Weekend Reads #122

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weekend reads from wardrobe oxygen
My kid at the ocean the last evening of our trip

Usually, I work on Weekend Reads all week. I start the post and as I read articles or think of something I add it and save the draft. Sometimes, I even have two in draft – the one for the coming week and the one after. But this week, Weekend Reads is being put together at 3pm on Friday. My family and I got away this week to the beach; back in June when thinking of a summer without the community pool, without the 4th of July and Labor Day festivities, and canceling our annual girls' trip to Rehoboth Beach because the idea of staying in a hotel without a balcony or kitchen and having to navigate crowds sounded un-fun… well I knew we needed an escape to look forward to.

Beach rentals are a hot commodity, and we weren't able to find one our style and price until after Labor Day. And this past week I tried as hard as possible as a self-employed breadwinner for the family to take a break. I wrote content for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday ahead of time and only did maintenance for about an hour each day. And Weekend Reads I figured if I didn't get to it, the world would still rotate. But we got home in plenty of time, laundry is in the machine, we're all showered, and my kid is upstairs finishing up her distance-learning school day. I emailed myself a bunch of great articles this week and will share them below. And stay tuned, I'll be sure to have a recap of our little vacation!

How to Help

Another week, another opportunity to pick from all of the tragedies happening in our country and the world to highlight.  I started this segment as a way for us to feel like we can do something even if we're sheltering in place and this spring into summer and now into fall is getting even more devastating. Please please PLEASE vote. And when you vote, think not just about your bank account or that one issue you're passionate about, but vote for this world. Vote for those who believe scientists, whose hearts break over what is happening to children at the border and children in the classrooms, who see teachers and waiters and housekeepers and firefighters and seniors to be just as valuable of humans as millionaires. 

But this week, I have to focus on the fires happening on the West Coast. I felt awful sharing photos of me at the beach in the rain as I know many of you are dealing with the devastation happening across the country. And what happens to one of us, affects all of us. Whether or not you live on the West Coast or love someone there, the fires are hurting wildlife, the environment, businesses, our health, our finances, and all of our futures. There are many sites offering links to charities that can use your donations to help those affected by the fires.  The three I sent donations to on behalf of Wardrobe Oxygen are:

If you live in the area and know of an organization that could use our support, do share it in the comments.  And thank you all for striving to make this world a kinder, safer, and healthier place for all. 

Weekend Reads

I love Jonathan Adler, and loved seeing how he transformed this Nob Hill mansion. (SF Gate)

We're getting far too used to living in hell. (The Cut)

Why you should stretch more often than before and after exercise — especially nowadays. (Washington Post)

A great piece from my friend Patrice, better known as Afrobella: How I rediscovered beauty in the pandemic. (Zora for Medium)

The only thing I have control over are my biceps. (The Cut)

Century 21, the fabled NYC bargain destination is closing. (New York Times) 

Two things that are more important than ever: maintaining connections and supporting the USPS. Here are a few fun ways to do both. (Livability)

Kids of all ages on what they miss most about dining in restaurants. (City Paper)

‘This is not the time for tiptoeing.' How British Vogue's Edward Enninful is shaking up the fashion world. (Time)

Jane Fonda, intergalactic eco-warrior in a red coat. (New York Times)

Whew, this longread was intense and I think a must for all: A pandemic, a motel without power, and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future. (Washington Post)

And thank you to Rachna who sent this piece may way thinking I and all of you would enjoy it: Hanifa's Anifa Mvuemba couldn't get the fashion industry's support. Turns out she didn't need it. (Fashionista)


Not a lot of seeing, hearing, or reading this week…

We finished the miniseries, Mrs. America on Hulu and it was FANTASTIC.  Seriously, if you haven't yet watched it add it to your list!

And speaking of which, I am really looking forward to seeing The Glorias.

My Spotify algorithm is all out of wack and my Daily Mixes are binaural beats and spa soundtracks which is all I can listen to when writing.  This past week I took a long walk on the beach and then through some of the beach neighborhoods checking out houses and dreaming of owning one and during it I listened to this playlist I used to listen to when taking a train or plane for a work trip

For Your Entertainment

I know we're not the only people to end up with a playlist of a vacation; songs you hear that transport you back to that trip, that restaurant, that moment at sunset.  And for our trip this weekend, much of its soundtrack includes the band Tennis and their latest album, Swimmer, which came out at the beginning of the year.  Here is one of the songs from the album that got stuck in my head:

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Hey Alison,
    Late to the Weekend Reads, but wanted to say thanks for acknowledging the wildfires raging. You’ve seen the pics, it’s ugly in CA right now and pretty devastating. We are safe and fortunate to be far enough from threat of evacuation. But, the smoke is everywhere.

