In July, it’s Time to Get Serious about Play

One of Prince’s favorite ways to relax was to bike around Chanhassen and its parks.

I hereby declare July the month of play.

Prince took play seriously, and as evidence, I refer you to one of my all-time favorite videos, “Gangster Glam,” which dates from 1991. It chronicles a single day and evening out in MPLS with Prince, Leisl AuVante and members of the New Power Generation enjoying the city’s “brief but beautiful summertime,” in AuVante’s own words.

There’s a rare sighting of Prince barefoot, and even rarer, video footage of Prince rocking a mankini while doing pushups poolside and hanging out in front of Paisley Park on the hood of his canary yellow BMW. Did I mention that Prince rollerskates here? I kid you not. Just a typical day at Paisley Park circa 1991, folks. Move along: There’s nothing to see here.

In sultry July, the temperature rises, the days are long and sun-filled, and life beckons us to slow down and savor a cool drink, or a bicycle ride around the lake. This month, I’m gonna make like Prince in the glorious MPLS summertime. I’ll bike around town; I’ll host a bonfire and get someone to play guitar; I will take up a new hobby — paddleboarding. However, I WILL NOT WEAR A MANKINI (June may be over, but I can still say no!). I will find ways to make each day more pleasurable. Taking time for play — or even time to stand on the edge of Lake Minnetonka and gaze out at the boats as the water laps at your feet — is our theme for July.