There’s nothing quite like Iowa City in the summer. The peace and quiet are unparalleled — the other day, I made it all the way to my office without actually seeing another person, which is my personal definition of bliss.
Festival season has begun, making it physically impossible to drive your car downtown for the foreseeable future, but on the other hand, funnel cakes are being sold on the streets most weekends.
The amount of THC in the city’s atmosphere has already risen by 13 percent and shows no signs of clearing. It’s shaping up to be a heck of a season.
If you’re anything like me, there is no possibility of you doing anything that might traditionally be considered “fun” this summer. My debilitating fear of premature aging makes it impossible for me to go outside without SPF 100+ and a black shroud. However, I’m willing to bet that even those of you without massive neuroses spent most of your free time last summer playing Xbox in your underpants.
This year, let’s shake it up a little. Here are some fun ways to celebrate summer in IC:
Even us 99-percenters can beat the heat, as well as the stifling humidity, with an inflatable baby pool. Borrow one from your elderly next-door neighbors who still have all their kids’ toys from the ’80s, fill ‘er up with the hose and experience the soothing sensation of reclining in the shallow waters of the Caribbean. Really, it’s basically the same thing. Pro tip: When you’re done with your “swim,” dump a few bags of ice in there and it becomes an ideal beer cooler for tonight’s barbecue.
The Iowa City and Cedar Rapids farmers markets make it easy to work on that summer bod! (Or, more realistically, try to stave off scurvy.) Every Saturday morning, vendors from all across Iowa come with organic fruits and vegetables, local honey, handmade baked goods and more. The rewards for dragging yourself out of bed at a reasonable hour are many, and the shame of forgetting to bring reusable bags is great.
A summer project is the perfect way to have fun while at least pretending to improve yourself. Learn a new language — something summery and exotic, like Swedish — or pick up the ukulele. Home improvement projects are also popular this time of year. Maybe KonMari your winter wardrobe. Whatever you do, don’t forget the sunscreen! Seriously, you should be wearing it all the time. There’s no escaping the UV rays.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 265.