When Mena Suvari was a little girl, about five minutes ago, she lived in some pretty ideal locations for enjoying summer’s pleasures. “We were in Newport, Rhode Island, until I was 9, and we had many, many acres, and lots of raspberry and blackberry bushes, so that was fun,” she says. After that, her family relocated to St. John’s, “so summer for me was walking on the beach collecting shells every day.” But Ms. Suvari now takes a more no-nonsense approach to the season. “I don’t go to the beach, I don’t lay out much. I don’t have the time.”
But for those of us who aren’t 21-year-old ingenues who’ve starred in two American hits (Beauty and Pie), summer in the city offers a cornucopia of options, from fly-fishing to nude sunbathing to Zima-drinking, all of them catalogued exhaustively in these pages.
What to do when the temperature hits 102? Go camping with a drag queen, chill a ceviche, take in the two-headed baby on Coney Island, or cruise Jones Beach on a Vespa. Meanwhile, Martha Stewart helps you pack the perfect picnic, Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert reveals the finer points of barbecue, George Plimpton serves up some pyrotechnics, and bibliophiles from Judith Krantz to Mario Cuomo advise you on what books to bring to the beach.
But if you do happen to have two big hits under your belt, how do you celebrate the summer? By working on another, of course. Suvari and her fellow American Pie alum Jason Biggs star in Amy Heckerling’s latest comedy, Loser, in which Suvari finally matriculates to college, right here in New York, paying her way by waitressing at a strip bar and sleeping with her English professor in her off-hours. Hot enough for you?
EDITED BY MEREDITH KAHN AND MAER ROSHAN
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