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Alona Elkayam Headshot

Best and Worst Summer Thrills of the Week: June 28-July 5

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tacoma with all of your worries drifting out of the window

Everyone's a hot mess in the city because when it gets hot in New York, people get nasty. There's no better way to blow off some nasty than to jump in your car, blast your radio (classic rock or hip hop) and push just past the speed limit. Trouble is, I don't actually have a car anymore. Instead, I'm a Zipcar member, so the other day I booked the only thing that was left in the lot -- Torrance the Tacoma pickup -- weaved my way to the West Side Highway and blasted Jay-Z's "Young Forever." Torrance was no Ferrari, but he did the trick. The best part was the mental littering. Roll down your windows and, for just $15/hr, let all those bad encounters fly out the window and disappear forever. Good riddance to you, added hidden fees (twice in one week)! To the lady who called me the B-word because my bag touched her by accident. And to the man who didn't follow the eminently easy-to-understand Whole Foods colored line protocol.

Meanwhile, I am so glad that the human marshmallow look of the past two summers has disappeared. Those flowy shirts and bubble skirts made me feel like such a sl--(you know whut) with my tailored clothing, while the contemptuous lack of style had me doubting humanity itself. What had we come to? This summer, by contrast, it's on -- short dresses, silk hotpants, and my current favorite -- bandanas. Though I am not a huge fan of the old-fashioned three dollar paisley bandana, the price is definitely right, and if you rock it properly you'll look awesome while playing ping pong, chilling by the pool with your less stylish friends, or going to see Vampire Weekend. If you are like me and not into the cheap paisley -- and you can justify $170 for a square foot of silk -- try the Louis Vuitton/Murakami bandana instead. And if you don't know how to wear a bandana, here are some ideas that should suit both Ken and Barbie.

If you're trying to get away from the city and you're tired of the Hamptons (who isn't?), I bring you Stonington, Connecticut. It is the most charming and authentic town on the east coast -- filled with bluffs, rivers, hydrangeas and lighthouses, and accommodations that cost half the price of a Hampton's weekend. Stonington, once a whaling town, is just 2.5 hours from the city by train. The first thing to do in greater Stonington is to drive to Mystic and eat a chorizo or an avocado omelet at Kitchen Little. Try sitting outside at a community table with views of the Mystic River. Then, hop onto a 1.5 hour Ferry from New London to Block Island. When you get off the Ferry, rent a moped right next to the dock and go straight to the working Southeast Lighthouse, which sits atop the Mohegan Bluffs, 160 feet above sea level. It's an historic landmark and boasts a first-order fresnel lens. The view from the lighthouse is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen, even on the foggiest day (it was so foggy the day I went). When you are finished admiring the beautiful fresnel lens, its glass prisms and its view, walk down the road and take the stairs down to the beach. It's a serious workout on the way back up, so don't climb down if you don't think you'll be able to climb back up.

The best part of Stonington is that it doesn't take 36 hours to unwind like it does in the Hamptons, with all the town traffic and stilettos at dinner. You begin the journey back to yourself about 12 hours after you arrive.

After running my first marathon last year, I got in the best shape of my life. But for some reason, running 26 miles paled in comparison to Angel Alecia's Sunday morning Purgatory Bootcamp class at Equinox. It could be that I am not training these days, but I morphed into a class A sissy the instant I arrived. You would have thought I'd just dropped my laptop and destroyed the only draft of my new brand book when I was instructed to leave my water bottle far away from my person, on the stereo system: "No drinking allowed until class is over," instructed Angel Alecia. I started to whine, and even stooped so low as to tell him I had a heart condition to find a little sympathy. I was unrecognizable -- a sissy and not someone who ran her first marathon just six months ago.

Forty five minutes later, and no water, I did survive. Wondering if I was the only sissy, I asked a very fit looking classmate how far she usually pushed herself in class. Past seeing stars or just before hyperventilation? With a sigh of relief, she smiled and said, "Maybe just past seeing stars."

Not even one thousand ice cream bars could make AOL cool again. AOL has branded a ginormous ice cream truck that parks in several spots below Fourteenth Street and gives away free ice cream to the scenesters they hope will become a new fan base of young adopters. AOL: Next time just throw a sexy pool party like Foursquare did.