A Surreal, if Simple, Wedding (and Just the Day She Needed)

Magdalena Owczarska learned two lessons on her wedding day. One was that wedding vendors are underappreciated. The other was that when life seems to be conspiring against you, a person you never expected to fall for can restore your sense of equanimity. Ms. Owczarska married Brett Day on May 5 on the grounds of the…

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Telemedicine for Home Repairs?

In the middle of March, as Americans retreated to their homes to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Rachael Quinn Egan discovered how long her family could live without a functioning washing machine. When the family’s 6-year-old machine broke down, Ms. Egan, a writer in Montclair, N.J., did what any reasonable person would do in…

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In a German Restaurant, the Sommelier Lifts His Mask to Smell the Wine

Patrick Kingsley, an international correspondent, and Laetitia Vancon, a photojournalist, are driving more than 3,700 miles to explore the reopening of the European continent after coronavirus lockdowns. Read their first dispatch here. BERLIN — Clad in masks, the waiters were nervous. How would the diners see their smiles? The sommelier wondered: How would he smell…

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Loving the Lockdown

In early March, when Ethan Rasiel read that Italy was going into a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus, he had one overriding response: envy. When, in-mid March, Mr. Rasiel, the owner of a public relations firm in Maplewood, N.J., learned that the Bay Area had issued a similar directive, California started looking very good…

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How Line-Dried Laundry Gets That Fresh Smell

It’s the smell of line-dried laundry. Some atmospheric chemists like that scent, too. In a paper published this year in Environmental Chemistry, researchers examined line-dried towels at the molecular level, to try to pinpoint the source of their specific fragrance. Silvia Pugliese led the research while she was a master’s student at the University of…

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The Birds Are Not on Lockdown, and More People Are Watching Them

The adult male scarlet tanager is a medium-size songbird with glaring crimson feathers and jet-black wings. It can be hard to spot, because the species tends to forage among the upper branches of tall trees. But it does come down to earth, and sometimes can be caught hanging out with pigeons outside of the Freeport…

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The World in a Jewelry Box

Some people bring home magnets, key chains and maps from their travels; I bring home accessories. Floral scarves, beaded headbands, colorful hats, kitschy coin purses. But more than anything else, I bring home jewelry. Not crazy, need-a-bodyguard, can’t-check-my-luggage jewelry. Fun jewelry. Some of my frill is extra, but most of it isn’t; some of it…

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This Pie Lets Peak Strawberries Shine Bright

Strawberries may grace the supermarket produce aisle all year round, but the juicy, brightly colored varieties that come around in late May and June are almost a different species, altogether soft and delicate and needing to be devoured as quickly as possible. You can smell their floral, candylike aroma at the market before even laying…

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Is It Safe to Keep Employing a Cleaner? Wrong Question, Lady

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. These days, I am largely unemployed. Normally, I am on the road, speaking at colleges and universities and other organizations — but during a pandemic, proximity is a…

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Back to School for a Wedding

Chiedza Mushayamunda and Matthew Hooker went through “a range of emotions,” as Mr. Hooker put it, when they realized their long-planned May 30 wedding would have to be severely downsized because of the coronavirus. The wedding was to have taken place at the Millennium Center in Winston-Salem, N.C, with more than 200 guests, including family…

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