Free Fun in the Summertime

“Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’ in the street.” And today is as summer as you get in this city. Pop lyrics are triggered, which is a major improvement on heat rash (“prickly heat” my overly concerned aunt used to call it; she would also refer to “polio season”). The other lyric I have in mind is Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City, back o’ my neck getting’ dirty and gritty.” I certainly don’t mean to infer that summer is a rarity in San Diego. It’s just that...is it me or have we had a spate of unusually chilly seasons in the past year or two?

I can think of little more celebrated than summer in San Diego. The Over-the-Line Tournament alone is a great source of civic pride, unrivaled by any other city except certain Florida metropolises during spring break.

To me, summer means a variance in reading material — nothing radical, mind you, but I compare it to my years commuting from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Subway reading, I quickly learned, involved choices that, were you to lurch suddenly to one side, or, say, the lighting in the car would inexplicably extinguish itself, one could pick up where one left off, more or less, that is, without missing any salient plot points. I remember reading Jaws the year that book was a riotous bestseller. In the case of the Peter Benchley novel, it was always safe to assume that had you left off at the appearance of the word “blood,” you could safely resume at its next occurrence and miss little.

The point connecting summer reading with subway reading would be the idea that you may well have whole expendable paragraphs, even pages, if, for example, you are momentarily distracted by a passing bathing beauty. Kindles, iBooks, BlackBerrys, that sort of thing, are not my area, although I’m told they certainly should be.

At any rate, despite any contrary tone I may be striking, I am thoroughly capable of enjoying the summer months. Always an excellent time for concerts — Humphreys, the Embarcadero, et al. Of course rock, rhythm and blues, and soul music are my primary choices for assailing my ears. A full appreciation of opera, ballet, Serbian folk music and the like, are gifts I have yet to receive. I have discovered a newfound engagement with certain African music — Ethiopian, to be precise.

From a blog titled, “50 fun and free activities that guests can enjoy during San Diego’s summer months.” The word “guests” may be misleading as it implies tourists, but you get the same deal if you live in a Lakeside trailer park.

“Having fun during the summer in San Diego doesn’t require a lot of money. In fact, many things to see and enjoy here are absolutely free. With 70 miles of beautiful beaches, near-perfect weather, and a variety of summer street fairs, concerts, and arts and cultural events, San Diego offers a fun and inexpensive summer getaway.

Following is a list of fun and free activities that guests can enjoy during our summer months:

  1. Put on your bathing suit, grab your towel, and head to one of San Diego’s 33 beaches, all open to the public, and perfect for body-surfing, boogie-boarding, building sandcastles, collecting seashells, and basking in the sun. sandiego.org/beachguide
  2. Bring a picnic and listen to Coronado’s Summer Concert Series in Spreckels Park on Sunday evenings throughout the summer. coronadovisitorcenter.com
  3. Soak up the international flavor at the House of Pacific Relations in Balboa Park with the International Cottages’ Lawn Programs. Held each Sunday throughout the summer, these free events feature ethnic food, song, and dance. balboapark.org
  4. On the second Sunday of each month, stop by the New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego for free admission. Families of all ages can enjoy innovative, hands-on art opportunities and first-rate exhibitions designed by emerging and established contemporary artists. thinkplaycreate.org

Hardly 50, but it’s a good start.

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You can think of little more celebrated than summer in San Diego? you have been gone from Chicago too long my brother. Free concerts at Grant Park, jazz, blues, gospel, on and on. In those precious 2 -3 months of summer here we celebrate unabashedly. Time is precious as is summer in Chicago.

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