Colin Marshall sits down at UCLA with Jon Christensen, editor of Boom: A Journal of California, the recently re-launched magazine from the University of California Press. They discuss the meaning, if any, of the phrase “he lives in California” in an author bio; whether California’s east-west divide bleaches out its much discussed north-south one; why we think so little about water, and whether Los Angeles actually has a problem with the stuff; how to see the world not just in this city, but in the whole of California; Boom‘s “What’s the Matter with San Francisco?” issue; when a city’s insecurity becomes useful; the axiomatic “brokenness” of Los Angeles, but the frequent elusiveness of that alleged brokenness; why Californians feel so pessimistic about high-speed rail; why it has become so difficult to sell the future to Californians, and indeed Americans; the changing idea of the role of the state, and what that would mean if California became its own country; the peripatetic life that led him to jump into Los Angeles, “the ne plus ultra of global cities”; why the true dream of the Southern Californian megalopolis feels so long deferred; how he chose Venice as a place to live, and whether it can remain weird; and whether California could use twice as many people — especially twice as many urban people.
- From my interview archive: disgraced science writer Jonah Lehrer (2008 and 2009)
- From my interview archive: economist and Marginal Revolutionary Tyler Cowen (2008 and 2009)
- Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: The Destruction of Bamgol Village
- KCET Movies: Alfred Hitchcock’s (Non-Existent) Los Angeles
- From my interview archive: Charles Murray (2008), Jay Caspian Kang (2012), and “the Great Liberal Freakout of 2017”