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California City

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Deep in the Mojave Desert, there is a little town with a big name and a bizarre history: California City. For decades, real estate developers have sold a dream here: if you buy land now, you’ll be rich one day. Thousands of people bought this dream. Many were young couples and hard-working immigrants looking to build a better future. But much of the land they bought is nearly worthless. In this new podcast from LAist Studios, host Emily Guerin tells a story of money, power and deception.

Deep in the Mojave Desert, there is a little town with a big name and a bizarre history: California City. For decades, real estate developers have sold a dream here: if you buy land now, you’ll be rich one day. Thousands of people bought this dream. Many were young couples and hard-working immigrants looking to build a better future. But much of the land they bought is nearly worthless. In this new podcast from LAist Studios, host Emily Guerin tells a story of money, power and deception.

Location:

United States

Description:

Deep in the Mojave Desert, there is a little town with a big name and a bizarre history: California City. For decades, real estate developers have sold a dream here: if you buy land now, you’ll be rich one day. Thousands of people bought this dream. Many were young couples and hard-working immigrants looking to build a better future. But much of the land they bought is nearly worthless. In this new podcast from LAist Studios, host Emily Guerin tells a story of money, power and deception.

Twitter:

@guerinemily

Language:

English


Episodes

Yeah No, I'm Not OK with Dascha Polanco

3/23/2021
In our final episode drop of Yeah No, I'm Not OK, Dascha and Diane talk about what it meant to come up together as actors and Latinx artists. They also discuss their personal experiences with body image and what it means to continuously choose to embrace what is uniquely yours. To hear more episodes, subscribe to the Yeah No, I'm Not OK feed. Thank you for listening! For more information and support for eating disorders, please visit:...

Duration:00:38:28

Yeah No, I'm Not OK with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

3/11/2021
We are back with another episode of Yeah No, I'm Not OK. Karla shot to fame when she wrote an essay about being an undocumented student at Harvard. But instead of book deals, she looked for more meaning in writing and exploring her identity. Along the way, she learned more about herself and tells Diane how the correct diagnoses, therapy, strict personal boundaries, and self-acceptance have all changed her life for the better. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide...

Duration:00:52:06

Introducing Yeah No, I'm Not OK by Diane Guerrero

3/3/2021
Who is Diane Guerrero and why is she talking about mental health? In this episode, we learn more about Diane’s personal experience and her commitment to making mental health a priority in communities nationwide, especially communities of color. Then for the very first time, Diane sits down with her big brother Eddie to have an honest conversation about their family history of addiction, anxiety, and depression. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of new episodes with a note from...

Duration:00:53:59

Norco 80 Episode 3: The Robbers

2/10/2021
We are back with Episode 3 of Norco 80. To hear the remaining 10 episodes, visit the Norco feed for new episodes available each Monday. In this episode, George Smith didn't set out to rob a bank. He just wanted to survive the apocalypse. Norco ‘80 is produced by LAist Studios in collaboration with Futuro Studios. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:41:12

Norco 80 Episode 2: The Firefight

1/18/2021
We are back with Episode 2 of Norco 80. The bank robbers make it out of the Security Pacific Bank, cash in hand––but they’re immediately met by the police and a firefight begins. We meet one of the first officers on the scene, who explains the culture of the Norco police force in the 1970s and reveals just how unprepared they were for an armed robbery of this magnitude. Norco ‘80 is produced by LAist Studios in collaboration with Futuro Studios. Episode 3 now available on the Norco 80 feed....

Duration:00:35:21

Introducing Norco 80 Episode 1: The Robbery

1/11/2021
Introducing Norco 80, the unbelievable true story about God, guns, survivalism and the bank robbery that changed policing in America forever. May 9th, 1980 began as a regular Friday in sleepy Norco, a small town about 48 miles east of Los Angeles, known mostly for its horse trails and old western look. But around 3:30pm, five masked men with assault rifles would attempt to rob the Security Pacific Bank downtown. Host Antonia Cereijido introduces us to a region that was rapidly becoming the...

