Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sam's Weekly Quarantine Digest #19: July 19, 2020

Hi all,

This week, I've been thinking (again) about what connection during the quarantine can look like, and how it will change when the pandemic ends.  I continue to think that sending snail mail letters and cards is a great way to stay in touch - there's something so heartwarming about getting a handwritten note in the mail.  I've also enjoyed playing games via Zoom and Google Meet, and getting my entire family together from all across the country for holidays and celebrations this spring has been amazing.  However, I think we're all also suffering from some serious Zoom fatigue.  Recently, I've been setting up one-on-one Zooms rather than larger groups, and that helps a bit, but man do I miss just hanging out with friends on our couch or at a restaurant.  As a hostess by nature, I miss testing out new appetizer recipes for our next football gathering, or baked goods for our next game night.  And, perhaps most of all, I miss hugs!  Good old hugs.  While things are definitely not going back to our old normal any time soon, I choose to use this time to recognize how much I appreciate the little connections and interactions we are so lucky to be able to enjoy during non-apocalyptic times, and how much I look forward to getting them back.  Being forced to go without hugs and game nights and sharing my baked goods has only made me all the more grateful that I will one day be able to do so again.  And when I can, it's going to mean more than ever to me.  I look forward to seeing you all then!

Previous digests can be found on my blog at  If you have suggestions or would like to stop receiving these emails, just let me know.


Staying sane
  • Have you found yourself "doomscrolling" lately (perhaps during the quarantine, perhaps since late 2016)?  Break that habit with this advice.
  • Feeling stuck or overwhelmed?  Check out this advice for dealing with difficult life transitions.
Staying active
  • Looking for additional workout options that you can squeeze into a busy day?  Check out these 6-minute options from the New York Times, or these 7-minute options from Johnson & Johnson.
  • Looking for a way to keep your kids active?  Tune in on Monday at noon for a 20-minute workout from Spear PT that's specially targeted to children; see the details here.
  • Looking for a way to shake up your weekly yoga routine?  Austin's Umlauf Sculpture Garden hosts a yoga class in the garden every week for a suggested $10 donation.
Staying engaged
  • NYC enters Phase 4 on Monday, which means that outdoor cultural institutions like zoos, botanical gardens, and outdoor museums are allowed to open.  Keep an eye out for more opportunities to spend some quality time outdoors.
  • Taking MetroNorth?  Don't be alarmed if you run into their new (and somewhat terrifying) robot mascot - if you're lucky, he'll hand you a free mask.
  • Broadway Bares will still be happening this year - the Broadway community will be taking it online, with plenty of performances that they promise will "make social distancing sexy."  Tune in here on August 1 at 9:30pm Eastern.
  • New York City Center is hosting a new series called Studio 5: Great American Ballerinas.  The first episode, featuring Tiler Peck, premiered on Thursday, July 16, on YouTube, but you can also view the video on their website through Wednesday, July 22.  The other four episodes will be released on July 30 and Sept.16, Sept. 23, and Sept. 30.
  • New York City Center is also hosting a new series called Ayodele Casel's Diary of a Tap Dancer V.6: Us.  A new episode will be posted every Tuesday at noon, from July 14 through August 25.
  • Love the opera and wishing you could travel around the world?  Check off both boxes with the Met Stars Live in Concert series, which will feature opera superstars from around the world performing from breathtaking locations such as a former Bavarian abbey, a Norwegian castle, and a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean.  Performances are $20 each for a virtual ticket and will run from this Saturday (July 18) through December 19.
  • PBS is hosting a short film festival; voting is open online through Friday, July 24.
  • Haven't quite found the time to dive into that list of antiracist articles and books?  A teenager in Vermont put together an antiracist calendar to help you make progress - check it out here.
Staying full
  • 92Y has released a new slate of summer cooking classes.  I'll be attending the $15 ice cream, gelato, & sorbet class in the hopes of finally justifying to Luke why I brought our ice cream maker into the city a few weeks ago.
  • Baldor is now offering DIY kits from top NYC restaurants, like a pizza-making kit from Roberta's, Shake Burger's Shackburger, or even various pastas from Hearth.
  • Recipe of the Week: Sweet Corn & Ricotta Ravioli: Prepare pasta according to your favorite recipe; roll into very thin sheets.  Use a ravioli maker, or place dollops of filling (~1 tsp) spaced every 2-3 inches, then press down between them to seal each and use a pastry cutter (or a sharp knife) to separate the ravioli.  For the filling: Pulse 2 cups of fresh corn kernels in a food processor until roughly chopped.  Mix in 2/3 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp heavy cream, 1 egg, salt to taste, and fresh herbs (1-2 tbsp, to taste).  Serve with a white wine, butter, & herb sauce (see previous digests for a base recipe).  These also freeze really well if you make too many to eat all at once!

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