Let’s face it, a socially distanced picnic just isn’t as satisfying as a backyard barbecue with family or a game of volleyball on the beach with friends. This is the first summer of its kind as we settle into our new normal in the midst of a pandemic. As the warm summer weather tempts us to venture outside, we can’t help but feel nostalgic for the activities of summers past.
So that you may share in our reminiscing, we’ve compiled a list of the things we miss the most about the outdoors during the summer months. Just remember, if we all have FOMO, we’re not really missing out on anything.
First on our list is the most obvious, classic, summer outing: pool parties. What’s better than grabbing a group of your friends and day drinking at a hotel pool with the Los Angeles skyline as your backdrop while a DJ bumps your favorite tunes? If you’ve spent a summer in LA, you’ve probably attended a pool party at Skybar, the legendary SBE venue inside the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset. Or the Highlight Room, a rooftop pool and lounge atop the famous Dream Hotel in Hollywood that hosts epic parties by day and suave soirees by night. One of the best things about pool parties is the dress code is virtually nonexistent, as bikini clad girls in heels and shirtless guys in flip flops are free to roam and mingle as they please. So, while you search for a friend with a coveted pool in preparation for the next heat wave, we’ll be fondly remembering the days when groups of 10 or more were allowed to lounge on daybeds and pool floats in public, without a mask in sight.
While LA is known for its year-round beautiful weather, there is nothing quite like visiting a rooftop bar on a summer night. The Highlight Room is again an ideal destination, but there are countless other venues offering city views while you sip on carefully crafted cocktails that we will surely miss during summer 2020. Mama Shelter is home to one of the most popular rooftops in Hollywood, overlooking the Hollywood sign, as well as other iconic city landmarks. In a pre-Covid time, you could head out to Harriet’s Rooftop in the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood for a club-like atmosphere, complete with bottle service. EP&LP, the hip hotspot adorned with thoughtfully landscaped plants and neon signs, also boasts one of the best views in West Hollywood and always has a line out front to show for it. For a different skyline, we frequent downtown favorites like Perch, the Ace Hotel and the W Hotel, the latter offering perks like water beds and a beer garden. While some of these venues may resume operations before the summer weather retreats, we imagine the restrictions of current circumstances will inevitably change the experience we have come to expect of a rooftop bar in summertime. Let’s be real, part of the fun of going out is the prospect of who you might meet, which becomes less exciting when everyone is maintaining a distance of six feet.
Another favorite summer pastime that will unfortunately have to do without this year is attending outdoor concerts and festivals. While we’ve barely gotten over the loss of spring music festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach, we are faced with a new blow as we are robbed of the summer festival season. If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine standing on the pier in Santa Monica during one of the Twilight Summer Concert Series shows, where throwback bands, like Sugar Ray, and more current favorites, like Rufus Du Sol and Betty Who, have graced the stage during previous years. Local festivals, like Arroyo Seco Weekend, which takes place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and festivals that require a short road trip, like KABOO in San Diego, have all been canceled. Concert venues that only offer outdoor amphitheater seating, like the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theater, have been forced to call off their entire 2020 season, disappointing the fans of artists such as Halsey, Ozzy Osbourne and Alicia Keys alike. In short, summer 2020 is a hot girl bummer. But hey, on the bright side, no concerts means no overpriced beer or post-show traffic, right?
One last addition to our list of things we miss is summer sporting events. With Dodger Stadium in LA’s backyard, many Angelenos are heartbroken over the cancellation of the 2020 baseball season. The games serve as a summertime staple for countless locals who cannot imagine going an entire season without hearing the roar of the crowd in the stands or smelling the scent of Dodger dogs drifting through the air. The 2020 All-Star game was also set to be hosted by the LA Dodgers, which will now be granted hosting duties for 2022 instead. An equally disappointing loss for sports fans everywhere was the rescheduling of the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were due to begin in Tokyo this month. Even if you aren’t a devoted sports fan, their absence takes a toll on our social interactions. Think of all of the viewing parties we’re missing out on this summer, from afternoons spent in sports bars to house parties with friends. Even a casual game of soccer in the park has become off limits for the time being, adding even more physical constraints to the limitations of quarantine. The silver lining: we may miss these games, but the lack of contact sports has encouraged people to spend more time exercising in nature and practicing their athleticism in other ways, such as hiking, biking and yoga.
While we are all disappointed by the things we will miss out on this summer, we can take this time to reflect and grow by developing a new hobby, learning a new skill or honing in on a neglected talent we always wanted to improve. Keep in mind this won’t be forever, and try to focus on the things that are still in your control. We may be less social right now, but we will likely never take public gatherings for granted again. And if all else fails and you need something to keep you going, just remember that summer 2021 is about to be lit. We’ll see you then with a margarita in hand.