Sssssssssssssss. The sizzle is back. Temperatures are on the rise, and so is that giddy, school's-out, let's-play anticipation of summer. What's hot besides the weather, what's coming up besides the mercury? Well, loosen your tie, kick off your shoes, cut your shorts even shorter, start inflating that huge float for the pool . . . and we'll tell you.
toned arms/big breasts
Perot campaign/Republican and Democratic conventions
in-line skating/bungee jumping
the incredible flying feats of Orioles outfielders/the incredible absence of a new contract for Cal
big Jackie O sunglasses/Wayfarers
tan from a tube/tan from the sun
giant "soaker" water pistols (except in Boston)/opening fire hydrants (everywhere)
Oriental rugs/sisal rugs taking the kids to fun restaurants/blowing the expense account at fancy restaurants
bathing suits with underwire tops/the ones that squeeze you an inch thinner
backyard barbecues/catered affairs
grilled vegetables/genetically altered produce
Lucite jewelry/tennis bracelets
Catalan cuisine/gloppy Mexican food
adventure vacations/resort vegetations
& juicers/Salad Shooters So Springsteen and U2 sold out before you could say "Ticketmaster." They're not the only things happening this summer.
The hottest of the hot, of course, are Orioles' tickets. "I would concentrate on games in July, August and September now," said O's spokesman Rick Vaughn. "Also, weekdays are easier than )) weekends. And don't forget, every night we sell 275 standing-room-only tickets, which are $3 each and a real bargain."
Viva Las Vegas! If you're planning to slither down to Pier Six to catch Wayne Newton on July 2, act now -- tickets to his show are currently the fastest seller in that Inner Harbor concert series.
On the other side of the spectrum: this year's Lollapalooza concert at Lake Fairfax in Alexandria on Aug. 14. Last year's group-hoot, a sort of Generation X Woodstock, featured Jane's Addiction, Siouxsie and the Banshees and other bands that are too hip for us to share with you. This year, the red-hot Red Hot Chili Peppers will join Lush and Pearl Jam, among others, and Ice Cube will stand in for last year's Ice T.
Stay tuned for local hero Anita Nall to make a splash at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, which run from July 25 to Aug. 9. If you can hang on until July, that's when Lee's Ice Cream Factory starts churning out its fresh peach ice cream, says Bryan Soronson, the Pikesville-based ice cream maven. And, this year, Ben & Jerry's is selling a frozen yogurt version of its popular Cherry Garcia ice cream, Mr. Soronson notes.
Average temperature in the city, June, July and August, 1991: 81.5
Number of 100-degree days in Baltimore City during that time: 6.
In the counties: 2.
Number of 90-degree days in the city: 56. At the airport: 49.
Number of 90-degree days in the city so far this year: 3.
Cool places to drink: Mount Washington Tavern's tile-floored sun room
No Way Jose after work
Cross Street Market on Friday night
Cool places to eat:
Paolo's patio on the Harbor Troia's in Towson
Spike & Charlie's (or is it Henry & Jeff's?)
Weber's in Canton
Tabrizi's back yard in Federal Hill
The new coffee cafes around town
Every summer, some slightly silly drink becomes the defining drink of the season. Remember "melon balls" and "sex on the beach"?
This year, bartender Nathan Beveridge tells us, you might try one of the special Oriole-themed drinks being served at the upstairs and downstairs bars at the Peabody Hotel.
Long-ball lemonade: Jack Daniels, triple sec, Sweet and Sour mix, three juices and a splash of 7-Up.
Curve-ball Kool-Aid: Razzmatazz liqueur, triple sec, vodka and juices.
The Ripken Rocket (or, everything but milk): Vodka, rum, amaretto, Southern Comfort, grenadine and juices. "You get the MVP for drinking it," Mr. Beveridge said with a laugh.
HALF-CAF CAP ON ICE, PLEASE
For that daily jolt, summer-style, take your coffee -- be it de-caf, espresso, cappuccino or any combo thereof -- iced. Linda Richardson, proprietor of Cafe Montage in Mount Vernon, has this tip when you're making any iced drink: Make ice cubes out of the drink itself to avoid the dreaded, diluting meltdown effect. That's what she does for her fresh lemonade and iced cappuccino.
CHILLY SCENES OF SUMMER
The coolest place in town is probably your local movie theater. Here are the Big Screen's upcoming big ones:
"Cool World," with Kim Basinger as a two-dimensional cartoon character sprung out into three. (Question: How can you tell the
"A League of Their Own," Madonna and Geena Davis as the babes of summer.
"Batman Returns" opens today with Michael Keaton the 'man and assorted anthropomorphs like Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as the Penguin.
"Unforgiven," Clint Eastwood's return to his native genre, the western.
"One Hot Summer," this year's chance to catch a glimpse of Baltimore as background, this time to nymphet of the moment, Juliette Lewis, in a tale of teen-age love in the 1960s. A good book can make you forget it's too darned hot to exert any more effort than it takes to turn a page.
You could spend your summer -- your entire summer plus some of fall, too -- reading Richard Ben Cramer's 1,047-page opus on the 1988 campaign, "What It Takes."
We'll probably be wasting brain cells on more idiosyncratic tomes: "Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg," by Barry Williams. Behind the scenes at the inexplicably enduring "Brady Bunch."
"Clockers," by Richard Price. A bristling tale of crack dealers and the cops who chase them.
"I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional," by Wendy Kaminer. Maybe you're not the victim, but the problem itself, this anti-self-help book posits. "Blue Calhoun," by Reynolds Price. Because it just wouldn't be summer without one of his Southern sagas.