Intersections

The Lakewood Plan: Homeownership, Taxes, and Diversity in Postwar Suburbia

The city of Lakewood pioneered city contracting for public services, establishing a controversial model replicated by countless other suburbs in Los Angeles and beyond.

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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Recent Stories
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.
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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