What to Do This Weekend

Welcome. The movies are back. Broadway is back. Public displays of affection are back. Travel is back (and it smells like weed). “Ted Lasso,” co-working spaces and even the goat landscapers of Manhattan’s Riverside Park are back.

But what does it mean to be back, really? Indoor masking is back in Los Angeles. Rising case numbers are back, too, across the U.S. Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned to take the good news with gratitude and with caution. When things come back, many of us are inclined to hold them carefully, knowing that “back” means different things depending on the moment or the day, on the state or country in which we’re living.

Each time I find myself doing something that I couldn’t or wouldn’t have done a year ago, I try to note it, to welcome it back. In the past couple weeks, I’ve welcomed dinner with friends, a theater performance, a taxi ride, a trip to the beach. What have you welcomed back?

Perhaps you’ll welcome this weekend with a good dinner: Follow Yotam Ottolenghi’s formula (inspired by Samin Nosrat) of something fresh + something flavorful + something you need to use up to make a delicious meal. Or you could try Eric Kim’s vegetarian take on McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets with sweet-and-sour sauce.

If you’re mulling a trip to the movies, Jeannette Catsoulis thinks you should see Nicolas Cage play a truffle hunter in Michael Sarnoski’s “Pig,” a “mournful fable of loss and withdrawal, art and ambition.” She’s also bullish on “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.” Christina Morales spoke with Morgan Neville, the director of “Roadrunner,” who told her that “he wanted viewers to see the threads that could have contributed to Mr. Bourdain’s death, including how his virtues were also his vulnerabilities.”

Be sure to watch James Robinson’s video essay on what it’s like to live with disabling eye conditions, “How Life Looks Through My ‘Whale Eyes.’” And Margaret Lyons recommends the series “Schmigadoon!,” which parodies classic musicals and stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key. It’s available on Apple TV+.


A good long read for the weekend: “Can the Black Rifle Coffee Company Become the Starbucks of the Right?”

Here’s Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston performing “You’re a Friend of Mine” on “Solid Gold” in 1986.

Remember refrigerator poetry? I nearly missed a deadline playing with Concrete Nest, a simple digital version of the old magnetic classic. My poem’s here. Make one yourself! Send it in if you’d like.

Tell us.

Of all the things that are back, at least for now, what have you been most grateful for? What’s back that you wish would stay gone? Write to us: [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.

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