Its tuesday. Introducing the California issue of the New York Times Magazine. Furthermore, the reparations proposals embarrass Democrats.
The New York Times Magazine is doing something this week it has never done before: dedicating an entire issue to California, where many of its readers live.
When I conceived the problem, I was excited to think more deeply about what lies ahead for a state that has always seemed to be at the frontier of so many transformations. A state whose entire mythology is encapsulated in the notion of dreaming, starting over, reinventing.
I am one of the magazine’s story editors and currently reside in San Leandro. But I have lived in California many times and witnessed its resurgences firsthand.
In the 80s, I spent my elementary school years living in the hills of Oakland when something like this was more affordable. I remember never being able to plant flowers in our yard because the deer would immediately gobble them up.
I spent my college years at UC Berkeley and got my first job in the heart of San Francisco, before electric scooters and delivery robots arrived. Eventually I moved to New York, only seeing California in short bursts on vacation, watching the rolling hills on my way to and from the airport. I’ve been back for about six years now, watching my children develop their own personal relationships with this state.
With each return to California, I encountered a new version of the state. I’ve seen it get drier and more expensive. I marveled at her natural beauty, my eyes never quite adjusting. I saw neighborhoods spring up, spread deeper into the suburbs, as cities struggled to build. It seems that so much has changed in so little time: we have been reshaped by fire, drought, technology, money and politics. As someone who lives here, and has lived here before, and before that, I wonder how the state will continue to transform. Which Californias will my kids discover as they grow up?
That’s the lens through which I envisioned the California issue, which goes online this week and will be available in print Sunday. What does the future hold for this state? And what does its future mean for the rest of the country?
I worked with a talented team of editors and writers, many of whom live or have lived in California. The issue explores Silicon Valley’s obsession with artificial intelligence, how YIMBY-ism is reshaping housing in the Bay Area, and the changing political landscape in the San Joaquin Valley.
It also dives into the state’s evolving relationship with extreme wet and dry periods, the future of California’s ability to set policies in other states, Southern California’s embrace of Latinidad, and what the state’s history can tell us about where we are headed.
Our articles will be published in the next three days. I hope you enjoy reading and thinking about the future of this vast, diverse and complex place.
Read the first articles of the California issue:
Raha Naddaf is a story editor for the New York Times Magazine and lives in San Leandro. She was previously the executive editor of The California Sunday Magazine.
Where are we travelling
Today’s advice comes from Janet Winsor, who recommends a getaway along the Sonoma coast:
“We have vacationed at Sea Ranch for over 30 years. Friends introduced us to this ocean paradise when our kids were young, and we still enjoy a spring visit every year with the same friends. We hike the 12-mile coastline, stroll endless beaches, and swim in one of the resort’s three pools. This year we discovered the spring flowers behind the lodge; bright yellows, pinks and purples that envelop the hillside.
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We will share more in future editions of the newsletter.
And before you go, some good news
Modern Love recently featured reader-submitted stories of 100 words or less. Here’s one of my favorites:
“Window down, music blaring as we drive into the mountains that divide the valleys of Sonoma and Napa. My sister and I have memorized these mountains, as we have been commuting between our two homes for 12 years. Through each life change, this drive has remained consistent: 30 minutes of forced time together to say anything or just sit in silence, 30 minutes to strengthen our bond for good. Now, the night before she leaves, I watch her about her, the wind in her hair, and hope these drives meant as much to her as they did to me. — Zoe Holman
Thanks for reading. We will be back tomorrow.
PS Here Today’s mini crossword.
Soumya Karlamangla, Allison Honors and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.
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