California’s tiny-home takeover

February 25, 2023
Hello, Insiders. Nicholas Carlson is on vacation; this is Lisa Ryan filling in. I’m the executive editor of Insider’s newsletters, homepage, and notifications. So let me take a moment to plug our app. It’s one of the best ways to stay up-to-date on the fascinating stories you’re looking for. Download it here.

With that out of the way, we’ve got some great reads for you. We’re taking a look at the infamous “golden passports,” California’s tiny-home takeover, and the former NFL player Rob Gronkowski’s pre-Super Bowl party festival. Plus, an influential wine writer is speaking out — and we’ve got your notes about the new era of subscriptions. Shall we?

— Lisa Ryan


Wine world drama

iStock; MyCabin; Louise Beaumont/Getty; Rebecca Zisser/Insider
Marissa Ross, Bon Appétit’s wine editor from 2016 to 2020, wasn’t the first influential female wine writer, but she was arguably the first to harness the power of social media to make wine — ahem, natural wine — accessible and cool.

Yet, Ross’ visibility was a double-edged sword. She found herself at the center of industry controversy, trying to draw attention to sexual assault in the wine world and condemning Bon Appétit after Adam Rapoport stepped down as its editor in chief amid allegations of a racist and hostile workplace.

But she also struggled to pick her battles. And by summer 2020, she went dark.

If you’ve followed influencers over the past decade, this sort of jarring about-face isn’t unfamiliar. When Ross spoke with Insider’s Anna Silman, she confirmed what her followers might have suspected: Yes, she’s done with the wine world, and, yes, she’s ready to talk about it.


Golden passport, four-day workweek, & more

Holger Leue/Getty Images
  • Wealthy Americans are racing to get the EU’s last remaining “golden passport.” That’s the term used when wealthy foreigners receive citizenship in exchange for making investments in a country. With Portugal shutting down its popular visa program, Malta is the only EU country left to offer this. We’ve rounded up other countries with “golden passports” — see our list.
  • Everyone’s talking about the four-day workweek. Big news from a four-day workweek trial in the UK: 40% of employees reported fewer sleep issues. Some participating companies have said they’re going to stick with it. Politicians like Bernie Sanders are calling for the US to implement these shorter weeks. Read about it here.
  • California’s tiny-home takeover. As the US grapples with a housing shortage, one possible solution is playing out in California right now — and the state may have struck gold. Tiny homes, called accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, have filled in backyards from San Jose to San Diego. Go inside the trend here.

In their words

Tyler Lauletta / Insider
  • “I attended the Super Bowl party-festival Gronk Beach.” Insider sports reporter Tyler Lauletta stopped by Rob Gronkowski’s mini festival, featuring music, pool volleyball, and booze, ahead of Super Bowl LVII. Take a look at the party.
  • “I’m a Medium blogger who makes up to $11,000 a month.” Sinem Günel, a writer based in Vienna, has been writing listicles and “how-to” personal-growth articles on Medium since 2018. Read her tips for monetizing your content.
  • “I was the original voice of Siri.” Susan Bennett is the voice actor behind Apple’s first iteration of Siri, released in 2011. It all happened after she made recordings for a software company — which were later purchased by Apple without her knowledge. Here’s her story.

TV icons return, & a bear on drugs

  • “Cocaine Bear” mauls its way into theaters. One of the most anticipated movies of 2023, this film is inspired by the true story of a drug runner’s plane crash and a black bear that eats a significant amount of cocaine and embarks on a drug-fueled rampage. Check out our interview with director Elizabeth Banks.
  • “Luther” fans, rejoice. Idris Elba returns as troubled detective John Luther, whose Netflix series of the same name ran for five seasons, ending in 2019. The first full-length “Luther” movie hits theaters Friday, two weeks before it hits Netflix. Here’s a trailer.
  • “Party Down” returns. The short-lived cult-comedy TV series returns after a whopping 13-year hiatus. Starring Adam Scott and a bevy of A-list guest stars like Jennifer Garner, season three picks up right where the once-final season left off. Get a taste of what’s to come from the revival.

Deep cleaning cars

Enjoy watching these incredibly dirty cars get professionally deep cleaned. Moldy floors. Crusty cup holders. Seats caked with debris. Insider asked detailers to share the filthiest cars they have ever worked on. See how a simple deep clean can transform even the most forgotten vehicles.

New subscriptions era

James Dean, Insider’s deputy executive editor for business in the UK, asked you about Meta’s and Twitter’s moves into subscriptions. Here’s what you wrote in:
  • “As someone who spent nearly three decades working in what used to be called the Magazine Media Industry (aka publishing), it is rather ironic (and a bit of poetic justice) watching as large digital players scramble to monetize their subscriber base.” – Patrick
  • “It is interesting as far as news subscriptions go, we used to watch TV for free and the advertisements made that happen. It seems now we pay a monthly fee for some ‘networks’ to stream digitally and we still suffer advertisements.” – Gilbert
  • “I think these subscriptions would be great as many young people who don’t have credit cards could no longer have these services without parents’ permission.” – Marnys

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This edition was curated by Lisa Ryan, and edited by Dave Smith and Hallam Bullock. Get in touch:

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