Intersections

Riding the Big Red Car: Work, Leisure, and Community in Multiethnic L.A.

A look at the history of the Pacific Electric Red Cars and its ability to ferry working class and communities of color to their jobs and cheap amusements provides a useful primer for the future of Los Angeles transit.

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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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.
Building Nostalgia: Disney, Legoland, and Southern California

Building Nostalgia: Disney, Legoland, and Southern California

Many of us played with Legos as a kid...so what's it like to visit Legoland as an adult?
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