Like it or not, Davis is essentially a company town, that company being UC Davis. With the end of spring comes the end of the quarter, finals and graduation wrapping up, the town undergoes some changes because many students leave town for the season. They return in fall along with a new crop of freshmen.
Pros and Cons
What are the pros and cons about Davis during the Summer?
Shorter lines at a lot of places
The rec pool isn't as busy
Traffic is pretty light, so biking is less dangerous.
It's freaking HOT, which means you can wear shorts until midnight and barbecue at least until then!!
The pace slows down to one where you can chat with all the people whose names you don't know but that you see all the time. Everybody gets a bit friendlier, neighbors invite you over for a cold one because it's so damn hot, and we're not nearly as surly as we are when 5th Street is clogged with boys in rice rockets!
If you're a grad student, it's a great chance to get work done.
LiveJournal drama drops off.
It's freaking HOT
If you're a student, a lot of your friends have left for the summer
Davisites get their town to themselves for 3 months, well except for Summer Sessions
The FLIES... they're everywhere in Davis in the summer, especially in restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and so on. The flies here in Davis don't leave you alone. You bat them away and they keep coming back to sample the salt, sweat, or sweet smelling scents on your body.
If you're a grad student, most likely you still have to work.
Wiki drama kicks up.
Pros or Cons, depending on how you look at them
The town slows down and feels more like a small town than a college town.
Not many parties
Tips for Surviving the Oppressive Heat
The hot weather combined with the empty town can be troublesome for long-term residents and students alike.
Find, use, and abuse as much free air conditioning as you possibly can. Get wet in a local swimming pool. Drink lots of cold water and eat ice cream for every meal (but don't forget to eat fruits and vegetables too).
Summer-proof Your Windows
A MUST to survive: Mess with the windows! I live at Anderson Place in a room that's roughly 9'x10'. I have a window that is 3'x7'. My apartment faces west, and there is no tree in front of my window. My room is a freaking oven. Against apartment policy to "install" stuff on the inside or outside. Go buy shadecloth at the local hardware store, nursery, or Home Depot. I'm using two layers. One between the blinds and the window itself, and another on the outside of the blinds. Don't get black shadecloth!!! Get the tan, or smoke blue. Helps reflect the light. It really does help keep the room cooler if you close the blinds and have that double layer. Usually my room becomes 400 degrees by 4 pm. Now it's delayed til about 6.
Fill a humidifier (or vaporizer) with ice water and enjoy the cool mist. Note that this won't do much damage to the heat in a large room, and it's best if you are close enough that the mist falls on you.
Also: A Fan chain. Really inefficient, but we only have 1 ac in the living room that doesn't reach into the hooked hallway towards the bedrooms. We end up turning it on high, and using 4 or 5 fans. One in living room to fan cool air into hallway, one in hallway to push it down, one in front of each bedroom doorway. It helps, but it's probably a ridiculous waste of power. But when it reaches those hot temperatures, anything helps.
Apartment Hunting: Choose Wisely
Best tip is think of the summer before you pick your apartment. And preferably get a lower level. Don't think "Oh this one is closest to the bus stop, so convenient" THINK OF THE SUMMER SUN! AHhahahah hhurgh.
Bicycle Air Conditioning
Ride your bike. Exercising may seem counterintuitive, but if you can stick to mainly flat, shady streets, the airflow over the skin helps a lot. Dampening your shirt beforehand helps even more. Or just buy a fan.
Schedule Your Day Around the Sun
Starting very early in the morning, open all your doors. This will allow cool morning air in. Bugs don't fly about much in the morning, so this is a good time to do this. By about 8 to 8:30 or so, you'll want to close your door. At this point, keep all the doors closed, windows closed, blinds down. This will trap the cool air (unless you live in one of those poorly designed apartments with just one window at each end and no cross-ventilation. Then you're outta luck and it's A/C time). About 7:30 to 8 p.m., when the sun's gone down or just about to set, try to check the temperature inside as compared with outside. Once the inside temperature is equal or less than outside, raise your shades, blinds, whatever, and open the windows. This will allow cool(er) air to circulate.
Cool Shower before Sleeping
Right before you go to bed, take a cool shower. This will help, especially if you have the privacy and can sleep in the buff. Your body will feel somewhat cooler and it'll be easier to get comfortable and try to sleep.
