr
Don’t just talk about visiting City Island, actually get out there and do it. via Fickr user Doug Kerr

Spend a Day in that Neighborhood You Always Said You’d “Check Out”
Feel like you’re in a summer rut? The past couple of months have been uneventful, and you really can’t swing an out-of-state trip, music festival, or whatever it is people do this time of year? Why not spend a day in that NYC neighborhood you’ve never been to but always say you’d “like to check out”? We’ve all got one: a spot that’s outside Brooklyn that you know is awesome and want to “make a day of” visiting but haven’t. When a friend asks how you spent your weekend and you regale them with tales of Chinese food in Flushing or City Island seafood, they’ll rue letting their plans hinge on their close proximity to the 2 and 5 trains.

Just Do That Reckless, Impulsive Thing
Okay, so don’t try to jump across the subway tracks. But! Summer inspires a sense of reckless abandon like no other season, so why fight it otherwise? Attend that 3am roof party a friend-of-a-friend is throwing, shirk your obligations (within reason) on a Tuesday and play hooky from your life at the beach (or just work from the beach), agree to go camping and subsist on hot dogs and Narragansett and don’t be ashamed of finding nature underwhelming and itchy, risk your life by riding the Cyclone, delete that terrible person’s number, ask that total stranger for their number, Scratch that, skip the number and make out with the total stranger instead. Just go for it, as long as you remember sunscreen and bug spray and don’t like…kill anyone. (Granted, I am forever mourning the loss of “throw someone in the pool” as one of these options, a shining tradition laid to waste at the dawn of pocket-sized cell phones, lest we forget.)

Remember remember
Remember remember

Don’t Forget About Winter
At this point, the weather has been warm for so long that you’re taking it for granted. You’re attending a party at an apartment a mile from an elevated J train stop like it’s no thing, you’re crossing the threshold to the outdoors with wet hair, you’re no longer taking inventory of auxiliary insulating accoutrements before leaving any given location. Remember winter? Remember how it kept us in its icy clutches for six months and we all said we’d never complain about the heat again? It happens every year, and yet, at the beginning of each winter the cycle being again. “I love seasons, how else could one possibly keep track of time in the year 2015, dealing with drastic changes in weather are what makes us north easterners so hardy, what would I even do with the extra money from only needing one kind of clothes,” and then March rolls in and… it’s still bleak, bone-chilling winter, and you’re talking a big (hollow) game about relocating to one of those (plentiful, less expensive) places with remotely reasonable weather. No, global warming hasn’t submerged us just yet, and we still have to deal with a soul-sucking season that overstays its welcome like an awkward one-night stand with no sense of decorum. Winter makes its own rules. You will be at its mercy. Don’t forget it.

Don't let someone like this ruin your summer. via Rich Kids of Instagram
Don’t let someone like this ruin your summer. via Rich Kids of Instagram

Don’t Be Consumed By Social Media Showoffs
Despite its carefree reputation, summer is secretly the highest-pressure season! I mean, here I am, writing an article telling you not to blow it. No one’s going to take the time to tell you how not to waste winter… because you really can’t. But how can one relax when Instagram seems to have made it mandatory for its users to take at least three lavish, heavily documented vacations and brandish festive drinks in front of improbably fantastic scenes each night? Listen: so what if your ex’s cousin has been to more islands than you knew existed? You’re living on an island, baby. Take that half-assed margarita out onto your fire escape, listen to the roar of waves, crashing from that open hydrant, and soak it all in.

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