Welcome. Have you listened to “Loud”, Spotify’s podcast about the history of reggaeton? It sounds pretty great. “Over 10 episodes, it follows different chapters of the genre’s development: its Panamanian roots, its industrial takeover in the early and mid-2000s, and its rebirth in Medellín, Colombia,” writes Isabelia Herrera in her review, and it “forces us to listen to reggaeton with complexity.” There are currently two episodes available for streaming, each just over half an hour long, which is just enough audio accompaniment for a long walk or a few car rides, or perhaps to make an affogato for yourself. Here’s the trailer for the show Dive in.
Or take a call from Lorde and log out: “Lorde’s phone, set to grayscale, now has no internet browser; she is locked out of her social media apps while others control the passwords; and a programmer 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 in the yard — chilled, in other words.”
When was the last time you were really chilled, phone free? If you have access to a garden and the weather permits, you can certainly chill there. Margaret Roach spoke with 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 others. “I set things in motion and let them go,” he said of his dynamic approach to landscaping.
If you’re looking for things to look forward to, Dolly Parton and James Patterson are writing a novel together. Beanie Feldstein plays Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” on Broadway. And the US Open is less than three weeks away – although Roger, Rafa, Serena, Venus and Djokovic will remain calm until then.
A reader recommends it.
Barbara Whitechurch in Middlesex, Vt., advises forgoing the usual summer beach romances in favor of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.”
The romantic highlight of the book takes place in the summer, in the countryside of England, in the garden, in the evening. I can’t sit outside in the moonlight without remembering the magical meeting between Jane and Mr. Rochester. Brontë skillfully takes her reader to the brink and then masterfully twists the plot, much to that reader’s delight. (Note that I’m imitating her style here, which – as must be the case! – has exerted a powerful influence on me.)
How can we help you live a fuller and more civilized life, at home and on the road? Tell us: [email protected] Please include your full name and location and we may include your response in a future newsletter. We are home and away. We read every letter sent. As always, more ideas appear below for living a full and civilized life this weekend. See you next week.