Yesterday, windows down and stuck in traffic on Guadalupe on my way home from the office, a man pulled up in the lane next to me and rolled down his window. "Hey," he shouted, as I jolted to attention. "Do you not have air conditioning?" he asked. "Nope," I replied. He looked at me, eyes narrowing. "You should fix that," he said, rolling up his window.
I haven't had air conditioning for the past two summers, and save for one poorly executed trip to Port Aransas last July, I haven't really missed it. My commute isn't terribly long, I can always take a bougie Car2go Benz when it's 110 degrees, and I don't really mind showing up to places sweaty. (Also, when I actually do save up enough money to fix my A/C, I always spend it on something more interesting, like a trip to Cuba or paying off my student loans.)
The past two summers have turned me into a self-proclaimed expert in keeping it cool, so these 100-degree temps are nothing but a blip on the radar. Here are five not scientifically accurate suggestions to help you beat this hellfire stretch of summer.
Eat your way through the pain
If you don't scour Wheatsville Co-op's weekly Fresh Deals newsletter like me, here's a hot tip: running through July 24, the store has buy one, get one free deals on all pints of Nada Moo, Austin's own vegan dairy. If you don't make to the sale, consider a pilgrimage to Nada Moo's newly minted flagship on South Lamar Boulevard.
But when heat stroke begins to loom, there's only one place for revival: Gelateria Gemelli. Espresso cooled off with olive oil gelato? Check. Sorbet as delicious as it is beautiful? It's here. But you know what the real secret to beating the heat is? Sgroppino. Part sorbetto, gin, and prosecco, this is 100 percent guaranteed to make everything feel just fine.
Make friends with pools
Keeping cool is like everything else in life — it's all about who you know. This is the time of year we can't always rely on Deep Eddy (if you were there this weekend, you know what I mean) and Barton Springs can be crowded, so why not just start cultivating your friend list around those with poolside access?
Navigating your way to an invite is relatively easy. A couple of well placed Instagram likes, a funny text or two, a casual mention about not having a pool, and you're in. Just don't come empty handed. Stuff that YETI with coconut Waterloo Sparkling Water and Austin Eastcider's brand-new Lemon Ginger, and you're guaranteed to score a return invite. (And you'll need it — these 100-degree temps aren't going anywhere.)
Let Austin's own Lawrence Wright distract you
If you haven't seen Three Identical Strangers, I won't ruin it for you except to say that Lawrence Wright's middle of the movie cameo should easily clinch the Oscar nomination for best supporting journalist in a crazy documentary you can't stop thinking about. Austin-based Wright, New Yorker staff writer and author of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, takes viewers deep into a story about family, science, and the very nature of our humanity. Screening now at AFS Cinema and Alamo Drafthouse, among other theaters.
Look the part
One of the best parts about summer in Austin is you can wear almost anything and no one bats an eye. (Also, one of the worst parts about summer in Austin is people will wear anything and no one bats an eye.) For day, grab a piece from Austin-based Outdoor Voices' newly launched swimwear line for women and men.
Go from poolside to tableside with an Esby tunic, SBJ Austin's classic Mary dress, or pretty much anything from Miranda Bennett. (Look for breathable fabrics that don't touch your skin.) And dudes, when it comes to looking cool while feeling cool, Stag has already done a lot of work for you. The South Congress men's shop has curated Camp Stag, a roundup of Faherty shirts and Alex Mill tees to keep you fresh.
Pretend it's not even summer
Mind over matter and life's just an illusion, right? Draw every shade in the house, perch yourself next to a box fan, and fire up the Netflix to watch the 2015 Christmas classic The Spirit of Christmas. Distract yourself with the story of a man who freezes to death (try not to be jealous!) only to return to life and fall in love with a career-obsessed lady lawyer with perfect hair. You'll laugh at the storyline, you'll cry at the acting, and maybe just maybe you'll forget that it's so hot in Austin that the boot on the Cavender's sign just caught fire.