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Grow-Anywhere Garden

A garden of one’s own is a recurring daydream for city dwellers. But a green thumb can be come by sans sunlight and soil thanks to L.E.D. grow boxes, which have probably doubled in popularity since lockdown began. This brass selection from Modern Sprout is nice to look at, and its bulbs cast a subtle and contained glow. Pre-attached with hardware for wall-mounting, it can accommodate very limited spaces, but plant it with herbs and it’s perfect for a kitchen counter. Especially novice gardeners will appreciate the built-in timer, so no need to worry about giving your buds too much artificial sun. Just add water and even your windowless two-bedroom can grow verdant. ($190, —Clementine Ford


M5 AudioCast

Good options for wirelessly streaming music are fewer and farther between than one would think. Bluetooth is universal, but it cuts out far too often. Sonos is slick, but their units are prohibitively expensive, and their speakers are not the JBLs you want your Donald Fagen pouring out of. Amazon’s Alexa streams with ease and consistency, but not all are keen on giving Mr. Bezos an ear into their living rooms and lives. The best option for clean connectivity and Big Brother–free streaming is the M5 AudioCast, a hockey puck of plastic barely larger than a 45-r.p.m. record adapter. It connects to your Wi-Fi and speakers of choice, allowing you to seamlessly stream music without fuss or fury. ($40, —Alex Oliveira


Purple Noon

Let’s face it—most of us will be traveling vicariously this summer, thinking of trips we were going to take or maybe leaning on memories of trips we loved. (Me? I was set to be bobbing on a boat in the Mediterranean for 10 days. So much for that.) But it got me to thinking I should re-watch one of the best travel movies ever: Purple Noon, the 1960 René Clément thriller loosely based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Sure, it’s got a lot of questionable behavior inside of it (what good summer holiday doesn’t?), but it’s also packed with impossibly beautiful scenes, all shot on the Italian coast, circa midcentury. There are moments watching this movie where you’re completely transported, where you’d swear you can almost feel that sultry, dry midday heat and smell the salt water in the harbor. Bonus: incredible style moments, courtesy of Alain Delon. He makes Jude Law look like a high-school thespian. ($4 rental, —Michael Hainey

Lorenzo Cherubini, known as Jovanotti, the Italian Rapper, in New York, Sept. 19, 2012. Jovanotti, an Italian rapper, has moved with his family to an apartment in Greenwich Village, and on Saturday he will perform at Terminal 5 in Manhattan as part of a national tour.

Le Conversazioni

Fourteen years ago, journalist and writer Antonio Monda and film producer Davide Azzolini started Le Conversazioni, a literary festival that attracts international talent. Monda is known for his humor and cutting cultural commentary—for one of his documentaries, he began each interview with “Why do I like you?”—and his festival is likewise known for its witty atmosphere. This year, Le Conversazioni has been canceled, but there is a digital alternative: each week, Monda, jokingly playing a TV presenter, leads virtual conversations in his signature style, calling on three artists to read and discuss their favorite texts. The first episode featured novelist Ian McEwan on E. M. Forster; the most recent sees singer-songwriter Jovanotti reading Gabriel García Márquez. A new lineup of guests is announced each week, but we’ve been told future participants include Pulitzer and Grammy winners as well as Booker and Strega Prize recipients. ( —Elena Clavarino

Issue No. 52
July 11, 2020
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Issue No. 52
July 11, 2020