After a grueling winter, it felt like summer was reluctant to appear. A couple weeks of chilly rain, interrupted by a couple of random 90 degree-plus days was hardly what I had been waiting for for six months. Finally, as if sensing a holiday weekend approaching, the skies opened up and bestowed a soft warm glow upon Manhattan joined by a cool breeze to whisk away all of those delightful city smells and leave only a rustling of trees in its wake. That laid-back summer feeling I had been so desperately longing for is here at last. I’ve been allowing myself to drift in and out of daydreams of my childhood summers, that beautifully undisturbed time in my memory when everything was at it should be. Languorous days spend at the pool topped by Papa John’s pizza and a steamy afternoon thunderstorm provided a perfect excuse for a movie night with friends and a bottomless bucket of chilled watermelon to drip down my chin. Sun-induced naps in the hammock with a book splayed across my freckled chest, it all just felt so easy, like life would always be like this. While summers in the city are definitely different than the Floridian summers of my childhood, they are no less special. The crisp, lush smell of trees in Central Park, evenings spent on rooftops with friends, and just the sheer anticipation of the mere hope of summer makes this season feel like an annual months-long festival where everyone is invited. And of course, one of the best things about New York in summer is the chance to get away. Day trips to the Hudson, afternoons at the Rockaways, weekends in the Hamptons; most people love New York City summer because it means they won’t be in New York. Though I generally prefer weekends spent in the city, ambling through West Village and generally exploring, weekend, Rob and I decided to hop out of town just for an afternoon to New Canaan, Connecticut. Funny how our idea of a getaway is a no-frills suburb where most people who live there commute into Manhattan. But the uber-preppy interior design shops, Colonial-style homes, and a gelato shop to satisfy my sweet tooth was just what I wanted on a sunny day. Four hours in, though, and we were happy to be heading home. I’m finding that maintaining a balance of getting out and seeing new things really does make coming home that much sweeter. Yesterday, though, I couldn’t have been happier to enjoy an overcast, cool day listening to classical music, reading books and baking my favorite strawberry tart for the day’s 4th of July festivities. A recipe found on one of my favorite cooking sites, it’s super easy and makes a lovely presentation for a neighborhood barbecue. Hope everyone made some wonderful summer memories this 4th of July!
One of the many perks of living on the Upper East Side is our proximity to Central Park. And while I’m sure most New Yorkers would note that as a plus, we always hear our friends in the neighborhood saying that they never go to the park or haven’t been to the Met in years. But every chance we get, when the sun is out, Robert and I take leisurely strolls or take the opportunity to explore hidden areas or just pack a quick picnic, as we did this weekend.
With weather spiking to 78, we knew that most of the city would be there. The general excitement of a long impending summer filled with popsicles and games of frisbee was tangible and so nice to witness. I packed my strawberries and whipped cream, some Syrah soaked creamy cheddar and picked up a baguette along the way, making for a perfect midday snack. We found a big shady tree, parked our picnic blanket, and spent the next two hours lounging in breezy bliss.
I can’t explain how nice it felt to wear a light, white, strappy dress!
You never know what you might come across in Central Park. On a Sunday stroll two weekends ago, Rob and I were walking around the pond near 59th St. and saw a big crowd of people dressed in Sunday whites. We assumed it was a wedding, but as we got closer, we figured out it was some kind of charity event with potato sack races, ballerinas, and an old school jazz band. And walking towards us, taking pictures of the whole thing, was Bill Cunningham!
Now, first I have to explain a similar encounter we had a month or so before to make what I’m about to say somewhat sensical. We had also been walking to the park, and as we passed the Frick, I noticed a woman wearing an eccentric outfit stepping into the museum’s side entrance. A millisecond later, Rob and I registered the presence of another figure clad in his trademark blue smock and we turned to each other and let out a dramatic simultaneous gasp as we recognized the legendary street style photographer and immediately burst out laughing. I keep thinking it would have made a hilarious picture if somewhat had caught our ridiculous expressions with Bill in the background.
The moment was so fitting as Rob had just watched the documentary Bill Cunningham New York (I saw it first when it came out in theaters last year) and we found it so inspiring that even at 84, and after all the press and the hype surrounding the film, he’s still doing exactly what he’s always done. For anyone who has any interest in the history of New York, photography, or street style, I highly recommend it.
So, the second time around, what does my adorable boyfriend do? Oh, you know, just gasp audibly again, but this time, Bill caught the look and yanked his head over to us to see what he had done to cause such a stir. So embarrassing, and completely hi-larious!
Next time I hope to have my camera at the ready to immortalize Rob’s starstruck expression. Priceless.