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Keep it cool

Five ways to beat the Boston heat

 

Some days, there are only two options: get indoors or get wet.

When walking down Commonwealth Avenue feels like trudging through a swamp, it’s perfectly acceptable to stroll through downtown Boston in a bathing suit to reach the Frog Pond on the Boston Common, or the fountain on Christian Science Plaza near the Prudential Center. On the hottest days, from sunrise to sunset, locals of all ages duck into the cooling jets for a brief reprieve from the oppressive temperatures. (Some, in desperation, even walk through fully clothed.)

If getting in the water doesn’t appeal, going out on the water usually works. Sailing on the Charles, whether at Community Boating or at BU’s Sailing Pavilion, provides a cool breeze, if not shelter from the sun. Sunday, August 13, is the last day BU’s Sailing Pavilion is open before the fall semester, but Community Boating’s season lasts until October 31, and memberships start at $80.

When modesty — or immobility — prevails, the only solution is to seek refuge in an air-conditioned interior. The central branch of the Boston Public Library has all the key components to beat the heat of a sweltering summer day: thousands of books and periodicals, ongoing art exhibitions, and frequent films and lectures, all free of charge and all held within the BPL’s wonderfully cool walls. This month’s exhibitions include 10,000 Joans, a collection of art relating to Joan of Arc, Journeys of the Imagination, an exhibition of world maps, and a selection of New England coastal prints by lithographer Stow Wengenroth. Click here for a complete listing of events.

And if all you have the strength to do is sit in the dark, visit Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre, a restored Art Deco theater specializing in offbeat arthouse flicks. In addition to its regularly scheduled screenings, the Coolidge shows midnight movies and events every Friday and Saturday night — don’t miss Dave Chappelle’s Block Party on August 18 and 19 or the Michael Jackson Sing-a-Long event on August 26.