The following is my newsletter, i.e. the “dispatch.” It’s totally free, arriving in your inbox semi-weekly. Subscribe here.

As much as I love a beach or a weekend getaway to the country (and I really do), I also love the city in the summer. In the wake of the Friday mass exodus, flooding expressways and railways with weekenders headed for a Hampton or a Catskill, I really enjoy my urban milieu in its more relaxed and accessible summer state. 

For one thing, it’s easier to get a table or a seat at the bar in my favorite restaurants and cafés around town. And aside from my daily morning walks with the dogs in Central Park, I revel in the simple joy of reading a good book under the shade of a tree, or catching a few rays in the sun (with the appropriate SPF, of course).

Beyond my usual bike rides around the loop in the park, I also love going up and down the bike path on the Hudson River, often stopping at Pier I Cafe at West 70th Street on the river to indulge in a tasty lobster roll or fish & chips, accompanied by their signature blueberry lemonade, which changed my life when I first tasted it years ago.

Big Gay Ice Cream? Van Leeuwen? Always better in the summer, of course. And the movies? There’s a reason summer blockbuster season is such a thing. One of my happiest places is sitting in a darkened theater with an ice cold soda, popcorn, and Twizzlers. And while we all love air-conditioning in the summer swelter, there’s something special about movie theater air-conditioning. (Don’t ask me to explain that.)

And speaking of air-conditioning, I love to literally chill with the dogs in my humble one-bedroom on the Upper West Side, just far enough away from any of the terribly popular or cool city features that attract more people than I’m in the mood for, particularly during the summer. And when I do venture to another part of town on the subway, the transition from a sauna-like subway platform onto the cool of an air-conditioned train car is a glorious one that provides a very particular pleasure. 

Though I have to work, there is a noticeable lightening in my labors during summer vacation season. More than any other season, summer allows me more opportunities to do absolutely nothing and find some quiet relief from any obligations to answer to anyone, which is real luxury, as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes it’s for a whole day. Sometimes it’s for a few hours or much less. 

Whenever and however these mini staycations happen, I take them. And they’re fabulous. And I love that I get to do it in New York City, my favorite place in the world and the place that – during the summer – practically feels like it’s all mine. 

Weekend Mode

Paul Newman and Robert Redford, photographed by Lawrence Schiller

Weekend Watch

Brats (2024), directed by Andrew McCarthy.

When a 1985 New York Magazine cover story by David Blum dubbed a group of hot young actors the “Brat Pack,” it changed their careers and their lives, and not necessarily for the better. This documentary follows Andrew McCarthy reuniting with and interviewing fellow Brat Packers to answer: What did it mean to be part of the Brat Pack?

Starring Andrew McCarthyDemi MooreRob LoweEmilio EstevezAlly SheedyJon Cryer, and David Blum.

Streaming on Hulu.

Weekend Listens

Weekend Reading

“The Friday Afternoon Club” (2024) by Griffin Dunne

Further Refinement…

19 Movies We’re Most Excited About This Summer | NPR

No, Threads Isn’t Twitter. It Has the Potential to Be Better. | Tim Fullerton – Medium

Apple Intelligence: iPhone Maker Takes Control With Its Own AI Vision | Financial Times

How To Make Your Cologne Last Longer | Robb Report

We Need Congestion Pricing, and Kathy Hochul Blew It | New York Magazine

Science-Backed Tips to Lose Weight Fast and Sustainably | Healthline

Griffin Dunne’s Hollywood-Irish Family Had It’s Grudges | Vulture

A little favor…

This little blog, my social media nonsense and my occasional podcast run on elbow grease, midnight oil and the frequent bad idea. Access is totally free. Any help you can give so I can continue to produce content and keep the lights on would be immensely appreciated. There is a one-time support option or a recurring subscription through Patreon, which also features exclusive content like my one-man podcast ‘Hahn, Solo’. Thank you so much!!!

Comments are closed.