From Bethlehem to Palm Springs, Christmas Belongs in the Desert

During the Holiday Season, Southern California’s Coachella Valley Becomes a Place of Rebirth

If you’re looking for the quintessential Christmas experience, there’s only one place you should go: the Southern California desert.

The Coachella Valley is the Golden State’s very own Yuletide capital—which might make it the capital of Christmas in America, maybe even the world. After all, California popularized Christmas via Hollywood, and still designs it through our toymakers, digitizes it via Silicon Valley, and distributes it through our ports.

Some Scrooges will call this sacrilege, citing our lack of conifers and snow. Leave such people to their ignorance—the desert is already …

Is Slab City, California the Last Free Place in America?

Dwellers of the Desert Community—Both Exiles and Refugees—Are Staging an Experiment in 'Adaptation and Resistance'

When the alert pinged on my phone, I thought of Austin and his house of wooden pallets. A “wall of dust” roiled toward Slab City and other “impacted locations” in …

The Bedouin People Who Blur the Boundaries of Egyptian Identity

An Indigenous North African Minority Near the Libyan Border Has Often Been Treated Like Foreigners

In November 1940, a group of Bedouins from Egypt’s Western Desert region sent an unusual petition to the Egyptian government. The petition arrived at a time of great turmoil in …

The Next Great California Bridge Should Span the High Desert

Infrastructure Linking Palmdale and Victorville Could Boost L.A.—and All of North America

What’s the fastest way to change California?

Assuming you don’t have the power to set off a major earthquake, your best bet would be to connect the two small desert cities …

My Antidote to L.A’s Madness Lies Less Than 100 Miles Outside the City

Finding Peace in a Benedictine Abbey Transplanted From China and Thriving in California’s High Desert

Driven. Rushed. Anxious. These adjectives describe me and many of the nearly 4 million people with whom I share the malls, freeways, and surface streets of Los Angeles. Some days, …

Discovering the Cracks of Imperfection in My Suburban Desert

How an Arizona Native Stopped Dreaming of Snow and Winding Rivers

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Arizona, where I grew up, is a water recycling facility disguised as an ecological habitat. It is a …