Weekend Reads #62

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sunlight streaming through trees
Photo by Patrick Selin on Unsplash

Tomorrow, my family and I are heading on vacation.  As I mentioned in my post about my summer vacation, a portion of this post may be sponsored and it will be the first city we visit.  We'll be going to at least four locations, and the only real work I plan to do is at the first city.  We saved up our money, our time, and I tried to craft some decent content to go live while we're away so we can truly relax and enjoy the trip. 

I have to give a big shoutout to our Ring doorbells.  We've had them for many years and upgraded with new versions; this is my original 2015 Ring doorbell review. We now have two and a motion light from the brand on our home.  We can control the zones so someone can walk their dog on the sidewalk outside our home but as soon as they go to open our gate or walk through it, it begins video and notifies us. We can be hundreds of miles away and be able to speak to the UPS delivery person through it, informing them it's okay to leave the package, or to leave it with a neighbor.  We had a man try to steal a package from our home and had a clear video of him doing it to provide to the police. On vacation, we're notified each time someone enters our gate and have neighbors and family to pick up any mail or packages and check on things while there.  It makes me feel a lot more secure (that and having great neighbors and family) to go on trips and share it on my blog and social. The one negative of Ring?  When a spider decides to build her web across the motion camera!  The notification will wake you up in the middle of the night but at least the video is entertaining!

I'll be sharing our journey on Instagram Stories and once back, I'll share here on Wardrobe Oxygen what I packed, what I wore, what I didn't wear, and what I wish I had instead.  I'll also do a recap of the trip itself. We will be in Philadelphia, NYC, Boston, and parts of Vermont… we haven't planned the trip home so it may be a long drive or we may stop somewhere.  If you have any suggestions on what to do, see, or where to eat please share in the comments! 

Weekend Reads

Something to consider, and share with any little ones who you take to see Lion King: In real life, Simba’s mom would be running the pride. (National Geographic)

Like gypsy skirts and harem pants, the hobo bag needs a new name, at best because it has no place in the world of expensive handbags, at worst because of its complicity in the homeless chic appropriation, which further dehumanises a community already invisible to the masses.” (Vogue Australia)

Sure, we all know Missy Elliott or at least one of her songs.  But this piece on her (along with the photos) is a beautiful, thoughtful way to get to know this amazing woman and her multifaceted awesomeness better. (Marie Claire)

The numbers used to assess health are, for the most part, not helpful. A great read shared by a WO2 reader (though I've been working out for over a year and my pushups still suck). (The Atlantic)

Oh snap! The Louvre in Paris has removed the name of the Sackler family from its walls, becoming the first major museum to erase its public association with the philanthropist family linked with the opioid crisis in the United States. (New York Times)

The next 007 has been chosen, and the choice is making me want to see this film in a theater, not wait for it to come to OnDemand. (OkayPlayer)

Palantir Technologies, co-founded by a Trump advisor in Silicon Valley, has created a smart-phone app that helps ICE round up undocumented workers. The number of arrests has shot up. Not an undocumented worker? You still need to know about technology like this, if it's not already being used on you it will be in the future. (WNYC, a public radio station)

“I found myself wondering if Eve, the ‘original’ woman, had simply said yes to the serpent because she’d been hungry. Had Adam known to feed her? Had she been able to feed herself, nameless as she was? If you were starving, had been starving for days, wouldn’t you have taken the fruit too? Could the entire fall of mankind from God’s grace be pinned on a woman who simply had the misfortune of being hungry?” (Catapault)

New York officially bans race-based hair discrimination. (Blavity)

Major beauty brands are creating their own small labels to compete with the indie brands making it big thanks to Instagram. Insight into how the Revlons of the world are trying to become the next Glossier. (Business of Fashion)

If you haven't yet seen Naomi Campbell's airport routine, I recommend it.  Planes are gross, and while her routine is hella elaborate there are aspects all of us can take to make flying more comfortable and make it less likely we end our next vacation with the stomach flu. (Jezebel)

And for those of you who live in the DC area or plan on visiting this summer, you MUST check out The Four Seasons for the coolest Sunday brunch experience. Every Sunday this summer they have local artist Jabari Jefferson working on a mural outside Seasons Brunch from 12pm to 2pm. Jefferson shares his passion for painting with guests and invites you and your whole family (kids welcome!) to assist in creating a three-part mural that will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. Each week, a new part of the mural will be completed while Jefferson guides guests of all ages through techniques for creating this work of art.  The Four Seasons is located in Georgetown and you do not have to stay at the hotel to enjoy their brunch and other offerings.  Click here to learn more about this collaboration for good!

For Your Entertainment

I loved music in high school but sort of lost the passion as a young adult.  I started a job in 2005 and a coworker was really into new music and made some suggestions and got me on iTunes and I bought an iPod. In 2006 I learned about My Morning Jacket and Bonnaroo and in 2007 attended my first music festival.  In 2010 we bought a turntable and started occasionally buying new vinyl and collecting vintage pieces at thrift stores, yard sales, and Freecycle. One album we bought that we still enjoy is Boys & Girls by Alabama Shakes, and we saw the band perform at least three times. The lead singer Brittany Howard has done other projects like Thunderbitch and Bermuda Triangle and this September is releasing a solo album.  This is the first video single from that album, filmed in Decatur, Alabama near Howard's hometown, starring Terry Crews and several of Howard's friends and family (as well as Howard).

