By Jared Chausow
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6. Screw your diet.
Without even trying, you will lose somewhere between zero and seven pounds this summer because you are constantly sweating and eating and drinking only the coldest of liquid-based consumables. Should you have the strength to take in solid food, you will still burn more calories than in cooler months with your daily schleps in the out-of-doors. Combine that with the slenderness-rendering fact that your clothing choices are so minimal as to be "not quite" nudist, and you can stash your diet books away, or use them to bolster your new window A.C., for the summer.
7. Summer wardrobes.
Shorts. Rompers. Tiny dresses. Flip-flops. Tank tops. Ponytails. Hats. Jorts. Cutting things off on the spur of the moment and wearing them just because you can. The fashion free-for-all of New York City is at its most vibrant in the summer months, when you can remain confident that whatever crazy color-blind minimalistic getup you pull over your summer self will attract the attention of virtually no one, because we are New Yorkers. Related: Toward the end of summer, your feet will finally become impervious to the tortures of seasonal shoe changes, which is good because you and your local Duane Reade will both be out of Band-Aids.
8. You own the city.
Even if you never leave town this summer, it will feel like you did, because all of the other people who clutter your local coffee shop or night spot or favorite restaurant or gym during the rest of the year will depart to alternate locales in the Hamptons or Nantucket or the Vineyard or Newport or the Jersey Shore. And you will be here, and the city with its suddenly oddly quiet streets and wide-open sidewalk spaces and restaurants and bars with novel room to move ("Party of two? Have a booth!") will feel like your own in a way that winter, spring, or fall never allow.
9. You will do new things.
All of this ownership and lack of having to stand in line will entice you into the unknown, because everything is suddenly more accessible, and because—why not?—it's summer. It's about new things. This is your opportunity to break the chains that keep New Yorkers stressed and overachieving in our regular non-summer lives. Do something carefree. You have three months.
10. You also own the country.
Unless you are a terrible person, someone will probably invite you to a destination outside of the city for at least one weekend, and there will be a pool, or some body of water, and you will dive in and feel the cool water coursing over your skin, and you will believe you can do anything for as long as you are there—maybe even move out to the country permanently; that's how incredible it is—until you drive back on Sunday night and are stuck on the Long Island Expressway for six hours.
11. You can rationalize anything.
It's way too hot to cook! You can have any meal, whatever type of cuisine you like, delivered to your apartment within 30 minutes. It's way too hot to walk! You can take an air-conditioned cab. It's way too hot to do anything! So don't . . . everything you need is already right here. Also, summer in New York is justification for all the cheap pedicures you ever wanted.
12. People-watching gets even better.
People outside will behave even more entertainingly crazy than usual. Hot weather seems to have this effect on people. Amusing summer sights may include people taking off all their clothes in the middle of the street, women and men hula-hooping in tandem, drunks falling off or onto things, Oompa-Loompa tans, men in Speedos, hipsters sweating profusely in skinny jeans, beards, and fedoras, and adults raging like children over the metaphorical demise of whatever proverbial ice cream cone they wanted but didn't get. Also: summer makeouts!
13. Pray for a blackout.
Remember August 14, 2003, when the city suddenly came to a halt with no electricity, and we made our way home, slowly, carefully, lacking street lights or public transportation, and then went out adventuring with flashlights among crowds of people similarly displaced and disoriented by the major infrastructure failure? We gasped at seeing New York in unprecedented dark, we had our flashlight ownership challenged, and then we returned home and made boxed macaroni on our gas stove, took cold showers by candlelight, and drank all the booze we had remaining in the house. These are things we will tell the grandkids, should we ever have them.
14. There is pride in suffering.
You can't deny a certain joy in suffering all together, at once. Take that moment your eyes meet those of a strange, handsome man on the subway as you simultaneously enter the train and feel the reviving blast of cold air upon your sun-crisped skin, and you sigh in joy and relief and know that he is doing and feeling the same, whoever he is. But then he gives you a weird look and he's totally picking his nose, so you put your iPod on and vow to refrain from subway eye contact for the rest of the season.