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.