Welcome. It’s getting to be last-day-of-school sunny and warm here in the Northeastern United States. We’re on the verge of summer again. Last May, a return to normal life felt almost impossible to ponder. This year, while we still have many questions about Covid-19 (What do parents need to know about kids and vaccines? Why did the C.D.C. change its advice on masks?), we’re making space for more before-timesish questions too (How much SPF is enough? What should I read this summer? Which beers does Eric Asimov recommend for a hot day?).
What parts of pandemic life do we hope will continue, as much of the world opens up? Elisabeth Egan hopes we keep making time to lose ourselves in books. Jason Farago would like to see museums continue to engage with audiences digitally, as the Frick did this past year with their online “Cocktails with a Curator” series, an At Home reader favorite. And it seems the pandemic-born practice of taking your daiquiris and margaritas to go from bars and restaurants will stick around, a change that Mike Whatley, the National Restaurant Association’s vice president for state and local affairs, says “represents the most dramatic change in state alcohol laws since the 1933 repeal of Prohibition.” And it’s possible dental care has changed forever as well.
Even as theaters open up, we’ll still treasure streaming movies at home. This weekend, why not watch a Charles Grodin film, like “The Heartbreak Kid” or “Beethoven”? Grodin, who died this week at 86, decided to become an actor after seeing the 1951 movie “A Place in the Sun”:
“It was two things,” he told the Television Academy Foundation in an oral history. “One is I think I developed an overwhelming crush on Elizabeth Taylor. And two, Montgomery Clift made acting look like, ‘Gee, well that looks pretty easy — just a guy talking.’”
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Grand Final is streaming live on Peacock in the United States. (Here’s a guide to where to watch in all participating countries.) And if you haven’t watched Barry Jenkins’s 10-hour adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel “The Underground Railroad,” it’s streaming on Amazon Prime. “Jenkins gets it all,” writes James Poniewozik, in his review of the series. “It’s as if he has figured out how to funnel more feeling through a camera lens than anyone else.”
And don’t miss this conversation between A.O. Scott and Sarah Silverman, in which they discuss Scott’s critical review of Silverman’s 2005 film “Jesus Is Magic” and how it changed them both.
A reader recommends.
Celebrating her 89th birthday with a group of friends recently, Phee Sherline from San Diego realized how the pandemic has changed her:
We had such a good time laughing, sipping our wine, eating a very good dinner. It’s good to hug friends again, but more than that, I learned how to enjoy my own company during the pandemic. That seems to be paying off as I regroup with friends. I know myself better. I tell jokes I might not have told before. I value good moments and I value being 89. I read, paint watercolors and play the hammer dulcimer. I now fully realize how valuable those interests are in filling time and defining who I am. That’s a gift from the pandemic, but I also realize I created that gift myself. The pandemic woke me to its value.
There’s so much about the pandemic that we are eager to leave behind. But there are some things we hope will endure: making more time for books, going out for a long daily walk or taking our health more seriously. What changes from the past 15 months do you hope continue? Tell us: [email protected] We’re At Home. We’ll read every letter sent. As always, more ideas for leading a full and cultured life at home and away appear below. I’ll see you next week.
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