My Big News: Moving to Los Angeles

By Chris Mooney | October 22, 2007 10:00 am

250px-Silver_Lake_Sign.JPGI don’t know how many readers of “the Intersection” remember the blog’s very earliest days. So let us reminisce: It was mid 2003, and I was living in California at the time, in Berkeley and later in Palo Alto. I’m not sure exactly when “The Intersection” launched, but I remember posting constantly during 2003 about a decidedly non-scientific subject–the California recall. Back then I opposed Schwarzenegger, unaware that he would later become a leader on climate change.

Heck, back then I didn’t even really write about climate change.

In any event, the move to California didn’t work out and after those six months (and three in-between months in New Orleans) I headed back to Washington, D.C. It was during this fairly tumultuous period of time–multiple moves in a matter of months–that I successfully secured a book contract to write what would become The Republican War on Science. And then beginning in early 2004 I settled in in D.C. to spend about a year preparing the manuscript, and blogging constantly about the subject matter.

And I’ve been in D.C. ever since. In total, if you combine the years I spent in D.C. working for the American Prospect and then as a freelancer (roughly summer of 2001-summer of 2003) with the years spent in D.C. writing and then promoting my first two books (roughly 2004-2007) then I’ve easily been in the town for five years. Maybe six.

Note that I say “been,” because this is changing. I have greatly enjoyed my time in our Capitol, but like so many people who’ve lived there, I haven’t ever been able to convince myself that it felt quite permanent. And now, just as I turned 30, an opportunity has arisen to do something extraordinarily different.

Recently my girlfriend Molly got offered a job in Los Angeles, and I encouraged her to take it. And now I’m heading out there with her.

We’ve secured a place in Silver Lake, a really awesome neighborhood that kind of reminds me of Adams Morgan in D.C. (though what’s up with all the Vegans?). I have found myself driving a car again. I own sunglasses. It is really quite different, and pretty exciting.

Not that I’ve fully moved yet: In essence, I am back and forth between coasts for a bit longer. Indeed, I’m blogging from D.C. at the moment. But I plan to be settled in California by the end of the year–and, perhaps, at work on a new book project.

Inevitably, the change of location will trigger a change in perspective and I will most assuredly find myself writing about and pursuing new things–though I’ll hardly be dropping the core issues of concern at this blog. Rather, I hope I will diversify the range of subjects I’m writing about. In other words, we won’t move into celeb gossip and rock music criticism right away. Don’t worry.

And that’s the big news. Wish me luck with the transition…and, please, not too many jeers from those of you who don’t like LA culture, okay?


Comments (18)

  1. Congratulations and good luck! Now that The Intersection is bi-coastal, we’ve got the whole country covered đŸ˜‰

  2. I’d say, “my condolences,” but you asked for no glib remarks. At least you’re on the Pacific coast. And just so you know, my latest post at the Island of Doubt has nothing to do with your move.

  3. I have greatly enjoyed my time in our Capitol, but like so many people who’ve lived there, I haven’t ever been able to convince myself that it felt quite permanent.

    Like everyone who’s moved there! But you weren’t some recent law school grad who thought they were going to influence the vibrations of the spheres by working on capitol hill or whatever, so I guess you’re OK. Heh.

    Worse, those people have a huge chip on their shoulder about not being able to get a hot job in law or biz in Manhattan. In scouting for talent, DC is like the not-so-hot guy who has to hit on the homely, loud, obnoxious girls with too much make-up in the club or get no attention at all.

    You got there during a weird transition phase — after all of the punk stuff had been cleansed from M Street (except for Smash) but before all that new Cady’s Alley coolness showed up. I wonder if people will start hanging around longer, now that it’s not so much of a dump as it was about five years ago.

  4. I saw Matt Nisbet on Friday and he told me the news – I should’ve put up a ‘scoop’ post over the weekend.

    Heartiest best wishes to you and Molly. It’s a very small world these days…I’m honored to write under the same masthead as you and look forward to our continued friendship and interactions.

