Obsessing About Terrorism Is Bad for Your Mental Health

Constant Media-Induced Anxiety Can Inflict Psychological Harm

My patient, Anna, is an African-American woman in her 60s living alone in Los Angeles. She has a progressive arthritis and she walks slowly with the aid of a cane. She no longer meets friends at the movies or at the mall, and won’t go to shows. But her arthritis isn’t the reason she is avoiding public places and limiting her social life. It’s the Paris terrorist attack followed by the San Bernardino attack, not to mention the active shooters that have become routine. She is watching a lot …

Can Books Build Community?

Putting California’s Inland Empire on the Literary Map

Ahtziri and I are sitting on a stone garden bench outside the church in Riverside, California, where my children take piano lessons. In her hand is a stack of papers—typed …

My Hometown Was in Crisis Before the Terror

I Worry That Everything in San Bernardino Will Soon Go Back to Normal

There was no hashtag or meme or Facebook artwork on August 1, 2012, when San Bernardino, California, filed for bankruptcy after a long fiscal breakdown. Massive budget cuts followed. The …

San Bernardino Is Beautiful

Overwhelmed by My City's Dark Sides, I Decided to Go for a Walk

On a stroll through San Bernardino’s business district last weekend, I came across a woman on a street corner gripping a teetering stack of fliers and an empty Big Gulp. …

How a City Hopes to Fulfill New Dreams

San Bernardino Is Creating Space and Community for the Arts

In Southern California, most people know about San Bernardino and its ongoing municipal bankruptcy. Last summer, the L.A. Times called the city a “symbol of the nation’s urban woes.”

But most …

Painting Portraits in a Bankrupt City

I Moved to San Bernardino to Pursue My Ambitions. I Found a Place That Had Lost All Ambition of Its Own.

Early in 2013, I moved to San Bernardino with my girlfriend at the time and our 1-month-old daughter. I had family there but hadn’t lived in San Bernardino since I …