In Search of the ‘Tomato King’

Finding a Mexican Migrant Politician, Rooted in California Soil

There is only one person more obsessed than I when it comes to the memory of Don Andrés Bermúdez: his son, Andrés Junior. Junior lives with his family in the place where he came of age, a spacious ranch home his father acquired in 1993, on the outskirts of Winters, California, in the western Sacramento Valley.

In a nod to his Catholic upbringing, Junior crosses himself when he passes the town cemetery, where his father is buried. He bought the burial plot adjacent to his father’s, so that he can be …

I’m Proud to Be Un-American

A New Poll Shows the Rest of the Country Hates the Golden State—And That’s a Good Thing

I’m not really American, and I couldn’t be prouder of that.

I hope you, my fellow Californians, feel the same way.

Because sometimes there’s no greater compliment than an intended insult.

This time, …

California’s High-Speed Rail Dreams Could Go “Whoosh”

The Golden State Seems Primed to Repeat the Mistakes and Miscalculations of Indonesia’s New Bullet Train

The good news is that California will almost certainly have a high-speed rail line someday.

The bad news is that it may look a lot like “Whoosh.”

Whoosh is the name of …

California Is Full of Sh–t

And So Is Zócalo’s Regular Columnist. Inspired by the Oscar-Nominated American Fiction, I’m Taking Over This Column to Deliver Hard Truths

I walked by Billy Hearst’s old headquarters in L.A.’s stinking downtown, chatting up the bums and streetwalkers. Turned out I was married to one of the gals back in ’02, …

Baseball player Shohei Ohtani smiling at the camera. He wears a white Dodgers jersey and a blue L.A. cap.

California Is Taking a Page From Shohei Ohtani’s $700 Million Deal

Newsom’s Proposed State Budget Has More Deferrals Than the Baseball Star’s Contract

Shohei Ohtani is famous for being the world’s best baseball player, the only major leaguer of the past century who can both hit and pitch at an elite level.

Perhaps he …

In California, It’s 72 With a Chance of “Weather Whiplash”

For All the Cliches About Endless Sunny Days, the Golden State’s Seasonal Forecasts Are Hard to Get Right

California weather is harder to predict than it looks. Even Harris K. Telemacher came to learn that.

Telemacher was a Los Angeles TV weathercaster with an ocean of knowledge—he had a …