A Yearbook to Remember

We Can’t Hold Time in Our Hands, But We’ll Always Have Signed Messages, Funny Photos, and “Most Likely to …”

I lost my first year of high school to Zoom in 2020. Not just my first day, or first week, but the entire first year. This jarring start to a new phase of life set a pace that marked high school milestones strangely.

Now, with graduation approaching, I look back on those milestones—the ups and downs of four pivotal years—and reflect. What can I remember? What should I remember? What will I forget?

This is where the yearbook comes into play.

Yearbooks allow us to slow down and take a look back at …

Los Angeles Is an Unreliable Narrator | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Los Angeles Is an Unreliable Narrator

The Truest Thing About the City: We Are All Just Making It Up as We Go Along

Los Angeles is an unreliable narrator. The very cityscape is an illusion, albeit on the grand scale—streets and buildings, the human design of it, erected on a bed of sand …

Beyond the ‘Dark Fog of Disdain,’ San Francisco Is Still There

How Revisiting a Children’s Book Helped Me See the City by the Bay, On and Off the Page

For a young bookworm like me in 1960s New Jersey, almost nothing was more exciting in elementary school than ordering my own paperbacks from the Scholastic Book catalog. I would …

Where I Go: Redondo Beach Brings Me Back to Myself

I’m the Keeper of My Family’s Memories. My Hometown Is Where I Uncover the Layers of Our Past

Late one afternoon last year, during a troubled time in my life, I took a long walk on the beach.

A day of rain was ending. Watery sunlight shone on glossy …

Why I Drove 80 Miles Across Southern California on Surface Streets

The Road to the Inland Empire Is Paved With Good Memories—And Gratitude for Freeways

Don’t ever complain about freeway traffic, especially around my mother.

“You’re lucky to have freeways—when I was a kid, we didn’t have freeways,” she used to say.

But that didn’t stop my …

Longing for the Softer Side of Hurricanes

A Continent Away from Horrible Destruction, I Miss the Familial Routines of My South Florida Childhood

After school, whenever I walked into my family’s home in Davie, Florida, I was always reminded of 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, which decimated nearly 64,000 homes some 60 miles away in …