Fans of Modern Love Rejoice! The NYT Tackles Summer Love in a New Column


By Jessica Munoz

There is something undeniably sexy about summer in New York. It could be the constant hustle of its residents and visitors, the awe-inspiring architecture, the humidity that leaves everyone with a dewy glow, or the unparalleled feeling of invincibility infused in its air. There's a story, especially a love story, around every corner. 

During my last visit New York, while riding the subway, I sat across a man I found incredibly interesting. We talked of baseball and I was enchanted. We didn’t even exchange names, but I remember falling in love with him in passing. There really is something in that New York air. The New York Times has definitely caught on, as they've introduced their column, "Summer Love." The column calls for readers to submit their stories, from happy endings to cringe-worthy tales, to explore romance in New York during its hot season. Here are excerpts from 5 of our favorite Summer Love columns:

1. It Began with Secret Pickles, and Survived a War 

“I asked her, ‘Would you like a pickle?’ ”

There were Jewish delis every few blocks in their neck of the Bronx. Bagels, bialys, cream cheese, lox, whitefish — and barrels of pickles, a penny apiece.

It became a summer of secret pickles.

“She would stay outside and mind the bike and I’d go in and get us penny pickles,” Bucky said — half-sour for her, sour for him. “We’d go to this playground two blocks away, sit there, eat the pickle, talk, schmooze a little, and I would ride her home.”

2. Finding Their Rhythm After Improvising 

“I had to be blunt because I didn’t want to waste my time,” she said. “And I thought that if he’s scared away, that would be a great thing.”

She wanted to know his thoughts about child-rearing, living together before marriage and life insurance. How did he prioritize material goods versus quality of life? What was his lifestyle like? What were his plans for retirement?

“It was like a job interview,” Mr. McGinnis said, adding, “I found it kind of attractive.”

3. Taking It Slow, Until She Took Charge 

“I thought I had everything,” the card said, “and then I met you.”

He was sweating. She was going to get all those roses, he thought, and she didn’t even know him.

4. She Answered His Ad for a Roommate, Moved In and Never Left 

In mid-August, Ms. Ryan secretly made strawberry shortcake, one of Mr. Juback’s favorite desserts, in honor of the first anniversary of their meeting. “I made it from scratch,” she said, “because that’s what I was brought up to do.”

On Aug. 16, she reached into the refrigerator and said, “Look what I made you.” As he went to kiss her on the cheek, she swiveled and met his lips with hers. The kiss was momentary, somewhere between chaste and lustful.

5. A Traffic Accident. A Fire. And Then Their Romance was Really Tested 

During the conversation, Mr. De Rosa, in a burst of honesty, revealed that he was unable to have children. “That’s awesome!” Ms. Smolenski replied. “I’ve never wanted to give birth.”

They ended up at her apartment that night and she dressed his wounds.

When Ms. Smolenski returned from Spain later in the summer, Mr. De Rosa met her at the airport. “I remember Nico picking up this giant suitcase and putting it on his shoulder,” she said. “I remember looking at his butt. I remember thinking, ‘Who is this guy?’”

Hooked as much as we are? For more stories like these, check out our  5 favorite Modern Love columns

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Jessica Munoz

Jessica is a writer living in Venice Beach. Her guilty pleasure is food competition shows.

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