Squirrel Tables Are the New Bird Feeders

Thelonious Munk sits down for an alfresco meal at a wooden table. He eagerly picks up a taco prepared with a walnut flour tortilla, which he sniffs before taking a few nibbles. He lingers for a bit after his meal before leaving. He scampers into a bush and through a tunnel — because he isn’t checking out the latest vegan restaurant, but is instead a wild chipmunk.

He lives in the writer Angela Hansberger’s yard outside of Atlanta where, like many backyard critters around the country, he’s been eating like a king at a squirrel table everyday since April.

Squirrel

How to Handle Bad Co-Workers of the Anti-Mask and Boyfriend Varieties

I have a problem, and it is me. I have always been opinionated, compulsively sharing unfiltered truths.

The problem comes in my various board and volunteer roles. I approach these meetings as though I’m trying to stick it to the man. In a meeting, I said, “Since it seems I’m the only person in the room who has closely read the budget, I want to say that this proposal will add a position at a time when our organization is in crisis and there is no plan to pay for

The Best Colognes For Winter Are a Hit of Woody, Spicy Warmth

The best winter colognes are worth giving a shot, because what soothes the senses in June is far different from what calms you in December.

Spring and summer scents are more fresh, floral, and fruity. As the weather drops, you’re gonna wanna swap in some wood and spice and shit like that. These cold-weather fragrances will warm you up—not literally but in a placebo kind of way. Same with anyone you might encounter. Look for ingredients like cedar, vetiver, amber, cinnamon, incense, and leather.

But don’t look too hard. We already did that for you. You’re certain to find a …

How We Passed the Time this Year

Welcome. My colleagues are looking back at the ways culture was upended in 2020, and their reflections are helping me make sense of a year that frequently seemed senseless. James Poniewozik put it best, I think, pointing out that this is the year “everything became TV”: We watched “I May Destroy You” on Netflix, and used the same screen to attend school, to take yoga classes, to commune over Thanksgiving dinner.

When you find yourself with time on screens this weekend, be sure to read Salamishah Tillet on culture’s reckoning with white privilege, and check out how Jesse Green learned

Love Letter: He Had Her at Sourdough

Many extroverts have gone to extreme measures for a social fix during the pandemic. Albertina Coacci, a self-proclaimed people person, turned to daily phone calls with strangers to pass the time while in lockdown in Italy. What started as a harmless habit soon led to an affair of sorts with a man who spoke her love language: baking.

found that the chemistry was lacking in person.

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Finding happiness during these uncertain times might be a tall order, but some of our readers shared how they’ve found new ways to experience and share …

The Work Diary of Mira Mariah, Tattoo and ‘Girl Culture’ Expert

In an ideal world, Mira Mariah would always be celebrating.

“I so deeply love parties, and I love how much of parties are about girl culture,” she said in a video interview. “That’s something I love to study, and love to be a part of, and love to talk about, and love to make art about.”

The 28-year-old, who tattoos as @girlknewyork at the Fleur Noire tattoo parlor in Brooklyn, designs art for people who, like herself, want to adorn themselves with symbols of indulgent days and effervescent nights. As proclaimed in her Instagram bio, this makes her not only

Things to Do This Week

Here is a sampling of the week’s events and how to tune in (all times are Eastern). Note that events are subject to change after publication.


See the novelist Marlon James discuss his novel “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” a work of science fiction, with Tananarive Due, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an expert in Black horror and Afrofuturism, as part of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books — now in its 25th year. Mr. James is also the author of 2014’s “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” which won the Man Booker prize.

Down the Basement Stairs and Into the Past

The huge cardboard box had been in my mother’s basement for decades until she said, “When are you going to move that crap to your house?”

The box sat in my basement for a few more decades, until my wife said, “When are you going to clean out that crap?”

Such language, but I got the message.

So while I have been trapped at home, I have joined the huddling masses that have decided to try to declutter, starting with my overflowing basement, with plans to tackle my closet next. Throwing stuff out is so liberating. Ancient computer parts, old

Dating Before the Election

Rebecca Cibbarelli, 23, was texting with a man on Hinge while Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence debated on her TV screen in early October. When she told her match what she was watching, he said he didn’t know who either of the people in the debate were, or which political office they were running for.

“We’ve been in a global pandemic for eight months, and there’s been so much social and political change,” said Ms. Cibbarelli, a mental health worker in Princeton Junction, N.J. “How have you not even taken interest in it when you’re stuck in