April 17, 2021

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travel, Always a step ahead

This Weekend: Ready for a Royal Fix? – OZY

6 min read

Saturday, March 06, 2021

People always rave about how relaxing relaxing is. But nobody mentions the stress of prepping the relaxation station. Choice overload is real, and it’s tough not to waste an hour of free time just picking what to do. Let me relieve you of that burden. Start your Women’s History Month right by digging into a networking app made for women and some global reads that question the patriarchy. Then check out an epic Indian game and join a live-event streaming platform that will banish your pandemic blues. Fellow chronic overthinkers, you can now actually relax. I’ve got you covered.

Joshua Eferighe, Reporter

1. ‘I Am Athlete’

Pro athletes control their narratives more than ever thanks to the democratization of media — and that’s led to some surprisingly authentic, delightful moments (when the brands aren’t being, well, brands). Cue this podcast that does it right, hosted by former running back Fred Taylor, linebacker Channing Crowder and wideouts Brandon Marshall and Chad Johnson. Johnson, a flamboyant star sports fans will remember as “Ochocinco,” bawls his eyes out in a recent episode while talking about the lack of safe spaces for men to be vulnerable. While the podcast is available on most platforms, I prefer to get the full visual effect on YouTube.

2. ‘Charles and Diana: 1983’

Everybody is going to be watching the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Sunday. But if you want to delve really deep into the royal game, tune in to the year that defined “the height of Diana-mania,” as magazine editor Ingrid Seward says in this recently released Hulu documentary. Filled with exclusive newsreel footage and interviews with those close to the royal family, including royal butler Paul Burrell, the events of the couple’s Australian tour have been covered by The Crown and Diana: In Her Own Words … but never quite like this.

3. ‘Ugly Delicious’

If you think about food whether your stomach is empty or full — guilty — then David Chang’s travel food docuseries is a savory watch. It follows the Momofuku mogul around the world as he challenges viewers to rethink their assumptions about cuisines, from chowing on Indian food with Padma Lakshmi and Aziz Ansari to visiting cattle ranches to get the real beef behind Outback Steakhouse. With additional cameos from friends like comedian Ali Wong and Korean American actor Steven Yeun, this show gives you permission to get gluttonous.

4. ‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’

A displaced Syrian refugee dreams of traveling freely … and decides to sell space on his skin to pay for it, allowing a cryptic artist to turn his body into a canvas for a price. Only he soon finds that the decision to commoditize his humanity wasn’t the escape plan he’d hoped for, leading to a fascinating adventure that earned this Tunisian film a spot on the shortlist for best international feature at this year’s Academy Awards.

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1. ‘His Only Wife’

It’s hard not to be immediately smitten by a book that delivers as sparkling a line as this: “Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding.” So begins this intimate look into Ghana’s patriarchal society through the lens of a woman lifted from poverty by an arranged marriage that brings her riches but not joy. A debut novel by Liberian-born Ghanaian Peace Adzo Medie, the book is a love story and an exploration of the complexities of gender, as a young, shy seamstress transforms into an assertive and independent woman.

2. ‘Against the Loveless World’

AlthoughSusan Abulhawa’s newest offering is fictional, it provides a startlingly real window into the revolving door of displacement in Jordan, Kuwait and Palestine. The book picks up with its middle-aged narrator, Nahr, reflecting on her life from an Israeli prison cell after the U.S. invasion of Iraq turned her into a refugee. A Palestinian woman who has never known Palestine, Nahr is determined to chart her own course, from happily married and dreaming of owning a beauty salon to being divorced, on the brink of poverty and prostitution to make ends meet.

3. ‘Exciting Times’

A 22-year-old Irish girl named Ava moves to Hong Kong to teach English and finds herself in a love triangle between an upper-class Hong Kong lawyer and a British banker. Written by Naoise Dolan, this novel creatively combines romance, travel and comedy as it follows the consciously bad decisions only a young adult could make. But Ava’s journey is not all cringeworthy: Thoughtful commentary on capitalism, colonialism and class pervades this debut effort from Dolan, who is attracting (at this point, obnoxiously incessant) comparisons to fellow millennial Irish author and Trinity College grad Sally Rooney. 

1. Caffeine

If Twitch is the industry leader in video game livestreaming, then this is for everything else that can possibly be caught on camera. With a focus on live events, Caffeine is the ultimate tool for FOMO obsessives — and a welcome one, given the uncertainty of when and where festivals and other forms of entertainment will return. While the platform is constantly adding new content, you can already tune in live to shows from Fox Soul to Red Bull TV. Its biggest draw, however, is the Ultimate Rap League. Partially produced by Drake, URL is the largest community for daily shows and live rap battles.

2. Elpha

LinkedIn has finally met Lean In. This social network helps women connect with one another with jobs and business opportunities, plus professional and personal support. Considering the ways the #MeToo movement has exposed sexism and harassment in the workplace, it seems time is up on old-boy networks. And in their place, perhaps Elpha can even the playing field while fighting for everything from wage parity to greater accountability for bad behavior in professional settings.

3. ‘Raji: An Ancient Epic’

Produced by Indian developer Nodding Head Games, this multiplatform, action-adventure game follows Raji’s fight against the legions of Mahabalasura, a demon lord trying to invade the human race. The game boasts an acrobatic discovery mode akin to Tomb Raider and combat dynamics reminiscent of Devil May Cry. And Raji diverges from other action titles by incorporating a rich backstory rooted in Hindu and Balinese lore while narrated by Indian gods Vishnu and Durga.

4. ‘Weverse’

It’s a big hit — or, at least, South Korean music label Big Hit Entertainment hopes it soon will be. The label behind the global K-pop sensation BTS has seemingly struck gold again with “an all-encompassing global fan experience” of a social platform, one that consolidates artists’ content all in one place. The idea? Don’t ever leave, with every musical treat you could ever need, from music videos and movies to future teasers, merch sales and livestreams. The direct-to-fan app/web option has already been a success, with as many as 10 million downloads last year. By carving out dedicated space to niche fan communities, the mobile app may present a way for all upcoming creatives to engage with their fan bases.

1. Silk Masks

This mask is for smooth operators. Offered in olive, pink or black, these satin coverings are for when you’re ready to make it back to their place — although, to be honest, such luxurious masks are just as good for feeling fabulous on your own while sipping your favorites around the house. They’re plush, with a ’60s vibe that makes the decision to be safe sexier than ever.

2. Brisket Bacon

Time to snack? This dish, also called “beef bacon,” is OZY Editor-at-Large Christina Greer’s newest obsession — so much so that while she keeps trying to stuff it into an open-faced sandwich, she just ends up eating the whole lot of it in the time it takes her baguette to warm up. She gets it fresh from Fresh Direct, but options abound.

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