33 Reasons We Can't Help Loving Summer in the City

Even when it doesn't love us

25. The wretched, singular scent of New York in summer.
Deny it all you want, but the foul odor that you're kvetching about has a special place in our collective consciousness. Years from now, when you live somewhere else, that smell will waft past you randomly—pigeon poop plus rancid garbage plus something fishy, plus feet, plus exhaust, plus a zesty vinaigrette of the combined odor of 8 million humans, overlaid with a dash of sweet-'n'-sour chicken and garlic escargot—and it will make your heart hurt with nostalgia.

26. You are surrounded by beaches.
Brighton Beach, Coney Island Beach, Jones Beach, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Orchard Beach, Jacob Riis Park, Rockaway Beach, South Beach, and more, many of which you can get to via easy public transport for just a day—even a few hours, if you like. That's not counting the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, or Fire Island. So what are you complaining about?

27. In fact, we are on an island.
It may not always seem it, but water is everywhere around us. On a hot, windy day, you can sit on a dock without ever leaving the city and feel like you're at the ocean's edge, the briny scent of ocean rushing up at you, and for good measure, maybe a couple of dead fish floating below. Don't put your feet in, but you can watch the sailboats pass by and hear seagulls overhead and feel gloriously coastal anyway. Or take a ferry from Manhattan to Red Hook, or even to Staten Island, the sun on your back, wind in your hair, a cold beer in your hand.

Britt Ernst

28. Outdoor living.
There are more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs. You must experience the unique NYC joy of simmering in your own juices in the middle of the Great Lawn of Central Park—surrounded by people in various stages of undress, listening for the call of the surreptitious drinks guy who swings through at regular intervals, trying not to get hit by a Frisbee, and generally enjoying the sights, human, natural, and architectural—at least once in your New York City career.

29. New York City is for drinking.
And summer is its time to shine. It's rosé season. Margarita season. Pink lemonade and vodka season. Bud Light–in-a-giant-styrofoam-container-that-you-can-sip-through-a-straw-in-your-local-park-and-not-attract-the-attention-of-the-cops season. While winter in the city is focused on conservation of heat and consumption of red wine, summer in the city is an outward explosion of inner warmth, the perfect time to drink on patios and at sidewalk cafés and watch people watch you back, sweatily, sexily, with beer goggles.

30. Thunderstorms in the city.
These are the absolute best thunderstorms, and the absolute best place to hide out in a summer thunderstorm is in your own apartment, or that of someone you love, under the sheets, the air conditioner turned up high enough to cool but not so high as to drown out the thunder and lightning outside.

31. You have more options than time.
Ever the reality of New York living, this becomes a special debacle in the months when it's still light out when you leave the office and you're faced with literally hundreds of options of what you could do. There are nearly 200 places to get ice cream in Manhattan alone! Not to mention museums, galleries, stores, restaurants, libraries, bars, movie theaters, theater-theaters, salons, spas, and lobster pounds. Of course, you knew that already. That's why you live here.

32. Life becomes a vacation.
At some point in August, the breakneck pace of city existence will simply fade away, and we will briefly cease to be so New York. A wait in the snail's-pace what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-people drugstore line, for instance, is a chance to simply be still and cool for a few extra minutes. Everyone who isn't ensconced in country houses for the month will stop trying to do much of anything but exist in peace and dense, sweltering harmony together, and that will seem almost like a vacation, and not unlike a dream.

33. Fall will come soon enough.
In the meantime, make your New York summer whatever you want it to be, because you can. Six months from now, the grass will no longer be green.

Until then, the rules are suspended.

jdoll@villagevoice.com / @thisisjendoll

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