Today is the first day to remind me that sometimes it can be too hot outside. It’s not too hot outside now, but after winter I think that warm always equals better and can’t conceptualize the sizzling, too-hot heat. Anyway, it kind of almost feels like summer now and this makes me think of several things.
1. Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises is one of my favorite books and for whatever reason I have an urge to read it every summer. I’m also just finishing up A Moveable Feast right now and if you haven’t read it you need to immediately. I know some people don’t like it, but I love Hem’s prose. Maybe it is the way he writes that makes me associate him with summer. It’s so simple and solid;
2. Outdoor markets. Europeans really have the market thing nailed. There are great markets in New York and elsewhere, but I am always impressed with the ubiquity and quality of European markets. My parents took me to Western Europe every summer as a child, so when the weather starts getting warm I always want to go find one. I want fresh mozzarella from a friendly cheesemonger, tomatos that smell like a farm from a happy, wrinkly old woman, flowers from a happy-go-lucky young Italian boy… you get the idea.
3. Summer jams. Some music is just more summery than other music. Warm weather often reminds me of high school favorites like O.A.R. and Dave Matthews Band and those big, lazy summer concert tours. Right now summer has me thinking about these two albums: Discovery’s LP (no really it’s called LP) and Surfer Blood’s Astro Coast. LP came out last July and is a great, short summer album. Discovery is composed of Wes Miles from Ra Ra Riot and Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend (two of my favorite bands). It’s definitely more experimental than either band’s other work, but it’s not so experimental that you can’t enjoy it while flipping burgers or as you sink into a nap on the beach. Astro Coast is actually a winter album, released this January, but I am late on the bandwagon and am just listening to it and it feels summery to me. They are a little bit Weezer, a little bit Vampire Weekend, and a lot of something new. The music makes me want to roll down the car windows and crank up the volume. You know… if I had a car and lived somewhere where it’s pleasant to drive.
4. Tan lines.
5. Navy with white polka dots.
6. Getting drunk on the beach.