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Sunday Digest #2
Remote Work Makes Us Early Birds
The rise of remote work is in the process of upending American life, including when we like to go out. When remote-workers complete their isolated, doomscolling-filled day at 5 pm, they like to go out and see other humans. The early bird special isn’t just for retirees anymore. The Wall Street Journal has the details:
Trendy new restaurants are closing their kitchens at 8 p.m. And movie theaters are swapping late-night screenings for matinees. Hybrid and remote workers itching to leave the house as soon as they close their laptops are fueling the shift.
Restaurants are now seating 10% of diners between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., up from 5% in 2019, according to Yelp. Dinner parties are starting as early as 5 p.m.
Some night owls think we’re all getting a bit dull. Others embrace the mass backward slide of our activities. Kathy Hatfield is one of the converts.
When the insurance company Hatfield works for told her she could Zoom commute forever, she knew she had to adjust her routine. Living alone in a West Bridgewater, Mass., condo, she craved face-to-face interaction by the time she got off work at 5 p.m. and started bringing her Kindle to a local restaurant for a solo dinner and glass of wine.
She expected to be the only one there. Instead, she became so close with a group of bartenders and a dozen or so other regulars they now share a group text and attend each other’s milestone events. The two spots she frequents are usually packed by 6 p.m.
“I’m at the point now where I’m looking for new places, because sometimes I just want to read and I know so many people that I just chitchat the whole time,” says Hatfield, 57. She’s also had to adjust her strategy on Saturdays. While a 5 p.m. dinner used to be a surefire way to beat the crowds and get a reservation, she now finds it easier waiting until 7 p.m. “It’s flip-flopped,” she says.
One interesting chart
Jury Duty (on Amazon) is a Truman Show-esque comedy featuring a fake trial where everybody but one man is an actor. It’s hilarious.
There you have it, the second edition of Sunday Digest with a story about early-bird specials. The portrait of a world spinning faster and faster. The good news is you have Netflix, Uber Eats, and running water. Until next time, be a good citizen, quit doomscrolling, and go outside.
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