It’s been a hot, frustrating week for many of us across the country. Between fires in the West and floods and power outages in the Midwest, we all need a drink.
What’s the best option right now? For me, something simple that goes down easy, like a boozy milkshake.
Enter the Hummer. This ice-cream cocktail was invented in 1968 by Jerome Adams at Detroit’s Bayview Yacht Club. Sailors who came through the club's berths then took it around the world. Today they’re hard to find in bars because most don’t stock vanilla ice cream. But when you’ve got a half-melted pint in your freezer (thanks, DTE Energy 🤬), there’s nothing better than this straightforward recipie. (Ours is from Punch.)
Whip it up in the blender — once you have power, of course — and toast Mr. Adams.
This week’s recommendation comes from Bar\Heart editor Caitlin Cruz: I’ve followed journalist Sarah Jaffe for years, appreciating her coverage of labor and inequality. Her latest book comes at the perfect time. It seems like everyone has been told to “do what you love” but anyone who has to work to pay their bills knows better. Jaffe’s latest book tackles how we were tricked into buying the idea of passion > income. And if you’re really into writing on labor and politics, her first book Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt is just as good.
This week’s advice comes courtesy of The Bestie™: I live in terror of my phone battery dying. As a journalist, it’s my nightmare scenario. (Note from Amy: It’s really because she plays Pokemon Go All. The. Time.) But when I was packing to visit Amy in Detroit this week, I left my Mophie Powerstation Plus XL back in Brooklyn. Why would I need a powerbrick in Detroit? I thought.
Why, indeed: We’re now 48 hours into a 600,000-household power outage. Bad life choice.
Why is the Mophie Powerstation Plus XL my go-to? There are a lot of options that clock in cheaper than its $65 price tag, but the PPXL has two major virtues: 1) when charged, it’ll hold that charge for at least a month; you can fill it up and forget it, and 2) it can charge a standard phone from 0 to 100% at least four times before it runs out of juice. I’ve even, in one memorable emergency, gotten a few hours of charge for my laptop off this thing.
For those who don’t need quite so much oompf — or want something lighter — the basic Mophie Powerstation (it’s about the size and weight of a mobile phone) can get a respectable two full charges into a phone before it’s drained.
Thank god I had one of those packed. This week, it’s been the only thing between me and living out my nightmare.
There really are wasps in figs! Tiny, tiny insects, called fig wasps, lay their eggs inside figs. The males of the species “hatch” inside the fruit (1) and then impregnate the female “galls” before they’ve even emerged. (Very rape-y.)
But he is destined to die for his sins: The wingless male digs a tunnel out of the fig for her ladyship, but he never sees freedom himself. She then flies to another fig, crawls inside, lays some eggs, dies inside, and start the process again.
Science tells me this pollinates the figs, ensuring more figgy goodness for us — and that enzymes return the wasp carcasses to nature. But now I’m convinced I’m just eating ghost wasps every time I eat figs on some bougie-AF (but delicious) flatbread.
— Cocktail culture has a nostalgia problem. We keep looking back to the Golden Age of cocktails, but with that comes a white-washing of history and only a simulacrum of what once was.
—The vaccine cards are the wrong size. Seriously, why won’t they fit in my wallet?
— RIP, Barry the barred owl of Central Park. We loved you so.
I deeply love shows about fast cars, heists, and big wave surfing. So the new six-part HBO Max documentary about Garrett McNamara’s quest to surf a 100-foot wave is a perfect summer binge for me. It centers on the tiny town of Nazare, Portugal, where McNamara and team are the first to go “dancing with God.” It brings the characters to life, delving into what drives them to, essentially, fling themselves down the equivalent of an 8-story building. It doesn’t shy away from the danger and also addresses the challenges for tiny Nazare as it becomes an international surfing destination. Plus, the cinematography is heart stopping.
I’m particularly obsessed with McNamara’s wife, Nicole, who definitely seems like the brains and organization behind the chaos. I’d watch a whole show just from her perspective.
Seems like we could all use a little pick-me-up this week, so I’m introducing you to my daily ritual of taking a break at 3 p.m. to look at cute critters. (I'm known to formally institute this policy for my reporting teams.) I have a collection of nature accounts that I check for my daily joy, but my go-tos are the Instagram accounts for Zoo Borns (all babies!), the Cincinnati Zoo (Fiona the hippo!), photographer Paul Nicklen (polar bears!), the National Park Service (nature!), Owls of the Day (owls!) and 800 Down (weird sh*t!).
Here are a few examples of each. Go find your joy.
Ok. That's it this week. See you for Cocktail Hour next Friday.
Not really a fruit, but we're calling it one here for ease. Technically, a fig is an inflorescence, which is a collection of seeds and flowers inside a bulbous stem, according to the Ecological Society of America.