Guest Newsletter: Dirt


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Dirt is a daily email newsletter about digital culture and entertainment run by Daisy Alioto and Kyle Chayka. Today, the Dirt editors curate five digital culture recommendations for us: if you like the picks, subscribe to Dirt.

Elizabeth Minchilli, online Nancy Meyers (TikTok)

I’ll keep saying it, but TikTok these days is like a better version of YouTube, a better version of Netflix, the only really enjoyable way I’ve found to consume video online. And you often come across total gems. Elizabeth Minchilli is an architectural historian turned cookbook author turned absolutely amazing TikTok vlogger of her ex-pat life in Italy. She cooks, she shops, she drinks, she vacations. Minchilli is a Nancy Meyers character living in your phone, or a long-awaited sequel to Under the Tuscan Sun. Watch her make an iced almond syrup espresso or have aperitivo in Umbria. — Kyle Chayka


Pachinko (Apple TV+)

Pachinko has flown under the radar for some reason but it’s one of the best shows of the year. Based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee, the show follows multiple generations of the same family impacted by the Japanese colonization of Korea and the sacrifices made for upward mobility. I found myself in a constant struggle with Apple TV+ to watch the show in the original Korean and Japanese as it kept defaulting to English dub, but it’s worth the effort as language is an important part of the story. Did I mention the title sequence is an absolute joy? — Daisy Alioto


Chad Kubanoff, pro chef (TikTok)

Can you tell I like food and cooking TikToks? Chad Kubanoff is another great recent find. He’s a professional chef turned devoted cook for his family, and he, his wife, and two children recently embarked on a long-term trip to Vietnam, living with his wife’s family. Kubanoff was already great at making Vietnamese food, and explaining it to an unfamiliar audience. His tone is a great mixture of fun and utterly no-nonsense. But the videos from Vietnam are even better, as both travelogue and cooking demo. He recently slapped together an outdoor kitchen and got his first ad deal. I’m rooting for him. — Kyle Chayka


Black People Love Paramore (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)

Sequoia Holmes hosts this podcast about things black people like — some of them unexpected. A recent episode about Tony Hawk went deep on this meme. Guest Jet G talked about Tony Hawk as an OG influencer, with the memorable quote: “I almost tried pizza rolls because of Tony Hawk.” The episode also includes bonus content on why black people love the unproblematic Hilary Duff. In the words of Jet G, “Gordo missed out major.” — Daisy Alioto


Luiz Bonfa, Solo in Rio 1959 (Spotify)

Luiz Bonfa was a Brazilian guitarist and composer born in 1922 who made samba music in Rio de Janeiro. This album is a perfect hour-long mid-century gem of one man playing a guitar and sometimes singing. I don’t know a ton about samba or bossa nova, but lately I’ve been obsessed. Maybe it’s the ambience of summer or the music’s quiet implacability, always maintaining the same tempo. The American saxophonist Paul Desmond has some great, more orchestral bossa nova albums, but isn’t it always better to go to the source? — Kyle Chayka


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