It’s great to be a hottie, no question. But are you a hottie or a nottie when sweat rivulets cascade down your back? When your thighs stick together? When you can hardly breathe in the sauna that’s a New York City summer?

Baby powder and bare shoulders can only do so much. And you’re probably not likely to be carrying the kind of fan that Scarlett O’Hara wielded so fetchingly – not that it would help much, anyway. So what should you do when you’re grouchy and gritty, and can’t wait for the sun to set? Summer days are not to be wasted, my friends. They are for frolicking, carefree.

Here’s how.

1. First of all, that water bottle that you carry everywhere? Put it in the freezer every night. All day long it will be a brick of ice to shock you wherever you place it. As it melts, you can savor its arctic goodness.

2. You know those fans that you had in camp? The ones that looked like propellers? Some of them even come with water sprays now. Doubles the effect. 

3. On second thought, don’t go nostalgic. Get the new fans, the kind that look like miniature Vornados, complete with safety grilles. They make them so you can wear them like a necklace of chill. Aim that baby at anyone and they’ll look like they’re in a video with Steve Tyler back in the day.

4. There’s also a new magical device that you put in the freezer, then drape around your neck. With a frigid neck, I promise you won’t think of anything else but brrrr. Not persuaded? They’re using them on dogs now. Dogs get very hot in the summer. In case you haven’t noticed, they have fur. If they use them on dogs, they must be good. And they are. For added fun, you can put one on someone else’s neck by surprise – the modern day equivalent to an ice cube down the back. You’ll be not only cool, you’ll be popular, too.

5. For active types, head to the skating rink. There’s a wonderful one at Chelsea Piers, where you can rent skates, take lessons, and forget what season you’re in. The Piers are also a great place to grab an iced coffee and sit outside, catching the waterside breezes.

6. Sprinklers anywhere are fun. Don’t be shy. Fountains, too. Pretend you’re in an Italian movie and jump in. It’s amazing how a little splash of water changes everything from drab to dolce vita. Honestly, any water activity is great!


7. Movie theaters are an all-purpose refuge from any weather. They’re especially wonderful in the summer, with powerful air conditioning, soothing darkness, and mindless blockbusters that will take you away.

8. Museums are airy sanctuaries punctuated by pictures. You can chill (in every sense of the word) in front of the masters, or go to the wonderful roof garden at the Metropolitan Museum and catch a breeze.

9. Summer is the time to go out for lunch. Even the humble coffee shop can provide a brief vacation from the heat. Have a root beer float at the counter. That combo – chilled glass, tall spoon, straw, and frozen goodness – is summer at its best.


10. If all else fails, go shopping. That advice works on many levels, and it works here, too. Shopping is indoors, where the air conditioning lives. So do it on every block. With a cold pack on your neck, sprinklered feet, and a bottle of melting ice water in each hand, you’re sure to look like – and be – a very cool customer.