Well, Alden, today is your lucky day because we’re never short of ideas around here.
Here are four lowkey and low-cost ways you can celebrate.
Give yourself the gift of solitude. It’s so sad that solitude has to be a gift now, but there you go. I believe there are fewer things better in this world than a good soak in the tub. If you don’t have a bathtub at home, book a night at a boutique hotel that does. Make a staycation out of it. The key is what goes into your bathwater. My favorite is Clarins’ Relax bath and shower concentrate. For me the sharp but soothing scent of basil, camomile, and bitter orange is the stuff of nostalgic childhood summers.
Make your downtime creative. Yes, this will be one of those lists that tell you to go to a museum. Seriously, though, there is something otherworldly and transporting about looking at art situated within majestic architecture. The National Museum is free. If you’re not into paintings or sculpture, go to the Museum of Natural History. I’m all for rocks on shelves and taxidermy.
Make your downtime creative, part 2. I haven’t been as diligent at seeking out nongarbage movies as I was in the tireless days of my youth. As of this writing, I haven’t even seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Or Hello, I Love you, Goodbye for that matter. But you don’t even have to go to the cinema; you can get sufficiently okay cinematic education on a laptop. The last pretty good movie I saw was The White Crow, where Ralph Fiennes is even more soft-spoken than Voldemort, and Nureyev’s diva moments are fun to watch.
Grab great good somewhere not fancy. I’m never one to recommend where to eat out because, honestly, contrary to the Bible, I think man can live on bread alone. (If you need to know, I quite like the everything bagel at Empire Bakery & Deli, and even the thoughtless cream cheese bagel at New Bistro Deli, fka Country Style.) But a place I’m aching to go back to is Shawarma Snack Center in Ermita, where last time I had the best motabal de ma vie.
That, right there, is the perfect happy loner’s itinerary. You’re welcome!