The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
All right, so let me just plant this seed: What if the funkiest thing you did this weekend was get plant-crazy? I’m talking wrist-deep in a pot, roots in your fingers, dirt crumbling wild. It may seem counterintuitive, but adding just a bit of greenery to your everyday life could enrich all your pastimes — from how you read and feel to what you eat and where you chill. After all, spring is finally here. So join me for a relaxed weekend, one with gorgeous plants galore, some poignant YouTube clips you might have missed, some tasty bugs you just have to try and maybe even some beachy shopping when all is said and done.
You spent hours picking and hanging that perfect painting for your wall, yet you’re telling me you can’t spend five minutes placing a plant? Please. Check out the crazy Tillandsia plant, which, depending on the variant, can look like a flying mushroom UFO or come in seashells hung from fishing line — plus, they literally water themselves using the humidity in the air. The Euphorbia obesa makes a great living room ornament and talking piece, given that the ball-shaped succulent looks like a giant prehistoric rock (with a teensy shrubbery top) and grows taller with age. If your interior design calls for reds and yellows, pull in some Oxalis triangularis, a Brazilian plant also known as false shamrock, which gives off a brilliant violet to crimson color with bulbs that may even bloom into lavender flowers. Rapid-fire furnishing ideas include tying some bohemian macrame planters, giving your statues some much-needed donkey tail hairdos and crafting a handmade moss wall that looks like a faerie glade come to life.
2. Eat Better
Most weekends I’m giving you recipes, and we’ve got some crunchy ones for you down below. But if you follow my advice here, you’ll never have to go foraging for herbs and veggies again. The Farmstand is a simple herb fixture that’s self-watering and self-fertilizing. This artistic herb garden works to lighten up any kitchen … but my favorite is this “water garden” that serves as a self-sustained system, where the waste from your betta fish in the aquarium tank below is used to fertilize the plants above. If you’re feeling especially moved as a DIYer, you could take that simple design and supersize it this weekend … expanding your plant kingdom into a fishy under-the-sea domain, too. Say goodbye to your co-op membership — all your healthy ingredients are now homegrown.
3. Plus, Feel Better
You won’t just be enjoying a healthier diet. Add plants smartly, and you’ll feel their scientifically proven health benefits, from increased air purity to stress relief and mood enhancement. Start by reading this e-book, Your Brain on Plants,in your reading nook spruced up with some peace lilies (proven to reduce harmful indoor chemicals) and lavender (its scent is calming and decreases anxiety). While you’re at it, place some on your work desk to make those Zoom meetings more enjoyable. It sounds strange, but you can also hang some eucalyptus from your shower head and enjoy the way the steam activates its scent, which treats respiratory ailments. A fan favorite? Aloe vera, which can be cracked at a moment’s notice for its natural gel, used for treating sunburns and itching.
Do you know what getting DP’ed means? More importantly … do your grandparents? This hilarious — and weirdly educational — clip from the All Def Comedy collective breaks down L.A. slang by quizzing senior citizens spelling-bee style. Hosted by Richie Loco, a comedian from South Central Los Angeles, there probably isn’t a funnier way to learn some local lingo. And if you want to get out of Cali, check out the riffs, from Aussies in the ATL to Slovenians scoping out Chi-town. Next time you visit Hollywood, you’ll know that when a local says “it’s off of Fig,” it means “off Figueroa Street” — which means they’re either directing you to the Staples Center or, well, prostitutes. And DP’ed? That means you’re going to get “disciplined” in gang parlance. If you had another answer, it may just be time to cancel your internet provider.
2. Why Local Newspapers Matter
America has lost a quarter of its local and regional newspapers in the last 15 years — some 2,200 outlets. Digital media isn’t immune either: BuzzFeed recently announced major cuts to its own staff, as well as colleagues at the recently acquired Huffington Post. Still, the lost faith in local news indicates a much larger problem for the information ecosystem. Check out the YouTube edition of the When Katty Met Carlospodcast from OZY and the BBC World Service, which gets to the bottom of these increasing “news deserts” and the negative fallout they have on local communities.
