We here at the City Paper love American Apparel, and it’s not because they run a regular ad on the back page of the paper. Actually, that’s not entirely correct. We love them because they run an ad on the back page, but it’s not because they pay us, although we’re certainly grateful for their patronage. The point is we love their ads. More often than not they’re sexy. Sometimes they’re just bizarre. And nine times out of 10, we think they’re hilarious. Seriously, it’s hard to read the bio on each model and not crack a smile. For this issue of our annual Summer Guide we decided to pay tribute to our favorite ongoing ad campaign. We hope you enjoy it.

The Lot's Alex Lira takes backyard kebabs to new extremes
The Lot's Alex Lira takes backyard kebabs to new extremes Five Courses, One Stick

Anybody can flip a burger or turn a dog. When it comes to cooking out for July 4, we're not exactly a collectively creative country. — Stratton Lawrence


You can literally bounce off the walls at Sky Zone
You can literally bounce off the walls at Sky Zone Jump Around

The day my daughter Zoe and I went to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park in Mt. Pleasant, was a busy one. Zoe is six, and that Wednesday morning was her last day of kindergarten. — Leah Rhyne


Blow off summer steam with indoor go-karts and lazer tag at Charleston Rush
Blow off summer steam with indoor go-karts and lazer tag at Charleston Rush What a Rush

I am a careful driver. I use turn signals, I never text and drive, and I've never received a speeding ticket in my 10 years on the road. But when I sit behind the wheel of a go-kart, a switch turns off in my brain and I am consumed by one lunatic thought: "I wanna go fast." — Paul Bowers


A stay-at-home mom takes to the waves
A stay-at-home mom takes to the waves Courtney Don't Surf

Surfing is inherently cool. The lithe, fit bodies, bronzed by the sun. The shaggy hair, bleached and oh so windswept. — Courtney Davis O'Leary


This is the true story of an acrophobic sent to master a high ropes course
This is the true story of an acrophobic sent to master a high ropes course Tweezle Dee and Tweezle Dumb

Perched atop a platform at 35 feet hugging a wooden pole was not how I pictured spending a recent Monday night. — Melissa Tunstall


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