Enjoying Your Backyard All Summer Long

This summer may be one largely lived outdoors, where the safest place to see a friend or escape the four walls of your home is in your backyard or on your balcony or roof deck. But summer is not always so cooperative, and by mid-July, the heat, bugs and humidity can undo the best-laid summer…

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Second Chance for First Impression

It took two first dates for Nuala O’Connor and Peter Bass to fall in love. In 2013, Peter Bass, 56, was chatting with a college friend from Princeton at an event in Washington. “I was newly divorced and I had been doing the whole online thing and was finding it a little tiresome and challenging,”…

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More Than a Last-Chance College Romance

Katie Adams and Emily Fletcher, both neuroscience majors at Dartmouth College, were in the last term of their final year, in 2013, before they met. Ms. Adams noticed Ms. Fletcher (left), both now 29, because the latter was perpetually late to a class they had together, and so had to sit in the back with…

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A Little Chutzpah Goes a Long Way

Emily Abigail Waife summoned up a bit of chutzpah in 2013, after talking it over with friends. She wanted to tell Eli Michael Kaufman she had feelings for him. “I always thought he was funny and I loved his passion for Judaism,” said Ms. Waife, a paternal great-great granddaughter of Sholem Aleichem, the Yiddish author…

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Don’t Hate Me, but I Hate My Job

Send questions about the office, money, careers and work-life balance to workfriend@nytimes.com. Include your name and location, or a request to remain anonymous. Letters may be edited. When a Summer Job Feels Wrong I’m an undergraduate, and I’ve been discussing with my friends: Is it wrong to get a summer job? One of our concerns…

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As He Cut My Hair, I Wept

A few weeks ago, I gave myself a crew cut. I didn’t know how long it would be before I could visit a barber and figured I might as well do it myself. I took my electric clippers into the backyard of our house on Martha’s Vineyard, where we live year-round. It didn’t take long,…

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From the Start, There Were Ground Rules

Before Shanee Markovitz agreed to be Nathaniel Kay’s girlfriend in 2014, she laid down her ground rules. “When he asked, I gave him two pieces of feedback,” said Ms. Markovitz, then 14. “First I told him to stop shaking, because he was nervous. And then I told him, I will say yes, but I want…

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Semper Ficus: Who’s Keeping Abandoned Office Plants Alive?

The motion-sensing lights sense nothing. The swivel chairs do not swivel. Only one sign of life remains in the abandoned corporate floor plan: potted plants. Intended as a note of vibrancy amid bland surroundings, workplace greenery now seems an eerie symbol of the suddenness with which workers abandoned their routines. Yet the cactuses and philodendrons…

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How a Streetwear Designer Spends His Sundays

David Ben David is the founder and creative director of Sprayground, a streetwear line known for its art-inspired backpacks and collaborations with celebrities like Spike Lee and Shaquille O’Neal. Since the coronavirus outbreak, however, Mr. Ben David has added masks to his collection. He is also volunteering: Every Sunday, he teams up with the Lower…

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