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Stargazing, Best Bike Routes, Mid-Century Modernism

Stargazing, Best Bike Routes, Mid-Century Modernism
Astronomer Dennis Mammana takes Soterios Johnson on a tour of the cosmos while author Sam Lubell discusses retro-chic architecture

On the latest episode of the California Now Podcast astronomer Dennis Mammana offers his take on mankind’s connection to the heavens above. Mammana lives in Borrego Springs, an International Dark Sky Community located two hours east of San Diego that just happens to be one of the best places in the world to experience the night sky. He helps listeners understand what they’re seeing when they gaze up at a sparkling canopy of Red Giants, White Dwarves, and other celestial bodies. 

Also in this episode, former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon explains why California is his favorite place to ride (his rationale involves sunshine and dolphins) and architecture expert Sam Lubell raves about a few of the many Mid-Century Modern buildings worth visiting in the Golden State.


Dennis Mammana, owner of Borrego Night Sky Tours

Phil Gaimon, retired pro cyclist and YouTube creator

Sam Lubell, author of Mid-Century Modern Architecture Travel Guide


Dennis Mammana helps visitors experience the majestic beauty of a star-filled night sky.

Borrego Springs

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

International Dark Sky Association

Light pollution

Dobsonian telescopes

Milky Way Galaxy

Spotting satellites

Hubble Space Telescope

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is a YouTube storyteller and podcaster who shares some of his favorite rides in California.

Cycling in Los Angeles

Mulholland Drive

Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara

Big Bear cycling

Cycling in Davis

Sacramento bike paths

Los Angeles bike paths

Pacific Coast Highway

AMGEN Tour of California

Author Sam Lubell points out some of the most breathtaking architectural gems in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Greater Palm Springs.

Salk Institute Architecture Tours

Geisel Library

Scripps Green Hospital

The Stahl House

Eames House

Modernism Week (held each February in Greater Palm Springs)


Frank Sinatra’s House

Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway

About the Host

Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis, Calif., in 2016 and is just getting to know his surroundings. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson will use the California Now platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.