Monday, April 22, 2024
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What to Do This Weekend


Welcome. Have you been listening to “Loud,” Spotify’s podcast about the history of reggaeton? It sounds pretty great. “Over 10 episodes, it traces different chapters of the genre’s development: its Panamanian roots, its industry takeover in the early and mid-2000s and its rebirth in Medellín, Colombia,” Isabelia Herrera writes in her review, and it “forces us to listen to reggaeton with complexity.” Two episodes are currently available for streaming, each a little more than a half-hour long. That’s just enough audio accompaniment for a long walk or a couple of car trips, or maybe for fixing yourself an affogato. Here’s the show’s trailer. Dive in.

Or take a cue from Lorde and log off: “Lorde’s phone, set to grayscale, now has no internet browser; she is locked out of her social-media apps, with others handling the passwords; and a coder friend even made YouTube inaccessible on her laptop.” Extreme measures, perhaps, but her alternative activities seem very appealing: “Instead, she cooked, baked, walked the dog, swam, gardened — chilled, in other words.”

When was the last time you truly chilled, phone-free? If you have access to a garden and the weather permits, you can certainly chill there. Margaret Roach spoke with the landscape architect Darrel Morrison about ecological landscaping, a philosophy he applied to his designs at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, among other projects. “I set things in motion, and let them go,” he said of his dynamic approach to landscaping.

If you’re looking for stuff to look forward to, Dolly Parton and James Patterson are writing a novel together. Beanie Feldstein will play Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” on Broadway. And the U.S. Open is in less than three weeks — though Roger, Rafa, Serena, Venus and Djokovic are lying low until then.

Barbara Whitechurch in Middlesex, Vt., advises forgoing the usual beach-set summer novels in favor of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.”

The romantic climax of the book takes place in summer, in rural England, in the garden, in the evening. I cannot sit outside in the moonlight without remembering the magical encounter between Jane and Mr. Rochester. Brontë expertly brings her reader to the brink, and then masterfully twists the plot, to that reader’s extreme delight. (Note that I am imitating her style here, which — as must be the case! — has exerted a powerful influence over me.)

How can we help you lead a fuller and more cultured life, at home and away? Tell us: Include your full name and location and we might feature your response in a future newsletter. We’re At Home and Away. We’ll read every letter sent. As always, more ideas for leading a full and cultured life this weekend appear below. See you next week.


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