Tickets to a Meltdown

Plus chihuahua sledding, a chocolate problem, and AI-generated animals.

MARCH 18, 2023

Balance Pipe by Tetra

We’ve recommended this now-classic before, but I want to mention it again as it really is one of my favorites. Designed by Jamie Wolford in 2015, the Balance Pipe helped set a new design standard for sophisticated smoking accessories. Sadly, the one I owned recently shattered into a million navy blue pieces—the fault is entirely mine—so once I narrow down which color I want next, I’ll be placing my own new order. -DW

The Cover of Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazine by Charlie Engman

I’ve been largely ambivalent about the creative applications of A.I. but this cover stopped me in my tracks. It’s absolutely absurd (is that a parsnip with the face of a seal and the eyes of a beluga?) but I also can’t stop looking at it. I notice something new every time I do. His hair! His fingers! The inexplicable curves of the wall, the colors of his shirt (or is it his jacket?), the proportions of his body. Mostly I want to know what he’s holding. Charlie Engman, the photographer behind the image, is known for his surrealist approach to visuals, and this is the first time I’ve seen A.I. used so knowingly. Turns out he also art directed Collina Strada’s critter-themed Fall/Winter 2023 show. Everything’s coming together. -VvP

Mosswood Meltdown

The Mosswood Meltdown, a two-day music festival hosted by John Waters, is back this year on July 1st and 2nd in Oakland, CA. Featuring iconic riot grrl groups like Bratmobile, as well bands like Mika Miko and Le Tigre, Waters promises “a July 4th pyrotechnic display that explodes all on its own with slamming human cherry bombs, moshing punk-rock roman candles and scary screaming sparklers of every race and gender.” If you’re a Bay-Area based reader, grab your tickets here now! -PR

C. Cassis

Fun fact about me: As a child, I wasn’t allowed much (any) candy. My sweet treat, if I was good, was dried black currants, which my father kept in a small, knotted plastic bag in the glovebox of his car. I also grew up drinking Ribena, which I’m just now learning is not available in the U.S. (I am Canadian.) Neither of these facts are particularly interesting, I suppose, except in the context of this one: Did you know that the cultivation of currants was illegal in the U.S. from 1911 until as recently as 2003? I did not! But it explains why currants haven’t really been top of mind for me since moving here, until the launch of C. Cassis, the first American-made black currant liqueur. Since 2020, I’ve been sipping it over ice as a post-dinner drink, but only recently tried their canned Spritz, which feels and tastes like the adult version of Ribena, which is also to say: I love it. -VvP

The Horses Stood Like Men at Jenkins Johnson Projects

This group show at one of my top galleries has just been extended until early April, so there’s still time to see it. We recently did a private viewing of the show with our friends at Black Girls Smoke that featured a few of the artists speaking about their work and it was an amazing and informative event. The prerolls we provided may have helped accentuate the experience, but it is still very meaningful sober, too! -DW


I’m not generally the type of person to recommend animal internet content, but if you like the idea of watching a pack of E.T.-lookalikechihuahuas in matching knitwear be pulled around on a sled in the snow, this account is for you. Documenting the lives of four chihuahuas being very dotingly cared for in Japan, @milkpinkmilkgenuinely brightens my day anytime I scroll across a post. It’s also an endless inspo stream from which to be constantly upping my dog outfit game—it seems to be all about a custom hat. -PR

Fuck Nestlé

In case you’re not aware, Nestlé is a truly awful company. From reports of the use of child slavery to their environmental destruction, they’re one of the biggest bad companies out there. Yet, because they own so many popular brands and products, they’re a very hard company to not at least accidentally do business with. Thankfully, developer Zach Jordan has created a site to help you avoid giving Nestlé, or one of their many subsidiaries, your money. For what it’s worth, I think you can probably get the same info on this Wikipedia entry, but it’s not nearly as clean an experience. -DW