On Sunday I received a release from the City of New Orleans with a subject line of:  Excessive Heat Advisory.

I had to laugh; when it’s the end of July in New Orleans it always feels excessively hot.

Though, as the release put it, “overexposure to excessive heat” can be life-threatening if precautions are not taken, for many of us the heat is uncomfortable and annoying.

For instance, last weekend we attended the annual local Press Club awards (Where this company did very well, bringing home eight first place, 10 second place and eight third place awards!) and I wanted to look nice. Since our home was built in the 1850s, it doesn’t have insulation and can often be 80 degrees inside in the afternoon. Well, looking nice that evening included breaks while doing my hair and makeup to stop and sit face-first in front of a fan.

When I’m making plans this time of year, I always consider how strong the air conditioning is inside and how far I’ll have to walk in the heat from possible parking before deciding what I’m going to wear and what kind of makeup and hair is the least likely to fall apart.

And there was once, at a concert at Armstrong Park, where I almost passed out from the heat. I hope none of you ever have to experience that.


Since it seems that this summer in the city is going to be a particularly warm one, here are some tips for resigning yourself to being hot and ways to make it better:


  • When the heat seems to be too much (i.e. when you realize you’ve been sweating and are supremely lethargic) take a cool shower, or at least rinse your head, and if at all possible air dry.
  • Sweat a little more. The purpose of sweating is to produce water on your skin’s surface so that as it evaporates it cools your body. If you can sweat (i.e. when you’re not on your way somewhere that sweat stains are frowned upon) do.
  • Carry a fan or sit by one.
  • Find somewhere to swim, even if it’s just a baby pool in your backyard. This is also a good way to get rid of tan lines, as long as your fences are high.
  • Listen for the ice cream man; enjoy a popsicle; or pour yourself an ice-cold beer or water, heavy on the ice. Sometimes you have to cool yourself from the inside out!