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Two blues and thin lines   

This week
A few years ago for the Wildsam travel guide to Los Angeles, I wrote an essay about the city's sprawling tendencies and lack of center—which is something I really love about it. "Unlike cities that are neatly demarcated by zones or arrondissements or postcodes that clearly mark the distance from a central point, Los Angeles refuses to agree on its core. The center is wherever you decide it is." (Ok, actually some guy figured out the geographic center and put a plaque there. But, I'd argue, that's just one man's opinion on the matter.) You can finally read this essay online.

And on the podcast, I interviewed trans-rights activist and ACLU attorney Chase Strangio about a really important set of cases that will come before the Supreme Court next month. They all involve the Trump administration's multi-front attack on trans people, but they have implications for everyone whose gender defies stereotypes—say, men who enjoy their flowing long hair and women who like to wear suits. Please give this episode a listen.

I'm reading
How fan culture is swallowing democracy, and why fan culture is increasingly toxicWhich candidates benefit from showing rage in public, and which candidates have to keep their emotions in check? The comedians challenging stereotypes about Asian-American masculinity. They built a black suburb, and now they're homeless. On age discrimination at work. The United States is a gerontocracy. Trump's inheritance—and successor. The world doesn't miss the men who were ousted from their prominent jobs for harassment and abuse. A woman in her 50s talks to her daughter about the abortion she had as a teenager. A new mother on her husband's post-natal depression. When states take over managing child support, watch out. Two sisters and the ISIS recruit who came between them. How Etsy became Amazon. An Instagram influencer, as seen by the former best friend who helped her write her captions. In the next recession, millennials are screwed. Tavi Gevinson looks back at her first fashion week. The social and environmental impact of mining for "healing crystals." The non-pleasures of orange wineCar Talk's long goodbye. TSA still can't deal with natural hair. What Patti Smith is reading. Liz Phair's horror stories. Tina Turner is living her best life. Sometimes "late" is right on time, and time is a neon scrunchie. Where would we be without metaphor? She Said

Members only
Become a paying member for just $5/year. If you do, you'll see a hand-drawn chart here every week. Today, you're missing one about 90s nostalgia!

I’m looking & listening
Up at tonight's full moon, which is a micro-moon. And this is so tender: Noah and Kev rollerskate together

I do, indeed, love LA. But I love my friends even more.

I endorse
Ordering two life-size cardboard Laura Dern cutouts so you can rebrand your meetings as "Between Two Derns." Truly inspired, Kira Bindrim. Truly inspired.
You can subscribe to Kira's newsletter here.

On a totally unrelated note, I also endorse the Period Movement's fundraiser to distribute menstrual products to migrants who need them on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. 

You've got answers: The best solo destinations
Many weeks ago, I asked you where you like to travel alone. Here are some of your answers:
  • A beautiful, quiet little beach town called Tofo on the coast of Mozambique
  • Iceland - a great place to be incredibly alone
  • Joshua Tree! Such a feeling of wonder and isolation.
  • El Nido in the Philippines. I slept in a tree house, read books on the beach, explored the culture.
  • Deep inside my own mind.
  • Paris (Is that cliche? I don't care.) No one to bother me while I'm eating bread and cheese.
  • Any kind of beach! As long as I can lay down a towel and relax and read.
  • Malacca, in Malaysia. Beautiful ruins, night markets, amazing food, and pirate ghosts. It's got it all! Plus it was really easy to make sight-seeing friends at the hostel.
  • Scotland. Everyone was the perfect level of friendly. I talked to people enough not to feel lonely but also never felt overwhelmed by too much time with strangers. 
  • Anywhere children are not allowed
  • NYC, baby. A million things to do/see/eat/drink. 8.6 million people who will completely ignore you and let you do your thing.
  • The movies!
  • Nordic Spas (I go to one in Whistler Canada once a year)
  • Budapest. Budapest, Budapest, Budapest -- spend your day at a bath and night at a ruin bar. Rinse and repeat.
  • No joke, any theme park. Going alone is so much fun.
  • San Gimignano, Italy
  • The bay area! Highly recommend joining a couples wine tour alone.
  • north shore of Oahu.
  • One room cabin in rural Minnesota, run by radical nuns. No WiFi, no problem.
  • Istanbul! There's nothing like enjoying the sun while sipping tea on the ferry between Europe and Asia
  • Any airbnb hosted by a middle aged woman. They're so great at anticipating traveler's needs. You'll never want for towels or snacks.
  • I went to Iguazu Falls in Argentina by myself and standing in the middle of a jungle of giant waterfalls alone was transformative!
  • An underutilized campground. I stayed in a campground last year during a solo road trip that was basically empty because they had e coli in their tap water (they gave me a couple of jugs of water when I checked in). I couldn't shower, but it was quiet and peaceful and the perfect way to spend the 4th of July. Seek one out.
  • My bed. (I'm reminded of this lyric from Neko Case: "I leave the party at three a.m. Alone, thank God."
  • Everywhere. The world is surprisingly open and generous when experienced alone
Here's the full list of answers if you're looking for some you-time inspiration.

For next week! What's your favorite thing to do on your birthday?
(Thanks to Colore for the prompt.)

It's almost CYG tour time!

Fri, Sept 27 - Toronto, ON
Sat, Sept 28 - Detroit, MI
Thu, Oct 3 - Denver, CO
Fri, Oct 4 - Austin, TX
Sun, Oct 6 - Houston, TX

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