ZINIO logo

Esquire Summer 2020

Add to favorites

Esquire is a funny, informative, connected magazine that covers the interests of American men—all the interests of the American man: Politics, style, advice, women, health, eating and drinking, the most interesting people of our time. All that and it’s the most-honored monthly magazine in history.

Read More
United States
9 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
what we’re learning

THE CUSTODIAN EUGENIO MESA ENVIRONMENTAL-SERVICES WORKER, NEWYORK-PRESBYTERIAN MORGAN STANLEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL New York City I’M FROM THE neighborhood, so I live about two minutes from the work site. I’d been applying to this hospital for years. I went to the interview—it was on my birthday. I got my job. WE WERE CALLED into the office by our supervisor. It was a Saturday morning. They call me by my last name. “Hey, Mesa, can I speak to you?” In my mind I’m thinking, Am I in trouble? She was like, “I’m not sure how comfortable you feel about going inside each room with COVID-19. Can you go in if I asked you to?” And I said, “Of course.” I didn’t hesitate. I’M NOT SCARED of anything. I’m brave. It takes a lot of courage to do things…

3 min.
the quarantine crack-up

TWO WEEKS INTO THE QUARantine, I lost it. Early one evening, as I was doing the dishes, “Night Moves” came on the radio. I have heard that song, by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, one million times, and I’ve enjoyed it each time. But on the one million and first, I cried. Not the sort of eye misting that’s easy to explain away. I openly wept. My wife walked into the kitchen to find that her husband had become the real-world avatar of the Crying Michael Jordan meme. I wrapped my arms around her and let my body go heavy. I know what you’re thinking, and I agree: “Night Moves” is a terrific song. But it had never moved me to tears until that day. Not even close. This was…

1 min.
the short storis

THE ESPADRILLE IS THE MOST EGALITARian summer shoe. It eschews elitism, and it doesn’t differentiate between tax brackets, much less genders. It doesn’t even discriminate between your left and right feet. (Really; with old-school versions, you can switch it up.) You can buy espadrilles in fancy boutiques and online, but these are quintessentially simple shoes, and best when you don’t muck about with them. In their native Basque and Catalan regions (straddling the border of France and Spain) and all of southern France—where I stock up—you can pick them up for a song at supermarkets and gas stations. But for me, the Côte d’Azur is their true stomping (or maybe shuffling) ground. They’re ideal for lolling about at home or hitting the market or the beach, yet ironically—for something traditionally made…

5 min.
quarantine time machine

BACK IN THE 1980S, THE R&B STATION IN ST. LOUIS used to play a track from Fatback called “Backstrokin’,” whose lyrics—pretty much in their entirety—said, “Lookin’ for the good stuff? Why don’t ya tighten up on your backstroke?” When I was a young boy, the words struck me as deeply melancholy: No matter where you are in life, the song seemed to say, the best things will always be in your rearview mirror. As my life stretched out ahead of me, this funk band told me I’d spend it straining to turn backward, to the way things were. Forever grasping at the past as life sped into the future Now that I’m older, I realize the song is almost definitely about anal. But my youthful interpretation of it has proved to…

1 min.
young again

Back in 1974, Neil Young recorded what his label was absolutely sure would be an album stacked with hits. Young was certainly in the market for a few—Time Fades Away and On the Beach, his two previous LPs, hadn’t fared well with fans. But Homegrown, a de facto musical companion to 1972’s behemoth Harvest written in the wake of his breakup with girlfriend Carrie Snodgress, was never released—until now. “It was a little too personal,” Young said in 1975 of the decision in an interview with Rolling Stone. “It scared me.” He echoed the sentiment recently as he announced the plan for the legendary work to emerge: “It’s the sad side of a love affair. The damage done. The heartache. I just couldn’t listen to it. I wanted to move…

2 min.
you’ll need a bag for that (and now that, too)

AS I WRITE THIS, I DON’T know what summer will look like. Will we be heading to sandy shores, cracking open a cold one, and re-upping our vitamin-D supply? (With six feet between blankets, of course.) Maybe! But it’s equally possible we’ll be socially distancing in a deserted lot behind the 7-Eleven while blasting Don Henley from a single earbud. And while summer has always been a time when you’ve had to haul around a lot of gear—sunglasses, sandals, sunscreen, six-packs—a post-pandemic world means we’re going to be lugging around a lot more. Face masks, hand sanitizer, and latex gloves are all getting promoted to everyday-carry items. That means you need a bag. One that’s simple, because these times are not. One that’s hardy, because we all need an extra helping…