Welcome. I received a note this week from a reader that made me reconsider how I’m re-engaging with the world. Rachel Albetski of New York City wrote that she’s loved meeting up with friends in bars and restaurants. But she was surprised to find that the most joy she’s experienced of late has come from walking around alone: “I had been so busy catching up with people,” she wrote, “that I hadn’t taken any time to just be solo in New York again!”
We can get so busy doing the flashier things we haven’t done for so long now that we forget that just existing in public, walking from one place to the next in the company of strangers can be its own pleasure, even its own privilege. Perhaps some being alone, with others, could squeeze its way onto your schedule this weekend.
You might find a quiet place outdoors and dive into Jazmine Hughes’s profile of the musician Lil Nas X. You could go on a walk and mull the question Gretchen Reynolds tackled this week: “Do We Really Need to Take 10,000 Steps a Day for Our Health?” (According to the studies she examined, we can experience health benefits taking far fewer.) Check out one (or both) of the two new podcast versions of Wallace Shawn plays, “beautifully rethought for the ear by the director (and longtime Shawn collaborator) André Gregory.”
Back at home, if it’s nice out, consider a vegetarian cookout. Pick up one of these Savoie whites, recommended by Eric Asimov, if you like. Margaret Roach has suggestions for ridding your garden of Japanese beetles. And we’ll help you make sense of the airline credits and vouchers you may have received as recompense for canceled flights.
“Every generation gets the ‘Gossip Girl’ it deserves,” said Joshua Safran, the showrunner of the rebooted series. You could stream it on HBO and see if you agree, or revisit “Legally Blonde” on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. (The latter is on Netflix.) The Wimbledon women’s final is on Saturday, the men’s on Sunday; stream them on ESPN in the U.S. Check out Sunday’s premiere of Mike White’s “The White Lotus,” which James Poniewozik calls “a sharp, soulful series that knows its characters in full and gets richer as it goes on.” (Here’s the trailer.) And if you’re a Marvel completist, you might already have tickets for “Black Widow.” Maya Phillips put the film in context.
A reader recommends.
Sandra Ow-Wing in West Hollywood, Calif., recommends taking the dog out for a stroll and reuniting with old friends.
My dog Vernon and I have walked by the hotel down the street from where I live every day for the last eight or nine years. Vernon has become friendly with all the valets, and he stops by to be pet and to hear kind words. Neither Vernon nor I realized how much these daily greetings meant to us until they were gone. Every day for 15 months Vernon would peek into the doors of the hotel, waiting to see his friends, to no avail — until mid-June 2021. The three valets were rehired and we were overjoyed to see them! Those few moments every day mean so much to us.
Keep sending your experiences of small, specific things you’ve been surprised to discover you missed, like Sandra’s daily dog walk above: [email protected] Include your full name and location and we might feature your story in a future newsletter. We’re At Home and Away. We’ll read every letter sent. More ideas for how to pass the time this weekend appear below. See you next week.