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The Sunday Read: ‘I Had a Chance to Travel Anywhere. Why Did I Pick Spokane?’


Jon Mooallem, the author of today’s Sunday Read, had a bad pandemic.

“I began having my own personal hard time,” he writes. “The details aren’t important. Let’s just say, I felt as if I were moldering in place.”

Then, The New York Times Magazine offered him the opportunity to fly somewhere for its travel issue — at that point he had spent 17 months parenting two demanding children. So, he asked: “What if I drove to Spokane?” Jon had been curious about it for years.

Spokane, Wash., is the birthplace of Father’s Day, the hometown of Bing Crosby and a city with a sequence of wide, rocky waterfalls pouring through its center like a Cubist boulevard.

“I also knew that Spokane was a city with a history of minor-league baseball that stretched back more than a hundred years,” Jon writes. “A minor-league game felt like a manageable, belated step into the mid-pandemic lifestyle that people were calling post-pandemic life.”

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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Carson Leigh Brown, Anna Diamond, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Tanya Perez, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison and Kate Winslett. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.