I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday. If I could give it 5 stars on Yelp, I would. I write about my vaccination and offer words of both hope and caution in Wednesday’s column.
I recently discovered and became an admirer of Desert Oracle, a journal published from Joshua Tree, as well as a hardcover book collecting its best writing and a podcast/radio show. I write about the weird, wonderful publication in Sunday’s column. (And this will explain the reference in Friday’s column to taking an unnamed book into the national park as the appropriate scene for a photo.)
I visit Joshua Tree National Park for the first (but not last) time and tell how it went in Friday’s column. Have you been?
I spent three nights in Joshua Tree last week and wondered why I never went there until now. Have you been? I write about my mini-vacation in Wednesday’s column. (The national park will get its own column, probably Friday.)
One of my visions for my column after its geographic expansion last summer is that I would explore portions of the Inland Empire beyond simple there-and-back reporting trips to Riverside or San Bernardino. A little tough to accomplish with three deadlines per week — even getting to Riverside or San Bernardino on a weekday takes some planning — but it’s finally been done. Let me know what you think.
I return to the topic of the paved paths up and down Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux, still astonished that motorists once had the run of them. This time I have some facts about the matter besides anecdotes (but I have those too). Also, a reader shares a funny typo from a former workplace, and an award is won. All the above is in Sunday’s column.
Friday’s column repeats some art-world news from Palm Desert in the service of freshening up a biographical item about the artist that I wrote in the early days of the pandemic and set aside, since it seemed less relevant by the day. Then comes a long-ish item about annoying modern expressions, which I wrote last summer (?) and likewise didn’t use, but freshened up for publication. After that is a brand-new item.
What can I tell you, I’m in the midst of a few days off (although as you can see, I’m writing this!) and thought I may as well clear out some material rather than vacate my space in the paper.
If you’re curious, I have a Google doc of items, potential items, column ideas and discarded bits that is extremely long and mostly useless after page 12 or so — although the latter pages will bear a closer look. The file is overdue to be purged and its rainy-day material shown the light of day.
For my birthday, I take the stairs, all 282 of ’em, in Culver City, at a famed outdoor hiking spot. Then I eat Nashville hot chicken and stroll Leimert Park, accompanied by a few close — but distanced! — friends. Also, a typo is spotted. I write about the day in Wednesday’s column.
With the head of Filippi Winery wanting to retire, the future of the winery and the property is in question. The city of Rancho Cucamonga, which owns the land, is seeking developers to operate the winery and add complementary uses, including a hotel, restaurants and more. That’s the subject of Sunday’s slightly newsy column.
A year into the pandemic, I write about the shoes I’ve worn basically every single day for 12 months in Friday’s footwear-focused column.
Another season, another issue of Alta, and this one likewise has its share of Inland Empire stories, mentions and contributors, something you have to respect in an all-California magazine based in ‘Frisco. Also: downtown Upland, besides its Big U sign, once had a rotating chicken atop a grain elevator. Also: I mark a milestone. All this in Wednesday’s relaxed (and relaxing?) column.