Summer is far and above my favorite season. Adam likes to joke that I’m like a solar powered device that comes to life again after being in the sun.. and he’s not wrong. This city comes alive in a different way too and I love the way that the longer days and warm nights loosens everyone up – an extra long lunch break in the park.. one more drink at a rooftop bar. It’s the season of outdoor concerts and the Pride parade and spontaneous trips to Rockaway beach. Or at least it was.

This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and I have no idea what this city will look like over the next few months. And while I want to optimistically believe that we can bounce back in a big way – I also don’t want to set myself up for heartbreak over cancelled plans. So instead I’ve come up with a new set of summer plans. It’s perhaps not as grand as in year’s past, but there are plenty of things to look forward to – no matter what lies ahead for New York.

  • Find a place to hear outdoor music. Even if it’s just a jazz band in Washington Square Park. While I’m at it – keep up with my amateur ukulele lessons so I can make my own music. I’ve admittedly only mastered a handful of chords and one basic song so far.
  • Go for a long drive. I haven’t left this island in three months and this summer I know I’ll want a change of scenery even if it’s only for the afternoon. Even if we only get a lobster roll to-go and then get back in the car.
  • Make an epic summer reading list. Remember when you used to have required reading over the summer in school? Kind of like that but filled with books I can’t wait to dive into instead. See what I’ve been reading lately here.
  • I’d love to master a good “summer dessert” – when I was a kid my Mom had a few go-to recipes and when I think of warm weather cook-outs and having friends over for pool parties I still can taste those desserts. I’d love to have a signature dessert dish of my own.
  • Celebrate Pride Month – even though there won’t be a big parade this year I want to find ways to support the LGBTQ community. So far I’ve thought of two easy ways: Purchase a few books by LGBTQ authors to support their work in the publishing world and take the money we might otherwise have spent the day of the parade (last year we went out for a fun brunch and hit up a couple of bars) by donating to a charity instead. I’ve heard great things about It Gets Better.
  • Pack a picnic and take it up to Central Park. We actually just did this for my birthday and it was so lovely, I want to be sure we get back there plenty of times this summer and explore new, off the beaten path areas of the park. For those who aren’t that familiar – Central Park is truly huge at over 800 acres so even after all these years there are parts I haven’t seen.
  • Increase my monthly savings goals. Adam and I are both incredibly fortunate to have kept our jobs through all of this and if we can’t do as much this summer in terms of going to concerts, traveling, etc. – the silver lining will be that we can add more to our savings. So that when we can actually plan our next big adventure, we’ll already have the funds set aside.
  • Work on writing my novel. I’ve mentioned this a few times before and while I have no idea if it will ever go anywhere, I have a loose outline of the story and some short snippets so far. I’d love to take a more formal writing class (maybe online) at some point too.
  • Spend time at the lake house. We haven’t felt comfortable going out there yet (and Adam’s family has been spending time there on and off during quarantine so we didn’t want to risk it), but I’m hoping that schedules allow us to visit for a few weekends at the very least.

May it be a summer of reveling in the little things.