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Saying Goodbye to Summer 2011

It happens every year. In April, I make plans for the summer then Labor Day rolls around and I wonder where the time went.

This year was no different. When the weather began to get warm, I planned my summer: free concerts around the city, Shakespeare and other plays in the park, dinners and get togethers with friends at some of our favorite outdoor restaurants, picnics and reading a few books on a blanket in Central Park, watching old movies at twilight in Bryant Park, concerts in Prospect Park, and trying my hands at something different.

Then my friend Elizabeth, who blogs at Mirth and Motivation, posted a few of her music picks and introduced us to Somi, a singer I’d never heard of. Off I went to Google to find her and get more of her music. That’s when I discovered that she performed all over the city this summer, including at Summerstage with, of all people, Hugh Masekela. She also performed in Prospect Park with Oumou Sangaré and Seun Anikulapo Kuti.

Where was I and how did I miss these? I usually have my ear to the ground and a good network that keeps me up to date on happenings in the city. Whatever I miss, they catch. What happened?

Looking back, it feels like I did nothing. But I know I did. I must have. Or else, how would I have gotten to September without driving myself nuts?

Summer underscores how fleeting time is. To counter the notion that I did nothing, I went back to April in my mind to see what I did.

There were a few highlights. The biggest, my two weeks in London and Paris and meeting my new nephew; antiquing in Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA; seeing the Spanish Gardens exhibition at the New York Botanical Gardens, and discovering new places and new restaurants close to home.

But the one thread that ran through my entire summer was the preparation for my sabbatical in Jamaica. I haven’t started writing about it yet because there’s much that I’m dealing with, emotionally and psychically, and I want to respect the process. There are a few more things to put in place but once they are, I promise I’ll share.

In the meantime, please enjoy these selections from Somi, who I’m listening to as I write – Ulale Malaika Wangu and Ingele.


5 Things To Do When The Temperature Hits 100 Degrees

What to do when the temperature in hits 100 degrees?

Reach for cover and do these five things:

1. Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothes and limit strenuous outdoor activities.

2. Slather on the sunscreen. The highest rating is generally best but minimum SPF35.

3. Wear a floppy hat.

4. Drink lots of water. Add a twist of lemon or lime for flavor.

5. Carry a hand or mini electrical fan – perfect for times when you have to wait on a hot platform for the subway.

My favorite summer hat -- Maynefoto

The warm weather doesn’t stick around very long so enjoy it as much as you can.