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From the Editor: Summertime

I was on my way to the office one recent sunny morning when Sheryl Crow’s song Soak Up the Sun came on the radio. On any given day, I would be listening to NPR thinking about my to-do list for the day, but this time, as the sun shined brightly overhead, the tune caught my ear. Though I had heard the song many times before, I carefully listened to the lyrics for the first time. The song’s catchy call for positive thinking in the face of troubles, combined with eager anticipation for my favorite season, sparked the kind of optimism I predictably adopt every year when it begins to get warm again.

Friends tease and call it sentimentality, but my outlook always changes as the temperature rises. I focus differently on what surrounds me and appreciate what I see and feel more fully. Summer, for me, is a time when senses are heightened; everything feels better and looks brighter.

It’s also a time to enjoy simple pleasures, like wearing shorts and T-shirts, walking my dog without throwing on a coat, reading the weekend papers out on the deck, savoring a glass of rosé in the evenings. Only in summer can I lounge by the pool with an unapologetically trashy novel, enjoy a dinner fresh off the grill, grab my racquet for a little tennis or spend time catching up with friends at an outdoor café.

Part of what makes summer so special is this issue’s annual Best of the Gold Coast Connecticut poll results, listing your faves in Fairfield County, followed by your picks for the greatest closer to home in the Best of Stamford. (This year we received more than 20,000 votes, breaking all records from years past.) Since the project’s inception, I’ve carried the issue in my car and used it year-round as an insider’s guide to hot spots and hidden gems in our area. Thanks for the tips; I’ll be sure to add new destinations to my plans for the coming months.

And while organizing your calendar, don’t forget to check out what’s new in town. Since the Best Of voting closed, several new eateries have opened to much buzz. Recent visits to Bar Rosso, Zaza Gastrobar and Volta promise to bring loads of summer fun to foodies and late-night revelers. Diners are checking out the expanded menu at Mackenzie’s. And sometime soon Stamford will have it’s own Bartaco. Yum!

With that in mind, I bid you all a happy summer. Hope to see you at our annual Best of the Gold Coast Connecticut celebration July 20 at the Stamford Hilton. Until then, try to enjoy each day, even when it gets hot and humid. We all know that summer will end sooner than I like.

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