Welcome. The Super Bowl is on Sunday, and like so much else these days, it looks different from previous years’: players tested daily, the stadium filled to just one-third its capacity, fans socially distanced and wearing masks.
Whether you’re tuning in for the game; for The Weeknd’s halftime performance, on a stage set up in the stands to avoid player contact; or to check out the preshow with Miley Cyrus and Amanda Gorman, the at-home experience should be relatively subdued, too.
Dr. Anthony Fauci advised fans to “just lay low and cool it” when asked about Super Bowl parties. So we’ll watch with our households, scale down our snack stadia, halve the seven-layer dip recipe. This year’s Puppy Bowl will be hosted by Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, if that’s more your scene.
I might skip the televised events altogether and spend some time planning a post-vaccine trip. Stephanie Rosenbloom has a good story on travel and the art of anticipation, in which she talked to a psychology professor about the benefits of taking a trip after having stayed put for a while:
When we begin traveling again after months holed up at home, we will likely experience what Dr. Dunn referred to as a “happiness reset”— the result of which may be that even modest, less costly vacations will give us extreme pleasure.
A “happiness reset” sounds pretty terrific right now, doesn’t it? If you can’t plan a trip, consider cueing up the Netflix series “Street Food.” Paulette Hackman from Binghamton, N.Y., writes that the show is “fascinating not only for the street foods and their respective cultural contexts, but for its spotlight on humanity and perseverance.”
Making one cake each Friday from Yossy Arefi’s cookbook “Snacking Cakes” is getting Ruth Tepper in Newton, Mass., through. Ruth Baldwin in Ontario recommends Fredrik Backman’s novel “Anxious People,” calling it “beautifully written and so appropriate for this difficult time.” Nancy DeMuch in Powell, Ohio, never fails to laugh out loud watching Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” monologue from the previous night.
Vicki Kohl in Olathe, Kan., is attending Saturday-eve Facebook Live concerts by the musician Kelley Hunt. Hritam Mukherjee in Kolkata, India, gets “a strange feeling of reassurance and ‘feel good’-ness” from Vivaldi’s “Winter,” Senneville’s “Mariage d’Amour” and Pachelbel’s Canon in D, all on YouTube. Sarah Miller in Mt. Horeb, Wis., relived her 1980s childhood by borrowing “Fraggle Rock” DVDs from the library to share with her kids.
Speaking of parenting, don’t miss The Times’s “Primal Scream” series, examining the pandemic’s effects on working mothers.
My heart felt open and broken and hopeful listening to The Bengsons sing about their pandemic experience in Dayton, Ohio, in “The Keep Going Song”: “And I hope that you’ve watched a lot of/Really great television/Like, a lot of it!/And I hope that you find a hand lotion that/Actually makes your skin feel better,” they sing, touching on elements of quarantine both practical and profound.
And take a minute to visit the Science Museum Group’s “Never Been Seen” collection. Each time you refresh this webpage, you’re served photo of an object from one of the U.K.’s science-focused museums that has zero views, so you’re the first person to see it (online, anyway).
Keep sending your recommendations for books, TV shows, recipes, music, theater, online curiosities and other things that are bringing you joy or diversion or respite or comfort these days. Include your full name, age and location, and we’ll keep sharing your suggestions in upcoming newsletters. Write to us: email@example.com. We’re At Home. We’ll read every letter sent. More ideas for leading a full and cultured life at home appear below. See you next week.