Duration:00:23:57

Where Dreams Go To Die

12/22/2020
Silver Saddle Ranch gets sold, and the people who still believe it’s worth something stage a protest. Plus, a former employee comes forward with a disturbing story. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Duration:00:26:32

'WBEZ's Motive,' Episode 1: "Motive Preview"

9/18/2020
Now that our limited run series is over, we wanted to share a preview of the new season of Motive, an investigative series from WBEZ Chicago hosted by Odette Yousef and Colin McNulty. To understand today’s white supremacist movement, look at the last time hate pulled in young Americans. Preview the new season of Motive, an investigative series from WBEZ Chicago, where over the span of eight episodes, they explore how Skinheads became front-line warriors of the white supremacy movement, and...

Duration:00:08:37

Bonus Episode: Cashing In On The Desert

9/11/2020
For decades, Californians have been obsessed with trying to profit off desert land. In this bonus episode of California City, host Emily Guerin, the Desert Oracle’s Ken Layne, and artist and curator Kim Stringfellow explore the myths of the Mojave Desert as "wasteland," failed schemes and utopias, Instagram-driven tourism and coronavirus refugees. The audio was recorded during a live virtual event on September 3, 2020 and presented by LAist Studios and KPCC in partnership with The Autry...

Duration:00:55:01

The Reckoning

8/24/2020
Silver Saddle gets shut down and accused of fraud. Will the company - and the dream Ben Perez believed - survive? California City is a limited series with 8 episodes. Show support by subscribing wherever you get your podcasts. California City sponsors include: Sun Basket is offering $35 off your order when you go right now to SUNBASKET.com/calcity and enter promo code calcity at checkout. Try SimpliSafe today at SimpliSafe.com/CALCITY. You get free shipping and a 60-day risk free trial....

Duration:00:39:13

Open Secret

8/17/2020
Fear, rumors, and looking the other way. How salesmen have sold the fantasy of California City for so long. California City is a limited series with 8 episodes. Show support by subscribing wherever you get your podcasts. California City sponsors include: Sun Basket is offering $35 off your order when you go right now to SUNBASKET.com/calcity and enter promo code calcity at checkout. Try SimpliSafe today at SimpliSafe.com/CALCITY. You get free shipping and a 60-day risk free trial. There’s...

Duration:00:34:02

The Hunted Becomes The Hunter

8/10/2020
Emily confronts the owner of Silver Saddle and walks away doubting herself. Plus, Ben becomes part of Silver Saddle's sales machine. California City is a limited series with 8 episodes. Show support by subscribing wherever you get your podcasts. California City sponsors include: Sun Basket is offering $35 off your order when you go right now to SUNBASKET.com/calcity and enter promo code calcity at checkout. Try SimpliSafe today at SimpliSafe.com/CALCITY. You get free shipping and a 60-day...

Duration:00:32:10

The Tragedy That Occurred

8/3/2020
Ken Donney is a hero to some, but most people would call him a villain. California City is a limited series with 8 episodes. Show support by subscribing wherever you get your podcasts. California City sponsors include: Sun Basket is offering $35 off your order when you go right now to SUNBASKET.com/calcity and enter promo code calcity at checkout.

Duration:00:25:35

Soldiers of the Sale

7/27/2020
Nat builds an army of salespeople to sell his dream. And then, then Ralph Nader intervenes. California City is a limited series with 8 episodes. Show support by subscribing wherever you get your podcasts. California City sponsors include: Sun Basket is offering $35 off your order when you go right now to SUNBASKET.com/calcity and enter promo code calcity at checkout.

Duration:00:42:00

A Man with a Dream

7/20/2020
The vision that Ben Perez was sold in 2017 began in 1958, with one man's dream to build a utopian desert city from scratch.

Duration:00:41:47

Turning Desert Dust Into Gold

7/13/2020
In 2017 Ben Perez goes to a Mojave Desert resort for a free vacation and ends up signing away his life savings. Turns out Ben is one of tens of thousands to believe a version of this dream over the past 60 years.

Duration:00:51:05

How I Found Out About California City

7/9/2020
It was supposed to be a simple story about the California drought. Instead, reporter Emily Guerin became obsessed with the bizarre history of a sprawling, half-built desert city.

Duration:00:06:38

Introducing California City - Preview

5/15/2020
Deep in the Mojave Desert, there is a little town with a big name and a bizarre history: California City. For decades, real estate developers have sold a dream here: if you buy land now, you’ll be rich one day. Thousands of people bought this dream. Many were young couples and hard-working immigrants looking to build a better future. But much of the land they bought is nearly worthless. In this new podcast from LAist Studios, host Emily Guerin tells a story of money, power and deception.

Duration:00:05:48