Menu Sidebar

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. 

Episode 13: A Pod To Call Your Own

Not a hotel, not a dorm, not quite a hostel, open by design and communitarian in spirit  — Los Angeles-based PodShare is something else. And, potentially, something bigger: An affordable way to foster community in a city that’s increasingly stratified by class. This week, to start Season 3, it’s the story of one young entrepreneur and her unstoppable enthusiasm for her big idea.


Photo by Jay Kantor, courtesy Elvina Beck/PodShare

Updates: New Season June 22, and Opening It Up To The Room

Here’s an audio update on the upcoming season. In extra bonus content — and let me stress that this is 100% free of cost to you, the home audience — I beg for your help! (That is, if you’re a social media or business development ninja.)

“Frosted Glass,” by Podington Bear

Episode 12: Home With A Side of Fries

IMG_3275It looks like a Hopper painting plunked incongruously down on a busy commercial street in West Los Angeles — The Apple Pan, home to freshly-baked pies and what hamburger aficionado George Motz says may be the best burger in America. But the affection Angelenos have for The Apple Pan only starts with the food. It’s an oasis, a rock, a spot out of time, essentially unchanged since the day it opened in 1947. It may not be the kind of place where everybody knows your name, but if you’ve been going there for a long time, as it seems like most of its customers have, it is the kind of place where the countermen most likely know your order. Warmth, familiarity, stability in a rapidly-changing landscape… aren’t these some of the things that make a place a home?



Thanks to Sunny Sherman and Martha Gamble of The Apple Pan, 10801 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.

George Motz of Hamburger America visited The Apple Pan a couple of years ago for his Travel Channel series “Burger Land.” Here’s an excerpt. And what are the odds, I happened to be having lunch there that day. That’s me half-obscured by the register at 00:38, sitting (uncharacteristically) on Hector’s side.

Here’s a piece I wrote for Forbes when the great Manhattan burger joint Prime Burger closed its doors in 2012. 

This episode concludes HOME’s second season. We’ll be back in June with all-new stories; subscribe and you won’t miss a thing. 

Episode 11: The View From The Road

The crowning paradox of the touring comic’s life may be this: You have to leave home to make a name, but without the grounding and security of home you may not have anything to say. This week, three experienced comedians on striking the tricky balance between the road and home.


  • “Sophistication,” from the Complete Capitol Production Music
  • “Track 2,” from “I Love You Alice B. Toklas” (original soundtrack)
  • “Rythn,” by Podington Bear
  • “Pretty Simple,” by Podington Bear

Thanks to Cathy Ladman, whose one-woman show, “Does This Show Make Me Look Fat?”, opens soon; Brad Upton, whose upcoming tour schedule is available here; and Jackie Kashian, who can be heard on The Dork Forest and The Jackie and Laurie Show.

Episode 10: A Life At Sea, On Land

IMG_3135How far would you go to rescue the remains of a bygone world you’ve loved since you were a kid? Peter Knego went to Alang, India, and then did it again and again, to save what he could of the great ocean liners being scrapped there. But he didn’t just want to save the ships. He wanted to live in one. And to a remarkable degree he’s succeeded, filling his home in Oceanside, CA with a breathtaking array of maritime memorabilia.

This week: One man’s mission to recreate, in landlocked miniature, the great days of the oceangoing ships.

Thanks to Peter Knego and Mark B. Perry. To learn more about Knego’s memorabilia business, visit


Episode 9: A Home Away From Home

Suppose you wanted to design a home away from home. What would you put in? What would you leave out? What kind of seating would you have? (Soft? Hard? Low? High?) What kind of tables — big working slabs or intimate little two-tops?

A good “third place” may seem casually homey, but its design is the end result of a million tiny decisions. This week, it’s a conversation with Kambiz Hemati, who oversaw store design at Starbucks for two years and now owns Love Coffee Bar in Santa Monica, where he gets to think hard — and think small — about what makes a place feel like home.



Thanks to Kambiz Hemati of Love Observed and Love Coffee Bar.

Newer Posts
Older Posts

HOME: Stories From L.A.