Okay, okay … the heat is on everywhere. And yes, I live in Arizona and have for 34 years. From June to October 30th, it is called The Big Bake. Honestly, there is nothing abnormal about temperatures being 110 to 118 degrees. Even for some long stretches. I have even endured at least five 120-degree days (it’s all the same once it reaches 110).
Yes, I’ve fried many eggs in my driveway, I have to open my car doors with an oven mitt, my pool temperature is hot tub level, the water out of my faucet is warm all day and night, and I have my AC guy’s private cell number on speed dial. What else is new?
I am more concerned about the vegetation just exploding into a fire but that hasn’t happened yet. Home generators are not a topic of conversation out here, although grid max-out is the elephant in the room.
“Excessive Heat Warnings” are now coast to coast. But my desert rules — It’s red hot — for us. I don’t know or care that much about Texas in this current sizzle race. After all, Texas always had hurricanes and God-awful humidity. Every location has its disasters and climate change issues to deal with. No place to run or hide anymore.
But we desert rats are old pros at this. We get up at 5:00 AM to walk our dogs as the roads are coolest then, and I refuse to booty my dog. Grocery stores, banks, cleaners, doctors, and essential retailers are all open by 6:00 or 7:00 AM so you can get everything done by 10:00 AM and then lock it down.
As the cartoon says …
When you open the doors at 11:00 PM the microwave blast is a brain melt. It is a chilly 90 degrees. But as Phoenix celebrity Alice Cooper says (and he plays golf in this giant scorch), “Remember, it’s a dry heat.”
Now to be honest, years ago I used to flee to Laguna Beach, La Jolla or even Santa Monica for an intermission for two weeks in July. I haven’t done that in five years. The reason? The crowds have taken over and now the homeless and toddlers rule the beaches. Beautiful La Jolla, known for the most expensive California Housing communities, is now suffering from a 15% increase in “… people with serious mental illness [and] more seniors.”
I guess “lost seniors” has now become a demographic. Hotels everywhere are expensive, but you get less with all the staff shortages, added bill taxations, and operational difficulties. The hospitality world is suffering from “service delusion.” There simply isn’t any. Even a trip to the Hamptons (all of it — North, South, East, Montauk, Quogue) has been over criticized for being crowded, pricey, impossible to drive to or navigate in. Nantucket has lost its retreat appeal as the “fog-ins” make flights in and out too unreliable.
I prefer my comfort zone (why would I want to explore?) of my own pool devoid of screaming kids, my great AC, and even my deluxe freezer which I can stand in front of for 10 minutes of open door flapping for relief. Friends are now investing in the latest luxury items (indoor and out) — a cold plunge bath full of ice for pain relief and preventing heat stroke.
Heat now has a retail market and electrolyte drinks are flying off the shelves. Bars now offer Hottinis (vodka mixed with Drip Drop or Gatorade). A lousy idea as you still get further dehydrated and nauseous from the taste. On the other hand, my bank is currently serving cucumber and lemon water (good for potassium) in their lobby. Maybe “bank light-headedness” is becoming a problem.
My local TV news now has a real story to report, the theme “Dangerous Heat Dome” complete with graphic and threatening audio. At least it’s something current to cover besides the fentanyl-laced border and pet pool drownings.
Honestly, none of this is news. If you’ve lived here, you know the drill. You suck it up and feel grateful you don’t live in Texas. I hope this “Big Bake” keeps more people from moving here. Since COVID, Phoenix has become one of the top three cities for big relocations. Summers of 118 degrees might stop the westward ho’s migrations.
As for what’s really hot and what’s not? For all the discussion of Haute Couture week in riot-riddled Paris. It was interesting to see rap star Cardi B take over the scene at the Schiaparelli front row with her bosoms tumbling out of a Schiaparelli bodycon gown and her giant buttocks laced and bound in gold ties. She managed to drop a few four-letter words while she twerked her booty from the front row. “I fuckin’ broke the Internet” Cardi exclaimed to her 168 million Instagram followers. That summed up Fashion Week and Anna Wintour could not be found. A new day has arrived.
However, the biggest highlight appeared on tennis player Jannik Sinner shoulder at Wimbledon — a custom made Gucci tennis duffel. It might not seem like much, but now that tennis whites are no longer a requirement for wardrobe or gear we may be looking at the new frontier for luxe labels. Basketball players are already dripping in designer swag; at last we have traction on a new court. Even Serena Williams didn’t carry or wear couture. She wore her own label and used a Wilson racket bag. Get ready for “GG’s” and “DG’s” to make the Grand Slam.
Summers were always the season for rock’n’roll outdoor concerts. It is clear that Taylor Swift has taken this platform into a whole new economic hard drive. Taylor’s “Swifty” girl fans have been following her all over America. Imagine this, a deadbeat city like Pittsburgh gets a tsunami of teenage girls and their parents for a Swift weekend. They book up all the hotel rooms during the concert weekends and jam the restaurants and buy out all the swift pop-up merch stores that go with her show.
When I used to see The Rolling Stones, I never flew to Albuquerque (a slow ticket sale town) and stayed in a hotel for five days with friends and family. Reportedly, Taylor Swift concerts are saving certain downtrodden city economics for a month or longer. This is the real power of Taylor Swift. Even Elton John doesn’t have that economic clout. Elton had a Vegas residency, and he is now on the last leg of his three-year goodbye tour which is selling out.
In fact, “goodbye” tours of anybody are hot tickets. The Eagles have just announced their “Long Goodbye” and it might take three to four years for that sayonara.
Even Madonna, who just postponed her scheduled tour due to infection and exhaustion, might have to rethink her idea. At 64 this could end up being her “goodbye/comeback” moment. Her ticket sales were originally reported to be slack before her ailment. And compared to Swift and Pink, competition is tough out there. “Sell-outs” are not easy. So far only Cher knew when to hold it and when to fold it.
Along with summer’s fun and sun comes romance. And who better than former NYC mayor Bill de Blasio to induct that trend. He just announced he is separating from his wife Chirlane McCray (though they are continuing to share a house?). And he is now tan, fit, hair freshly dyed, and ready to mingle. He says he is up to jumping into the dating pool, but not ready to go online. But as the Lovin’ Spoonful once sang in “Summer in the City”
Go out and find a girl
Come on, come on and dance all night
Despite the heat it’ll be alright
Cool cat, lookin’ for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
‘Til I’m wheezin’ like a bus stop
Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop
Rumors have it there are lots of women (called “de Blasiacs”) lining up! Good luck Mayor Bill — no doubt you will score and … “See you in September” with the results.