3. The Skin Deep
This gets real, real quick. The Emmy Award-winning channel focuses on curating authentic encounters, and this touching YouTube episode showcasing a Black mother and daughter is an instant tearjerker. You can feel the energy shift as the pair go from cautious examination to tearing down their walls, resulting in a powerful exploration of the parent-child dynamic that honestly shouldn’t be possible in under nine minutes. Old fears of not being enough as a single parent and new questions of gender and sexuality emerge in this example of unadulterated Black love that doesn’t get broadcast nearly enough. By the end, even a butcher knife couldn’t cut through the tension in the air.
The Toronto-based poet keeps it simple, and it works. Pea-green backdrop meets white linen shirt as Mustafa sits on a stool and sings his heart out with his oh-so-haunting refrain. ColorsXStudios, a German music platform known for focusing on minimalist aesthetics and featuring emerging talents, knocked it out of the park with this pick. The gentle, soulful ballad showcases Mustafa’s raspy falsetto and heartfelt words as he talks about the lives lost to gun violence. And in the end, his song feels more like a plea: “Just stay alive, stay alive, stay alive.”
Join the coolest new streaming platform. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in other topics? They have thousands of documentaries on topics ranging from food to space exploration to animals.
Meet caviar’s Southeast Asian cousin. Ant egg soup is a mainstay in rural parts of Laos, although it’s recently become a more popular delicacy for foodie urbanites. Sure, the ghost-white larvae don’t exactly pass the eye test (particularly Western eyes). But they’re rich in protein and are bursting with taste in every bite. Mix in some snakehead fish, garlic, lemongrass and other zest, and you’ve got yourself a delicious dish — one not easily obtained, considering cooks must brave their needle bites and shake their eggs off the leaves of mango trees and coconut palms to enjoy. This tangy addition is typically served atop omelets, salads or any entrée that could use a sour touch. And if you’d like to learn more, read Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos.
2. Grasshopper Tacos
Crunchy.Why don’t more people eat grasshoppers, anyway? They’re easy to obtain, with plenty of affordable options online — although, admittedly, they’re most often meant for pet reptiles (hey, good enough for the gecko, good enough for me, right?) These dehydrated ones make great quesadilla and guacamole toppings. And the highly nutritional Chapulines are especially solid taco picks, a tasty favorite in Mexico and Central America. This recipe shows you how to make them anywhere, with ingredients like chipotle-tomatillo salsa and a dollop — alright, perhaps a heavy dollop — of guac.
3. Locust Salad and Beyond
Maybe a biblical plague wouldn’t be so bad after all. Not if it meant more of these lightly salted locusts, which perfectly complement this crispy noodle salad dribbled in olive oil, cabbage, sesame seed and capsicum. The surrounding ingredients are intentionally simple: We want you to savor every delicious locust-y bite. Eat Crawlers, which sells locusts plus a host of other critter-inspired creations online — chocolate tarantulas, anyone? — should be commended. After all, the New Zealand company ensures us its bugs are raised for human consumption in only the most humane and reputable farms. We can all rest easier tonight.
This summer is all about versatility, considering uncertainty about what’s open, what’s not and how much sunny activities we’ll all really get to enjoy. This swimdress solves that problem: form-fitting but functional and passably formal, which makes it perfect for any occasion outdoor or (soon, god willing) indoor event as well. This vintage number has a timeless style and full coverage. Plus, the amphibious piece also has removable, adjustable over-the-shoulder straps and removable cups for a quick Ariel-like turn from carefree mermaid to partying on land.
2. Chanel Frames
The Blues Brothers, the Men in Black, even Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s — let’s face it, anyone who is anybody has rocked a pair of dark-tinted square sunglasses. They’re just so official. And now that the sun’s sticking around a little longer, these babies are what you need. Sleek, smooth, classy and luxurious, try them on virtually here. This webcam feature is pretty cool … so much so that I spent an embarrassing amount of time playing around with it.
3. Polo Swim Trunks
It’s almost board shorts season. Where a lot of people go wrong, however, is getting too flashy, with paisley, neons and over-the-top fashions. These trunks from Ralph Lauren are the perfect middle ground, coming in a Bermuda tonal stripe that is sleek but stylish. Leave the try-hard antics for the other guys.