Plus Andre Agassi, Indonesian ice cream, and Borscht Belt Fest.
JULY 22ND, 2023
If, like me, you’re completely over all the pink marketing around the new Barbie film, allow me to introduce you to something that’s pink but actually cool: Pink Moments. This very special chocolate company out of Ojai (hence, I assume, the name) will get some of the most beautiful and effective products directly into your hands with no hassle. They might the best packaged and tasting goods I’ve seen in the space to date. (Note: I assume it goes without saying that everyone’s legal risk tolerance is a personal thing, so do your own research.) -DW
Oly Oly Oxen Free Books has been a favorite follow of mine for a while. The children’s bookstore posts adorable characters—like this elephant in bunny slippers, Shrek in tears, or Lyle the crocodile having his teeth examined—and snippets from the pages of their vintage book collection. Their shop includes classics from William Steig and Bernard Waber, as well as other titles that were new to me and just as beautifully illustrated, like Look What I Can Do by José Areugo. If you’ve got any kid (or adult, TBH) birthdays on the horizon, I’d recommend taking a browse—and giving them a follow to be the first to know of cute new additions. -PR
Mark your calendar and buy tickets now: On Thursday, September 14th, our friends at Pioneer Works are teaming up with our other friends at Sacred Bones Records for a Plantasia-themed evening at Green-Wood Cemetery. I have a real soft spot for cemeteries as public spaces, but I can’t think of a better way to spend what should hopefully be a balmy, end-of-summer evening. There will be live performances inspired by Mort Garson’s iconic album as well as food and drink vendors. (And if you’re not familiar with the record, may I suggest picking up a limited edition copy complete with Happy Hour pre-rolls to heighten your listening experience?) Bring an edible or two and enjoy! -VvP
If you find yourself in WeHo and are looking to cool off, try stopping by Awan, an Indonesian ice cream shop. The vegan spot offers gelato-like, ultra creamy flavors such as Aonori seaweed or Melon Cream Soda using a base made from Indonesian coconut cream. They update their menu weekly with a wild lineup (plus toppings like shaved palm sugar), and you can even pre-order their fluffy scoops (or pints) ahead of time here. -PR
I like my jokes like I like my weed coughs—hacky! I know that doesn’t really make any sense, but please don’t stop reading. Still here? Good. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to find that next weekend will see the first-ever Borscht Belt Fest, which pays tribute to the legacy of the Catskills era of Jewish cultural influence. Featuring comedians (better than me), live music, film screenings, and I can only assume extremely heavy (especially for summer) food, the one-day festival in Ellenville also supports the soon-to-open Borscht Belt Museum. In all seriousness, as the area continues to explode with development and new citizens, it’s nice to see an effort to preserve and honor its long and varied history. -DW
I recently read Open, Andre Agassi’s 2010 memoir (ghostwritten by J. R. Moehringer, who more recently ghostwrote Prince Harry’s Spare) and highly recommend it. As someone who generally doesn’t love non-fiction and finds most memoirs to be a little baggy and poorly written, Open deserves its spot near the top of celebrity tell-alls. But what I’ve enjoyed even more than the memoir itself was going back in time to deep dive into all the Agassi press coverage from the mid-’90s into the early-’00s. The best I’ve found so far is this New York Times Magazine rundown of the famed Pete Sampras-Agassi rivalry. Read if you like hot young tennis stars, petty sniping, and extremely prescient kickers. -VvP