I’m looking over my notes from a webinar I listened to last week. 

Some people are using this time of isolation to learn a new language, write a book, or Marie Kondo the shit out of their apartment (more of that later). Me? I’m doing a deep dive into sex and relationships. (I’ve also attended a webinar on bondage that was so shockingly approachable, one person described the host as the Mr Rogers of Kink. There’s an image to conjure with. But I digress.)

I’m one week into a four-week series of workshops led by Esther Perel, titled “The Art of Us: Love, Loss, and Loneliness Under Lockdown.” And, at the top of my notes, underlined and marked with a sort of rough asterisk, are these words: 

“We need to be a kinder version of ourselves.”

There are other key notes, of course. I’ve scrawled things like: “Open the window, see the sky,” and, “Water – stand in the shower.” Tips for when it all feels like too much, and your four walls are closing in.

“Use your community – reach out. Don’t be scared of going deeper. Ask questions like, ‘How did you sleep?’ And, ‘What are you doing to cope?’”

And *cue the shark music from Jaws: “Boundaries.” 

But it all comes back to those nine words at the top of my page. What better skill could a person learn than to be a kinder human? One with fuller, deeper, more authentic relationships? Maybe I’ll write a book about it. In French. And spank someone with it.

Since the COVID-19 crisis hit, we’ve moved from a monthly print publication to a daily newsletter, as a way of connecting our newly isolated community and bringing, we hope, a ray of hope in the midst of uncertainty and fear. If you’ve enjoyed hearing from us every day, please forward this to a friend and ask them to sign up. We’re stronger together. 


A month ago, we were putting the finishing touches to our Best of 2020 issue. It was a doozie. The brilliant businesses you had nominated as your favorites are, in the main, now closed indefinitely. But their spirit lives on, and serve as a reminder of this crazy, mixed up, larger-than-life neighborhood we call home. Today, we talk to Suzy Darling, owner of Pocket Bar and Back Pocket Bar, about building a business and a community that is about so much more than wine. Hers – and other hero stories – are all at

De-stress your mess
Professional organizer (and my friend) Andrew Mellen knows we all have a ton of stuff. He also knows a lot of us are sitting at home with not a lot to do. So he’s launching this free, five-day challenge to turn your #WFH life into a sanctuary. Sign up here.

Some readers have already got started. Finnerty says: “My six-year-old is like a little Marie Kondo, and is wanting to donate a lot of her lightly used toys. Most of them are good-quality things that would be easy to disinfect (cars with tracks, Legos, etc).” 

She’d love to donate them to a women’s shelter, or somewhere similar. Any advice on how/where/or even if it should be done right now would be very welcome. Please help.

Enter Skain’s Domain
Every Monday, join Jazz at Lincoln Center’s artistic director Wynton Marsalis in an intimate conversation over Zoom. Find out more. 

Go all around the Globe
Starting tonight, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre will be streaming performances of Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, and more, starting tonight. Watch them here.

Put your lips together
To celebrate the life and legacy of Terrence McNally, who passed recently due to complications from the coronavirus, will present a live reading of Lips Together, Teeth Apart, starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Zachary Quinto. Donations will benefit Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids. 

Go to a pajama Cast Party
Every Monday since 2003, Jim Caruso has hosted a crazy, anything-goes open mic night at Birdland … until a couple of weeks ago. Then he realized, heck, let’s put the show on in the *barn (*for barn, read his living room). So, tonight, join him and an all-star cast doing what they do best. In their pajamas. Dress accordingly. This is the look I’ll be channeling … Watch here.

What’s the most “quarantine – but make it fashion” thing you’ve done so far?

I’ll start. Hey everyone, my name’s Ruth, and yesterday I wore a Louis Vuitton scarf as a face mask. Also – sunglasses and mask mean no need for make-up. Winning! (Thanks to the always fabulous Chelsey Hill for the illustration – follow her @illustratingdiva.) You go next …


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