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Episode 20: Everything Must Go

Some stories don’t end when you think they do. Some stories just pause. And then they sneak back around and whap you across the back of your unsuspecting head. So here’s one I didn’t expect to revisit, although maybe I should have: Part 2 of Episode 7, “Unmaking A Home.”


Special thanks to Ellen Barol, Peter Clark and Jennifer Cecil.

Episode 19: Almost Utopia

What happens to a utopia that never got off the ground? Bits and pieces of one, an experiment in postwar living for the masses, are hiding in plain sight in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Architect and author Cory Buckner talks about Crestwood Hills, a Modernist vision for a cooperative future that never quite arrived.


5-x-7-1Thanks to Cory Buckner, whose excellent book on Crestwood Hills is available here.  

Video: The Siegel family moves into their brand-new Crestwood Hills home in 1950. 


Groundbreaking, October 1947 (Courtesy Cory Buckner)


Buckner House (formerly MHA site office): Photo by John Dooley

Meanwhile, on another podcast…

HOME returns for Season 4 in October. In the meantime, here’s a story I told at a recent live recording for the excellent Two Truths And A Lie podcast. It was my first time doing a live storytelling event, and I think the half a beer I was brave enough to down pre-performance may have helped create the illusion of confidence. (Two Truths records at Angel City Brewery in downtown L.A., so they were in essence our hosts and look, I didn’t want to be rude.)

You can, and should, subscribe to Two Truths And A Lie here.

Episode 18: Cooking With Mihrette

What happens when you bring a kid from the other side of the world into your home forever? How does it change what home means to her? And to you? This week it’s the story of one mom, the daughter she chose, and the way they keep Ethiopia alive in the home that’s now theirs.

PROGRAM NOTE: This is the last episode of Season 3. See you back here in October for Season 4. Subscribe to the newsletter for updates and between-seasons bonus content. 

Can the Web series be far behind? Cook With Mihrette here.

Music by Podington Bear:

Episode 17: Dancers In The House

A roving, shifting company of dance and performance artists is nudging its audiences to think about home differently — by bringing one-off, site-specific performances to houses, live-work spaces and tiny apartments all over the Los Angeles area. Meet homeLA.

Music by Podington Bear:

At top: Flora Wiegman, Swimming Laps, at the home of Chloë Flores and Tim Lefevre in Mount Washington. Performed by Flora Wiegman

Here’s a gallery of photographs from past homeLA performances.

All photos by Andrew Mandinach for homeLA.

For more information about the Rose Hills performance on September 24, visit homeLA. 

Episode 16: TV Dreamland

When TV producer Phil Savenick started collecting vintage TVs and TV memorabilia, he didn’t anticipate that he’d end up with what he now calls a “dreamland of televisions” in the living room of his West Los Angeles home — or that he’d end up helping the family of the man who invented TV heal some old wounds.

See more of Phil’s TV Dreamland here.

You can learn more about Philo T. Farnsworth here. I also recommend Jeff Kisseloff’s excellent oral history of the early days of television, “The Box.”

Music by Podington Bear:

Thanks to Phil Savenick and Janis Hirsch.

Episode 15: Belushi, Bette and Beverly Hills

chairsThe process by which one place stops being home and another starts — it’s a mysterious thing. It happens, most often, when we’re not paying attention. And sometimes, as it did for comedy writer and transplanted East Coaster Janis Hirsch, it happens in stages. First she started to feel at home in Los Angeles; but it was only later, after a series of addresses and a run-in or two with Bette Davis, that she landed in the exact place that would be, finally, her home.

HOME is a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network.

NEW: The HOME mailing list is live. Sign up now for instant-ish notifications of new episodes, behind-the-scenes information about the show and bonus content. It’s free and ad-free, and we promise we’ll never ever ever sell your address or otherwise use your information to annoy you. 


  • “Domestic Fun (a),” by Ernest Tomlinson
  • “Prismatone,” by Podington Bear
  • “Wook,” by Podington Bear
  • “Star Prizes (a),” by Tony Kinsey
  • “Lena Sequence,” by Roberto Prgiado
  • “Jackie,” by Podington Bear
  • “Fashion on Parade,” by Ronald Hanmer
  • “Playmate,” by Podington Bear

Thanks to Janis Hirsch and Larry Shulman. 

Update: It’s the HOME mailing list

Hi. Bill here, just ducking in between episodes to let you know that the HOME mailing list is up and running. Subscribe now for new-episode announcements, behind-the-scenes news and bonus content. What the hell — I may even lob some metacommentary in there. Because as I understand it the kids love metacommentary. Then again, they may just be screeds. The truth is, I’m not 100% clear what “metacommentary” means.

Whatever it is, I think the thing is a nice complement to the podcast and I hope you’ll give it a spin. If you’d like to see what you’ve missed, the archive is here.

First Name

Episode 14: Rose, Mercedes and The Days Of The Dead


Actress/writer/artist Rose Portillo lives in the house she was born into, in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles. It’s the annual scene of her legendary Day Of the Dead parties, and it was the setting for her family’s story of ascension, assimilation and culture clash — as well as the long, wary dance of accommodation, spanning life and death, that Rose has performed with the formidable spirit of her grandmother, Mercedes Mendoza Portillo.



Altar photo from Day Of The Dead 2009 (upper left) courtesy of CJ Gronner.

Thanks to Rose Portillo, Roger Bowers and Mark B. Perry. To learn more about Young Theaterworks, go here. 

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