Most of my Sundays start out the same way. I come downstairs, put on a pot of coffee, and step outside to grab The New York Times from my stoop. By the time the coffee’s ready, I’m usually through the International/National section. I take the coffee pot and the paper to the couch, turn on CBS Sunday Morning, and start working my way through the pot and the paper.
Sports. Style. Business. Arts & Leisure. I skim through, digging into the articles that catch my eye. I almost always toss the book review (sorry, not sorry). The Magazine gets set aside to read throughout the week. And then I devour every word in the Travel and Review sections, in that order, which I always save for the end.
And that’s the whole mantra behind what I call Sunday Culture: save the best for last.
[Editor's note: When Kyle told me he was going to be writing about "culture" this week, I thought he meant he was going to finally weigh in on the new Migos album. I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.]
If it all sounds a bit idyllic, that's because, to a certain extent, it is. I left out the bit about the hangover and the headache and the Advil, which is all decidedly less idyllic. But this is what I do. My Sunday routine. Part of it is an effort to find some semblance of balance and calm in contrast to whatever most assuredly went down the night before. Part of it is to reset and refocus for the day—and the week—ahead. And part of it is a sincere dedication to bettering myself, extending my mind, and expanding my horizons.
Those three elements are the core of Sunday Culture.
When I was in art school, I was constantly surrounded by culture. Nary a day went by that I didn’t attend a gallery opening or visit the museum or see a performance or go to a film festival or immerse myself in something that was moving and thought-provoking and real and true.
After college, all of those things were lacking in my life. They were no longer presented to me on all sides, available to engage with on a whim, which means they became things I had to seek out. And I did. Or, I tried to. Invariably, something would come up and I’d miss whatever it was I had planned to do. And at a certain point, that sense of culture dropped off altogether.
So one day, I decided to stop making excuses and make a commitment to seeking out those experiences that had meant so much to me. Sundays were the perfect venue.
I subscribed to the Times. I collected all the event calendars I could get my hands on. I made it a point to do one thing every Sunday that would challenge me or push me or enlighten me mentally. And it felt great.
Some Sundays it would be a new exhibit at the museum. Others, a new documentary. Some, a project where I had to use my hands instead of a computer. And others still, a new meal from scratch from a cuisine I wasn’t familiar with.
While all this was happening, I was getting deeper and deeper into beer culture—expanding my palate, trying new things, brewing my own. It only made sense to fold this new interest into what I’d already been doing. And just like that, Sunday culture became Sunday Culture.
Throughout the week, I’d visit beer shops and liquor stores, looking for the strangest things I could find. I’d ask the employees about the newest or weirdest or funkiest thing they had in stock. I’d trade with folks and ask for the oddest beers from their area. I started collecting of bunch of these offbeat beers, always saving them for Sunday.
In addition to the artistic and mental avenues I was already exploring, I started trying new and bold and unexpected and boundary-pushing beers on Sundays. Guess what? I loved that, too.
That was eight years ago now, and the tradition continues. I miss a few Sundays here and there, especially during football season, but overall, it’s still going strong. I read the paper with my coffee in the morning. Do something—anything—culturally-based in the afternoon. Then, as soon as that’s done, I dig into some new beers, typically of the mixed-culture, wild, and spontaneous varieties.
As it turns out "culture" can take many forms. Sundays just happen to be the perfect day to explore them all.