Hot stuff: how to keep summer simmering

UP FRONT

September 06, 2001|By Helen B. Jones | Helen B. Jones,SUN STAFF

No matter that the calendar says it has another two weeks to go. It ended Monday - Labor Day - right after the State Fair called it a wrap, and the last coals burned out at holiday barbecues everywhere.

Summer is over. The kids are back in school, winter coats are on the racks in department stores and Halloween costumes are on display already.

It just doesn't feel like summer after the first of September. Never has. What a bummer. Talk about your end-of-season letdown.

But wait! Who says summer has to end before it officially does? The same people who say you can't wear white after Labor Day, no doubt. Well, forget those fuddy-duddies. Right here, right now, we're going to break the rule and extend the fun parts of summer (heat, humidity and haze need not apply).

Following are 20 hot suggestions for keeping you in a summer state of mind right up to the end of September. Come Oct. 1, you're on your own.

1 Make a tape or CD of hit summer-themed music and play it often and loudly. Include Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime," the Loving Spoonful's "Summer in the City," Kool & the Gang's "Summer Madness," Billy Stewart's version of "Summertime," Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime," Seals and Croft's "Summer Breeze" and "Summer Nights" from Grease.

2 Hang out with the boys of summer. Sorry, Orioles, I'm talking the New York Yankees here. They're the big-league baseball team to watch, even if there's no love lost between Baltimore and the Big Apple. Get over the sunk season of the O's and make your way to the Bronx. At this time, box-office tickets are available only for the Yanks' series with the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The team's three-day finale with the Orioles is sold out, of course. (Even Yankee fans want to give Cal his due.) Call 718-293-6000. Be the first on your block to say you saw the New York Yankees in New York a few weeks before they won the 2001 World Series. (And pssst, if you figure out a way to get tickets for the O's games, tell me!)

3 Spend Sunday mornings at the Baltimore Farmers' Market. Say goodbye to summer's corn, cantaloupes and cukes, and hello to September's bounty: nectarines, greens and sweet potatoes. And pick up some herbs, cheeses, breads, meats and more while you're there. The market, located under the Jones Falls Expressway viaduct at Holliday and Saratoga streets, is open from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 410-837-4636.

4 Check out these capsule reviews of Sun movie critic Michael Sragow's favorite summer-themed flicks, and then find them on television or go out and rent the videos. Summer With Monika is Ingmar Bergman's sensual and absorbing story of the fleeting ecstasy that a teen-age boy and girl (Lars Ekborg and Harriet Andersson) experience on an island escape. Smiles of a Summer Night, another Bergman classic, turns mature erotic angst into blissful yet bittersweet high comedy. Summer Stock, starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, is the ultimate we've-got-a-barn, let's-put-on-a-show musical. Dog Day Afternoon is Sidney Lumet's movie about a misfit (Al Pacino) who tries to pull off a bank robbery on a sweltering day only to see his plan become deadly New York street theater. Summertime is a scintillating soap opera starring Katharine Hepburn as a proper American tourist in Venice who falls into a conflicted romance with suave native Rossano Brazzi.

5 Saddle up for a car-free bike ride in Washington on Sunday, Sept. 23. You read that right. You can take a 20- or 32-mile two-wheel tour of the nation's capital on roads that will be 100 percent closed to motor-vehicle traffic. The routes pass historic neighborhoods, landmark monuments and the city's waterfront. Registration fee is $35 adults, $10 children 6 to 12. Riders may start anytime between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. A post-ride party takes place from noon to 3 p.m. at the start/finish area: 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest. Call 202-628-2500 or visit the Web site at www.waba.org.

6 Go back to the beach. No, not Ocean City or Myrtle Beach or the Outer Banks. The beach you went to before you could afford a week's stay in an oceanfront room costing $200-plus a day. The beach in one of Maryland's state parks: Cunningham Falls, Greenbrier, Gunpowder or Sandy Point, for instance. Put your bathing suit on under some cutoff jeans and a tank top, pack a picnic and hop in the car. After you get settled at your picnic table, go whooping down to the water - just the way you did when you were a little kid. (Lifeguards are not on duty after Labor Day, so take care.)

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