Thursday, May 7, 2020

Sam's Weekly Quarantine Digest #8: April 30, 2020

Hi all,

As the weeks go by, it gets harder to pretend this is a short-lived thing.  Many of us have now been in quarantine for 50 days or more.  If you haven't already, take a few minutes this weekend to think about what makes you happy and how you can recreate that in quarantine.  Miss your friends and family?  Put virtual "brunch" or "coffee" on calendar, and invest the time to teach your least-tech-savvy family members to use Zoom!  Miss the movies?  Turn the lights down, throw that popcorn in the microwave, and rent one of the new releases that are now available through Prime Video, Sling, Google Play, and more.  The "ticket" will cost the same, but you'll save big on food and drinks and you won't have to use a public bathroom - it's a win!  Miss getting a haircut?  Well...maybe don't tackle this one right now - best to wait for professional help.  But this hair mask has banished my split ends - sorry folks, that's the best I can do for you for right now.

Got suggestions?  Want to stop getting these emails?  Just let me know.  Looking for previous digests?  They’re all on my blog at

Stay home, stay healthy, and stay positive - we've got this!


Share the Love
  • My incredible cousin, Ava, wanted to make sure the essential workers in her life knew just how grateful she is that they're still working every day to make things easier for the rest of us.  Check out this video of what she did to get her message out!  What can you do to let someone know how much they've helped you?
  • A24 film studios has opened their prop closet to do their part to help out.  They're auctioning off props from their TV shows and movies (including a crazy dress made of flowers from Midsommar and the purple hoodie from Euphoria.  Proceeds will help hospitals, food banks, and more.
  • Previous digests have dozens of great ways to give back to your community - check them out if you haven't already.

Share the Laughter
  • The Skint: Multiple people alerted me this week to this newsletter of virtual activities in and around NYC.  They've got some good stuff in there, so if you've still got some downtime to fill, check it out!
  • Wish you could wander around Silicon Valley?  We may be stuck at home, but thanks to a creative investor who created a virtual version, you can still visit the Valley here.
  • Tired of JackBox?  NY Mag created a list of board games to play over Zoom; see here.
  • There are now over 2,500 museums with virtual tours/artwork, so there's no excuse not be cultured during the quarantine!
  • See Harvard emails
  • New York Times' At Home newsletter contains fun articles and links to live events, such as a music critic discussing How to Tawk Like a New Yawker, and a climate reporter discussing how to eat sustainably and make the most of what's already in your kitchen.
  • The New York City Ballet is having a digital spring season, from now through May 29th.  Check here for details about the great programs they've put together, including performances and discussions, as well as workouts, and dance classes!

Share the Flavor
  • Some of your favorite local bakers have opened pop-up delivery businesses while their restaurants are closed.  Sure, you could subscribe to a beauty box to try a new moisturizer...or you can subscribe to a dozen pastries that show up your door weekly or monthly!  Check out the details here.
  • Recipe of the Week: One Single Scone: In a food processor (or with your hands), combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp sugar.  Pulse 1 tbsp cold butter (cut into small cubes) into the dry ingredients until it breaks up and resembles crumbs.  Add in you mix-ins of choice (cranberries? walnuts? blueberries?) and 2 1/2 tbsp milk, and pulse until the dough pulls away from the side of the mixer (should be just a moment).  Carefully pull the dough away from the blade and shape into a circle, patting it to about 1/2-inch thick.  Bake at 450 degrees on a parchment-lined pan for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool slightly before digging in!
  • Kitchen.Rodeo features downtown Manhattan chefs offering a slew of cooking classes, many offering to teach you some of the most popular recipes from their restaurants.  Proceeds go to local charities like City Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City.
Share the Toilet Paper
  • Still looking for hand sanitizer?  Just about every morning, Bath & Body Works restocks their supply of at least one fragrance of hand sanitizer.  Just check here starting at 6am EST and be ready to be quick on the click!  (I've slept in til 9am and still found some, and they still have plenty of hand soaps and hand creams around the clock.)  And if the elusive Donut PocketBac holder comes back into stock, please let me know!
  • Masks are popping up everywhere!  Check your favorite clothing brand first.  If they're not selling any masks, try here for a list of fashionable options (including some kid-sized options, like Maisonette.  Looking for sillier options, like dog snouts?  Try here or here.  Even kitchen utensil  and apron companies are getting in on the mask action.  Many brands are offering them at buy one, donate one pricing, so you'll also be helping essential workers.

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