Get a kiddie pool and while it's filling with water, get a cooler of drink and your phone or a good mag, then park your butt for the afternoon. Now head over to the hammock and air dry, then repeat. Summer's way more fun without air conditioning!
Build a Homebrew Air Conditioning System.
Don't Waste the Cool Times of Day
Don't sleep in. On broiling hot days, mornings and evenings (after the sun goes down, anyways) tend to be very pleasant. Do as much as possible before about 10:00AM or after about 7:00PM, and then as little as possible during the middle of the day.
Exercise at Cooler Hours, in Shady Places
You can still walk, jog or run. Just do so in the morning before 8 a.m. or 9 a.m.—depending on the predicted temperature for the day—in a shaded area. My favorite spot is the tree-lined path along Russell Boulevard, aka the Avenue of Trees, just west of Highway 113. (Or buy an ARC membership during the summer if you are not enrolled at UC Davis during the summer.)
Freeze Your Clothes
You can freeze a t-shirt nicely in the freezer and then put it on for a rush of cold. Works well if the shirt isn't too wet, just a bit.
Drink Cold Fluids
Chill some water bottles and take them with you when you go out, and remember to refill and replace them in the refrigerator when they are empty. If you are really hot and you need to cool off fast, try drinking liquids that contain sugar and other dissolved solutes, such as Lemonade. The sugar lowers the freezing point of the drink so when you add ice, the Lemonade, for example, actually gets colder than plain ice water ever can. It should cool you off faster.
Use a wet towel as your blanket. The water will evaporate and it will cool you down. The cool towel makes a huge difference.
Summer Session Classes are Air-Conditioned
If you're taking Summer Sessions, have your classes in the afternoon and early evening. You sit and learn in a nice, cool, air-conditioned classroom.
see also Fall in Davis
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2005-06-17 14:52:39 Hahaha. —SummerSong
2005-06-17 16:51:06 I moved here at the beginning of the summer and was so surprised when everyone came back and the town changed practically overnight! —SummerSong
2005-06-23 19:26:00 A note about cons - I don't agreee with point three- I'm happy when your friends have gone home for the summer. More parking for me and my friends. OMGLOL —MarieBoisvert
2006-03-30 19:42:28 Summer in davis is surviveable, just annoying. Strategically placed fans in your dwelling can fix the problem of expensive AC. Oh, and leaving windows open during the night can help keep the house cool during the day. It might also help that my entire house is tiled. It keeps things nice and cold. —JulienBiewerElstob
2006-06-03 20:39:54 Go see movies mid-afternoon during the hottest time of the day. It's cheaper anyway. Bring a sweater or long sleeve shirt because the theater is feels very cold. Save precious cooler evening hours for outdoor activities.
Try to wear as little as possible and as loose as possible. Buy comfortable sunglasses and wearing a hat can prevent headaches from squinting. Get used to carrying a water bottle and keep it filled. —SharlaDaly
2006-06-27 13:35:56 Is it just me or are Summer Sessions freakishly more busy than in previous years? This is my third summer session at Davis and I've never seen so many freaking people! I used to like it more because I felt like I owned campus. —SS
2006-06-28 02:03:28 I love taking classes in summer session. The classes are nice and small, the campus is nice and empty and quiet. I'm active during the normal school year and am a social person, but it's really quite a relief in the summers. I always feel a little claustrophobic when campus explodes in the fall —AlvinTsao
2006-07-25 16:34:19 Given the power situation in California right now, I recommend that people try to reduce the usage of AC during peak hours. A lot of California is experiencing this extraordinary heat right now, and there could be rolling blackouts. Run your AC at night or early morning to cool it off, and close your blinds to keep heat from getting in - that should help keep the temperature down while reducing strain on energy supplies. —KarlMogel
2006-08-29 11:16:13 I take back my previous comment, mostly 'cause summer sessions 2 is really f-ing boring. —SS
2007-10-15 23:01:07 I <3 Summer Session. The only thing i disliked was roasting on my way to class. Campus is quiet, the library reserves let you keep books over Saturdays, and best of all - No bike circle accidents FTW. —RobertSooHoo
2008-02-25 22:40:59 Pros: "Townies get their town back for 3 months"
If the townies only have Davis for 3 months, is it really their town? Or does it belong to the students, who "get" Davis for 9 months? —MikeTahani
2008-06-14 00:12:21 Heat sucks. Go home if you can. —BreeButler