The Fashion Girls of 7th Avenue are always easy to spot. They’re skinny little things, with striking angles in strange places. Diet Coke in hand, they wisp down the street. But their faces are a little too sallow, and by the end of the day their chic messy buns often just look… messy.
I don’t envy them, I thought while consuming Taco Bell from the passenger seat of a rented Tahoe. The Fashion Girl in my line of vision was perched on the sidewalk, struggling with an umbrella that refused to open. We drove on and I silently wished her all the best.
A mash-up of Phantogram and Vallis Alps played as we stuffed our faces with “tacos” and “burritos.” Three guys in the backseat laughed at something seemingly hilarious, while a sudden storm exploded in the night sky. The SUV barreled away from the city, the Poconos our distant destination.
In my mind, there’s a jazzy song from the 1920s playing all summer long in New York. The cadence of crowds on-the-go fits the high notes of exploding trumpets; our feet always moving to a four-beat rhythm. But once away from the city's addictive pull, everything slows down...
The next morning I awoke to the smell of bacon rising from the kitchen of our borrowed lake house. My fan hummed as I changed into a bathing suit and shorts—why bother with clothes when it’s that warm? After brushing my teeth, I threw my makeup bag and sundresses into a suitcase, where they would sit for the rest of the weekend.
Ah, freedom. Lashes undone and my hair in a true messy bun, I chowed down on food in the Pennsylvania heat. (And I silently wondered if that Fashion Girl with the pesky umbrella liked being skinny as much as I liked bacon. #BreakfastThoughts)
For the next three days, I didn’t change out of my swim clothes—that’s the beauty of vacation. Yes, there was a shower at some point. But not even an hour went by post-shampoo before I was back in the lake.
We lounged in giant inner tubes by day, collecting golden freckles or weird sunburns. At night we’d cook sizzling burgers and mash limes for homemade margaritas. If you’d peeked into our cottage, you’d have seen coral tee shirts, scuffed up flip-flops, and several gin drinks lying about. Oh… and also a piñata from Walmart.
It’s in these moments that I sense the comfort of summer.
That familiar feeling, charged with nostalgia and the unexpected, haunts me all year. In my admittedly bias opinion, summer is the most tangible of the seasons. It’s salty, sweaty, and the East Coast humidity seeps into your every pore.
But something about warm weather makes us more agreeable to anything of the slightest interest. “Yes” to one more drink; “yes” to seeing the sunrise; “yes” to it all.
Coming back from vacation is always slightly depressing—but at least in July when you return to New York, she welcomes you with a warm, dewy hug. Then that jazzy song in my mind starts playing once again, and the city dances, dances, dances…
The Fashion Girls of 7th Ave. tango with the Finance Boys of Park. Manhattanites drum up their nerve, jiving to hotspots in Brooklyn. Wealthy Upper East Siders salsa off to the Hamptons…
And everyone left just keeps dancing.
As fast as they can.
The city dances, dances, dances—with a cocktail in its hand.