18th and Columbia

How we spend our days, is how we spend our lives

As I’m writing this to you, my stomach is in knots. It turns out the Sunday scaries don’t really go away even when your only commute is to the living room table, so I’m here, taking deep breaths and trying to compartmentalize tomorrow’s deadlines from you know, all of that out there.

On some level, we must all be questioning our life choices, right? In our free time, David and I trade pictures of cabins and homey-hygge interiors that we want to build one day. We say that for now, we’d even settle for being in the middle of some woods with a tent and our dog and a campfire. We don’t even try to hide from ourselves that this vision is some real yuppy REI shit. But this all leads to bigger questions too, because how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. And so when this is all over, how do we stop talking about that life we’re imagining and just go do it already. That mostly means we’re looking at beater cars that can take us from Manhattan to the middle of nowhere in a hurry.

In spite of that kind of existential questioning, I’m cautiously enjoying this time. David and I have been living in the same place for 5 full weeks. We eat our meals together. I’ve been sleeping a consistent 8 hours. At my new job, all pretenses have been wiped away—I see my co-workers in sweats, no makeup, looking exasperated because their kid just wants to play—and it’s been a welcome equalizer. I feel like the entire world is at my doorstep. I’m joining poetry readings, and marathon viewings of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, and listening to music and stories that I might not usually think were my style. The other night, we just laid in bed and turned on old 90s songs on the Apple TV; Apple Music now conveniently shows the lyrics for most songs and we suddenly found ourselves singing a lazy kind of karaoke, sans microphone. My friends are sending us pictures of their kids and they are a gooddamn delight. Our dog is getting fat. My clothes are uncomfortably tight. I try not to care—too much.

Maybe it’s because it’s finally spring—and even though my stomach is currently in knots—I feel something opening up. Just a little bit of hope. A feeling like this was all a springboard—the universe is giving us a mulligan and another chance to get it right. A chance to care a little more about our neighbors and to build a better plan for next time. A way to jolt us out of our complacency.

Let’s see if we get it right this time.

To Read

  • The last train trip before everything changed.
  • “A decade later this instance—like a fingerprint pressed into wet concrete, even with thousands of other days on top of it—will still be visible.” If you only read this piece for that line, it will be enough.
  • We’ve lived in New York nearly two and a half years now (shiiiiiit, when did that happen?) and I’ve got a pretty good food map going. I haven’t been to all of these places, but they’ve been recommended in some form by others.
  • Fran Lebovitz is never leaving New York. And for now, neither am I. An interview with an unusual character.
  • Hard to look away from these photos of a disappearing South.
  • Explain it like I’m 3. What a treasure. Thanks, Sameer.

To Watch

  • Better Things and Breeders on Hulu have been the sweet surprises of my isolation TV viewing.
  • I did a marathon viewing of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice and discovered Colin Firth and Ira Glass kind of look alike now.
  • Table of Contents has become one of my favorite New York activities, even if it means an hour on the train to Brooklyn. They’re doing a live reading tomorrow night. Tune in.
  • David Lebovitz is making dranks on Instagram. Join him for his daily Apero hour (live at noon ET).
  • Literally days before the shelter-in-place order was given, I was scheduled to go see Emma with my pal Sahar. I decided to pay the $20 fee to rent it instead. Honestly, even with a rockstar cast, it was incredibly flat. Do not recommend.

To Listen

  • I randomly (truly, so randomly) stumbled on Radio Artifact, a local radio station out of Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve tuned in a few times and have never regretted it.
  • I hope we’re all hearing new/old things in lockdown.
  • Maybe you don’t know that I’m part of the team making this podcast? It seems to be providing a lot of people comfort right now.

To Eat