Things that happened recently:
There are currently (at least) two "Instagram experience" spaces open in New York right now: Candytopia in midtown and Color Factory in SoHo (a few blocks from where I work). I love taking photos but there's something about these places (and anything that is made exclusively for social media) that just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's the fact that people are ruining beautiful places and even dying just to get that 'gram. Instagram didn't make people assholes, but the time we spend online is definitely changing our brains.
RIP to the Queen of Soul.
Last week I mentioned this crazy story about how the McDonald's Monopoly game was rigged, and I wasn't the only one who thought it would make a great movie—the article ignited a bidding war, and it was optioned for $1 million by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's production company. Speaking of crazy stories, they might have figured out the real identity of notorious plane hijacker DB Cooper (here's a great book about the case, if you're not familiar).
Things to do in New York this week:
It seems like I'm always missing the Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest, which is happening this Saturday between the beach and the boardwalk (I'll be out of town, sad!).
Also in Coney Island on Saturday: Tessa Fontaine will be at the Coney Island Sideshow reading from, and signing copies of, her excellent memoir.
Does anyone want to figure out how to get to the New York Renaissance Faire—running on weekends until September 30th in Tuxedo, NY—with me? I went to one in Texas once and it was so much more fun than I had expected.
Things that I've discovered recently:
I want to live the life of Jerry and Rita Alter, an unassuming couple that somehow traveled the world on one teacher's salary and died with $1 million in the bank. Oh, and they had a stolen Willem de Kooning painting valued at $150 million hanging behind their bedroom door because they were probably art thieves (make sure to watch the video, which has strange production values but is fascinating—and someone please make a movie about the Alters).
I most definitely do not need more books to read, but I'm saving this list of the 100 best thrillers of all time.
My mom and I are (hopefully) on the road—or on New Jersey transit on the way to pick up a rental car from Newark—as you read this. Since I no longer get most of September or October off work due to the Jewish holidays, I'm taking advantage of my second-to-last (😩) summer Friday and we're hitting the road until Sunday. When we got back from our trip last October, I realized that we missed this amazing place by literally ten minutes and I've been planning how to get back ever since. We'll be staying in Gettysburg tonight and stepping back in time at the Kookwink Motel tomorrow night with a lot of fun stops in between. I'm never happier than when I'm hunting down silly roadside attractions, and you can follow along via my Instagram stories if you're interested (or just wait for the onslaught of blog posts in the coming weeks). Have a great weekend!