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Alta Magazine Podcast

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Bring the pages of the magazine to life. Alta revels in everything about California and the West — with penetrating investigative articles, clever essays, vivid photos and smart reviews. Alta's podcast digs deeper into the pages of the magazine to bring our stories to life.

Bring the pages of the magazine to life. Alta revels in everything about California and the West — with penetrating investigative articles, clever essays, vivid photos and smart reviews. Alta's podcast digs deeper into the pages of the magazine to bring our stories to life.
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Bring the pages of the magazine to life. Alta revels in everything about California and the West — with penetrating investigative articles, clever essays, vivid photos and smart reviews. Alta's podcast digs deeper into the pages of the magazine to bring our stories to life.






Getting to know Jack London

Think you know Jack (London)? Think again. Writer Joy Lanzendorfer joins us to discuss the tragedy that broke the famed author's heart, his complexities, passions, and untimely death. In our Summer 2019 issue, Joy details author Jack London’s rise from abject poverty to become the highest paid author of his day. With his success, London saw his dreams come true, and then watched one of them — the dream for his own beautiful mansion — burn to the ground before he ever got a chance to live in...


Busted: Brash Stories From Texas and New Mexico

Explore the hardscrabble times, places, and people of Texas and New Mexico in our panel discussion titled Busted: Brash Stories from Texas and New Mexico. Authors Joshua Wheeler and Bryan Mealer join Alta contributor and Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano to recount the booms, busts and bold characters of life in the Southwestern United States. Busted was recorded on March 7, 2019 at The Huntington Library in San Marino, California and is presented in partnership with the...


California's Dining Trends

Michael Bauer, the former food critic of the San Francisco Chronicle for over 30 years. Michael has won numerous national awards in his nearly four decades of food journalism, and while retired from the Chronicle, he continues to write — including for us at Alta Magazine. Michael joins the Alta podcast to talk about emerging trends at dining around California, an unexpected dining destination, and $70 chicken. Read Michael's review of Angler in a recent issue of Alta Magazine Check out...


Podcast Boom

Blaise Zerega, formerly a writer and editor at publications like Wired and Conde Nast Portfolio and now, he’s the Managing Editor of Alta Magazine. Blaise's latest piece for the magazine is a look at the rapidly growing popularity of podcasts — and what that means for the future of this very intimate medium. He joins us to talk about the history and the future of podcasting, and to recommend three podcasts that are doing it well. Read Blaise's feature in Alta Magazine, How We Listen: The...


The Final Event

Cindy Hegger specializes in end-of-life photography. She began this stage of her business after photographing activists working in Sacramento to pass what ultimately became California’s End of Life Option Act, a law that allows terminally ill residents to end their life with self-administered drugs. Cindy and her clients treat the end of one’s life just like any other major milestone — something that should be documented with photos and treasured. Her work — and the process of end of life...


Beverly Hills Subway

Dangerous fumes. Explosions. Terrorism. Lisa Korbatov has cited all sorts of dire threats in her efforts to prevent LA Metro from digging a subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High School — without success. Now, with the project about to break ground, Korbatov has one last hope: an appeal to her friend in the White House. Journalists Matt Smith and Lance Williams from the Center for Investigative reporting join Alta's podcast to detail this extraordinary fight — and one extraordinary...


Underground Adventurers

Writer Zack Ruskin takes us into the underground world of urban explorers, a collection of bold adventurers who make their way, legal or not, into abandoned buildings and structures. Show notes: Zack's original article that appeared in Alta's Spring 2019 issue Tunnelbug's Instagram Tunnelbug's Flickr Reddit/Urban Exploration


The Original Girl in the Well

Historian Bill Deverell joins the Alta podcast to discuss the 1949 San Marino “girl in the well” story. Bill details of this historic piece of California history and explains how little Kathy Fiscus’ fall into a well changed the course of modern media.


Totally Over In-N-Out

Alta contributing editor Gustavo Arellano defends his distaste for In-N-Out Burger, comparing the West Coast chain to the most cliche aspects of California living and reveals his top picks for solid (and local) fast food — without the 30-minute drive-thru line.


A ride on the TMZ Celebrity Bus Tour

Quinn Cummings, a regular contributor to Alta, an author and an Oscar-nominated actress reveals all from her ride aboard a TMZ Hollywood Celebrity Tour bus — an experience we’re really curious about but not sure we could actually stomach ourselves.


Whole Earth Catalog

Journalist and author John Markoff discusses the Whole Earth Catalog, a long defunct counter-culture magazine and product catalog published by writer and entrepreneur Stewart Brand. Markoff details how the catalog came to be, why the Whole Earth Catalog was so vital, the ways it influenced Silicon Valley, and if there will ever be anything like it again.


Plight of the Honeybees

In this Alta Podcast, Byard Duncan, a journalist for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, discusses the millions of bees shipped into California’s almond orchards every winter and the criminals who make careers out of stealing them.


Brown is the New Orange County

In this week's Alta Podcast, Gustavo Arellano discusses the shifting cultural landscape of Orange County, how and why the OC changing, how politicians are responding to the shifts, and what that might mean for the rest of the state — and the country.


Atomic Blonde

Journalist Carrie Beauchamp takes us behind the scenes of particularly rare Hollywood photo shoot in 1953 starring Marilyn Monroe and a lavish 16-acre Beverly Hills estate.


Food Fight: L.A. vs. SF

In this Alta Podcast, food writer Tamara Palmer makes it clear that when it comes to cuisine, LA is killing it right now. Meanwhile, longtime critic Michael Bauer defends San Francisco's culinary honor.


Neal Cassady's letter to Jack Kerouac

In this Alta Podcast, Cathy Cassady and journalist David Ulin discuss the famous letter Cathy's dad, Neal Cassady, wrote author Jack Kerouac, its impact on American literature, Neal Cassady’s major role in the Beat Generation and the little-known but vital work of author Carolyn Cassady.


Miriam Pawel talks "The Browns of California"

Miriam Pawel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, historian and author of several books, including the newly released “The Browns of California,” sits down with University of Southern California professor and historian Bill Deverell to discuss the political dynasty of former California governor Pat Brown, his son, Governor Jerry Brown, and the story of California through one extraordinary family.


Film Critic David Ansen

Longtime Newsweek film critic and current lead programmer of the Palm Springs International Film Festival David Ansen explains exactly why he's never really liked the "Star Wars" franchise, details the backlash his "Star Wars" reviews have received and talks about the ever-changing world of film.


Obi Kaufmann

"The California Field Atlas" author and artist Obi Kaufmann discusses his creative process, his plans for future work and why he's really not wild about being compared to John Muir.


Quest for a National LGBTQ Museum

Alta contributor Shane Downing takes us into the battle to create an LGBTQ museum, explains the pros and cons of having such a museum in San Francisco versus elsewhere in the country and details the forces behind the movement.