Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Beating Summer in the City Blues: Some Tips on Cooling Off, Texas Style

There's nothing quite like the sweltering trials and travails of a summer spent in the City. The buildings, city garbage, humidity and air pollution all conspire to give NYCers a constant heat-induced pain in the posterior.

Although I'm Texas born and bred, I've spent some time in the Big Apple during the worst of the hot weather, so I have a good indication of what it's like. But Texans experience heat on a more consistent and familiar level, and there are certain measures we take to keep us from going up in smoke from the summer blaze. Here are a few insider tips:

1. Drink some iced tea.

While a good beer, a bottle of water straight from the fridge, or chilled coffee are all great cool-off drinks, Texans usually gravitate toward iced tea. And with good reason--the combo of ice and the healthy and hydrating herbal drink make for the perfect heat beater. Consider other, more refreshing and rejuvenating varieties beyond black, like green or mint.

2. Cool it with the A/C use.

Using A/C is every Texan's most important survival skill, but as with any skill, it must be practiced carefully. CityHammer staff writer Mitch Mayer gave some great A/C tips previously, but here are a couple more things to try out. Consider purchasing some solid, quality plug in fans. While ceiling fans are great, they can only go so far. When you aren't spending time in your humble abode, shut off the A/C or put it on a higher setting. When you get home to sit and relax for a spell, place yourself strategically in front of said fans.

3. Take very hot showers as frequently as you can stand without wasting a bunch of water.

Sound counter intuitive? Although the first thing that you may want to do after sweating your butt off in your daily romp through NYC's labyrinthine streets is to take a cold shower, you'd just be shooting yourself in the foot. You'll get out to find that the temperature difference will put you back to square one. Take a hot shower, and the outside world will feel that much cooler once you're done.

4. Dress to decompress

Clothes are very important in keeping the summer heat in check. Although it may seem fairly self-evident, many forget this one very simple method to successfully stave off hot weather demons. Wear light colors, stick to airy cotton, and consider a good pair of versatile and not too beachy flip flops that you can wear outside the work environment.

These are just a few tried and true methods that we Texans have evolved to adapt to our less-than-perfect climate. Despite the cultural differences, there may just be something to learn from your friendly neighbors from the South.

This guest post is contributed by Jessica Cortez, who writes on the topics of online degree programs. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: cortez.jessi23@gmail.com.

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