  5. Hi Matt,

    Damn it, Woodley Park chai sales are going to plummet. Congrats on the move though!

    Silver Lake is also home to the newest store from Intelligentsia, a fantastic coffee company based in Chicago. Definitely worth checking out.

  6. susan sullivan

    There is a very active environmental movement in LA, Mike Davis, at SCI Arch, Jennifer Wolch, in Geography at USC, Claude Willey, at Cal State Northridge, and its pretty small. We loved Silver lake – home for 8 years. Most of the early activism in LA seems to have been people up in the hills speaking out against excessive development.

  7. Welcome to La-La Land! Maybe we’re starting a trend for a migration of science bloggers to the area. :) Drinks at the Edison on us!

  8. Steve Bloom

    It’s not so much the culture as the air. :)

    But welcome back anyway! If you’re good we’ll let you come north of the Tehachapis every once in a while.

  9. Hey! Welcome to SoCal. Gonna start hanging out with Laurie David and Stop Global Warming?

  10. Kim

    Hey – now you can think about fire and drought as well as hurricanes! (Is the new book project California-related?)

  11. Congrats. I’ll be in LA over Xmas, visiting Ariela’s folks in Culver City. That’s not too far from Silver Lake. :)

  12. It looks like a good trade. A friend of mine who worked hard to oust Richard Pombo, no friend of yours, Chris, is moving now from California to Washington where he will go to work as a Scientist for DOE.

    BTW, the big issue here in California is going to be Water, if you care to start another book. And, on this issue, to call Arnold “green” would mean you are color blind.

  13. I want to thank everyone for the kind words. I can’t respond to all of you, but here are a few…

    Sheril–yup, bicoastal. you’ve been the best thing to ever happen to the Intersection, and this is just the beginning.

    James (and others)–I’m very aware of the water issues…read Cadillac Desert many years ago…but no, the new book is not gonna be about this…er, I don’t think.

    Agnostic–I don’t want to slam DC, I really enjoyed the time there, and I wouldn’t be who I am without it. But yeah, it has its limits.

    Abel–Honored as well. And as I still travel like mad, hope to see you in NC again soon!

    Jake–will miss Open City (at least at non-busy times), sorry I never came for drinks on a Tuesday night when you were serving (but see, I didn’t forget!), and I am planning on checking out Intelligentisa. It’s quite close to my new place.

    Jennifer–drinks at the Edison definitely! Already ran into Sean already at Caltech, as he may have told you.

    And everyone else…thanks again. And please keep stopping by. Especially once I’m settled out in CA, I plan to be blogging up a storm


  14. Congrats Chris! Sounds like a great opportunity for you both.

  15. SLC

    As a native Angeleno, albeit one who has not lived there for more years then I care to contemplate, I can only say that there are several things Mr. Mooney will not miss, like shoveling snow. However, remember that the proximity of the beaches, and their concomitant beach bunnies are a potential distraction from working, especially for someone like Mr. Mooney who is essentially self-employed. Resist that temptation! I would also note that Dodger Stadium is very close to the Silverlake district, yet another distraction if Mr. Mooney is a baseball fan.

  16. Thanks, SLC. Don’t worry, I’ve never had a problem getting work done. In fact, that itself is my problem ;>

    Thanks, Tara. Drop a line if you’re on the coast….

  17. Ms. Krieger

    Silverlake is lovely. Mmm fish tacos in the park with all the fountains–and you are enviably close to the Huntington gardens and library. Nice move! It also means you don’t have to calculate DC’s risk of nuclear terrorism into your real estate decisions…

  18. Peter Etnoyer

    You’ve arrived! Congrats, Chris.

    By now you’ve probably found the Coffee Table, but don’t waste any time getting to the swimming pool(s) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I moved out of Atwater Village 18 months ago, but still miss it dearly.


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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.


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