The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
Saturday, March 27, 2021
What is it about being a spy that’s so damn appealing? Is it simply the snooping? The rush of taking on dark and sinister forces? I’ve always been hooked by everything clandestine, from the cheesy black-and-white Spy vs. Spy cartoon series to the most overproduced 007 films. And if that’s you too — or even if you’re just into the lifestyle for the cocktails — well, we have a lot of goodness in store. Embrace your inner spy with some epic soundtracks, plus the best spy flicks to watch for inspiration. To get your heart racing, we’ve also got some great suggestions on self-defense, from gadgets to tactics. And to wrap it up, we’ll show you some watches that will quickly have you saying “Bond. James Bond” into your dusty bathroom mirror. Welcome to the Weekender, agent. Your mission awaits within.
Waking up after a night of sleuthing, it hits you: the gorgeous, fleeting nature of it all. “This is not a song for the whole world,” Mahalia Burkmar sings, smooth as the silk sheets you sleep in. “Felt like it could’ve been us against the whole world.” The Jamaican British singer taps into two essential themes in just two lines: the solitary life of a spy, and the desire to find somebody to fight beside you anyway. You won’t need coffee to start grooving to “Sober,” which the 22-year-old wrote tipsy while trying to avoid texting her ex. What can we say? Spy life is full of contradictions.
2. ‘enjoy your life’
Darting through streets of a foreign city, surrounded by strangers — friends, enemies, who knows? — you embrace the chaos. This debut album by Nigerian American Lady Donli, who spent most of her life in Abuja before studying law in London, is a roller coaster of opulence. Drawing influence from underground Brit rapper Little Simz to Nigerian singers King Sunny Ade and D’banj, Donli brings a hedonistic pleasure to the rush of life on the lam, with lines like “I’m addicted to cash” and “I didn’t come here to suffer. I came to enjoy. I came to enjoy.”
There’s always the moment when the spy slows things down … usually in a bluesy nightclub or jazz spot. Seven years in the making, Savannah Ré’s debut EP, Opia, is a dark, brooding and experimental piece seemingly made for a moody 007 scene. Coping with the frustrations of an undefined relationship, the songstress was influenced by Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child and the Weeknd (who also grew up in the Scarborough section of Toronto). And if you’re just raring to get back onto the dance floor, add “Love Me Back” to your playlist; it’s an upbeat, sweaty tune about her tricky marriage to fellow nightlife denizen YogiTheProducer.
When the world is unpredictable, comfort matters. At DUER, we believe getting dressed should be simple, so we’ve created one pant that can do it all. From a weekend with Netflix to a high-pressure pitch or a winter commute, our pants can take on anything. Not convinced? Maybe 5,000 five-star reviews will get the point across.
Why would you ever carry two phones? Well, when one of them can shoot 14 million volts of electricity with the tap of a button, the real question is, why would you not? The aptly named Friphone — as in, you’ll cook any wayward intruder — also has an ear-deafening alarm to startle potential assailants and a built-in LED light to temporarily blind criminals. Now, if someone asks what the extra burner phone is for, you can wryly ask them: Are they willing to find out?
2. smart jewelry
Bond has leveled buildings with a fountain pen, broken through glass with the twist of a ring — shoot, he’s even had a dart gun on his wrist. But discreet, wearable defense gadgets aren’t only the province of elite spies. This unisex keychain looks like the kind of gift your great aunt would buy for your birthday ... but it’s actually a GPS tracker with a compatible app to match. Just double tap and it will text up to five people with your location. Plus, there’s a 911 feature to share your coordinates with dispatchers during an emergency.
3. ceiling bulb or panoramic camera?
There is a thin line between fortifying a safe house and incorporating proper home surveillance — and this home security lightbulb tightropes it like a pro. Chances are you don’t actually need a 360° panoramic camera that doubles as a kitchen light. But given a burglary takes place somewhere every 13 seconds, it’s a safety measure that can give you peace of mind even when you’re away. With night vision monitoring, remote control viewing and motion detection, any conversations under this ray of light won’t stay hidden in the dark for long.
Even if you feel like you’ve tried everything — from peeing after sex to drinking cranberry juice — some of us are more prone to UTIs, and for many, it can become a chronic issue. Created by a chronic UTI sufferer who had tried it all and was sick of the constant cycle of infections, she was inspired to create Uqora. Uqora specializes in UTI relief and proactive urinary tract health supplements developed in collaboration with top doctors and scientists. Get started today with 20 percent off your first order here.
