The Baristas Finally Get to Recommend the Champagne

When Peter Moon saw Helen Kim’s profile on the dating app Hinge on Jan. 8, 2019, he swiped right immediately. The answer she had provided to an app-generated question about the one word her mother might use to describe her — “disobedient” — had stopped him cold. “That was the thing that got me, other…

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Two Animal Lovers Meet at a Tiki Bar

Kaia Wilson could tell there was something wonderful about Nicole J Georges the first time she saw her, and it wasn’t necessarily how skillfully she sang both parts of “You’re the One That I Want,” the duet by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, on karaoke night at the Alibi Tiki Lounge in Portland, Ore. “I…

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That ‘Whole Opposites Thing’ Worked Out Just Fine

Rafe Totengco wasn’t planning to stay out very late on a January night in 2010. He had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, and at the insistence of a few of his friends, had gone with them to a party in Manhattan. When the party started to wind down, his friends convinced him to…

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The Ceremony Was Embargoed

Late this summer, friends and family of R N Tharu and Rishi Vijay Gupta received a hefty package in the mail. Inside, wrapped in plastic, was a thick pack of papers marked with a request: “If you are reading this before September 27, 2020, we kindly request you to stop, put everything back into the…

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Let Me Count the Waze

Jazmin Moses, who lived in Atlanta, did not believe that Alphonso Counts III was on his way to meet her despite the fact that Mr. Counts, who lived in Orlando, Fla., called her from a gas station there and said, “I just filled my gas tank, I’ll see you in about six hours to take…

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Dogs Once Made Pretty Nice Wool Blankets, Too

Eight years ago, Tessa Campbell heard a genuine shaggy dog story. In 2012, Wayne W. Williams, an elder of the Tulalip Tribes, was donating material to the Hibulb Cultural Center on the tribal reservation in Washington State. He told Ms. Campbell, the museum’s senior curator, that his donation included a dog wool blanket. Weavers examining…

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How Will We Cope With the Pandemic Fall?

Abby Guido is dreading the winter. The cold will force her family back into the same kind of lockdown they faced in the early days of the pandemic. “It’s constantly on my mind,” said Ms. Guido, 41, an assistant professor of graphic and interactive design at Temple University. Ms. Guido’s husband, Chris, has lymphoma, so…

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Two Cups of Coffee and Buckets of Rain

Karen O. Rubio and Kenneth Lorence have fond memories of their first date in August 2015, a visit to the Smithsonian National Mall in Washington. It was the start of a life together that began with two cups of coffee and never-ending buckets of rain that had them “running for cover,” said Ms. Rubio, 31,…

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How Many Children Do I Have? It’s Not So Simple

If strangers ask me how many children I have, my answer is complicated. I birthed two children and am working on raising them to be really good humans. But I also mothered a third child for a year and a half, and I can’t just erase that relationship. I’ll answer “Two, a boy and a…

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What Matters Is They Get the Joke

When the mood strikes, Gregory Thomas Moss and Danielle Cristina Black might make up new words to a song, riff on a word or two from one they already know, or pick up on each other’s jokes, perhaps while cooking in their kitchen in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. “We’re a comedy team at our kitchen table,…

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