Weekend Recs #12: A charming rom com, learning to flirt, and blueberry corn cake (!)
Plus: The "fandomization of news," and a fancy and beautiful tomato salad.
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This is Weekend Recs, a weekly send of ideas and diversions for your downtime. Not subscribed yet? Here you go:
Editorial note: Alisha is on maternity leave. How exciting! In the meantime, Downtime is edited by Aliza Abarbanel.
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Four ideas for your weekend…
📺 Red White and Royal Blue on Amazon Prime
A new, wholly enjoyable take on the classic romcom movie genre based on the mega bestselling novel by Casey McQuiston. The juicy premise: The president’s son and the Prince of Wales have minor public beef, until they secretly fall in love (!) and wrestle with their responsibilities to the public and each other. Easy and enjoyable, particularly because the leads have great chemistry and you get to see Uma Thurman doing a surreal Texas accent. Watch if you’ve enjoyed some of the other “rom com renaissance” streaming releases like Always Be My Maybe and Bridgerton.
🍅 Recipes to make right now:
Fancy and beautiful tomato salad. Summer in a salad. Peak-season tomatoes, creamy feta, herbs, a ton of crunchy pita chips drizzled with honey za’atar dressing. Looks like you’re eating in a fancy farm-to-table restaurant, but it comes together at home in minutes.
Gochujang-glazed eggplant with fried scallions. Crispy, glossy, and the perfect combination of spicy/tangy/sweet. I made this with seared salmon and rice for a quick weeknight dinner with the hopes of eating the leftovers for lunch, but we devoured it all. Perfect for using the bounty of eggplant varieties available at the market right now.
Blueberry cornmeal cake. This is at the top of my to-bake list. It’s sunny, summery, and perfect for breakfast, snacking, or dessert. Enough said.
A luminous portrait of the inner workings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from a former museum guard who left his fledgeling job at the New Yorker to find solace in the Met after his older brother died of cancer. It’s full of thoughtful ruminations on museum social dynamics, grief, and what we look for when we look at art. I laughed, cried, and felt inspired to go to a museum the same day I finished it.
Alisha sat down for an audio interview with Dr. Harvey Karp, a renowned pediatrician and child development expert who masterminded the popular, turbocharged SNOO bassinet. Check it out for an overview of how all parents-to-be and new parents can set themselves up for success.
Thanks to the supporting sponsor of this week’s newsletter, Liquid I.V.:
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A grab bag of links and reads worth sharing with the group chat.
Articles worth reading
Flirt School [The Cut]
Can you learn to flirt? Writer Bindu Bansinath polls flirting coaches, friends, and strangers for their best tips and hits the bars to find out. Personally, I’ve always found that eye contact and a smile goes a long way…but I’d love to hear your best tips, if you want to hit that reply button.
The Fandomization of News [The Verge]
A very necessary look into how fan culture has turned social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok into primary sources of news—and what can happen when misinformation, like the falsely announced death of teen influencer Lil Tay, spreads.
Orange Is The New Yolk [Eater]
A fun and fascinating deep dive into how bright orange egg yolks have become a status symbol on grocery shelves and, of course, Food Instagram in the era of “put an egg on it.”
Sean Paul Is Still Busy [The New York Times Magazine] *gift link*
Yes, Sean Paul is firmly part of Gen Z’s Y2K resurgence, and I truly love to see it. Crank up Temperature and read this very fun profile of the dancehall king, who is still sending people stampeding towards the dance floor after twenty years of hits. Choice quote: “When Paul drove up, he announced that he had brought a case of mangoes from his own orchard, and I was treated to the wholesome tableau of a group of grown men tearing into a cardboard box, each extracting a mango and biting in with sighs and groans of unadulterated relish. ”
“Going Shopping” Is Dead [Vox]
Has shopping IRL lost its magic? Low stock, locked-up products, and understaffing are just some of the reasons consumers told Vox that “retail therapy” is a thing of the past, and this story digs into why exactly shopping in person has become this way.
🌼 And more fun fluff…
BRB, swooning over Le Cruset’s new collection of fruit-shaped cookware. // Turn budget-friendly grocery store flowers into an IG-worthy arrangement. // A delicate gold bracelet benefiting Maui wildfire relief. // A therapist’s practical new guide to healing through community. //
Links continued below…
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