The dog days of summer are upon us, but at Sunset, we don’t let the heat slow us down. This week’s Best of the West highlights how we’re keeping it cool

Bark Shop Dog on Float

Courtesy of Bark Shop

Every Day Is a Dog Day at My House

Courtesy of Kate Wertheimer

Surfer and mixed media artist Ty Williams has worked with Western names big (Ace Hotel, Patagonia) and small (Los Angeles noodle shop Woon, San Luis Obispo-based musician Little Wings). His sketches, murals, and paintings often depict surf and sun, but I was drawn to the dusky mood of this layered blue and pink scene—so much so that it’s now on my wall. (Also, this long leaping dog looks a lot like my own pup, Woody.) —Kate Wertheimer, travel editor

Summering away from San Francisco

Getty Images

You’re probably well acquainted with that one time Mark Twain threw shade at San Francisco and (rightfully) dissed our chilly, foggy summer weather ( “the coldest winter I ever spent” and all that). This summer hasn’t been the worst on record (Karl the Fog has been elusive at times), but after several weeks of donning fleece, I’m ready to put some summer in my summer—which means putting some distance between myself and SF. I’m heading up to Sonoma County’s Russian River area for a week, where I can expect legit heat, bountiful opportunities to cool off in the perfect-temp river and in the shade at Armstrong Redwoods State Park, sojourns to nearby wineries and tasting rooms (Korbel is a local favorite), and Guerneville’s amazing Nimble & Finn’s, where artisanal scoops and pie milkshakes (yes, you read that right) are the ultimate summer treat. Dog days of summer, here I come! —Jessica Mordo, associate digital director

Summer Gets Red-Hot

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Portland-based art and design rag Beacon Quarterly released its ninth issue, Tan Lines, last week, and properly feted with music, art, beautiful people, etc. Curated nudity-inspired looks were available from Portland’s vintage/thrift shopping experience Dumpster Dogs, and the incredible photos in this issue are definitely hitting the right “dog days” notes for me, too. —Heather Arndt Anderson, garden contributor

Dog Days Are Followed by Starry Nights

Creative Commons photo by Oleg Bryzgalov is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ever wondered why we refer to the heat of summer as the “dog days?” It’s because ancient Greeks and Romans both noticed that temperatures spike at the time of year that Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, can be seen rising in the east just before sunrise. Sirius is located in the constellation Canis Major, or the Big Dog, and the star itself is nicknamed The Dog Star, so…yeah, we owe this modern English expression to an early, epic over-thinking of how heat waves work. Sirius itself isn’t so much to look at—just a really bright star—but its morning reappearance coincides with something else cool in the sky: the annual Perseid meteor shower. This shower is usually one of the best of the year, causing an unusual number of shooting stars every night from mid-July until the end of August. The Perseids peak on the night of August 12-13, when it may be possible to see a meteor every minute. You’ll find me in my backyard that evening with a blanket but no special optical equipment—because this is a whole-sky event, I’m leaving my binoculars and telescope with their narrow fields of view inside. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

Outside Lands Food Options Go to the Dogs

San Francisco’s typically mild summer temperatures make it an excellent spot for a music festival like Outside Lands. Over the years they’ve amped up their culinary offerings to match the dizzying array of musical talent. This year’s Taste of the Bay Lineup features some 80 local restaurants, which essentially allows festival attendees to do their scouting for a year’s worth of food forays over a single weekend. So for every Childish Gambino there’s grilled bratwurst from the Monk’s Kitchen; for every Paul Simon, a BLT from BaconLand. Plus there’s the GastroMagic culinary stage where music and food get mashed up on a stage shared by the likes of Anderson .Paak, Sqirl’s Jessica Koslow, and staffers from food magazine Bon Appetit. I already know my guilty pleasure is going to be a hand-dipped corn dog from Berkeley’s Endless Summer Sweets. —Hugh Garvey, executive editor

When You Can’t Stand the Heat, Eat from This Kitchen

In our family, the dog days of summer mean that it’s hot in the kitchen and I have no appetite for cooking. We eat a lot of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella to compensate, but our dining-out cadence definitely picks up. Last Friday, instead of sweating over the stove, we decided to visit the newest restaurant on Oakland’s Grand Avenue, Sister. The eatery replaces defamed chef Charlie Hallowell’s Boot & Shoe Service, a beloved local haunt. Sister builds on all of the good of the old restaurant—the pizza oven, elevated Italian food, and rustic interiors—and infuses a new sensibility: fresh branding and a largely female staff. We had an incredible feast: homemade bread, marinated olives, potato fritters with summer truffles, bucatini with pickled anchovies, and pizza with aged mozzarella, hot peppers, and gouda. We wrapped the meal on a boozy note—strawberry sorbet with pét-nat rosé. Yum! —Kendra Poppy, audience growth editor

The Organic Electrolyte Drink That Keeps Me from Panting Like a Pup

My dog days are unofficially sponsored by fruity, organic bottled drinks like these ROAR Organic ones that have now secured a spot in whatever bag I’m carrying with me each day. The electrolyte beverage is infused with antioxidants, B-vitamins, and less than 2 grams of sugar—it’s basically like if Gatorade got a wellness makeover and a yoga membership. Right now I’m rotating between a collection of Mango Clementine, Blueberry Acai, Strawberry Coconut, Georgia Peach, and Pineapple Mint. And I can confirm the last pairs well with a Russian River tan line. —Maya Wong, assistant editor

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