How Two Chicana Nerds Wrote Their Way Back to Oxnard

Michele Serros and I Did Everything We Could to Escape Our SoCal Hometown—Only to Find It Lived Within Us

Growing up as a Chicana nerd, I never thought I’d write a book about myself, much less about Oxnard, where I grew up. This humble city on the Southern California coast was hardly the stuff worth writing about. Or so I had been taught throughout my elementary and high school years.

But then, as an adult, I began researching the late Chicana writer Michele Serros, who also grew up in Oxnard, and who deftly—defiantly even—wrote about our shared hometown in every work she authored, and I surprised myself. Discovering Serros sent …

No Sleep for Those Under the ‘Jet Superhighway’

A Stealth Change in Flight Patterns to Hollywood Burbank Airport Has Impacted a Huge Stretch of L.A.

It starts around 6:45 a.m.—a faint, faraway boom, followed by a low growl that makes my stomach tighten and hands clench. Within seconds, the growl turns into a low rumbling, …

Which California Baseball Team Has the Worst Owner in Pro Sports?

The Oakland A’s and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Are in a Race to the Bottom

In California, a land blessed with more than its fair share of winners, we learn our most important lessons by dwelling among the losers.

So, in this final week of the …

A Mid-Century Playbook for Saving Progressive American Education

Fifty Years Ago, Parents United to Get the Far-Right John Birch Society Out of Their Schools

This May, an email landed in my inbox. The correspondent, who’d come across my new book on the John Birch Society, wanted to share how members of this far-right anticommunist …

Will SoCal’s Barbie Doll or NorCal’s Bobby Oppenheimer Destroy the World First?

Forget the Big Box Office War of Summer 2023. Barbenheimer Is a Tale of Two Competing California Apocalypses

Which region is the greater threat to humanity: Northern California or Southern California?

That’s the most urgent question raised by 2023’s great cinematic contest between Oppenheimer and Barbie.

Sure, these are entertaining …

The Valley’s Last Camaro | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Valley’s Last Camaro

In 1992, General Motors Shuttered Its Van Nuys Plant—But Not Before Union Workers Left Their Mark on the Final Car They Produced

Improbably, the best monument to the old General Motors assembly plant in Van Nuys, California, sits in a garage in Jamestown, North Dakota—the final car produced at the facility that …