Mental Health

Here’s what you need to know about the Johari Window, and why you should value authenticity over being ‘right’

Photo by on

“I never make the same mistake twice. I make it five or six times, just to be sure.”

Making mistakes is my jam. If I had a collection of all the terrible dates I’ve endured, all the job applications I’ve bungled, and all the courses I’ve struggled to finish, I’d have a menagerie of mistakes fit for the Queen of England. I’d never run out of material; the archive never stops growing.

My makes it difficult for me to feel at ease among friends, but I’m learning to accept my social faux pas in stride. My worldview…


Photo by on

History

Here’s what you need to know about ‘rebel consumers,’ gentrification and why Americans hate the ‘hipster’ label

Indie musicians. Vagabonds. Corporate art aficionados.

Hipsters are complicated members of America’s more recent alternative movements, but not for the reasons non-hipsters might assume. The meaning of the word ‘hipster’ has changed over time. It’s quite humbling to realize that this influential rebel culture isn’t actually as revolutionary as so-called hipsters would like to believe.

Hipsters can be both incredibly progressive and scathingly insensitive to other cultures depending on how they express their style to others.

Hipsters are a sign of changing times.

But is this change necessarily a movement in the right direction?

Who Were the First Hipsters?

First thing’s first: hipsters aren’t hippies. They aren’t members of the 1950s…


Culture

Here’s why you might avoid using the toilet after dark

Photo by on

A hush fell over the damp tiles.

The youngsters moved closer, as if to shield themselves from something they couldn’t see. A few sent hurried glances toward the farthest bathroom stall, the one with the scratch marks and the sticky lock.

“There’s a ghost in that stall, I’ve heard it. She takes anyone who uses that toilet down through the pipes, and they’re never seen again.”

Bathroom ghosts are weird and unsettling. We use the toilet when we are most vulnerable — showering, crying, or otherwise relieving ourselves — and what goes down the drain really shouldn’t ever come back up. So why are there so many…


Mental Health

Search the skies, even if you don’t believe in magic

on

There’s something about gazing up at the heavens that makes us feel incredibly unimportant, and that unimportance is liberating. I’m easily distracted. The moon reminds me how much time has passed between events that seemed HUGE last month, but now fizzle away like grains of sand.

The moon also shows us what we should be working on — it’s a no-brainer guide on ‘How to Be a Better Human.’

Is the moon growing daily? Make some plans. Hit the town. Thrive.
Full Moon? Act. We’re all going to die anyway.
Is the moon waning? Time to gain stability. Like, actually sleep for once.
And when the moon is nowhere to be found, know it’s okay to rest.

Moon, or no moon — you got this.


California

Too hazy to make out, this cryptid might be closer than it seems.

Photo by on

Nestled within California’s and nearby foggy peaks, 10-foot-tall shadows spooked the , Spanish colonists and author John Steinbeck

What are these mysterious Dark Watchers?

Researchers have a few theories — the first is that this phenomenon is an example of , or when people believe they see familiar objects in random images. Pareidolia explains why some people believe they see a man in the moon.

Another theory is that Dark Watchers are similar to the — what the wary traveler sees is his own shadow reflected on the surrounding fog!

If you’re hoping to a Dark Watcher, set out in the late afternoon and bring fruit or another offering.

Unearth more local lore at . Happy galivanting!


History

Changing headstones, Duffy’s Cut and podcast recommendations for understanding the importance of ghost legends at home and abroad

Photo by on

A town’s foundations lain around the bones of Irish victims.
A procession of corpses.
Shifting headstones, and lingering ghost stories.

Humans create folklore especially in times of great uncertainty. Liminal periods or in-between times spook us. We need stories to get us through the frightening hours of the morning, changing seasons, and the time before a corpse is laid in the ground. These times are scary because they signal a change. This in-between time is not easily labeled, and that makes all humans — no matter your ethnic background — uncomfortable.

How do we deal with this uncertainty?

We tell…


California

Photo by on

offers detailed information about the life cycle and uses of these plants. The Luisaño ate poppy greens. Spanish settlers called the plant Dormidera, “to fall asleep” because the petals close at night.

Others use California poppy in for insomnia, bladder issues and liver pain.

In Chumash , poppies are fallen sunlight. Spaniards took one look at Californian poppy fields, stunned that they had entered “the land of fire.”

One archive entry says smoking whole California poppies create a ‘euphoric’ feeling.

Many Californians that it is illegal to pick poppies if they are growing in a local garden, but this is not a rule specific to poppies. It is illegal to steal flowers that aren’t yours!

Unearth more local lore at . Happy galivanting!


Los Angeles

Get ready for 45 seconds of glittering introspection

Photo by on

With the Edith and Eli reopening on , visitors will once again enter Infinity Mirror Room, a glittering artistic experience that puts the viewer inside the artist’s world — for only 45 seconds.

The represents Kusama’s hallucinations and the ‘Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.’ It leaves visitors suspended in a world between abstraction and reality.

To see this exhibit, visitors must reserve free Broad tickets and follow the museum’s upon arrival to reserve a chance to see the Infinity Mirror Room as early as possible. This exhibit is currently closed, but individuals who subscribe to the Broad museum will get the latest updates about the May 26th reopening.

Unearth more local lore at . Happy galivanting!


Relationships

At university, friends are the family you choose — but even families feud

Photo by on

Keeping friends close has never been my strong suit.

A social introvert and anxious people-pleaser, I knew that moving back to Los Angeles after a tepid COVID summer was a hasty decision.

I love living with other people. I had spent my first year of university awash in new ideas. I was taken aback by ambitious University of Southern California students. I encountered drunken embraces, midnight boba runs and glittering school-sponsored festivals. Together, we also navigated financial fiascos, marijuana dependency and toxic friendships.

Living with others dissolves most personal boundaries. My roommate can tell when I’m struggling with school assignments…


Los Angeles

Part local myth and part historical legend, could this specter haunt Los Angeles’ rolling hillsides?

Image by from

Nestled next to , Elysian Park features views of DTLA and a hidden specter. Locals believe that the was a Mexican-American woman killed by members of US Navy during World War II.

Some sources say this woman is , the Mexican spirit who was forced to kill her own children — and then drown herself. La Llorona cannot enter the afterlife without her children, and she wanders along the waterfront mourning her loss.

Elysian Park lies in between the Echo Park Lake and the . The park closes at 9 PM — better not stay out too late!

Unearth more local lore at . Happy galivanting!

Cat Baklarz

|Los Angeles| Environmentalist, Writer, Historian of the Weird. I seek to shield this dimension from ruin, or something.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store