Weekend Round-Up: Soaring Birds, Melting Clocks, And The Hardest Hike In America

Weekend Round-Up: Soaring Birds, Melting Clocks, And The Hardest Hike In America

Each week, our editors gather their favorite finds from around the internet and recommend them to you right here. These are not articles about watches, but rather outstanding examples of journalism and storytelling covering topics from fashion and art to technology and travel. So go ahead, pour yourself a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and settle in.


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The Mysterious Life Of Birds Who Never Come Down – The New York Times

If you write for a living, every once in a while, you run across a story so beautifully done you can’t help but think, “I wish I’d done that.” Of course, you didn’t do it, and the wonderful thing about it is you couldn’t have done it – it had to have been written by the person who wrote it, or it wouldn’t exist at all. A great story is, in short, a window into another mind, and this one is a window into another world as well – that of the birds known as swifts, who live a life so alien to human experience you’d think they have nothing to offer us but spectacle. In this story by Helen MacDonald, however, we see just how much the lives of swifts – who live, eat, mate, and die on the wing, almost never descending to the earth – can teach us about the intertwined destinies of all living things.

– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief


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The Hardest Hike In America? We Backpack The Sierra High Route – Gizmodo

This is one I’ve come back to a couple of times since it was originally posted back in 2015. It’s an engrossing report from adventurer Chris Brinlee Jr. as he and some friends took on one of the gnarliest hikes in the US; the expansive, barren, and unforgiving Sierra High Route. Back when I first read this, it ignited in me a deep interest in the Sierras, and I had planned on eventually getting to several hikes in the range (not the SHR, though). The post is full of striking photography, and as someone who cut their steep hiking teeth in the PNW, the terrain is that of an entirely different world. Chris does a lovely job of forming a factual and helpful report while managing a narrative about this intense trek. It’s a huge adventure and afforded me yet another mind’s eye escape to the Sierras at a time when I barely leave the house. 

– James Stacey, Senior Writer 


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Understanding “The Persistence of Memory,” Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist Masterpiece – Artsy

While lots of people have no idea what “The Persistence Of Memory” is, most people know what you’re talking about when you say “that melting clock painting.” In this piece, Sarah Dotson gets to the heart of what Dalí’s most famous painting means, where it came from, and how we might think about its place in art history today. There’s some extra background on surrealism for good measure and a look at some of Dalí’s other horologically-inspired creations. For someone like me, who’s equally obsessed with watches and 20th-century art, it’s pure catnip.

– Stephen Pulvirent, Manager of Editorial Products


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The Secondhand Refrigerators Feeding New Yorkers – New York Magazine

This summer, our neighborhood has been devastated by the pandemic and depressed economy. There are three make-shift food kitchens set up within five blocks of our apartment with lines of hundreds of people every morning, and the Saturday farmers’ market on our sidewalk now accepts tokens from food assistance recipients. And still, more can be done. Enter this group (or rather, a non-group as they prefer) of helpers who have set up community refrigerators across the city for those in need. Unlike food kitchens, these are accessible 24/7 and eliminate the barriers that may come with food assistance, while also working to alleviate food waste. It’s estimated that Americans throw out 30-40% of their food on average, and it’s hopeful to see communities working to help in even small, appliance-sized ways.

– Kaitlin Koch, Marketing Associate


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In Turbulent Times, Culling My Book Collection Gave Me The Illusion Of Control. Then The Dilemmas Began Multiplying. – The Washington Post

Who holds the power: the collector or the collection? I came across this editorial from The Washington Post which mused (read: anguished) over this very topic. In one way or another, we are all at least mildly familiar with the idea of collecting. Be it watches, baseball cards, comic books, or even postage stamps, each has its own share of idiosyncrasies. In the case of said editorial, the subject area is books – and a lot of books at that. In an effort to organize and minimize his vast collection of first editions, paperbacks, and pre-publication manuscripts, the author realized that, despite his best efforts, he could not figure out what books to let go. In one example, he owns four copies of the very same book – albeit in varying forms. So how to decide which one to keep, and which ones to discard? Well, as he put it, “The answer depends on how you weigh affection, aesthetics and worth.” A non-answer from a true collector, if I ever heard one, and a really interesting read. 

– Danny Milton, Editor

Lead photo by Meriç Dağlı


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