A Cultural Critique of the Tesla Cybertruck

Victoria Scott for Road and Track:

From all of these eras, certain models—from the exotic to the every day—seem to be perfect windows into our country’s ego and id; they show what it values, and what it fears, at the moment of its release. The ‘57 Chevy, with its vast expanses of gleaming chrome—and its ads full of perfectly-trad-beautiful gleaming white smiles and white faces—became shorthand for the rock n’ roll Fifties; the stainless-steel Delorean DMC-12 and the unreliability underneath its gleaming sci-fi exterior came to represent the hollow futurism of the Reagan Eighties.

Which neatly brings us to the Tesla Cybertruck and the fraught present.

Such a sharp piece on how we ended up with a car like the Cybertruck being an actual vehicle.

We saw one for the first time the other day. It is a big vehicle.

The Choice Is Yours

San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler died this past Tuesday. From Joe Sheehan’s newsletter contrasting Seidler and Oakland A’s owner John Fisher.

Peter Seidler and John Fisher were both born on third base. One decided to steal home, and the other decided to just steal.

I don’t follow the Padres as close as the Chargers or the Warriors, but I admired what Seidler tried to do in San Diego.

Laguna Beach 92651

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I’ve always loved driving, especially along Pacific Coast Highway. I took the above picture back in 2004 (on my Powershot A40) once I discovered this amazing stretch of highway between Newport Coast and Laguna Beach. I’d go on this drive often, usually for fun or to clear my mind.

Thanks in no small part to shows like The OC and MTV’s Laguna Beach reality show, I became fascinated with the thought of living here. The storylines and staged or not staged drama of the shows were just entertainment, but it was fun to hear and see the characters go to various spots in Orange County. Ones that my roommates and I often sought out. Heck, I even bought a skimboard after watching the kids do it on the show.

Back in March, we closed escrow on a townhome in Laguna Beach. Now almost 20 years after this picture was taken, it is almost unbelievable that I get to call this place home.

My wife and I are homeowners in Laguna Beach. If you would have told me that I’d be married with two kids, a corgi, and a home in Laguna Beach, the married with two kids and a dog are completely plausible. I would not have believed the Laguna Beach part.

It’s been almost 7 months since we closed and moved in and it still feels unreal whenver we drive into Downtown or drive that same stretch of highway to Trader Joe’s or the kids’ schools.

Who would’ve thought? Not me that’s for sure but here we are now.

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New York’s Best (Fake) Steak House Opens Up

A week after the listing was posted in March 2022, Mr. Jalali, now 21, said, “A couple walked in like, ‘We’re here for the steak.’” The roommates turned them away, but their listed phone number rang off the hook. The friends toyed with the idea of opening a real restaurant, and Mr. Walz, also 21, built a website with a waiting list.

This sounds like something I would’ve done in my mid-twenties.

Inside the Most Expensive ZIP Code in America

The small coastal enclave of Newport Coast, Calif., and its 92657 ZIP Code, located in Newport Beach in Orange County, had the priciest median residential listing price in the U.S. in July 2023, according to data from Realtor.com. Situated between the Newport Beach community of Corona del Mar and the city of Laguna Beach, Newport Coast is roughly 3 miles wide and long, stretching from the Pacific Ocean northwest up into the hillside.

We live next to this town and visit Crystal Cove, the original “Shake Shack”, and I’ve been lucky to visit some of the homes in the neighborhood for my work.

Cooking with Gas

From Roman Mars’ podcast, 99% Invisible:

The level of emotion generated by this common household appliance was surprising. But it turns out there is a long and well-documented history that explains our current moment. The natural gas industry has spent the past hundred years selling Americans on the gas stove and trying to convince us that it’s superior to the electric alternative. That it’s classier, more functional, and that it just cooks our food better.

A truly fascinating look at how the natural gas industry (can we start calling it methane gas?) effectively brainwashed generations of Americans thinking that cooking with gas is better.

As far as other appliances that use gas, switching out the stove looks like to be the hardest one to convince the public to switching.