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How Do You Keep Cool?

Buzz Poole
07/26/2011 - 00:00

Summer. It can be too much. Even if you don’t live in a place with scorching summers, you’ve probably been to such a place. It takes a toll. In the desert you have to make like the animals and keep to the shade during the day, limiting movement. In cities, heat and humidity clamp you down, squeezed together against all the other sticky urban denizens. What if going for a swim just isn’t an option? Sure, staying home on the couch as the air conditioner, television and computer skyrocket the electric bill keeps you comfortable, but that gets boring, and expensive. If you’re not at home, do you really want to spend the trip in a hotel room? So what to do? Here are a few outings I’m fond of when I just don’t feel like sweltering but I’m in the mood to get out of the house or the hotel. These are options with an urban bent to be sure. But sometimes you just can’t get out of a city.

Early morning farmers markets: No matter how hot it gets, it’s rare that early morning doesn’t provide some relief. Hitting morning farmers markets not too long after they open you can really smell, see and taste that freshness of the farms and bakeries – it perks the senses. Whether you’re shopping for the week or a picnic lunch, a morning at the market will get your day off to a cool and delicious start.

Museums, bookstores and libraries: All such buildings house culture, and these days most of them are air conditioned. You don’t always have to pay to get in but any price of admission guarantees you hours of climate-controlled enlightenment.

Food courts: Humans thrive on convenience. This has its pros and cons. But indoor food courts – check your visions of Orange Julius at the door – not only provide an abundant range of food to try, but air conditioning that will coax you into taking your time, nibbling, talking with friends. You can keep your taste buds working overtime as you loll about from stall to stall. You might break a sweat but it’s not from the weather, it’s from the spice!

Night moves: After sunset whatever heat remains is tempered by the coming of night and your overheating body finally making it feel almost comfortable. Throw down a blanket, invite some friends, bring a picnic (preferably sourced from your morning market visit) and enjoy a park, or a free screening of a film (a popular summertime offering the world over).

What tricks do you have for keeping cool during the dog days of summer?

 

 

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