What is California?

Stu VanAirsdale
"What is California?” is a podcast featuring conversations with notable Californians in a quest to understand the Golden State.
Created 14 Jul 2021
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  • Weekend Links: Nov. 19-21
    19 Nov 2021 • 5 min read
    Happy Friday! Greetings from What is California? HQ, where the leaves are piling up outside and we haven’t seen the sun in about eight days. And I couldn’t be happier! I’m under a blanket and three la...
  • Episode 11: Jaime Lowe
    18 Nov 2021 • 2 min read
    Greetings from What is California? HQ, where we are basking in the glow of a loving shout-out this week from the LA Times’ “Essential California” newsletter. I’ve been reading EC for a long time, and ...
  • Weekend Links: Nov. 12-14
    12 Nov 2021 • 7 min read
    Happy Friday! Greetings from What is California? HQ, where that sweet sound of the season whispers forth in the hazy, marzipan-tinted dawn: CLLLLAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWW 🍂🍁 🚜 Yes, dear reader—it’s claw sea...
  • Episode 10: Elaine Howle
    11 Nov 2021 • 3 min read
    Happy Veterans Day! This week, What is California? celebrates a milestone: Episode 10. We made it to double digits, everyone! 🔟 🥳 I thought it’d be good to celebrate the occasion with another milest...
  • Weekend Reads: Nov. 5-7
    05 Nov 2021 • 5 min read
    Happy Friday! Greetings from What is California? HQ, where we’re bracing for the time change this weekend the only way we know how: Grumbling and pouting and making sure our affairs are in order befor...
  • Episode 9: Sonja Trauss
    04 Nov 2021 • 2 min read
    The housing shortage in California is just one of the many crises the state faces, but it may be the only crisis with a connection to all the others. Climate change (whether wildfires or drought), hom...
  • Weekend Reads: Oct. 29-31
    29 Oct 2021 • 4 min read • 1 0
    Happy Friday! Greetings from What is California? HQ, where we spent a few hours Sunday bailing out from an all-day drenching downpour. Sacramento got a record 5.44 inches of rain, all of which went in...
  • Episode 8: Miriam Pawel
    28 Oct 2021 • 2 min read
    One of my favorite California books is Miriam Pawel’s The Browns of California, a sweeping history of four generations over nearly 170 years. The book starts with the odyssey of August Schuckman, a Ge...
  • Weekend Reads: Oct. 22-24
    22 Oct 2021 • 4 min read
    Happy Friday! Greetings from What is California? HQ, where for the first time in what feels like eons, I awoke to the sound of rain. Not just the delicate whisper of showers, either, but the full-thro...
  • Episode 7: Erika D. Smith
    21 Oct 2021 • 2 min read
    Greetings! Real talk, folks: One of the things I love the most about doing this podcast is the opportunity to indulge my inner fan and talk to some of the cool Californians I’ve enjoyed reading, liste...
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