Don’t mind that Adam Shapiro makes the tastiest pretzels I’ve ever encountered. And Yo! He is quite the character.
But have you seen his Instagram?
But before I dive in, let me confess that I’ve been spending a lot of time with Adam (or “Shappy” as his friends call him) for an upcoming Photowalks episode with both him and Netflix’s Phil Rosenthal which will be airing soon on Tubi, the free TV streaming app.
Beyond pretzels, Shapiro is a working character actor, with an accomplished actress wife (Katie Lowes) and two young kids, ages 2 and 3. But then, ask him what roles people associate with him when they see him on the street. It’s not what you might think.
“I know you….you’re the pretzel guy!”
Which he takes as a personal best, since he started the business in his kitchen just a a little over a year ago, and expanded into Los Angeles-only sales at pop-up stores. No mail order, yet.
As a thespian, he’s been in nearly 100 different TV and movie roles, including the current (“Mank”) a Netflix series (“Never Have I Ever’) and the “Steve Jobs” movie. He was on Broadway in the musical “Waitress,” and he flies to Petaluma often to be a voice in the NBA 2K20 video game.
But right now, in-between acting gigs, he’s all about spreading the love for his pretzels. After making them in a Los Angeles bakery, he’s out and about all week at different stores in Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Silver Lake, El Segundo and Studio City, personally writing “Yo” and your name on each package of pretzel bliss.
And he spreads the word about his appearances, via two apps that he pairs with Instagram: Mojo and Over. Mojo offers templates for Instagram stories, while Over, which is owned by web host company GoDaddy, is a graphic program aimed at influencers. Both cost $9.99 monthly.
The apps let him do crazy graphical things to his pretzel designs, and jazz up hum drum Instagram Stories into little works of art. As he told The Hollywood Reporter, “Our Instagram is a party.”
It’s a great shindig, but it still doesn’t compare to the thrill of taking a bite of the Shap’s pretzel bliss. And don’t get me started on the pretzel with the Oreo filling.
The Shappy Pretzel pop-ups will be out this weekend in Malibu at the Fred Segal store on Saturday and the Pacific Palisades farmer’s market on Sunday.
This week’s tech news
Streaming has already peaked? Really? After reporting record numbers of new subscribers during the worst of the pandemic, new numbers for the first quarter were released and are ho-hum. Disney only added just over 8 million subscribers, while Netflix added 4 million. By comparison, in the previous quarter, Disney added 21 million subscribers, and Netflix 8.5 million. So what’s the problem? The issue that so many flagged years ago: too many subscription services, chasing too few dollars. How many do you need?
YouTube: The video network announced a plan to take on the youth favorite app TikTok with something similar, called Shorts. It too would offer 15-second quick hit funny videos and to get young people making them for YouTube, it announced a $100 million bounty to fund the productions. So great—how do I sign up? You don’t. You can’t call YouTube and join; YouTube needs to reach out to you, based on your current online popularity. So drat for that.
Amazon. The e-tailer announced new versions of the Echo Show 5 and Show 8 video display units with improved cameras and resolution. The more interesting of the units is the Show 8, which sells for $129. It has a camera that can zoom in and out and follow you around the room, which makes the static image of a video or Zoom call more interesting. The Echo Show 10, which has a screen that’s only two inches larger, first introduced the camera earlier this year and sells for double the price, just over $250. For $100, I can save on the extra two inches.
I never get tired of visiting this island paradise that’s just 26 miles from the coast of Los Angeles.
The picture above is from part 2 of our live Photowalk from Monday. Part 1 started on the ground, and explored the rare tiles of the island (the best collection I’ve seen anywhere outside of Portugal) and the best spots to photograph the Casino and environs.
In part 2, we climbed up Chimes Tower Road for one of the great overlooks in town, by the newly remodeled Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel.
These meetups are a great way to meet folks, see new things through their eyes, and get in some steps! I did 50,000 of them over a two-day period, which isn’t hard to do in Avalon, where very few cars are allowed on the road, and walking is the way to get around.
The next live Photowalk is June 20, for the Summer Solstice, in Manhattan Beach. You can sign up here.
And as always, if you haven’t caught up with the first 6 Photowalks episodes yet (free to stream on Tubi!), let’s make it a date for the weekend!
That’s a wrap for today’s edition. Thanks as always for reading, watching and listening. If you enjoyed the newsletter, please let me know with a Heart click or a reply. Thanks again and have a great weekend.