An aerial view of New York City by the Forward

Daily distraction: Explore New York - and the world

Welcome to your daily distraction, our recommendations for ways to stay engaged and entertained while we socially distance ourselves to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can find our past recommendations here; many of the opportunities we’ve highlighted are ongoing.

Chag sameach, and happy Friday. Given the state of things, giving up bread for a week can seem like a cruel punishment. But there is a silver lining. Many have been using the current quarantine to bulk up their baking skills, and you can do the same while staying kosher for the holiday. Put that matzo meal to work with some nifty recipes or just break out that good old-fashioned comfort food: matzo brei. Meanwhile, we’ve got distractions ready to help you get through eight days of craving glutinous carbs while stuck indoors.

Explore New York — and the world

Atlas Obscura, a travel site dedicated to highlighting the world’s oddities and off-the-beaten-path experiences, has been keeping those with wanderlust engaged — even with stay-at-home orders still in place. One of their neatest initiatives to bring the world to you is the Wonder From Home video series, airing on YouTube, Zoom and Instagram each day at different times (full schedule here,).

Past installments have have explored everything from the New Mexico studio of painter Dorielle Caimi to the terrifying, Cronenbergian dental headgear collection of Steve Erenberg aka “Radio Guy” in Peekskill, N.Y. On today’s live feed, scheduled for 8 PM on Instagram, Atlas Obscura’s music curator Adriana Molello will introduce you to bizarre instruments — and the musicians that play them — from around the globe. The lineup has yet to be announced, but given that Molello once travelled to a backwater in Romania to find a violin that emits sound through a horn, you can expect the segment to hold your interest.

If you fancy more historical context in your online exploring, the Museum of the City of New York has posted in-depth story exhibits on the census, collections of residents’ pandemic photographs, and Katz’s deli on its website, as well as recorded lectures detailing the city’s long history of health crises.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture fellow. He can be reached at


PJ Grisar

PJ Grisar

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture reporter. He can be reached at

Isolation entertainment: Wander New York, and the world

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Daily distraction: Explore New York - and the world

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