Where I Go: The Headlands of Yehliu

It Took Me 20 Years and Five Visits to Develop My Own Relationship to Taiwan

I was hiking the Port Orford Heads State Park on the coast of Southern Oregon this summer when I realized how closely the rock formations and coastline resemble the rugged geology of my parents’ native Taiwan. These similarities brought back memories of my trips to the country, and made me miss my friends and family overseas. By June, lacking enough shots for its 24 million citizens, the country, once seen as a COVID success story, was forced to institute lockdowns and close public spaces. Due to the pandemic and the …

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Where I Go: The Geology of Memory | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Should Have Recalled Myself!

The Speech and Strategy That Gov. Gavin Newsom Didn’t Know He Needed

This is the speech Gov. Gavin Newsom should have given during the recall campaign, but didn’t.

I know a lot of you think this recall is pretty strange. But you don’t …

Is Anything More American Than Oklahoma! in Oklahoma? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is Anything More American Than Oklahoma! in Oklahoma?

Forget Broadway's Reopening—The Nation's Artistic Heartbeat Is at Its Center

If there’s a more rambunctious and promiscuous genre than musical theater, I haven’t met it yet.

Musicals are an everywhere phenomenon. They touch an enormously broad swath of American lives, unapologetically …

When an Empire Withdrew from an Unwinnable War | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When an Empire Withdrew from an Unwinnable War

Hadrian's Retreat From Parthia Drew Fierce Criticism—and Opened the Door to a Better Roman Future

Ending wars has always been hard for great powers. Hadrian knew this. In 117 A.D., the new Roman emperor decided to withdraw his forces from an unwinnable war against the …

Colorado River water

When the Colorado River Runs Dry

A Coachella Valley Farmer Reflects on the Water Source He, His Date Palms, and People and Animals Across California Rely On

Even as she was going blind, my mom, ever the poet, delighted in sitting out among the palms and birds, and enjoying and visualizing the scene, as I irrigated my …

Can the American Republic Survive the Stubbornness of San Francisco? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can the American Republic Survive the Stubbornness of San Francisco?

The City by the Bay Keeps Producing Leaders Who Won't Quit—Even When They Should

San Francisco stubbornness is holding the republic hostage.

The hostage takers are two of California’s oldest and most powerful mules. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer …