#115: Taylor Lorenz (NYT)
NYT's Taylor Lorenz on La Piscine (1969), Power Walks, Black Market Pesto, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Taylor Lorenz to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute her good taste.
Taylor Lorenz is a Los Angeles based journalist covering memes, YouTubers, TikTokers, Twitch streamers, and more for the New York Times. Her deep curiosity of Internet culture has led to great pieces on everything from the text-heavy meme posts of pages like @on_a_downward_spiral and @lifes.a.bender, the word “Cheugy”, and @glamdemon2004’s rise on TikTok. Right now she’s hard at work on her upcoming book, Extremely Online, which charts the rise of the so-called "creator economy" or influencer economy. You can expect to find Extremely Online from Simon & Schuster in late 2022. Taylor has great taste and lucky for us, she’s here to tell us what she’s been into.
Without further ado
🐦: Hummingbird feeders
One of the most satisfying things I've gotten into during the pandemic is feeding hummingbirds. Early last year I set up a bunch of hummingbird feeders on my deck and I cannot recommend it enough. One, it helps the birds, many of whom are migrating over large urban landscapes, have enough food to make it through their journey. Two, it's extremely peaceful and meditative to watch birds. Hummingbirds are very territorial and you can watch them duck and war with each other for hours. If you're patient enough and develop enough of a relationship with them they'll even feed out of a feeder on your hand.
FlowState is an awesome daily newsletter that sends two hours of music that's perfect for working to. There's no algorithmic discovery, it's all human recommendations and they write a little blurb about each artist they feature. It consistently introduces me to new artists I didn't know and has helped me appreciate lots of new genres, especially in the ambient music realm. The newsletter also puts out custom mixes and private Spotify playlists for paid subscribers.
Channel 5 News is one of the only media startups I'm excited about. People might remember Andrew Callaghan, Nic Mosher, and Evan Gilbert-Katz from their YouTube and Instagram show All Gas No Brakes. They parted ways with their management company last year and ever since they left they've really hit their stride. The group roves around America in a vintage news van reporting from the ground on events like a Pick Up Artist Bootcamp, L.A. punk shows, a Qanon conference, a white lives matter rally, and more. Andrew and his team produced some of the best on the ground coverage of big breaking news events last year and I can't wait to see what Channel 5 puts out next.
October is my favorite month primarily because it's when all the good horror movies drop. Anyone who knows me well at all knows my deep affinity for horror. Early last year I put together this spreadsheet of recs featuring most of my favorite films. I have pretty bad and often debilitating anxiety but somehow that all melts away when I'm watching a horror movie. I watch between three to five horror movies a week. I know lots of people say they don't like horror as a genre, but I think it's all about finding the right type. Not every horror film is all blood and guts (though I do enjoy those too!).
💧 La Piscine
Speaking of movies, if I could make a non horror recommendation La Piscine is on Criterion right now and it's great. It's essentially about a murder in the French countryside, but it's shot gorgeously and everyone is dressed in amazing clothes. I can't usually make it through movies with subtitles (I'm dyslexic, don't come for me), but this one is an easy watch and despite all the tension and drama there's very little dialogue.
👟 Power walks
I feel like a lot of people got into walking early on in the pandemic but fell off. I really recommend making power walks part of your routine. They're great for meetings and calls, catch ups with friends, or they can be a social thing where you and your friends can go on walks together. They can be fast or meandering. In New York I'd go on long walks in Prospect Park and that is still my favorite place to walk, but in L.A. the Silverlake reservoir makes a great loop too. I'm trying to meet up with people for walks now instead of drinks.
Robbie is my favorite YouTuber. She's a woman in her 50s or 60s (I think) and produces videos about gardening with her husband Gary. She's so positive and earnest and her videos don't feature any fancy editing or overproduction like most YouTube videos. She also feeds thousands of hummingbirds in her Southern California garden. Her videos will always put you in a good mood.
I have to be fair and give Casey Neistat credit for this one because he brought this pesto over to my house a few months ago and told me it would be the best pesto I've ever had. He was 10000% correct. Black Market Pesto is raw vegan pesto made with almonds rather than pine nuts. I cannot overstate how good this pesto is, I eat this stuff straight from the jar. It's made by this guy named Hunter Weiss in San Diego. For a while they were only delivering locally around the L.A. area, but I believe he's in the process of trying to organize a wider rollout according to his Twitter. For now, the pesto is sold out on their website and only comes in "drops" but you can leave your email to find out when they make more.
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