By Sophia Hsu
Beginning in mid-May, running through the end of August, New York City teems with tourists and college interns on their Summer vacation. The streets are filled with shoppers returning for a day of bargain hunting. Tourists and city dwellers alike should keep these 10 essentials in mind while you shop or as you try to survive summer in the city.
1) Sunscreen: though this is a year-round essential, it is never more important than in the summer with the more direct sunlight. SPF30+ for the face is absolutely necessary to prevent noses, cheeks and necks from becoming lobster red.
2) Sandals or flip-flops: letting your toes and feet breathe during the summer helps you keep cool as the majority of body heat escapes through the top of the head and the bottom of your feet. Make sure while you are hiking around the city that you get proper support from your footwear choice, or it could make an already uncomfortable summer unbearable.
3) Wear loose, light cotton clothing. Constrictive, dark, man-made materials against the skin are not recommended. Cotton breathes and wicks away sweat to help keep you cool when the city is not. Black may be the preferred color of the majority of city dwellers, but it will attract the heat right to you.
4) A big, floppy hat: not just reserved for the horse races or British royalty. The big, floppy hat helps protect your face from the sun’s rays. Guys should wear hats that would provide shade for an exposed neck.
5) Sunglasses: the glare from the metal plates and grates on the city’s streets and sidewalks can temporarily blind even the most aware walkers. Invest in sunglasses that can shield your eyes from all angles.
6) Water bottle: the golden rule of enjoying summer is to stay hydrated. Make sure to find bottles specifically reusable and BPA free if you are going with plastic. The disposable water bottles that you get at the grocery store with your spring water were not meant to be refilled.
7) Something with which to dab: this could be a washcloth, a tiny towel, or a large handkerchief, but in order to stay looking your best this summer, I recommend carrying around something with which you can dab your face. It’s hard to shop outdoors if you can’t see the price tag. Make sure to wash it every night. A little spritz of your favorite perfume or cologne can help your bag and your face smell fresh throughout the day.
8) Parasol: in Asia, you see everyone carrying umbrellas when there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Why? Because it is a great way to stay in the shade no matter where you go. In Asia, many of the umbrellas serve a dual purpose: umbrella for summer rainstorms and a parasol for the unrelenting summer sun.
9) Hand fan: anywhere in any of the Chinatowns, you can find little hand fans on the cheap. I prefer to choose the fabric fan with the bamboo frame for maximum breeze. These are great to help you keep the stagnant air of the subway stations moving and prevent you from succumbing to the heat.
10) Music player: have something with headphones to entertain yourself while waiting for trains. Like humans, the subway tracks expand and contract due to heat and cold causing all kinds of commuting issues, so bring entertainment for those long waits.