Dear <<First Name>>,

This past week felt the quickest since I started working from home on March 10. It must mean that I'm starting to get used to the routine and slowly forgetting what things were like before the world changed.

For the past few weeks, our family's been taking walks around Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historical Landmark that is literally 7 minutes door to door from our apartment (timed pushing a stroller).

Now that Spring is here, the trees are starting to flower and each week the cemetery gets more colorful. The expansive 478 acres of space and the fact that it's only for walking (no jogging/biking/sports allowed) keeps the place relatively quiet and sparse vs. Prospect Park and makes it feels like a safer outdoor space for socially distanced walks.

I have to admit that it was a bit surreal walking around the whole time with masks on.

Last week's newsletter got a 54.5% open rate and the most-clicked link was my blog post on how we've been handling the COVID-19 crisis at Barrel. The YouTube video of The Perfect Home Workout by Athlean-X was the second-most clicked.

The Umami Theory of Value: Autopsy of the Experience Economy (memo)
What do we mean by umami? Not only the meatiness of the French dip sandwich at that restaurant, but also the light as it refracted through the amber liquid of the cocktails, the reflection off the back bar, the quivering of the cake, and, most significantly, the way those elements read in a photo. Umami was the quality of the media mix or the moodboard that granted it cohesion-despite-heterogeneity. 

Worthwhile read with some interesting observations on the experience economy (restaurants, museums, music concerts, etc.) through the lens of umami. It's got a meaty section on David Chang's cerebral approach to food especially themes that you'll recognize if you've watched his Ugly Delicious episodes on Netflix. In some ways, it might not be a bad thing that we'll be entering a post-umami world after all of this. Feels like a relic of a decadent era.

Premonition (blog post)
Interesting long form essay with predictions on what the future may look like post-coronavirus. With digital/online becoming more tightly interwoven with how we interact (often being the default mode), how will this impact culture, the economy, and cities? I hope they're wrong about the decline of urban cities and that cities find smart ways to adapt/evolve after all of this.

scuttleblurb, investment research website
Subscribed to this after seeing a tweet by @adam_keesling and paid for the $210/year fee. Totally worth it–made it through a handful of articles so far (the Shopify/Wix post was fun b/c it focuses on a sector I know well) and looking forward to diving into more. Check out his 2019 update where he talks about why he priced his subscription fee at $210 and the types of folks who currently pay.

Q1 2020 Habits & Goals Report Card
I took stock of my daily habit tracker after the first 3 months and reflected on my performance. Big takeaway: sticking to this system has been really therapeutic and grounding during the quarantine as it's given me a sense of control in an otherwise very uncertain time.


P.S. You can check out my list of books read right here. My hope is to get a good mix of challenging reads with some that are entertaining, inspiring, and instructive.

If you like what you've read, please share with your friends. They can sign up for the list here. Also, I always welcome recommendations of any kind–books, podcasts, movies, etc.

About me: Peter Kang is co-founder of Barrel, a digital agency in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, son, and dog.
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