When I imagine the passage of time, I think of a calendar – specifically, a full annual calendar printed on one page, the kind a bank or restaurant might hand out as a giveaway, emblazoned with its logo.
The year is presented in the form of a grid: three lines, four months in a row. I imagine each row as the seasons go by: the top row starts mostly cold and gloomy in January, but at the end of the row in April it’s warmer and brighter and it feels like you’ve almost arrived in the second row, where things open up. May to August is the marrow of the year, when daylight is at its peak, when things seem a little looser and more possible. The middle row is, for summer supporters, really the only row worth pining for.
However you imagine the weather, you probably have a distinct feeling about this weekend, Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. Disbelief seems to be the prevailing answer this year: how can it still be summer, where has the time gone? “Time is a flat circle, a spinning record, always and forever returning to its beginning,” my colleague Sam Sifton wrote in the Kitchen newsletter yesterday, and he’s right. We are still figuring out the stuff that time has been doing for the past few years, how it has stretched and contracted, sped up and slowed down and there was, for a while, time to contemplate it.
Ready or not, it’s summer again. The calendar has decreed it – even if the weather or your wardrobe or your children or your garden are not ready. Memorial Day weekend forces a shift in mentality. The beaches are opening up, the mattresses are on sale, we feel someone grilling. (maybe it’s you.) The middle row is in full swing.
If everything feels too abrupt and you are having trouble catching up, may I suggest that you plan your summer movie schedule? I’ve been patiently awaiting Nicole Holofcener’s latest “You Hurt My Feelings,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies, which comes out this weekend. Other Highlights: John Slattery directs Jon Hamm and Tina Fey in “Maggie Moore(s),” opening June 16. There is a Wham! documentary coming to Netflix July 5th. “Indiana Jones” arrives June 30, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” July 21.
We also have a bunch of selections for your reading pleasure at the beach, in the park or on the couch: Try a whodunnitA romancemaybe a audio book? The two audiobooks on our list that deal with birds sound enchanting and seasonally appropriate.
And of course, there’s always the unofficial (or maybe official?) fruit of summer, the strawberry, which stars in three Melissa Clark’s Recipeseach of which seems ready to join Jerrelle Guy’s Strawberry Spoon Cake in my personal pantheon of the best desserts in the world.
From 2019, 100 years of Memorial Day coverage in time.
If you find yourself stuck in traffic this weekend, here’s a game to calm your nerves. (Rear drivers only.)
Or, listen to my story of the poem that comforts me when times are tough. It’s on New York Times Audio, a new iOS app that Times news subscribers can Download here.
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
???? “Genealogy of a murder: four generations, three families, a fateful night” (Tuesday): I can’t wait to dive into Lisa Belkin’s true crime story which traces the story of three men involved in a murder in 1960. In his opinion in The Times, Robert Kolker called it “a somewhat knotty but exhilarating intimate study of fate, chance, and the hugely meaningful intersections of disparate lives”. Isn’t that attractive?
???? Cowboy Junkies, “Such Fierce Beauty” (Friday): Canadian alternative country band Cowboy Junkies have a new album coming out. If, like me, you can still sing every word of every song from the band’s 1988 album “The Trinity Session,” you’ll be happy to know that Margo Timmins’ voice is still so soulful and enchanting.
It’s Memorial Day weekend, the official start of barbecue and picnic season. That means there’s a good chance you’ll consider snacking on eggs while the grill is heating up. You can’t go wrong with this classic recipe, filled with egg yolks, mayonnaise and mustard seasoned with hot sauce. You can boil and peel the eggs the day before, and even stir in the filling. But do not pour it into the whites before the moment of serving as much as possible. And be sure to do more: you never know how long it will take for those coals to catch.
What you get for $2.7 million: A Carpenter Gothic showplace in Shelter Island Heights, NY; an 1890 house in Key West, Florida; or one mid century modern house in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
The hunt: She wanted a house in the Hamptons for $4 million. Which did she choose? Play our game.
Lighting for summer nights: Exterior lighting all that is more magical.
Solo single: Some brides are ditching parties in favor of a trip alone.
Digital spring cleaning: Try these tips for a healthier engagement on social networks.
Hold it together: Prepare comfort food and drop the to-do list.
Joy around the world: What are the the happiest countries do well?
Make your vacuum cleaner last
If your long weekend plans include tidying up your house for summer guests, give your vacuum a little TLC to make it more efficient – even the best model won’t clean well if you don’t take care of it. from time to time. Clogged trash cans, stinky filters and tangled hair reduce suction and can lead to premature battery and motor death. Simple routine maintenancelike cleaning the filter and detangling the rotating brush, will keep your vacuum cleaner working for years and saving money over time. — Sabine Heinlein
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays, MLB: Enjoy a baseball game with your Sunday morning coffee. The Rays have the best record in the majors this season, and that’s no coincidence – by some metrics, they have the best offense And the best starting pitch, Eno Sarris notes in The Athletic. The division-leading Dodgers are thriving on Mookie Betts, an All-Star outfielder who was asked to play shortstop due to injuries on the team and proved to be excellent in this area. 11:30 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow, streaming on Peacock.