What Quinceañeras Can Teach Adults—as Well as Young Girls—About Values

The Latin American 15th-Birthday Ritual Symbolizes a Generational Transfer of Power

I became interested in the quinceañera a few years ago when a publisher commissioned me to write a book for a series focusing on cultural phenomenon within different ethnic and racial communities. For Latinos, the editors had selected the quinceañera.

With all the hefty issues affecting us (immigration reform, education equity, the fate of DREAMers, the increasing incarceration of Latino youth), I couldn’t believe they’d choose such a Latino-lite topic as the made-in-the-USA quinceañera! Struggling immigrant families were “throwing the house out the window” with expenditures way beyond their …

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The German-American Family Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge

In Creating an Icon, Washington Roebling and His Kin Realized Dreams That Europe Never Could Fulfill

The Brooklyn Bridge was truly an American project embodying a certain American ideal. And people celebrated that fact from the start.

On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge—after 14 years of …

O Canada, Please Colonize the Coachella Valley

Snowbirds Have Saved SoCal's Desert Economy. Why Not Just Deed Them the Land?

Let’s give the Coachella Valley to Canada.

After all, Canadians already run the place in winter.

Over the past 40 years, snowbirds from the True North have grown into a winter fixture …

Will Los Angeles Tear Down the Walls That Keep It Apart From Latin America?

By Standing up to Trump and Letting People Move Freely, We Could Become a True LA-LA Land

Los Angeles is a great many things, but it is not Latin America.

Such a statement should be as uncontroversial as a map of the Western hemisphere. But today, elite conventional …

Why “Brexpat” Brits Like Me Are on the Road to Germany

My Family Is Fleeing Our Car-Wreck of a Homeland. But Will the EU Kick Us Out Next Year?

I’m standing in front of my car: a white, British-built Nissan. I have to put stickers on it.

In an epic act of self-harm, Britain has voted to leave the …