You’ll want to learn all the moves necessary to live a life on the edge, so work up a sweat by signing up for virtual self-defense lessons. Gracie University comes highly recommended. The outfit has a treasure trove of high-quality videos, live Zoom classes and courses. Try it out free with instant access to over 30 lessons from physical programs, plus 25 combat philosophy courses and access to other Gracie defense handbooks. If you like it, you can spring for the full $189 beginner program (before applying the 20% COVID discount at checkout). And if you’re looking for a totally free program, consider the SEPS Women’s Self-Defense online course.
2. case the International Spy Museum
The museum used to be a tiny hideout tucked away by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. But since 2019, it’s relocated to a massive mecca dominating the central D.C. skyline. While there’s nothing inconspicuous about the new digs — seriously, it says “SPY” in giant letters — the experience itself is spellbinding. Visitors take on a secret identity and go through a roulette of challenges testing their memory, intuition and critical thinking skills while learning about the history of spycraft. One of the most mesmerizing exhibits: a holographic breakdown of the U.S. mission to storm Osama bin Laden’s compound. Can’t get to Washington? You can book a virtual cocktail party so you and your friends can drink while being regaled by a “tantalizing spy tale” and tackle spy challenges as a team, or schedule a virtual, customized tour of the museum itself.
3. beat an escape room
Being a spy requires being able to get out of tricky situations. Cue escape rooms, the ultimate test of thinking on your feet while the clock ticks on. Maze Rooms Los Angeles’ “Secret Mission” takes you into the safe house of an elusive Soviet spy, while San Francisco-based EscapeSF offers an online, spy-themed escape experience called “The Pegasus Project.” There are now more than 5,000 escape rooms in 88 countries, meaning you can probably find a COVID-safe option near you, but some others to consider include Spy Mission in Perth, Australia; Russian Spy Room in Tampa, Florida; and this free (and educational) virtual spy adventure for kids and adults alike.
Everyone wants to be a spy. That is, until it’s time to be a spy. Set during one of the most dramatic international conflicts in history, this recently released thriller follows British businessman Greville Wynne — played by Benedict Cumberbatch, of Dr. Strange fame — as he is summoned by the U.K.'s MI-6 to work alongside American CIA operative Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). Their task? Infiltrate the Soviet Union and defuse the Cuban missile crisis. Expect to be on the edge of your seat as it quickly becomes obvious that Wynne is in way over his head.
2. ‘Wife of a Spy’
Rarely are we given the spouse’s perspective in spy films — and, no, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie shooting each other up in Mr. & Mrs. Smith doesn’t count. This historical romance centers around Satoko — the smiling, seemingly obedient wife of a Japanese merchant in the 1940s. The story picks up when her husband claims he has to leave for Manchuria while fearing a budding war (and mounting nationalism) will hurt his business. Satoko isn’t buying it: She investigates her suspicions of infidelity, only to find his trip may have been a cover to collect intel for an enemy country. She signed up for love and loyalty … but unspeakable war crimes? Her discoveries set up dramatic consequences, as she tries to answer if the cover-up or the lie will be their relationship’s ultimate undoing.
3. Former Spy Tells All
What’s tricky about getting to know spies and their work is that they keep all the juicy details locked up. Well, OZY had one come in and spill all the beans in a recent episode of The Carlos Watson Show, which begins season three next week. While he’s too humble to call himself a real-life 007, former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin is a diplomacy expert who has had his fair share of fieldwork and handling highly classified information. In a sit-down with our co-founder and CEO, McLaughlin gives the incoming Biden administration advice on understanding China’s power as a competitor and going head-to-head with Russia in hybrid warfare … while also showing off masterful sleight of hand with magic tricks that will have you doing a double take.
It’s not always about the technology: Sometimes charm is what disarms. And this brown, faux-leather strap watch does the job, with a wooden face, water resistance, buckle closure and gunmetal dial.
2. Nacre Lune 8
Smooth, sophisticated, refined: This timepiece makes looking the part easier than ever. The beauty is in its simplicity, showcasing its rose gold strap and clean-faced display with eight cabochon pearls marking the lunar phases. You won’t get a better bargain for such timeless style.
3. iTouch Smart Watch
What’s more Bond than a computer on your wrist? This black-and-gray smart watch does it all — from GPS to music control while also tracking your steps, sleep and calories. And the best part? It doesn’t scream high-tech, allowing you to have all the advantages of advanced gadgetry without drawing unwanted attention.
4. Code Coco Chanel
There’s nothing more Bond than this Code Coco Chanel watch. Chromed out from front to back with an all-black interface, it’s a timepiece that speaks for itself and one fitting for the swankiest of formal occasions … or if you just want to stunt on a grocery run.