Skip to Content


Fiat Multipla 750 Marinella

A confession: as a kid, I entertained fantasies of driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, that uniquely American combination of promotion and motion, where an entire truck was made to look like a giant hot dog in a bun. Leave it to the Italians, however, to transform an idea that is so quotidian into something that now seems so necessary and cool—and leave our heads turned. Built in 1961 by Fiat, the Spiaggina (beach car) proved a smart way to ferry tourists from their seaside resorts, through old narrow streets, down to the beach. (The wicker seats were not just an elegant style move; they also accommodated wet bathing suits.) This model, modified by some savvy local Coca-Cola distributor, comes accompanied by papers of certification from Fiat. (Price available upon request, —Michael Hainey


The Vast of Night

Director Andrew Patterson’s newly released feature debut, The Vast of Night, is an inventive and nostalgic take on American science fiction. Set in 1957, it opens with a spin on The Twilight Zone’s classic intro before launching viewers into a quiet New Mexico town, where a strange sound is emanating from the airwaves. Two teens, a radio disc jockey and a switchboard operator, set out through dark suburban streets and desert sand dunes to uncover its source. Patterson reimagines an age-old plot with an eerie yet moving style, alien in its originality but human in its sensitivities to feeling. If our present and more pressing concerns overshadowed April’s unveiling of U.F.O. footage from the Pentagon, The Vast of Night will make you wonder again about flickering objects in the sky—and distract you from life here on earth. ( —Clementine Ford


Tick Suit

I’ll spare you the gory details (and locations) of the ticks I’ve found on my person this summer. But it’s clear nonetheless that these particular disease vectors aren’t going anywhere. Rather than douse yourself in DEET, a more benign approach: the Tick Suit. Made of sturdy white cotton, it has stirrup-style pants, snug thumbholes, and even a detachable hood, to ensure that the little critters don’t make their way into your scalp. It looks ridiculous, but remember, jumpsuits are trendy these days, and this one is quite smart-looking, as far as Hazmat suits go. It’s ideal for gardening and hiking, and far superior to a visit to urgent care and a course of doxycycline. ($140, —Ashley Baker


“Friday” / Decoder Ring

In 2011, a 13-year-old named Rebecca Black uploaded a music video for her pop single “Friday” to YouTube and soon found herself one of the Digital Age’s accidental celebrities. Though there is nothing quaint about “Friday”—Black’s mother paid $4,000 for the song and video—the first month’s 30 million views were unexpected. The awkward tween simulacrum of teen stardom and hilariously hyper-literal lyrics won the Internet’s ironic love, some transparently cruel LOLs, and then, defensive admiration. Later that year, Black appeared in a Katy Perry video, and Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb revealed her second single on the Today show. No one remembers the name of that song, but “Friday” is indelible. In this particularly good episode of Decoder Ring, Slate’s culture podcast, host Willa Paskin returns to the bubblegum tune we once adored hating, and asks if it was really that bad after all. (Spoiler alert: it’s a bop.) (, —Clementine Ford

Issue No. 54
July 25, 2020
Loading issue contents …
Issue No. 54
July 25, 2020