Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines.
— Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18” (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”)
William, per usual, was onto something.
I’ve now limned my reasons for preferring laid-back Los Angeles to hardscrabble hustlin’ on the Hudson. But there remains one sticking point, especially as we barrel toward another 60°F Southern California winter: L.A. is too sunny.
Do not call sol. Ever. Also, remember that sunblock brand, poetically called “Bain de Soleil”? No. BAN DE SOLEIL.
I come from a proud line of shun-the-sun types. Remember that facekini device, from those most resourceful and expert ray-ostracizers, the Chinese? (My people!)
I haven’t worked my way up to this level of coverage yet. I’m still using more casual methods of protection. To wit:
I mimic a mummy.
Or, I avoid going out during the “not-so-magic” hours. That is, the times when too hot the eye of heaven shines, roughly 9a-4p. (Best Hawaiian vacation companion ever!)
I learned this all from my parents. When I was growing up, my physician father always repeated, mantra-like, that for Americans (steering wheel on left side), the left hand, neck and head are the most sun-damaged and photoaged parts of everyone’s body. This is because the evil UV rays come for your youthful bloom and epidermic elasticity, even with the windows rolled up! “You can’t see it, but it burns.”
In spite of landing resolutely on the L.A. side of the L.A. vs. NY debate, I try to stay in my protective anti-sun cocoon as often as possible. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree — mainly because the tree provides abundant shade.