…let me count the ways.
I have certain standby New York Times reading patterns. Things I read every day, every week no matter what. Call me a Times creature of habit. Here are three things I always read.
- Metropolitan Diary: Every Monday in the “New York” portion of the Times’ main section, there’s a corner or column of space devoted to reader stories about the city. These are classic stories: humorous, thought-provoking, surprising, even historical. Once in a while, poems are sprinkled in; though I love poetry and write it myself, I sometimes skip over those. I want the stories! Many of the best are the dialogue-centered ones, moments of eavesdropping captured on sidewalks and in buses. I also love the ones where people discover the unexpected—a recent one had the rescue of a bothersome moth on the R train, ending in its new home on a bed of flowers. And, bonus!, earlier this year, a friend of mine was in the Metropolitan Diary, recalling some New Yorkers’ winter ebullience (his is the last one).
- Modern Love: Call me a romantic if you must, but this series is great. It’s been a “Sunday Styles” must-read for me for years. Men and women write in from all over the country, telling woeful tales of break-ups, charming stories of true love, and solemn accounts of loves lost. The series celebrates all kinds of love and all types of relationships, always reinventing the word “modern.” The illustrations are amusing and the stories take up a good three-quarters of the page (necessitating a new horizontal fold). Sometimes they don’t end happily, many times there’s quite a surprise by the fourth column. But they always show me something new.
- Sunday Routine: Residing in Sunday’s “Metropolitan” section, this is basically a q & a that spotlights someone’s usual Sunday. Who are these someones? Local politicians, businesspeople, personalities, restaurant owners, cultural mainstays…the list goes on and on. They cook, explore neighborhoods, relax with families, enjoy activities, check emails (they’re always prepping for their week ahead), watch late-night television. By the end, you’ve spent a full day with Billy Mitchell, Gretchen Rubin or Ric Burns. But then it’s time to get your Sunday under way!
Coming soon: Why I Love The New York Times Magazine…