Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hot Times, Summer in the City

Dudes.  It is really flipping hot here in Beantown.  Guess we picked the wrong week to move away from the beach.  It is the kind of muggy, oppressive heat that pretty much incapacitates you and makes your limbs feel like lead.  I am so happy to be back here, and have so much to download about the move, the new 'hood, and a tasty little 4th of July beverage I concocted and dubbed "The Freedom Fizzy", but I'm sorry, right now I am too hot to put that many coherent sentences together.  And any recipe I would write today would go something like this:  Turn on stove.  Decide you'd be insane to cook in this weather.  Turn off stove. Eat cold cereal for dinner. Finish with ice cream. So instead, I've decided to bring you...
SMJ's Guide to Ways to Keep Cool in Boston for $10 or less
When packing up for the beach is not an option, these are our next best ideas...
1) The Children's Playspace at the Atrium Mall is awesome.  Tidy, well-appointed and filled with fun kids and awesome moms and caregivers all looking to stay cool, this was a perfect place for Baby J to get out his morning antsies today.  There is a lounge for resting and snacking, a bathroom pimped out with a super-nice changing table, and plenty of sweet, sweet air-conditioning. Normally, I despise malls, but today, I was loving that cool air, and even the soothing, ambient mall muzak.  (Cost: As long as you can keep your wallet in your pocket as you pass Crewcuts, Baby Gap and, most dangerously for me, the huge, gorgeous Anthropologie mothership that is right next door, this play experience is totally FREE).
 Baby J in "Stroller Parking" at the Mall.
2) Large iced coffee from City Feed and Supply, my fave new neighborhood coffee and lunch joint.  Doors open at 7am, which is a blessed thing when you've been up most of the night and since dawn (someone is still adjusting to sleeping in his new home).  The coffee is fair trade and fantastic.  (Cost: $2.57 for the coffee, but neighborhood gossip, fabulous people watching and sweet, sweet air conditioning are all FREE)
3) Three words: Ice Cold Grapes (Cost: about 3 bucks for the organic ones at Trader Joes's, but sharing them with the baby is priceless).

4) Another Trader Joe's related three words: Indaba Sauvignon Blanc.  Served iced cold 'round quitting time, there is nothing better. It goes very well with almost any cheese and crackers, or chips and salsa, and it pairs well with a nice green salad, which is a great dinner option in this weather... I'm loving baby greens with sliced strawberries and orange peppers, crumbled feta and balsamic vinaigrette. (Cost: Less than $6/bottle from TJ's!!! And I swear it doesn't taste like it. Not bad for a crisp and drinkable white which "shows focused dried herbal flavors with an accent of tart citrus and a fresh and lively aftertaste."  Indeed.).

5)  The Boston Department of Conservation and Recreation maintains several "spray decks" for kids in parks across the city, the most famous of which is the Frog Pond on the Boston Common.
I am still getting over my personal fear that these places are nothing but festering tetanus swamps, and I have some time to continue letting that notion go, as Baby J is still just a bit too small to fend for himself in one of these aquatic free-for-alls.  However, there are two of these beauties within 5 blocks of our house, and all the kids in them look cool, calm and comfy.  As soon as his walk is a bit more steady, I can totally see us being spray deck junkies.  (Cost: Free + $10 co-pay for tetanus shot).

The weatherman on the evening news said that today was the hottest day Boston has seen in the last decade or so, and that the heat wave isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so I sense a series coming on here.  Stay tuned for more heat remedies, and several ideas for amazing whole-dinner salads, which we are seriously rocking around here these days.  There's nothing better than a complete and delicious meal which involves little to no work around the stove.    

That's all for now.  The sun has set here, and so have the last of my functional brain cells.
Stay cool, my friends.


  1. C dressed M in his finest spf suit and took him to the frog pond on Monday. M loved it and would have never left, apparently. - Signed, Pa.

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