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As I pen this note, I'm at my desk under the swirling arctic winds of summertime air conditioning, but the luscious tropical prints in this month's New & Cool are ushering in a warm but not-too-humid ocean breeze. (I can dream, can't I?)

 All over the city, hotels are opening their pools to the public as a way to escape the dawning heat. A few private residences opened their pools to the CUE team. See their backyard oases in our home feature.

 July fashion focuses on summer's swimsuit trends. Suit up and jump in — the water is fine, and so is the swimwear.

 It's time to spoil Dad a little. Our Father's Day gift guide offers ideas from local retailers, but if you're really stumped, just ask the guy. He's likely got a few ideas of his own. Festival season is cruising along — grab Dad and explore the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival and the NOLA Caribbean Festival, or get everyone in their best cocktail attire and have a night on the town before checking out some music at Essence Festival (by then, everyone will be ready to be indoors).

 Father's Day isn't confined to June 18 — celebrate late by taking Dad out during Tales of the Cocktail, beginning July 18. Tips from Hadi Ktiri of The Sazerac Bar will help craft an outfit as surely as he can craft a martini.

 Yours in peace, love and beachy dreams, Katherine M. Johnson

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