This Week, Clean Your Stove

Welcome. We started At Home to help readers lead a full and cultured life during the pandemic, featuring great reads and helpful advice alongside recommendations for things to do and watch and listen to and see.

Four months into the experiment, we see a hunger, as well, for direction. One reader wrote recently to ask if we might suggest to her, forcefully, that she clean her oven, her washing machine. She wanted, she wrote, “something along the lines of ‘At Home: This Week Clean This.’”

It’s too hot for oven cleaning, though, in most parts of the country, and not everyone has a washing machine. (If you do, just run it with no clothes at its hottest water setting, with bleach. Easy win.)

No, this weekend, you should clean your stove. Take the grates off if your stove has grates, and get them soaking in warm, soapy water. Make a paste out of baking soda and water to scrub the stovetop — don’t use anything abrasive. Get all the gunge off everything with elbow grease and time. Wipe down the front of the stove with all-purpose cleaner. Clean up the grates and dry them. Put everything back together. The gleaming result is its own satisfaction.

And here’s your soundtrack: The Go-Go’s, “We Got the Beat.”

More good advice for living a good life at home and near it is below. Please let us know what else you’d like to know: athome@nytimes.com. We read every letter sent.


Credit…Jonathan Muroya
  • If you’re looking for an adventure this weekend, you may be considering Randonautica, an app that generates coordinates and sends users off exploring. Before you try it, you may want to dive into its history, its success and its potential drawbacks. If you want something with a more reliable payoff, our culture reporters put together a list of seven things to do this weekend, including an audio tour of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

  • Our latest playlist has a new track from Billie Eilish, among others. Jon Caramanica says of Eilish, “For a full minute and a half, she leans into her crooner side, singing deep exhales with heavy flutter.” To go even deeper into the music, check out our latest “Diary of a Song,” in which Phoebe Bridgers opens up about what it was like to write a song outside of her comfort zone.

  • And in 2020, Karen is no longer an “easy name.” We explored the history of the name and how it has evolved in pop culture.


Credit…Hulu
  • In “Palm Springs,” Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti (above) have a memorable meet-cute. For our “Anatomy of a Scene” series, the film’s director, Max Barbakow, narrates the scene and explains how it came together.

  • As always, our television critic Margaret Lyons has her eye on the clock. If you have 30 minutes this weekend, and you’re feeling hopeful, she wants you to give “Muppets Now” a try, if only for the chance that the series could improve in the future. In the “already good” category of shows, Mike Hale has five series from Britain that you can try, including the brilliant “In My Skin.”

  • The Go-Go’s went from punk to pop to split. A new documentary delves into the process that led to each change, and looks at the group’s importance. As Kathleen Hanna, the legendary singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, said of attending a Go-Gos show in 1982:

As a young girl going into a space where women owned the stage, and owned it unapologetically like they were born to be there — to me, it represented a moment of possibility.


Credit…The New York Times
  • Travel looks a lot different in 2020 than it has at any point in the recent past. That has people asking a lot of questions about what they should and shouldn’t do. We can help you figure out if you should be flying, driving, or traveling at all right now.

  • Everyone wants what’s best for their kids’ education. But who gets to decide what’s best for everyone? “Nice White Parents,” our new podcast from Serial, tries to find out.

  • And if working from home isn’t working for you, that may be your company’s fault and not yours. We asked experts for some tips on how to thrive if you’re going to be doing this for a while.


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