Have you had your fill of summer sunsets and lemonade so cold the water condenses on the outside of the glass as you sip it? Have you saturated your hair to the snapping-off point with salt spray and tested the ray-blocking capacities of your favorite sunglasses on a long road trip with nothing to do but stare at the horizon? Have you worn your footprints indelibly into the insole of your best-loved pair of sandals? If not, don’t fret. You can’t hold on to the present, and you still have one last weekend to embrace every bit of sweaty, wild, light-filled summertime joy this year. In the spirit of wringing every drop out of the season, we at Malena want to share with you a few more things we’ve been loving or longing for during these lovely warm months.
It’s not summer without music you can’t get out of your head, and we would love to hear some of your summer jams in the comments (as for summer jam, we’ve been enjoying local preserves genius June Taylor’s stonefruit concoctions on our morning toast or swirled into our yogurt, perhaps with a mug of mint tea or coffee in Oakland ceramicist Atelier Dion’s gorgeous mugs). We’ve been loving the poppy pleasures of Drake’s Hotline Bling, Demi Lovato’s Cool for the Summer, and The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face. For something more epic, we recommend Beach House’s Sparks or FKA twigs’ M3LL155X. And for an enduring classic, we never let an August go by without obsessive repeat listens of the track reference in the title to this post, the peerless Brian Eno’s St. Elmo’s Fire.
We at Malena have been lucky enough to travel a bit this summer to locales near enough to drive to (a long trip through our beautiful, dusky gold and dry California) and far from home, where we found magnificent vistas and unforgettable people. Where have you been traveling to? If you’re still planning a trip (given one last fantasy vacation, we might take a time machine to the Big Sur of these photos, though the present-day version is still paradise), grab a bag that will inspire your wanderlust, make room in it for great books (we’ve been loving David Shafer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts) and tuck in a little jewelry and rosy lip balm to brighten your dusty traveling duds. Bring a rucksack or tote for adventures on foot and a scarf in the cool hue of a big wave, and try sketching the view or jotting notes as a way to record your memories if you need a change from your phone camera. After a journey, coming home is a joy in itself. Crisp sheets tucked just the way you like them; a favorite soap; a candle casting a warm light in the familiar corners of your room–the ritual of settling back in and basking in the refuge your own space offers is sometimes as wonderful as the trip.
As the summer winds down, we’re planning on some indoor nights, cooking the last of the season’s heirloom tomatoes into a heavenly sweet-tart sauce, curling with our plate of pasta against the cushions and putting on a movie. Recently we loved Amy, a haunting documentary about the singularly talented Amy Winehouse’s tragically short life, and we’re looking forward to scaring our own socks off at Meru and laughing at Mistress America (we think Greta Gerwig would look sensational in one of our wide-brimmed hats). If you’re a movie fan, let us know what you can’t wait to see, and if you’re still out there adventuring instead, tell us where you’re headed and what you’re up to! And raise a glass this weekend to the last days of a spectacular summer.