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The Start of Summer – The New York Times

This holiday weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and we’re turning today’s newsletter into a summer preview. We’ll cover food, travel, books, sports and movies.

Many Americans are starting to travel again. “The travel rebound is shaping up to be even stronger than airlines expected,” our colleague Niraj Chokshi reported last week. Even so, traveling this summer won’t be completely normal.

If you’re returning to the U.S. from another country, you will need a negative Covid test to board your plane. Some other countries, including Canada and Britain, have lifted their testing rules.

Be aware that airlines can legally cancel flights and place passengers on less convenient routes, with layovers. Those disruptions have seemed to become more common in the past two years, because of crew illnesses and aircraft shortages. Our columnist has advice on how to avoid them.

One big tip: Don’t assume that old travel patterns will necessarily continue. Public transit schedules may have changed since the start of the pandemic. Renting a car may be more expensive or require longer wait times. Beach houses may be harder to find in some places and easier in others.

And what should you do if you haven’t yet decided what to do? The Times is running a series — A Summer of Cycling Around the Globe — with reports on Vancouver; Vermont; Alaska; Hawaii; a 150-mile journey from Italy to Croatia; and seven cities around the world that are fun to explore on a bike.

Sam encourages people to remember that Memorial Day is a holiday with a purpose. “I always make sure to pay my respects to those who died in service to the nation before I get to the brats and beer,” he said. We encourage you to read this profile of Sgt. Nicole Gee and Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, two Marines killed while helping evacuate Kabul last year.

In the ’80s, Pete Mitchell was a brash upstart striving to stand out in the elite Top Gun program. Now he’s a captain in the Navy, and he’s one of the best fighter pilots.

Times have changed, but Pete’s still got it — as does Tom Cruise, who played the character in the original “Top Gun” and in the sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” a classic summer action movie that premiered last week. “On the brink of 60,” the critic A.O. Scott writes, Cruise “still projects the nimble, cocky, perennially boyish charm that conquered the box office in the 1980s.” Here’s The Times’s review, the trailer and a profile of Cruise.

Also this summer: “Thor: Love and Thunder,” “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Nope,” a Jordan Peele film, top The Times’s list of the 101 most interesting movies of the season.

Here are summer reading guides from The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

An early event on the summer sports calendar will be a glamorous N.B.A. Finals matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics. The Warriors have experience on their side: This is the sixth Finals for the star trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. But the Celtics have youth — their top scorer, Jayson Tatum, is a decade younger than Curry — and an excellent defense.

Shortly afterward, the N.H.L. will stage the Stanley Cup Finals. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the two-time defending champions, are one of five teams remaining, along with the Edmonton Oilers, the Colorado Avalanche, and the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes (who meet for a Game 7 tonight). Edmonton hopes to win the first Stanley Cup for a Canadian team since 1993.

The rest of summer will include tennis Grand Slams, featuring the rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz; a W.N.B.A. season that will likely be the last for the legendary Sue Bird; and an M.L.B. season that has Yankees and Mets fans dreaming of another Subway Series.

One footnote: 2022 is a World Cup year, but the tournament won’t take place in the summer, for the first time in its history. It begins on Nov. 21 — to avoid the hottest months in Qatar, which is this year’s host.

This lemony cake uses the zest, juice and flesh of lemons.

“Stranger Things” has gone from “lovingly echoing 1980s touchstones to industriously copying itself,” the critic Mike Hale writes about Season 4.

Hear new tracks by Wynonna & Waxahatchee, Superorganism, Rico Nasty and others.

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