Dimanche (That Means Sunday)

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Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.

Spring is officially here in St. Louis. I took a couple sanity walks last week after finally securing a bandana and face mask. I stopped a few times to look at the beautiful spring flowers. I would encourage you to do the same. Step outside with a face mask and bandana and take a stroll around the block, making sure to stay far away from anyone else in the vicinity. Social distancing is real, and we all need to take precautions to make our community safer for one another.

That being said, there’s still plenty to enjoy. I know not everyone is enjoying consistent spring weather (hi, Boston), but eventually, it will be spring. Being in nature has always helped me recenter and concentrate on what’s important. In trying times like the ones we’re in now, it’s extra important to take a minute to clear our heads and focus on something that isn’t news or COVID-19-related.

Last night I drove to pick up a pizza curbside at Union Loafers, one of my favorite restaurants in town. It was an early pickup and so the sun was just starting to set as I drove home. Driving west on I-64, you eventually come up on Forest Park on the right. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the park, it’s the biggest one in St. Louis and usually a popular spot for locals and tourists.

It’s a little quieter now, obviously, but you still see people getting exercise on the walking and bike paths. To be honest, I wish more people were wearing masks, but that’s a separate issue. Yesterday when I drove by, I noticed that the trees in the park had fresh green-yellow buds that glimmered in the late afternoon sunlight. It seemed like almost overnight, the trees had burst into bloom. I saw bright pastel-colored flowers and branches swaying in the breeze.

In a way, it felt bittersweet because I can’t enjoy it as much as I usually would. But then, I realized this experience makes me appreciate it even more. Not being able to have something you usually take for granted gives you new eyes.

We don’t know what next year will bring in terms of next steps, but we do know that it will bring another spring. That’s reassuring to me. I hope that I can be out in nature more next year and go on more road trips and hikes, but for now, I’m content with my walks around the neighborhood and nearby parks. It still offers me the opportunity to appreciate nature and this sudden spring.

Without further ado, here is Dimanche:

I *love* this story about making a French omelette. The writer goes to cooking school in France and watches as a head chef chastises a student for his faulty attempts at making an omelette. There’s an art to it, for sure. Read more in this New Yorker story.

Can we talk about how adorable this story about puppies during the pandemic is? This is the content I live for. Read more about the recent uptick in puppy adoptions in this Boston Globe piece.

I think that even more than politically, we’re in an important moment culturally. I love this story about musicians playing on rooftops in Iran during the pandemic. It’s very inspirational. Read more in AFAR.

French people love their movies, so it’s no surprise that the film industry there is soldiering on during the pandemic. The government, the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), and Unifrance, an organization devoted to French films, are all doing their part to keep people in the industry informed and to share films with a wider audience. Read more in this IndieWire piece.

As usual, The Atlantic came through this week with a wake-up call. The magazine ran a sad but true story about how our lives won’t get back to normal too quickly after the U.S. reopens. The story is broken up into sections that cover different phases of the pandemic. “There is no going back. The only way out is through—past a turbulent spring, across an unusual summer, and into an unsettled year beyond,” writes Ed Yong in the story. I think it’s important to stay positive while realizing the hard truths of the situation.

Native Americans are responding to a food crisis during the pandemic. Getting food is often a challenge for individuals living on reservations, but now the problem is compounded. Read more about how people are creatively and resourcefully responding to the crisis in this New York Times story.

Kudos to Katie Lee Collier, a local restaurant entrepreneur, for making a shrewd business move during the pandemic, which has taken its toll on local businesses. Collier, who owns the wildly popular Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria with her husband, Ted, recently decided to pivot to selling frozen pizzas and pastas. So far, it’s been a huge success. Read more in this St. Louis Magazine article.

Last but certainly not least, food writer Jeff Gordinier wrote an article in Esquire about how the restaurant revolution as we know it is ending. I disagree. Read my response in my latest blog post.

Enjoy your week! Here’s a song to get you started.

About Emily Wasserman

Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. If I was stranded on an island and could request three items of food, they would be pain au chocolat, enchiladas, and Neapolitan pizza.
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