Old Fashioned Fun: Pandemic Pursuits

Like most people, I’m fed up with being stuck at home. But I’ve noticed a return to basics that may stick around long after we all have our Covid-19 vaccine.

Drive-In Movie

Another car scene from Clueless. To the left of the screen, Skyline Drive-in’s clean bathrooms

Before Covid-19, I last went to a drive-in movie as a child. But drive-ins have new appeal during the pandemic. In Brooklyn, Skyline Drive-In has year round outdoor movies. The drive-in, which mostly presents older movies, has a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline. Ushers show you to your spot, explain how to set your parking brake and turn off your headlights, and guide you safely out of the parking lot at the end of the show.

In warmer weather, you can even walk into this drive-in, perfect for city residents without cars. There are outdoor speaker set up. In the car, you tune in through your radio. The giant screen and great speakers in the Lexus NX made this a fun way to see a movie. We watched Clueless, which seemed rather meta. So much of the movie takes place in cars.

Excited to go to the drive-in. Maybe she was hoping for popcorn

A bonus at the drive-in: we could bring the dog. Instead of paying someone to walk her, she walked with us to get the car at the garage, then happily snoozed in the back while we watched the movie.

Piece by Piece

Puzzles – whether word or jigsaw – have the additional appeal of something you can do even if the lights go out. I’ve been a crossword puzzle fan for years, but now I have a gang that competitively works on the New York Times Spelling Bee. My kids have completed complex jigsaw puzzles, which occupy them for hours.

Safe Bonfire

Making s’mores in an urban backyard

During the pandemic, we’ve spent more time socializing outside in cold weather than ever before. I was happy to find the small City Bonfires so we could have dessert with our friends. The eco-friendly portable mini bonfire kits make compact fires that are safe even in our small urban backyard. The metal tin has biodegradable briquettes and non-toxic food-grade soy wax, and provides a bit of warmth too. Best of all, you just cover if the flame to extinguish it.

City Bonfires comes with a S’mores kit with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate for four. And the mini bonfires burns for three to four hours; you can relight it another time.

Lighting fires inside

Our best batch of bagels yet

Our stove and oven have never gotten so much use. I’ve always baked and cooked, but as long as we had ingredients, we were happy to cut down on trips to stores and make things ourselves. We made pita bread, many, many loaves of sourdough, and several batches of bagels.

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