Interstate 10 Is More Than a Road

Its Recent Closure Reminds Us of How We Need to Rethink Our Transportation, and Ourselves

Funny thing about the world we have created and the structures we build—they are only really seen for what they are when in states of abandonment. Our built environment reveals our ambition, labor, materiality, and sometimes the folly of believing that our constructions, even massive assemblies of concrete and steel, will persist in perpetuity. As consumed as we are by daily obligations, we devote little time to consider the spaces we occupy and what they represent.

The recent week-long shutdown of Interstate 10 in downtown Los Angeles, after a huge fire …

The Spy J.F.K. and Lee Harvey Oswald Loved

The President and His Assassin Were Both James Bond Fans—But Only One of Them Cast Himself in a 007-Style Operation

President John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald were both killed in Dallas on the same weekend in November 1963. They were men from distinctly opposed walks of life, and …

In San Antonio, Remembering More Than the Alamo

Innovators Are Using Digital Tools to Tell Stories of the City’s Black and Latinx History

In San Antonio, Texas, one memorial—the church-turned-fort-turned-shrine of the Alamo—dominates the landscape. At the Alamo, the artifacts, images, and captions on display tell a unified story: That martyrs died there …

The News From 2049: Texas Surpasses California

Decades Earlier, the Golden State Gave Up on Growth and Progress

Austin, December 2049

Today, state officials held a massive parade and public barbecue to celebrate official federal confirmation that Texas is America’s greatest and most important state.

The occasion: The U.S. Census …

Is It Time for Californians to Vote in Florida and Texas? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is It Time for Californians to Vote in Florida and Texas?

People Need Representation Not Just Where They Live—But Also Where They Have Interests

Should Floridians get to vote in California elections? Should Californians get to cast ballots in Florida?

These questions might seem strange, but they’re not. Gov. Gavin Newsom broadcast his first re-election …

America Should Lower Its Expectations | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

America Should Lower Its Expectations

Triumphalism Has Made Us Reckless. Can Making Peace With Our Shortcomings Save Us?

I get how hard it is to admit defeat, to lower expectations. Even when things are breaking down in every part of the national machine, from public health to education …