Welcome. How are you? Wednesdays were a bear even before the pandemic came to town and made most days feel like Wednesdays. Now Wednesdays are like Wednesdays squared, like Nebraska on a cross-country drive, 456 miles from Omaha in the East all the way to the Wyoming line. They’re a long way from a weekend that is hardly a weekend for many, in both directions on the calendar.

These long summer sunlit days do allow us a kind of magical reverie, even in places where the coronavirus swirls. There is the dawn to walk in, the sidewalks empty below the birds above. There is sunset to watch and the lengthy evening that precedes it, with drinks on a stoop or a porch, dinner taken on a fire escape or in a yard. Those can help and, tonight, I hope you’ll do both.

But I get how it’s hard. You woke up at home and some of you worked or looked for work all day at home, and tonight you’ll be at home again, all of us safest at home. It’s going to be that way for a long time to come. And it’s hard not to think of James Baldwin, and a line of his from “Giovanni’s Room,” about how home is perhaps no longer a place, “but an irrecoverable condition.”

[Like this newsletter? Sign up to receive it in your inbox.]

Let’s take advantage of that. Let’s set aside time to read Baldwin, and to listen to Dinah Shore and Andre Previn duet on “Begin the Beguine” and “April in Paris,” live in 1959. Let’s imagine visiting Storm King, and then make plans actually to do so, when the weekend comes, if we can. Let’s make Dorie Greenspan’s tumble-jumble strawberry tart, and push the children to get well and truly bored.

Seek diversion from what’s happening in your head and in our world, if just for a moment of recharge and reflection. It works.

At Home can help. It’s meant to be a serendipity machine, a collection of our best ideas for how to live a full and cultured and mentally healthy life during the pandemic. We publish stories on that subject every day. Please visit us At Home to discover them.

And let us know what you think!


Image
Credit…Harper Ewing
  • With some level of working from home appearing to be a long-term reality for a lot of people, a more workable home office is in order. One solution, for privacy and noise, is to head to the backyard. But help may be on the way for apartments, as scientists are developing what amounts to noise-canceling headphones for your entire home.

  • Spending so much time together has resulted in some couples feeling less connected. Figuring out how to bridge those gaps is vital, as the best way to approach the various choices involved in a slowly reopening world is to make decisions together.

  • And these times have been especially tough on children, as they are cut off from their schools, kept away from their friends, and forced to abandon many of their favorite activities. We asked experts for advice on how to help kids through the process of moving, and we took a look at dance studios that wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to this year’s recitals.


Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.
Credit…Natalie Sideserf
  • You may have seen Zach King’s mind-bending TikTok in which he slices a glass of water in half, revealing it’s actually cake, or Tasty’s viral video in which everything from a sandal to a bottle of lotion is cake. But, as Taylor Lorenz can demonstrate, everything is cake.

  • Traveling has been hard in recent months, but thanks to our Travel section’s World Through a Lens series, it’s easy enough to get outside of your home for a while, even if it’s just through photographs. This week, our photographer took to the sky for a series of stunning aerial photographs of Vermont.

  • Give us an unlimited supply of newspaper and some free time and we’re going to get creative. A printer’s hat is a tradition that goes back decades — and had a legitimate use at one point — but for people who want a more refined craft, we have a guide to turning your newspapers into beads.


You can always find much more to read, watch and do every day on At Home. And you can email us: athome@nytimes.com.