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. I think the business about the Sackler family is bs. It’s a witch hunt, another variation of hysterics going after something they think is wrong. While we’re at it, let’s go back to alcohol prohibition, disassociate with all companies producing any type of tobacco product, oh, and yes, don’t forget all the pharmaceutical companies. What else, how about sugar growers, coffee growers, tea growers? All these things have potential for harm in the right circumstances. There is a lot more going on with this “epidemic” than meets the eye.

  2. If you are going through New Hampshire to get to Vermont, stop in a wonderful little town called Peterborough, NH. It’s a beautiful, quaint town, and “Grover’s Corners,” the setting of the play Our Town by Thorton Wilder, is named after it. Peterborough also has an excellent, live professional theatre called the Peterborough Players – http://www.peterboroughplayers.org. (Full disclosure – and my son is performing at Peterborough through the end of August). If you’re not headed that way, and are going west from Boston before going north to VT, I strongly suggest going through the Berkshires where there is always good theatre and fun things to do.

  3. In Philadelphia, I love the Magic Garden. It’s not a garden of plants. You may need to get advanced tickets on a weekend. It’s a nice activity for a hotter day as it is very shaded. Also the riverfront park and hammock garden in the evening is lovely. Get their around five and nap or read for an hour on a hammock, then stroll around all the eateries.

    Ten minutes off the New Jersey Turnpike is the adorable town of Cranbury. The pizza slices at Cranbury Pizza rival New York’s best, although the owner will say it’s not the same without the Adirondack water. Also good ice cream down next door.

  4. Really enjoyed the health numbers/BMI article. Recently I read another one about how sleep tracking apps aren’t remotely accurate, and can cause more harm than good because, being human, we obsess. My tiny, petite massage therapist and I were both bemoaning health, the frustrations of clothing shopping, etc when I disclosed my weight. This is a woman who has seen me mostly naked for our appointments over the past six years–and she couldn’t believe my weight. Maybe someday we’ll get medicine intended to help humans, not manage actuary tables.

  5. Re: NYC. If you have time for a subway ride The Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are next door to each other and both wonderful places to visit. The new Pierre Cardin exhibit opens today at the museum, which also houses my favorite place to visit when I was your daughter’s age-Dutch Colonial houses restored and rebuilt in the museum, like dollhouses you can walk in: https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/QQ4eb3AN
    The gardens are wonderful to walk through with plenty of room to run around.
    There are fireworks at Coney Island every Friday night, and if you are braver than I am, the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel, both vintage rides, and lots of others. Nearby Brighton Beach has many Russian cafes on the boardwalk and a nice beach.
    Enjoy your travels.

  6. I would suggest Manchester, Vermont for great activities and restaurants. We really liked The Reluctant Panther and The Silver Fork for dinner, Up for Breakfast is great every morning. The independent bookstore we liked was the Northshire Bookstore. You can get some pretty good cheese around there too. Main Orvis store is lovely.

  7. Hope you have a blast! Not sure what you have planned for Philly, but I never tire of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, and a Jim’s cheesesteak.

  8. In Boston, I love Row 34 for seafood, Myers + Chang for Asian fusion, and pretty much anyplace in the North End for Italian. North Street Grille for breakfast or brunch. And New England Aquarium is lovely (and cool)!

  9. In Boston, if you like Ethiopian food try Addis Red Sea on Tremont in the South End. Adorable space and fantastic food. We also had a blast doing the tour of the State Capitol – the stories of the Sacred Cod and the Holy Mackerel had us in stitches! Boston Common and the Public Gardens are a perfect picnic spot and Emerson might enjoy a splash in the Frog Pond.

    If you get to Burlington, Vermont, the Farm House Tap and Grill is a fantastic place for lunch or dinner. I’ve never had a burger like that anywhere. There are also terrific cycling trails along Lake Champlain.

    Further south, there are some amazing walking (flat) trails from Waitsfield in the Mad River Valley and then you can get pizza at the American Flatbread farm on a Friday or Saturday evening. It’s an awesome experience.

  10. Alison, your vacation is going to be so much fun! Those are 3 of my favorite cities that my own family has visited, and we love them all. For Boston, one fun experience for families is the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum (experience). It sounded a bit cheesy to me when a relative first suggested it, but it ended up being so much fun. You spend an hour or so reliving the Boston Tea Party with actors in character from that time period. It’s educational but in a totally fun way. My son was 10 or 11 when we went & he enjoyed it as well. After it’s over, you end up in a tea shop where they have all the teas that were brought to the colonies at that time. You buy mugs & then drink all the tea you’d like.

    Another area nearby that we enjoyed was Concord. The little town is charming and if you’re an American literature fan, the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is where Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott (& her family), and Nathanial Hawthorne are buried. Walden Pond is in this area as well. My husband is a former English teacher who loves Emerson & Thoreau, so this was a highlight of our trip for him.

    In Philadelphia, the historic district is lovely and easily walkable (although the heat will certainly impact this). We just visited there a few weeks ago, and going to Independence Hall is one of our favorite experiences! I got a bit choked up this time, just thinking about how our democracy was founded and how many of those principals are being stomped on now. Another experience we loved is The National Constitution Center. Their theater-in-the-round show is incredibly moving, and their exhibits are well done. We found that so many of the National Park Rangers in Philly are incredibly knowledgeable and are open to sharing more information when engaged. If your family would enjoy a dining experience that feels “historic” then City Tavern is fun. All of the workers are dressed in period costumes and the setting is also done up to give that back-in-time feel. We did this several years ago & enjoyed it (but my son & husband both didn’t want to do it again on our most recent visit! Lol). I don’t recommend the Penn’s Landing area; it’s not well kept & is a lot of concrete next to the river (hot!). I’m sure you are aware of all of this; you research well. I just get overly excited talking travel! Happy Travels!

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