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Consider the Beach

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A friend and I love sending each other pictures of the cheesiest Beach House signs we come across, these hilarious plaques proclaiming the Margaritaville Mindset Rules this Houses. Signs are made of painted driftwood and read “Sand Beside Me,” “It’s Always 5 O’Clock Here,” and “If You’re Not Barefoot, You’re Too Dressed.” These are variations on a theme that runs through the summer vacation narrative: Life is the beach. You’re asked to don a brightly colored bathing suit, sip an ice-cold cocktail garnished with a slice of pineapple, and relax.

I think this is one of the complaints that people who don’t like beaches have about beaches. They demand that people relax, take it easy, have fun, and not have to worry about invisible bugs biting you all the time. People who don’t like beaches complain that the beach is one of the few places where you can’t get everything you want all the time (which is exactly what makes it recommended to others). So you need to be prepared for any contingency, such as being sent to a remote area with unpredictable climate and terrain, such as the moon, for six months.

As a kid, the beach was simple. I loved nothing more than sitting on the sand all day in my soggy bathing suit, building dripping castles and letting soft serve ice cream melt on my arms. But by the time I was a teenager, body shame and a desire to look like the vampires and vitamin D-deficient goth musicians I idolized transformed me into someone who wanted nothing to do with the sun, and therefore the plastic pleasures that the beach peddled.

It wasn’t until adulthood that I understood that there are many ways to go to the beach, and many ways to be a beach lover. The beach can be a daylong family activity with an inflatable seahorse, budget SPF 75 sunscreen, and a case of soft drinks. Or it can be a solo trip on a Tuesday afternoon with just a towel, a hat, and a book. The beach is a place that carries so much preparation and anticipation that we forget it’s just a place. We project all kinds of meaning onto this place, but in reality, we give it all the meaning. It doesn’t demand a particular kind of quality time there. It’s land and water, evidence of the Earth’s functioning, erosion and sedimentation, tides and currents.

Today, the beach is participatory performance art for me. I love seeing people perform their beach style in the sun. How they dress, the music they play, how they claim their territory, their unique rituals and accessories.

I love the communal aspect of it all: your music, good or bad, is my music because you are my neighbor for a brief day, and this is our makeshift community. I love eavesdropping on people’s conversations, watching how they discipline their kids, and giving them some of my chips if they find it interesting. I even love those dangerous moments when a strong wind blows and someone’s giant, poorly secured beach umbrella breaks free of its anchor and flies off the beach.

I feel like, in the drowsy sunlight, we are all in it together. Today, we live here, not in a house or apartment with air conditioning, wifi and a roof, but here, outdoors, exposed to the wind and rain, seagulls and other people’s eyes. Today, we agree that life really is a beach, or at least this beach, and here we are, living that luxury as best we can.

📺 “Bear” (Thursday): In the last season of Hulu’s show, Cami Belzato and his team opened a high-end restaurant in just a few weeks. This embodies the show’s raison d’être: to depict “the curse and blessing of having a mission.” James Poniewozik of The New York Times wrote in his review.

A flashback drama set during a tense holiday dinner, Fish is the show’s best moment. It features guest appearances from Jamie Lee Curtis, Bob Odenkirk, John Mulaney and Sarah Paulson, as well as heartbreaking relationships, complex characters and twists and turns. It’s well worth watching before the new season begins — or at least, Read this review from Vulture.

this Lidey Heuck’s 5-star recipe Know you’ll want to change and add some ingredients – judging by the comments from readers, it’s for you. Add any soft herbs, add grilled chicken or canned tuna, and serve chilled or at room temperature. Just assemble and this is a refreshing dish for a hot summer day.

hunt: They are moving to Rome and are looking for a two-bedroom apartment with a terrace in the city center. Their budget is $950,000. Can they afford it? Play our games.

What $1.5 million gets you: In Prague, this allows you Three-Bedroom Loft In a converted factory, in a two-bedroom apartment in a 16th-century house, or in a detached villa in a leafy residential area.

fragrance: Photosynthesis is The inspiration behind the new fragrance Developed by Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton.

Dental Health: These five habits Experts say it can cause alarming damage to your teeth.

travel: spend 36 hours in Portland, Maine.

Back pain: Walking is an effective therapy.

I think of the “mom bun” as a casual twist of hair tied up and pinned around the neck, worn on days when there’s more to it than hair. It’s quick and practical, and it doesn’t look fancy or ugly; it just is. But for six years, I’ve raised kids, and sometimes I Do Want my hair to look like… something. Plastic claw clips and scrunchies are back in fashion, but I find them bulky and too casual. My solution is This affordable and stylish hair clipI simply used one hand to curl my hair into a bunch. With my other hand, I poked the clip down into the bunch and pushed it back and forth to grab the hair. That’s it. Its steel core means it definitely won’t wiggle or come loose, so my bun is just as secure as a mom bun—but much more sophisticated. — Hannah Morrill

U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials: This past week, the massive Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis welcomed America’s best swimmers as they battled for a spot in the Olympics. The United States has consistently had the best swim team in the world, and this year it looks like it has fielded another strong team:

  • Seven-time gold medalist Katie Ledecky is back, as is Caeleb Dressel, who won five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

  • Two world records were broken at the trials: Gretchen Walsh in the 100-meter butterfly and Reagan Smith in the 100-meter backstroke.

  • Thomas Heilmann, 17, won the 200-meter butterfly; he is the youngest male swimmer to join the team since 15-year-old Michael Phelps in 2000.

The highlight of the evening was probably the women’s 200m individual medley, featuring Kate Douglas and Alex Walsh, both former world champions in that event. Tonight and Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC

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