KCET. Since January 2011 I have written about Los Angeles history for KCET’s SoCal Focus blog. Written on behalf of L.A. as Subject, the posts usually take the form of photo essays that feature images from the region’s rich photographic archives. Past posts have looked at when L.A. was mostly open countryside, the first photograph of Los Angeles, the Santa Ana winds, and a health guru who helped Los Angeles discover its love of hiking. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you can browse through my 60 most recent posts here.

Southland (Gizmodo). Launched in November 2013, Southland explores themes of urbanism in the greater Los Angeles area through the lens of the city’s history. Southland is made possible by a content partnership among Gizmodo, the USC Libraries, and the extraordinary collections of L.A. as Subject. My first Southland posts investigated L.A.’s lost landscape of oil extraction and the erasure of entire hills from the city’s urban core.

Los Angeles magazine. I wrote weekly for the magazine’s City Think blog from December 2012 to July 2014. Shorter and more narrowly focused than my KCET contributions, these blog posts explored a particular place, person, or event through the lens of L.A. as Subject member collections. These posts have covered L.A.’s first Fourth of July, the downtown L.A. origins of Ralphs Bros. Grocers, the history of turning left in L.A, the city’s oldest palm tree, and snowstorms in this famously sunny city.

Essays & Articles

LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s AtlasI’m very proud to be a part of this important new book (April 2015) from Heyday. My essay, “Gridding the City,” explores the historical evolution of Los Angeles’ clashing street grids.

Los Angeles MagazineIn June 2013 I wrote about renovations to Echo Park Lake and beer growlers. For the November 2013 issue I contributed a piece about the five public works projects that changed L.A. forever. More recent contributions looked at the opening of Ace Hotel’s new downtown Los Angeles location and the the city of Beverly Hills’ centennial. For the December 2014 issue I wrote about how the marketing efforts of orange producers also helped sell Los Angeles to the rest of the nation, and in the February 2015 issue I took readers inside downtown L.A.’s deserted tunnels.

Boat. My piece in Boat‘s Los Angeles issue (Issue 08), “A City of Palms,” told the story of what’s likely the city’s oldest palm tree. The article isn’t currently available online.

Ventura Blvd. My story in the May-June 2014 issue, “A Tale of Two Isaacs,” profiled two pioneering men—named Lankershim and Van Nuys—who transformed the San Fernando Valley into a sea of wheat.

The Public Historian. My “Report from the Field” in the November 2013 issue tracks the development of the Los Angeles Archives Bazaar. The Public Historian is a quarterly journal published by the University of California Press on behalf of the National Council on Public History.

TV & Video

Monomania L.A. I was proud to work as producer on a series of short documentary films about the obsessive collectors of Los Angeles. Produced by the USC Libraries and funded by Cal Humanities, the films were broadcast by KCET as a one-hour Artbound special.

Untitled TV Project. KCET and the USC Libraries are currently developing a documentary TV and Web video series about L.A. history based on my blog posts.


KPCC. I’m an occasional guest on Take Two with Alex Cohen and A Martinez. I’ve discussed the 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times building, downtown revitalization, the discovery of L.A.’s old zanja madre aqueduct, and other historical topics.

KNX. I’ve appeared on KNX 1070’s On Your Corner series.