A Summer Letter to Our Readers
Are you tired? I’m tired. Coziness and calm are often associated with winter. Cozy means “giving a feeling of comfort, warmth and relaxation.” But if summer isn’t cozy, I don’t know what is. The Danish term for it is hygge: “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” I champion that the summer months hold a homey, sheltered feeling of their own.
Backyard barbecues, s’mores over a campfire, the droves of multi-generational families that flock to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to laugh, share a meal, toss a frisbee. In June we celebrate our LGBTQ community at the Queens Pride parade; we let down our hair and trade our hats and jackets for sandals and summer skin. Patio drinking and picnics bring people together.
When I think of summer, I think of the first swim of the season: fully submerged in a pool, feeling water work its way to my scalp. I think of hiking up my skirt so it doesn’t get caught in bicycle spokes and grease, and riding to Rockaway Beach—making a sudden dismount to engulf a fish taco, to sigh, feel golden and lick an ice cream cone down to nothing.
It’s something explored throughout the pages of this issue—from the fancy, fluffy marshmallows and whimsical way of life touted by Mitch Greenberg to the calming tea rituals practiced by Saveur editor Max Falkowitz, there is a thread of meditative calm weaved in.
In our look at Michael Psilakis’s new cookbook, Eat to Live: Cooking the Mediterranean Way, we learn how a TV chef sustains himself and his family with fresh, healthful ingredients. Neil Chiragdin reports on the ongoing deportation crisis and how it’s affecting the lives of immigrants in Queens. From the front lines of the Tom Cat Bakery strike, we are reminded of our broken food system—one that relies heavily on undocumented laborers. Given the current state of immigration policy, not all of us are safe, with the privilege of soaking up summer’s cozy, carefree freedom right now—but with fists up, we can fight back together.
While everyone might not have the ability to take time off for vacation and leisure during the summer months, I urge you to take one moment a day to reward yourself. In the words of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper on the hit TV series “Twin Peaks”: “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen.”
That might mean taking a stroll outside the office during your lunch break, dancing in the mirror for five minutes before you have to take off for the day or making yourself some delectable frozen yogurt, but once a day, do something kind for yourself.
Pinky promise me.
Now I’m gonna put on my red dress and go order some oysters (the edible kind, not like the Billion Oyster Project ones you’ll learn about). I’m going on a date. That’s my present to myself today.