Intersections

A Clear Blue Vision: L.A. Light Rail Transit and Twenty Five Years of the Blue Line

The Blue Line is one of the most used light rail in the nation. With its 25th anniversary on the horizon this July, a look back at its creation proves a useful means to think about L.A.'s transit past, present, and future.

About the Author

Ryan Reft has a PhD in urban history from the University of California San Diego. He is co-editor of the blog Tropics of Meta.
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Courting Division: How Three Southern California Court Cases Bolstered and Hindered Multiracial Civil Rights Movements

Courting Division: How Three Southern California Court Cases Bolstered and Hindered Multiracial Civil Rights Movements

Southern California's landscape provided the setting for three critical court cases that reveal the ability of the law to cleave efforts toward equal rights.
Retail California: Shopping Centers, Malls, and Creating a New Consumerism

Retail California: Shopping Centers, Malls, and Creating a New Consumerism

Three examples confirm Southern California's critical role in the mall's early formation: the Broadway Crenshaw Center, the Valley Center, and San Diego's Linda Vista Shopping Cent ...
Retail California: Ralphs, the Big Lebowski, and Shaping the American Shopping Experience

Retail California: Ralphs, the Big Lebowski, and Shaping the American Shopping Experience

Ralphs' innovations in retail and supermarkets in Los Angeles rippled through the industry and became a catalyst for suburban expansion.
Retail California: Cars, Drive-In Markets, and Consumers

Retail California: Cars, Drive-In Markets, and Consumers

When C.L. Peckham opened Ye Market Place on Los Feliz Road in Glendale in 1924, few realized the influence the drive-in market would have on urban planning and American retail.
Fast Times with Valley Girls: 30 Years Later, What Do Two SoCal Classics Tell Us About America?

Fast Times with Valley Girls: 30 Years Later, What Do Two SoCal Classics Tell Us About America?

Two films from the 1980s defined character and social archetypes that persist to this day.
East of East: Using Vacant Space to Create Place in South El Monte

East of East: Using Vacant Space to Create Place in South El Monte

Artists have played a large role in developing community identity and establishing a sense of place in communities with lower incomes and fewer resources.
What's Old is New: How Orange County's Conservative Past Created its Demographics Today

What's Old is New: How Orange County's Conservative Past Created its Demographics Today

How does Orange County's conservative Asian American population reflect the region's past?
Compton as the Bellwether for Urban America

Compton as the Bellwether for Urban America

Rap group N.W.A. glorified Compton as ground zero of urban Black life -- while at the same time the city's demographics showed a shift towards a Latino majority.
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