A Friendly Battle Rap Invitation
Ok so look. I’m a book lady. My hot girl summers consist of visiting aunties down south, taking care of my plant babies, and braiding hair. When I say braiding hair I mean I clear the living room for the day, get a playlist and make sure there is a comfy pillow on hand for those parts where we just gotta take it to the floor. I’m also well beyond prime knee and back days so I go to the pool to get joint relief and leave the bikini flexing to other folks.
But still, I enthusiastically clicked open the City Paper’s article on how to have a budget friendly hot girl summer in Pittsburgh and while I love the interviewees and the intent and the sentiment (hot girl summer is not gender specific and smart isssss hot), I can’t say there wasn’t a little Queen of the Ring energy in my veins. Ok, maybe a lot of it like chiiiile let me get my Norma Bayts on and put some Tabasco in here. Let’s have a little Reload, shall we?
Here is my official start of hot girl summer addendum. I’m also a teacher so I used a checklist (mini-rubric) to keep it together. All of these options had to have at least 2 of the following characteristics: 1- A Black woman in the captain’s seat. 2- A track record of spotlighting Black women on a regular basis. 3- Options at or below $25.
I see your museums, City Paper, and raise you these…
- Go to Barrel and Flow Fest September 10-12. This Black brews and arts weekend is going to be full of top notch artists and craft selections. It will come at the end of official summer so you could even do a little more than $25 if you have the ability to save for a few months. Come say hi to me if you want. I will be anywhere you see INEZ or Clara Kent.
- Eat. I mean yes eat and leave no crumbs with your fabulous lewks but also eat some good food. There are so many awesome establishments that meet my criteria. One of my favorites is Z Best BBQ which I treated myself to once a week when I worked in Oakland. Always tasty. You could even link up with the lovely Grow Pittsburgh urban farming folks and chef it up at home.
- Listen to the Girls Running Shit podcast while you go do whatever you want. Yes even walking to a big box home improvement store but especially while going to ride your bike or you know just walk around looking gorgeous.
- Give to organizations that support the freedom of all hot girls in our area. I’ll be donating on Hot Line Ring Day to BOOM Concepts. I will also donate to Sisters Pgh because Black trans women’s lives matter.
- Get your nails done. Yes. I realize this was in the original article but I noticed that unlike the thrift stores, we skipped naming a few. I figured if two RWB locations deserved a shout out then we could do the same for nail techs. I recently went to Dreamz Hair Salon for my very first acrylics because I’m trying new things and whew I am a fan. At this point I and all three of the daughters are set to be regulars. Psst. I’m happily married but the barber was definitely someone I would encourage a friend to check on. Can’t afford nails? Go on Student Saturdays and see what’s good. You could also head over to Ambiance Hair and Nail Gallery and sip some wine while they get you right.
- Read The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw. A new copy of your own will run you about $18 and trust me, it will take your hot girl summer all the way to Deeshember! I recommend curling up with a boo and reading together until you umm can’t. And yes the libraries are free. I prefer the Homewood and Braddock locations. You can also plan to come to the Black Book Lady library opening in August. I know right?! Excited!
- Shop different. I’ll probably visit the legendary sister Sarahjameela Martin at Few of A Kind Store and pick up some yummy jewels at Ujamaa Collective. And of course I will get my regular book splurge on at White Whale Bookstore. You know they’re expanding right? Wanna get chipotle powdery shopping? Ok I found this post that features Black-owned sexual wellness items and yup some of them are $25 or less including shipping and ahem handling.
You can also watch out for news of free outdoor movies at Cinema in The Park (bring a big blanket) and other options listed by What To Do in the 412. I could have gone on for days but I wanted to get this out before the summer ended soooo. Oh yeah and just in case – no one paid me for any of this. I just love Black women and our ideas enough to spend my time centering us and recognizing that we so often make sure everyone wins. So, hot girls of all walks of life, welcome. This piece is free.
P.S. I added a little spice after publishing. It needed to be hotter.