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Town & Country Summer 2020

Town & Country features the latest in luxury, from beautiful homes, sumptuous dining to exotic locations. In 11 gorgeous annual issues, Town & Country covers the arts, fashion and culture, bringing the best of everything to America's trendsetters

United States
10 Issues

in this issue

1 min
thank you

Sometimes I found myself taking a picture and posting it just so it would come back up a year from now as a memory—and hoping this would all be just that. But there are things I don’t want to forget: the heroism, generosity, and simple goodness we celebrate in our portfolio of gratitude on page 58. The fact that we relearned the value of a family meal, and lost afternoons in foreign bookstores, and window shopping, and cold martinis (page 19). The authentic and intense longing we felt for the places we dreamed about traveling to (page 45) and for all the art we could not see (page 92). I also don’t want to forget Friday afternoon FaceTimes with George and Richard; masked walks with Patrick; Mother’s Day six feet away…

1 min
suddenly, summer

There were days I didn’t go out and days I couldn’t remember. Sometimes I sat at my desk watching the trees outside blooming, as if we had nothing in common. They had the sun, I had the sun through a window. They were beginning, I was unsure what I was. Then one afternoon after an early drink I decided to get them—alive and understated, aware they were not the most beautiful flowers yet reassuringly strong. I don’t know how they gave the illusion of order. One that was impossible to find talking to friends, lovers, old colleagues; they did not talk back. The tulips. They merely filled the room, their purpose being to be loved for what they were, entirely by how I saw them. No struggle or epiphany. No…

6 min
no.1 take a seat at the table.

Early one Saturday morning this coming fall in New York, I’ll head out to the farmers market to buy the best tomatoes I can find. I’ll add parsley to my basket, and some kirbies. At home I’ll cut these into tiny pieces, mince the parsley, and throw in a dash of pepper to create a typical Middle Eastern salad. Then I’ll sprinkle salt and olive oil and squeeze lemon juice over it and let it sit while I boil eggs and warm some Syrian bread and make my own tahini. Finally I’ll cook some fava beans to create foul mudammas, the national dish of Egypt. This is how I plan to celebrate what I hope will be a return to normal this fall. Foul mudammas takes me back to my childhood…

4 min
no. 3 awake & sing!

In the dark times, will there also be singing?” Bertolt Brecht once wrote. The answer, then and now, is an exuberant yes. Singing is therapeutic, a timeless comfort Oliver Sacks argued that it brings order and memory back to scrambled minds, and others have observed that blending voices together encourages empathy and offsets loneliness. After the outbreak we noticed it first in Italy. Quarantined residents of Milan and Rome took to their balconies and sang to no one in particular and to everyone all at once. There were La Scala stars among them, surely—the tenor Andrea Bocelli performed “Amazing Grace” and other hymns in front of Milan’s Duomo—but community was the point, rather than virtuosity, the imperfect harmony of self-expression in self-exile. Slowly their voices reached our shores. By late March people were…

2 min
no. 6 say yes to the martini.

Dinner and a show. To this Jewish girl, it’s a like a rosary. Leave your day behind, take your seat in a theater, and wait for that moment (the best part of the night no matter what you’re seeing) when the lights dim, you hover at the precipice of possibility, that delicious tell-me-a-story moment, and let her rip. Big, brassy musicals? Sure, why not. But dramatic plays with emotionally powerful performances are my favorite. You start in your seat, then you’re up on the stage, smack in the middle, thinking it, feeling it. At some point a muffled sob nearby jolts you back, but in a good way. You are here not alone but transported, together. Oh, for that reunion when this miserable pause has passed! But let’s not dwell. It’s time for…

3 min
no. 8 connect the prose and the passion.

There’s a bookstore in Brooklyn called Books Are Magic, and I’ve always thought the owners, Emma Straub and Michael Fusco-Straub, couldn’t have picked a better name. Books are magic. They can take you anywhere with anyone at any time, and the shops that sell them embody an equally enchanting range of escapes and adventures. I was charmed before I even entered Atlantis, a bookstore perched above the Aegean Sea in Santorini, and I was ready to move in when I realized there were loft beds hidden behind the bookshelves. Not all bookstores are that dramatic, but some are pretty iconic, so much so that everyone will ask you if you visited Shakespeare and Co. when you were in Paris, or Livraria Lello in Porto, or El Ateneo Grand Splendid in…