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Goings On About Town: This Week • In Japan, the thousand-year-old tradition known as hanami (“flower watching”) celebrates the annual arrival—and the fleeting beauty—of cherry blossoms. This year, the cherry trees in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (pictured), in Queens, were in full bloom by mid-April. Packing a picnic to enjoy under the trees is a hanami ritual—Japanese chefs wrap red-bean-paste-filled cakes in pickled cherry blossoms and dye rice balls and dumplings pink for the occasion. Whether you focus on the flowers or on the food is up to you.
TABLES FOR TWO
Comment: Gaetz and His Party
Year Off: Saturday With Greta
Dept. of Anthems: Northern Exposure
Palm Springs Postcard: High Homage
Calling the Shots: The Voice
Personal History: Tabula Rasa • Volume Two.
Shouts & Murmurs: The First Chapter of My Proposed Novel
Annals of Gastronomy: French Twist • An upstart fast food takes over in the home of haute cuisine.
Sketchbook: What Your Mask Says About You
A Reporter at Large: The Cluster • Residents of a college town kept killing themselves. A parent decided that a student was playing a sinister role.
Letter from Maine: Final Say • How a self-taught linguist came to own an indigenous language.
Artifacts: Band of Brothers
Books: The Accursed • Damon Galgut’s masterly novel “The Promise” depicts a family, and a nation, divided.
Books: The Politics of Feeling • A quarter century of emotional intelligence.
Books: Living History • In Thomas Grattan’s novel, Germany comes together and a teen-ager comes out.
Books: Briefly Noted
The Theatre: Light of Day • Audiences return to the theatre for an adaptation of Saramago’s “Blindness.”
Musical Events: The Noise of Time • The MaerzMusik festival, in Berlin, goes online.
CARTOON CAPTION CONTEST • Each week, we provide a cartoon in need of a caption. You, the reader, submit a caption, we choose three finalists, and you vote for your favorite. Caption submissions for this week’s cartoon, by Edward Koren, must be received by Sunday, April 18th. The finalists in the April 5th contest appear below. We will announce the winner, and the finalists in this week’s contest, in the May 10th issue. Anyone age thirteen or older can enter or vote. To do so, and to read the complete rules, visit contest.newyorker.com.
Puzzles & Games Dept.: The Crossword A challenging puzzle. • A challenging puzzle.