If you’re like us, you’re probably already thinking about the holiday season—what to cook, what to buy, whether or not to see loved ones at Thanksgiving because of the spike in COVID-19 cases. It might be time to put your mind at ease with a good read, a good binge watch or just something pretty to look at. We’ve got you.
Read on for what the 225 Dine team is into right now.
For an enjoyable, eye-candy binge watch
‘The Queen’s Gambit’ on Netflix
“A period piece about a chess player? I assumed this wouldn’t be my jam. Then I read about the midcentury sets, the fashions and Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance. I gave it a go. Just a few days later, I had devoured the seven-episode limited series on Netflix. While the trend for other streaming series seems to be taking liberties with the narrative flow to pause for an episode or two devoted fully to backstory—bringing any momentum to a halt—The Queen’s Gambit is all forward movement. Yes, you get flashbacks here and there, but each episode is built on where the young chess prodigy Beth goes next with her talent (or how she stumbles under the weight of that talent and her own demons). It’s surprisingly thrilling, but what left me most in awe were the sets, which I found out were well-preserved retro buildings in Berlin and Toronto. Location scouts for the win!”
“Anna Koeferl is a New Orleans-based artist who works in printmaking and graphic design. I stumbled upon her work on Instagram without realizing she lives and works just down the road in New Orleans. Browsing through her work again after finding that out, it makes much more sense. Her prints are often inspired by strolls around the city’s green spaces like Audubon Park. And her abstract interpretations of those tropical plants and migratory birds would bring a dose of summery vibes to any wall as we get into the colder months.”
“The Ringer teamed up with Spotify for a new original podcast exploring how the ’90s forever changed music. Each week, music critics dissect a different track from the decade in a blend of celeb gossip and music history—and best of all, personal anecdotes about what a song like “You Ought Know” taught the teenagers who obsessed over it. I’ve listened to about half of the handful of episodes that have come out so far and thoroughly enjoyed learning new music trivia. I’ve always considered myself a ’90s kid, but the podcast has taught me there was so much more to the songs I used to listen to in the backseat of my parents’ car. The best part of each episode comes at the end—when, after 30 minutes of analysis, the podcast bids you farewell with an uninterrupted listen of the song in question.”
—Jennifer Tormo, editor
For tracking online Black Friday sales
“If you find holiday shopping overwhelming, New York magazine‘s The Strategist is a good resource. The year-round, online shopping guide and newsletter reviews everything from mattresses to beauty products; curates gift guides; and breaks down sales all over the web. The coverage is pretty broad, which means, yes, it includes Amazon and big-box stores. But through the site, I’ve also discovered some hipper startup brands and smaller artists. The site’s coverage kicks into overdrive this time of year. It’s already started a Black Friday sales page, which I’m sure will be updated a lot more next week. It’s worth a scroll if you need a gift idea for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list.”