    As for your trip, I LOVED seeing your posts every day. It just took me away and some of the posts I replayed on Insta to imagine I was there at a beach. So it was a great visualization. Plus, you and your family are so darn cute and who wouldn’t want an update on the adventures with Oscar?

    Filled with gratitude, so keep it up!

    P.S. Great weekend reads. You were right about the Florida article. Really sad. Did you see Florida Project?

  2. Your weekend reads are great as always — thoughtful and thought-provoking. Thank you for the links of where to donate. It is so easy to feel defeated and helpless … giving money is at least one thing I can do from where I live in Washington, DC.

  3. Alison, many thanks for highlighting the fires and their devastation. Emily, your comment breaks my heart. We are in Seattle and while we have had to stay indoors due to hazardous air quality, that is merely inconvenient. Family members in California are on stand-by for evacuation. Friends in San Francisco and outside of Portland have shared pictures of orange, apocalyptic skies. Thinking about all of the families who are dealing with the desctruction of their homes, the families of firefighters and first responders, the local humane socities that are helping with animal rescues and shelter. I appreciate the spotlight on this devastation and although we donated to the Red Cross it’s great to learn of some more local opportunities to help make a difference. And I truly appreciate the reminder to all of us that VOTING is one of the most powerful things that we can do to improve our world and the world for the next generation. Climate change is no joke and we need to course-correct yesterday. I appreciate ALL of your posts and your worldview. Thanks!

  4. Another fab round of Weekend Reads–how great that you got a break AND still were able to put this post together! I have had some extra time to check out various links, as we are stuck in our apartment, sheltering from the wildfire smoke in Oregon.

    It has been pretty rough up here. We are grateful that the high winds we had a few days ago have dropped so that the nature preserve next door to us is not about to go up in flames that could so easily spread to the buildings! But our air quality has bounced between unhealthy, very unhealthy, and hazardous since last Monday afternoon. It is so hard to know that not far away people are in mortal danger, and beautiful places are being destroyed. Thank you to you and all your readers for the supportive thoughts you are sending this way.

  5. Hi Everyone, my client, Puente is a nonprofit in the central coast. Their town, Pescadero has been hit hard by the wildfires here in the Bay Area. Many of the employees had to evacuate their homes yet they continue to work in the community to help the first responders and the families displaced by the fires. They have setup a fire fund. If you are able to please consider helping them. Here’s their website https://mypuente.org/. Thank you and stay safe.

  6. Another Californian here. The nearest fire is 40 miles away so we’re not in danger but even here we can’t open the windows or leave our houses without ash falling on us. Going for a walk, exercising outside, and socially distanced happy hours with other couples – or even enjoying our yard as a family – are gone (in the pandemic these are / were the few things maintaining our sanity) and it feels like we’ve been living under an orange-gray sky for a week with no one even noticing outside the west coast (AKA our federal government…) Thank you for acknowledging us. Weekend Reads is something I look forward to every week, thanks for putting it together!

  7. Hello Alison,
    I agree with Emily. Thank you for highlighting the climate fires. Sometimes it feels like no one else in the rest of the country (D.C.) is paying attention. I live in Northern California, just outside San Jose. We were on evacuation alert two weeks ago, but thanks to firefighters fortunately didn’t have to leave our home. And I live in a suburban residential neighborhood–not the woods! We haven’t seen the sun or blue sky this time for over a week due to smoke. The air quality is horrendous. With Covid shelter in place, at least we can walk or ride our bikes. Now we stay indoors as much as possible, to protect our lungs. Climate change is real.

  8. Hi, Aliison—
    Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I truly appreciate your acknowledging the West Coast fires. People who don’t live here seem to believe it’s being exaggerated, but the truth is, if you’re not here, it’s difficult to believe how devastating it is. I live just outside Portland. In the past week, my childhood hometown burned to the ground, my 88-year-old father was evacuated from his home, the air quality is hazardous, and we’ve been on evacuation alert for five days, with no end in sight. People who don’t “believe” in climate change (like my neighbors) are hard pressed to ignore this reality. Our local support services, police and fire departments are all recommending donations to the Red Cross Cascades. BTW, your posts are a bright spot in my days. Please don’t apologize for showcasing hopeful, enjoyable content. It helps.

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