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Go Inside the Pages of the Magazine

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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Can Cancer Be Funny?

Can cancer be funny? Author Mary Ladd and illustrator Don Asmussen certainly think so. The pair, both of whom have fought (and are fighting) cancer diagnoses, join the Alta podcast t...


Nick Neely Follows the Footsteps of Portolá

Burger King, loneliness, binoculars, and camp coffee; it was all part of Nick Neely's quest to better understand California.  Neely is a California-based author whose book,...


Mr. Peace on Modern Resistance

"I got to be a hero." David Harris is former contributing editor to the New York Times and to Rolling Stone, and he is the author of nearly a dozen books—but Harris is most famous ...


Renaissance of the Written Word

The Fall, 2019 issue of Alta features the magazine's first standalone section on books and literature spearheaded by our books editor, David Ulin. In this podcast, we'll explore how ...


Remembering Climbing Legend Tom Frost

What do the CIA, an outdoor clothing company, and a Yosemite campsite all have in common? Tom Frost.  Famous in climbing circles for his remarkable humility, Frost is one of the le...


Man-Made Meat is a Very Real Thing

Rachel Levin went where very few have gone before — she ate a chicken nugget made out of man-made meat. "Motherless meat" is different from plant-based alternative meats, like the ...


Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark Project

Joel Sartore is on a one-man mission to build a photographic library of every animal in human care. He's like Noah—with a really fancy camera. An award-winning photographer, speake...


Past, Present and Future of Women in Classical Music

What special challenges do women musicians face that their male counterparts don't? Have those challenges changed, and in what ways? How do traditional music organizations work towar...


CalFire’s Aerial First Responders

CalFire's aerial firefighting fleet is the largest of its kind in the world. Today's guest, award-winning and best-selling author Bonnie Tsui, reported for Alta on the men and women ...


Musso & Frank Grill Turns 100

Musso & Frank Grill is a Los Angeles institution. Writer David Kipen visited this storied dining spot (in character as The Anniversarist) and he's now on a mission to be a Musso ...


Altatude Cartoonist Phil Witte

Phil Witte, a humorist, journalist, cartoonist and lawyer living in Oakland, joins us for an Alta podcast to talk about his process and the quirky world of cartoonists. His work has ...


The Money-Making Manson Inc.

What led to—and has arisen from—the infamous 1969 Manson Family murders is weirder, darker, and more hypocritical than you ever imagined. Writer Denise Hamilton, who's been on th...


Northern California’s Wild Horses

Wild mustang populations are out of control, competing with cattle and native wildlife for vital resources like land and water. If the federal government doesn't rein them in, ranche...


Planet’s Woke Satellites

Today's guest is Po Bronson, a longtime science journalist who has been recognized with nine national honors, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journa...


Bonus Episode: Rethinking Steve Jobs

In this bonus episode of the Alta podcast, recorded on March 21, 2019 at Books Inc's Opera Plaza location, we discuss the many complicated legacies of the late Steve Jobs with three ...


Can the L.A. Times be Saved?

Today's guest is Mark Potts, former (and founding) Managing Editor of the Journal of Alta California. Mark has covered business and the media for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tri...


Bonus Episode: L.A.’s Underground Nightlife

Based in Los Angeles, Safi Alia Shabaik is a founding member of the Los Angeles Street Collective and a teaching assistant at the Los Angeles Center of Photography. She's also worked...


The Fierce Issues Surrounding Feral Cats

Matt Smith, a journalist for the Center for Investigative Reporting, joins us to discuss the hot-button issue of feral cats. For Alta's Summer 2019 Issue, Matt wrote about the oddly ...


Bonus Episode: Julian Guthrie’s Alpha Girls

In a Bonus Episode of our Alta Podcast, we visit author Julian Guthrie to discuss her new book, Alpha Girls: The Woman Upstarts Who Took On Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made De...


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...


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 ...


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 wh...


Podcast Boom

Blaise Zerega, formerly a writer and editor at publications like Wired and Condé Nast Portfolio, is now the managing editor of Alta. Blaise's latest piece for the magazine is a look...


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 Californi...


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 Sch...


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...


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 lit...


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 to...


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 re...


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. ...


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 ever...


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, a...


Atomic Blonde

Journalist Cari 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.


Don't look now, but a fresh generation of chefs, ingredients and food trends is helping Los Angeles overtake San Francisco as the West Coast's food and restaurant capital.

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 Fr...


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 ...


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 Sou...


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" fra...


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 countr...


Artificial Intelligence Fitness Trainers

Blaise Zerega reports on Vi, a new in-ear AI device that encourages the user throughout a workout, monitors body data and offers fitness advice in much the same a human trainer would...


Prepping for “The Big One”

Emergency preparedness expert Janelle Fazackerly details exactly what's missing from most survival kits on the market and advises listeners on how to supplement their kits to best s...


Sonoma’s Burning Problem

Journalists Patrick Michels and Eric Sagara of Reveal/The Center for Investigative Reporting take us onto their research for their "Sonoma's Burning Problem" story, explain exactly w...