Hot town, summer in the city! The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian wrote that line about New York, but it certainly applies to any of your South Florida cities, particularly the part about walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head. (Fun fact: John Sebastian used to own a house in Lake Worth, so he’s an expert on Palm Beach County summers as well.)
The difference between the hot months here and in northeastern asphalt jungles is that down here, we’re at least close to the ocean, as well as awash in cool stuff planned specifically just for locals who still live here when the snowbirds fly back to … wherever it is they flew to. Doesn’t matter. They’re not here. It’s just us.
Here are five things I’m loving about summer in the cities (and towns) of West Palm, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach and the like:
1) Dumb summer reality shows: For some reason, every network reality show seems to cast at least one Palm Beach County resident — Delray Beach’s Vinny Ventiera just left “The Bachelorette,” and Palm Beach Gardens teacher Tiffany Rousso is in the cast of CBS’ delightful summer train wreck “Big Brother,” and I am here for it. The non-stop supply of South Floridians gives me someone to root for between live Tweeting and refilling my wine glass.
2) Summer staycation specials: I’ve written at length about my status as Palm Beach Staycation Queen, to the point where my Facebook friends have begun to wonder if I actually have a home. And so many of your local, fancy places like The Breakers and The Eau Palm Beach offer discounts for those who want to take advantage of the luxury in our backyard.
3) Flavor Palm Beach: Summer isn’t technically over until Sept. 22, so that’s almost the entirety of Flavor Palm Beach, the local Restaurant Month. Eateries from Jupiter to Boca Raton offer special menus encouraging you to go check them out off-season. It makes for a great project — How many can you get to during the month? I’m trying for at least 10, because I like a round number.
4) Being able to get a parking space: As a long-time Palm Beach County resident I’m proud to live in a place that other people save all year to visit, and season can be super exciting. It can also tack several minutes onto your travel time as you circle parking lots or various city streets looking for empty spaces, or trying not to look like a stalker betting if the couple in the car ahead of you has just parked or is about to leave. That happens a lot less in the summer, making heading out more attractive. And it also makes it less likely that you’re hovering like a weirdo tracking parking spaces.
5) Less-crowded beaches: Just like people who live near art museums and never go unless their relatives visit and want to go, I don’t go to the ocean nearly enough, even though it’s just about 10 minutes from my house. But the prospect of strolling less-populated sands is instantly more tranquil. The Atlantic Ocean is, hands-down, my favorite thing about living here, my happy place, my free therapy. And it’s even more therapeutic when I can actually see the sand.