Perfectly Imperfect on "Summer"
Ft. recs from Jason Stewart, Meetka Otto, Alex Ross Perry, Annie Armstrong, and many more.
This is the first edition of a new column where we flip the script a bit. Instead of asking for open-ended recommendations from a single cool guest, we’re going to ask a bunch of different cool people for recs for a certain topic.
Don’t worry, this won’t be a Wirecutter kinda thing, Perfectly Imperfect guests aren’t going to suddenly start weighing in on the “Best Blender under $200.“ We’ll keep it broad and fun like today’s topic, “Summer,” and have previous guests, friends of the newsletter, Alex & I, and readers, weigh in + we’ll also do a deep dive for related recommendations in our archive.
The July issue will be on “Places to Visit” because I’m selfishly trying to decide on a place to go in September. Send us PI-style recommendations to be featured!
Have a topic in mind?? Email us. We’ll be taking requests for future issue topics from PI readers.
Without further ado…
📖 Reading a Massive Novel (Something Roughly 700 Pages)
by Alex Ross Perry (Filmmaker)
About 15 years ago, I began an annual tradition of making the cornerstone of my summer reading one of those massive novels that you "always meant to get around to." The limit I imposed to qualify is roughly 700 pages. These don't have to be difficult or impenetrable books, but those tend to be the "someday..." types that I usually select. Past accomplishments from this project include Ulysses, Mason & Dixon, Against the Day, It, The Recognitions, You Bright and Risen Angels, Underworld, Middlemarch, Helter Skelter, The Adventures of Augie March, The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Executioner's Song and many others I don't remember. This summer: Lonesome Dove.
🍜 🍸 🧊 Refreshing & light food that isn't a salad or fruit
by Meetka Otto (Composer, Writer, Model, Photographer, and Waitress)
As someone who often stays in NYC for the whole summer, I like to have my go-to food that is refreshing and light but isn't a salad or fruit. I love getting ice cold udon with pork and cucumber at Raku (east village location). its a windowless restaurant with amazing AC and a dark interior. Another great place to cool off is Balthazar in the afternoons, when it gets REALLY hot out. the place empties out and isnt the mayhem it usually is around the holidays. I sit at the bar for a cappuccino and zone out for a while though often times the sexy greek bartender coerces me into a 4pm cocktail...voila...
🍅 🥪 Tomato Sandwiches
by Jason Stewart (Host of How Long Gone)
Light, white bread, toasted or not, crusts removed or not, lots of mayo, and the ripest tomato sliced and sprinkled with flaky salt. Please resist the urge to put anything else on it, and don’t make it unless the tomato is at least a B+. Eat it slowly in the kitchen alone.
⚽ 🩳 Athletic Shorts
by Natalie Miano (Publicist)
Find yourself a pair of athletic shorts and rock them everywhere. It's hard to wear clothes in the New York heat, breathable material is the only way to go. They are sexy, can be dressed up, down, and all the way around. Particularly into basketball shorts and tall boots right now.
🍴 📖 Lenny's Clam bar in Howard Beach
by Jackson Walker Lewis (DJ and Bassist in Fcukers)
There's no better summer day in my book than napping at Fort Tilden in the rockaways followed by dinner at Lenny's Clam bar in Howard beach. The real 'rec' here is Lenny's: it's affordable, the food is good, and for some reason I find delight in eating outside there...even though it's directly on what is basically a highway and the view is a strip mall across the street, with no water in sight. You know the meme where it's a cigarette and a Mcdonalds with the caption "my paradise"? Yep, just like that. follow the neon sign and enjoy.
🌞 General Summer Recs…
by Bianca Perez (Memer)
Once summertime hits, I love using CeraVe tinted sunscreen for a nice light coverage that doesn’t leave me looking like a ghost. I’ve been listening Caroline Polachek’s music a lot and her recent album, Desire I want to Turn Into You, is the perfect summer soundtrack. I remember when Max Max: Fury Road premiered right before summer of 2015. It’s a film that comes to mind when I think of the oppressive heat of summer. Just imagining how thirsty those bitches must be makes me sweat. LOL. When I want something to cool me down, I stop by Jus’ Juice in Flatbush for their Mojito Freeze smoothies. They’re literally just mint leaves, lime juice and ice but somehow to die for. I wear my black Tevas a lot but especially in the summer cause they give me the height of a platform with the comfort of a sandal and I can always add socks if my feet get cold.
🏞️ 🎵 Mafera Park Shows in Ridgwood by Jordan Micheal Iannucci
by Christian Medrano (Musician, Singer of Precious Human)
Last Summer Jordan was putting together sweet shows in the park and would roll out a generator and gear all by himself. He’s not doing them this year (it’s a lot of work) but maybe if we nudge a bit and offer a hand he would reconsider! He sends me a pic of the sun and a powerline he rides past like almost everyday.
by Annie Armstrong (Writer, artnet’s Wet Paint)
We’d all love to get a table at Bernie’s after a boozy afternoon in McCarren, but sometimes that just isn’t feasible. Spritzenhaus gets far too loud to hang out in, but order some brats and a pretzel to-go and go eat ‘em in the park. It’s a sleeper hit.
🌞 General Summer Recs…
by Nate Kuo (Everyone’s Favorite Lawyer)
Summertime in city is steamy bowl of congee from dirty Chinese restaurant with neon signage + indifferent grandma yelling menu items at you (+ no whites as father says)
Summertime in city was hot bowl of matzo from Veselka on humid city night after the afters (rip to 24-hour anything 😔)
Summertime in city is combing through curated vintage pieces at James Veloria to fit my ordinary cishet body (discrimination tbh)
Summertime in city is annual read of Dracula (preferably surrounded by Victorian topiary) and yet somehow still only seeing the protagonist as Keanu (unfortunate, but also highly relatable as fellow half-asian and lawyer whose eccentric and vaguely enby clients routinely imprison, torture and drain him of his lifeforce)
Summertime in city is spending several chaotic minutes inside party to buy drinks followed by several hours out font drinking and chatting and smoking (where the real party be at iykyk type vibes [such an annoying acronym kms lol])
Summertime in city is soft serve with sprinkles from Rays Candy Store (whilst enroute to party)
Summertime in city is googling “black sun umbrella men”, “hetero black parasol men + uv”, “hot men + sexy black parasol” (discovering something new about myself + never allowing sunray to touch porcelain kpop skin; fuck sun)
“no worries if not” (as personal brand); oort cloud (as concept); “hyperion” (as word)
😎 Super vision (sunglasses zoom effect)
by Guy Kozak (Filmmaker)
If you are lying on your back at the beach wearing sunglasses, sometimes you can catch a reflection of the side of your face/eyelashes/temple area. It’s super zoomed in and high definition and really cool.
🩳 Short Shorts
by Jean-Luc (Musician, Clout Guy)
Short shorts - Sean Connery style, baby. Give the jorts a break for a day and show some knee!
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial