The True Horror of Sunny Santa Cruz

The City’s Residents Feel Powerless Over Their Future—From Housing to Climate Change

Is Santa Cruz the scariest place in California?

For sure, this state’s 21st-century reality is frightening: from the persecution of immigrants to the droughts and wildfires made worse by climate change. But there is simply no place in our state scarier than this coastal county of 275,000 tortured souls.

Santa Cruz is not our most dangerous or damaged place, but it comes very close to embodying the greatest fears of Californians, which are all about our powerlessness: that our coastal beauty is collapsing underneath us, that we’ve lost control over …

If You Can’t Beat the Bay Area, Join It

Solving Northern California's Toughest Problems Requires a New Megaregion, from San Francisco and Tahoe to the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys

Welcome to the Bay Area, Merced!

Further north, welcome as well to Modesto, Sacramento, Placerville, and Yuba City. And, to the south, you’re invited, too, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and …

Santa Cruz Made Me Love Movies

Four Downtown Theaters Within a Square Mile of Each Other Showed Me How Films Can Bring People Together

I only made it through the first few minutes of The Great Gatsby before I knew something about the film was off. The 1920s world it portrayed looked glossy and …

Dead Lawns and Two-Minute Showers

Learning to Love Water Rationing in Santa Cruz

As another disappointing rainy season drew to a close this spring, I began a new household chore. I walked across the parched and withered remnants of our front lawn and …