So, here’s some reflections on the Sunday Routine:
I resent the features in which the subject works all day. It makes me feel lazy. It’s Sunday. Would it kill them to just sit down and eat pancakes?
Whether the subject of the piece is the richest woman in Manhattan or a DoorDash delivery guy from Astoria, everyone knows the best places to eat brunch in the five boroughs. I think I just read them for the restaurant recs. I never get the time to go to these places but I write them down. My wife and I like to fantasize of one-day having brunch where Ben Stiller gets his bagels and nova.
Only a small percentage of Sunday Routine people surf, but I love the ones who do. There’s nothing cooler in my mind than the image of somebody taking the “A-Train” to Rockaway with an 8-foot surfboard. Duke Ellington wrote the quintessential jazz standard about this subway line, the longest in the city. How could he possibly have left out the surfers? And they’re always surfing in the dead of winter. I love to imagine people reading these pieces in Iowa, I’m sure they never imagined that the internationally recognized expert on James Joyce dons a wetsuit in December and “hangs ten” in the surf at 116th street.
Many times I’ve started and stopped my own routine piece. Each time I do I end up walking away. It makes me feel so desperately uninteresting. I cannot compete with all the yoga, 10K runs, and museum tours. For one thing, my coffee game needs some serious work. It also makes me realize I barely have a Sunday routine. Every week is different for me except perhaps the time between waking up and 10 AM. That’s the time I read the Sunday Routine.
Nobody wakes up at 9 AM. Every subject is either awake before 6am or after 11am. I have admiration for both sets of people. I respect the industriousness of the folks who are doing yoga at sunrise but I also envy the jazz musicians who roll out of bed at noon because they performed until 4 AM and had breakfast at an impossibly marvelous Manhattan diner that’s open 24 hours a day.
They rarely feature a “newcomer” to the city. They don’t say it but I think the Times knows that if “Steve from Indiana Come Lately’s” are featured too often, lifelong New Yorkers will cancel their subscriptions.
I want to start a letter-writing campaign for them to feature Anthony Fauci, Doctor Fauci. I’m dying to know where he gets his cannolis when he’s back in Bensonhurst on the weekends.
Disagree with these reflections or not, each week the Sunday Routine section of the paper gives my brother and me material for hours of snarky conversation. With the quarantine, we all need our own versions of “say a lot about a little” (which, coincidentally, my wife has suggested as the new title for this blog). What are you “saying a lot about” these days? We need ideas.