This is a blog post that doesn’t have to do with the coronavirus—no stats, no news updates, we won’t tell you to stay home because we know you already are. That’s why everything our D editors are into right now (or in Matt Goodman’s case, pining for) has to with staying indoors and/or relatively close to home. Here’s what keeping us mostly okay as we spend all of our time inside the same four walls.
I don’t even know how long ago—the post says March 22, but it feels like it was at least three weeks ago—I saw on Instagram that my friend Branton had made his own shibori (indigo tie-dyed) bandanas. It was part of a business idea, I believe, but he had a bunch of prototypes he was giving away. They looked awesome and I told him so. One (“the best,” he told me) arrived in my mailbox a few days later. I immediately put it on, and so now I am a kerchief guy. I found some other bandanas in a drawer, so I’m mixing it up, using this time of isolation to explore a new look. Will I keep it up later? Maybe. I don’t know. But it fits in right now, as I’m going on like three daily nature walks around my neighborhood and looking up every plant and flower and tree I see. —Zac Crain, senior editor, D Magazine
Apart from Top Chef, I haven’t watched reality TV this earnestly since junior high. That’s not a better-than-thou humble brag, I just find other peoples’ melodrama and emotional outbursts cringingly unbearable. But for whatever reason (it’s the British accents) Love Island on Hulu is the voyeuristic salve I need in this socially isolated time. The gist of the show is this: Watch dozens of typically sun-deprived contestants get dangerously tan in a secluded villa while wooing fellow castmates into coupling up with them; the best couple wins money in the end. Considering the debauchery that occurs in American reality shows, Love Island isn’t nearly as raunchy and feels quite tame, even possibly sincere (just let me have this). The friendships formed are almost as, if not more, delightful than the romantic relationships. Listen, I’ve logged upwards of 35 episodes which run an hour to an hour and a half long. I’m committed. Clearly. Plus I’ve learned lots of British slang and always watch with the subtitles on—what an educational show! If nothing else, I’ve gained an ability to shoot the breeze with a scaffolder from Manchester or go clubbing with Londoners, you know, for when we’re traveling to other countries again, eventually. —Rosin Saez, SideDish dining editor
At one point in my life I owned a three-story Victorian house in Columbus, Ohio that had so many random rooms that I filled one with an entire wall of yarn and a single rocking chair. If you were charting the course of my knitting career, that would have been the peak. I was 28 years old with no kids and three cats. Life was glorious, but cold, and it was cloudy nine months out of the year. Then I moved to Texas, and the sun came out—literally and figuratively. I could play tennis 331 days out of the year, and the knitting needles were soon forgotten. Until now. I had a small stash of yarn that I bought at McKinney Knittery (open online) last April, when my sister came for a visit. I had promised to knit a hot pink hat with a long, blonde Elsa braid for my niece, and a toboggan in Broncos colors for my nephew. As of Saturday, I had completed the Elsa hat. I wanted to do the toboggan in a two-color brioche stitch in the round, but apparently I’ve forgotten some of the more complicated stitches. Last night I got frustrated and started one with a simple k2, p2 rib. But I think I’ll give the brioche stitch another go. It’s so much better to be checking stitches than constantly checking my phone. —Kathy Wise, executive editor, D Magazine
Like other fans of the sport, I didn’t realize how much of my free time was spent watching professional basketball. But then it was gone and the evening-sized holes are left in its place. Tim’s talked about the muscle memory of 7 p.m., when he and his wife would sit down to watch Luka. That was me and James and Russell and P.J. I miss their game. I miss the game. I’ve turned to YouTube, putting up old seasons on an old iPad while I ride my wife’s stationary Schwinn bike. I’ve watched the Larry Bird-era Celtics battle the Lakers. I’ve watched the Seven Seconds or Less Suns bash with the Spurs. I’ve watched the end of the Houston Rockets’ 22-game win streak in 2008, remembering sitting at a trashy sports bar in Denton and yelling as Rafer Alston sunk eight threes to cement that final game, Dikembe holding his twos up from the bench. I’m running back the 2016 Western Conference Finals, the seven-game battle between the Warriors and the Thunder. It’s fascinating—and frustrating—to watch the development of the sport; the influence of analytics is even more obvious. The 90s were a sea of passed-up three pointers. This hasn’t totally replaced the end-of-the-season Rockets run I was preparing for, or to find the answer of whether our great Small Ball experiment would work. But it’s helped things feel a little bit more normal. Thank God for hoops. —Matt Goodman, online editorial director, Dmagazine.com
I try to take daily walks outside to maintain some sliver of sanity during Dallas’ shelter-in-place order. (I know I’m not alone. Uh, hi, Zac!) Whenever the sun decides to peep through the clouds, I spend 20 minutes of my day on a quick run, maybe a walk. One such outing on April 1, I thought I found a dead body—it turned out to be just pillows, but I called the police to be safe! (I think it was a cruel April Fool’s Joke?) But seeing as I’m not the only one who’s been getting a fix of the great outdoors, I’ve had to find other places to tread pavement. I’ve been going on long walks in Uptown, near and around the Crescent, where there are some beautiful older homes that have been curiously repurposed into office buildings. Also the Saint Thomas area—great dog watching there! Before coronavirus hit Dallas, I picked up a disposable camera to document my month of March and it’s really pushed me to find the beauty of shelter in place. This comes in the form of my walks but also tending to my many plants (I’m a crazy plant lady with 14-plus plants and counting). —Carly Mann, brand marketing manager
Babylon Berlin and Nausea
I watch little Netflix on the reg. And yet my newest, shameless obsession is the Netflix series Babylon Berlin, a gritty politico-crime thriller set in the 1920s German capital. The series is very German and fearlessly Modernist. Bouncing from opulent jazz cafes serving as subterranean brothels to underground publishing houses hiding Trotskyists, Babylon Berlin comically interweaves storylines (a Fascist plot to import poison gas; a Trotskyist plot to import gold; a young woman’s ambition to become a police inspector). Also, the show is in German, so you’ll be reading subtitles. When I’m not following German captions, I’m reading philosophy, which is pretty apropos to the quarantine life. In his existentialist novel Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre’s protagonist ponders—with frightening obscenity—his life’s purpose, his whole existence. Which is relatable when we’re all, at this point, holding heart-to-heart conversations with our desk lamps. —Trace Miller, editorial intern, D Magazine