When Summer Begins

Welcome. Here in New York, it’s officially summer. If it’s hot where you are, your exercise regimen may need some modifications. Gretchen Reynolds has ideas — including freezing your underwear. Sam Sifton is fishing for fluke, a highlight of his summer meals. And Concepción de León has information on how the Delta variant of the coronavirus may affect your travel plans.

Last week I asked when summer truly begins for you. For me, it’s when I can leave the house without a jacket or socks, when it’s warmer outdoors than indoors, the air nearly the same temperature as my skin. Here’s what you said.

Summer has begun when I’ve killed my first mosquito. That tells me the weather is warm enough to get moving and enjoy our short summer. Usually this happens mid- to late May. —Eugenia Wright, Anchorage, Alaska

The happiest day of the year for me is when my husband takes the tarp off the patio furniture and puts the umbrella back through the hole in the table! That’s the signal that great outdoor weather is on its way! —Eva Steen, New City, N.Y.

It starts when it’s warm enough to go outside without a coat (early June) and ends when the rain comes back (mid-June). —Rachael Fairbairn, Edinburgh, Scotland

When my son catches the first firefly of the season. —Megan Nelson, Beloit, Wis.

I know summer is here when I turn on the cold water tap and it comes out warm enough to wash my hands. —Wendy Van Syckle, Bellaire, Texas

I have been teaching for 38 years and summer always begins for me when the students have moved on, and I have packed up my classroom once again. It takes a few days for it to sink in, but gradually I stay up a bit later and begin to dig in to all of those projects I have put off during the school year. —Carol Stuhff, Sandy, Utah


The final episode of “Conan” airs Thursday night on TBS. Check out Dave Itzkoff’s interview with Conan O’Brien’s longtime sidekick, Andy Richter.

In The New Yorker, Doreen St. Félix takes a look at Ziwe’s new late-night show: “Ziwe, dressed in gorgeous high-femme outfits that verge on the parodic, is our demented girl boss, our anchor, which means we are always a bit seasick.”

And, in keeping with the theme, here’s Lucy Dacus performing her new song “Brando” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Tell us.

This list of every “Song of Summer” going back 45 years is pretty entertaining. What’s your personal song of summer for 2021, your anthem for the season? Send it to us: [email protected] Include your full name and location and we might feature your story in a future newsletter. We’re At Home and Away. We’ll read every letter sent. More ideas for leading a full and cultured life, at home and away, appear below.

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There’s more to read, do and watch in our archive. Let us know what you think.

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