2014 ANNUAL REVIEW



Ever since I accomplished my biggest-ever personal goal, the elements are falling into place. It feels as if the gears are shifting to include other aspects that will now be taking the forefront. There is harmony present in my life, and I am as stoked as I am grateful to this wonderful opportunity. Its been a long time since I have felt such strong pull and desire to be a part of something; yet here I am, nesting and proving to myself that dreams really are possible.

Look at all that blue in this spread! The dominance of Cups makes this next year seem centered on feelings and matters of the heart. Of course, these matters are the ones that make us blossom. Notice also 1—3 of the Cups suit. They are even in order, which is the best part. When you do things the right way the first time, the progress is known is step-by-step growth.

There is a lot of the number 2 present here as well; two knights, two queens and two twos. There is a lot of synchronicity in this card, making this year out to be one with powerful emotional draw and alchemy.
2014 PROJECTIONS:

01. October. Knight of Coins. This card feels like it’s all about settling down. I am supposed to move to a new apartment in October, one that is closer to the Metro station and to my favorite restaurant. Otherwise, it also presents the quest for a new job opportunity. You can apply and apply, but there is never really a guarantee to hear back from recruiters no matter how good you are. Remember that! It makes sense to me how October still has some influence from the previous Annual Review, given that it is the main link that ties last year’s forecast to this year’s.

02. November. King of Wands. This one made me laugh. J and I will be celebrating our 3rd Anniversary on November 27. This will be the first time in all three years that we are not spending it together, but it will not be a date that passes without enthusiasm. November is certainly a month that is heavily influenced by that date.

03. December. Six of Cups. December is a sensitive month; it marks the passing of my Grandmother shortly after the birthday of my Mother. The sentiments manifested in this month are truly bittersweet. Melancholy laced with celebration and garnished with end of year festivities. It won’t be easy; I plan to return to my Motherland for celebrations. It will be the perfect time to catch up with all of my loved ones.


04. January. The Hanged Man. The year will be off to a slow start; possibly denial of the changes that are manifesting. It happens, sometimes we get caught up on things that we would like to happen, but don’t exactly know how to take a step forward and make it happen. Sometimes we just need to hold it in and wait for the right time to act. That’s precisely what we’ll do.

05. February. Knight of Cups. Emotions are now set in place and we dive forward to release them. This is as free as manifestations of feelings get. It is complete surrender to the wonder of our emotions and the hope that what we find in exchange will be just as gratifying. [Edit.]

06. March. The Moon. Building up from the energy of the previous month, the Moon takes those illusions we have been running with and amplifies them. Here we find my signifier bearing manifestations of dreams and intuition as well as full acknowledgement of there being forces influencing us that are out of our control. It feels almost like a fateful encounter that will change life as I know it forever.


07. April. Queen of Cups. I can’t say I have ever really felt a connection with this court card until recently. I see a lot of her in myself lately, particularly in how I connect with the way that I feel. She is all about introspection and reflection over how you feel. She understands it and she is very willing to share the wealth of her feelings with anybody. This is a person that blooms in love and romance.

08. May. Ace of Cups. This looks like a big step to take forward as far as emotions and romance can go. I see it as the embrace of emotive bonds and honor thereof. This month will be centered around feelings and making them manifest. Don't be afraid to show those closest to you that you love them! Relish the love you get and send it back out threefold. You have some warm memories to make and enjoy.

09. June. Queen of Swords. I love her. She is every bit of analytical thinking and logical consciousness that I feel people should be also. With her, you never know exactly what you're going to get until she gives you a piece of her mind. Her words can be comforting, but they can also send chills down your spine. If you are not prepared, the manifestation of this card will send you running. You don't bring a knife to a gun fight, right? Well you don't face the Queen of Swords unprepared. She can be brutal and she can be cruel if you give her a reason to be.


10. July. Two of Swords. Where did the Queen of Swords land you? This seems like breached communication. Any connections that you had made previously are now disconnected. Take this opportunity to withdraw into the depths of your mind and explore the possibilities that you have left before you spring back into action. A break is more valuable than you think.

11. August. Two of Cups. Coming together for a mutual purpose. This card shows an emotional bond between two people or the joining of polar opposites to form a new balance. Something is coming together in the month of August.

12. September. Page of Coins. This forecast ends with the promise of progress if you work hard enough to get where you want to go. There is a seed planted and a plan that will soon be set in motion once you are ready for the responsibility that it entails.


Highlight. Three of Cups. What a wonderful card to serve as an undertone for the rest of the year! The Three of Cups makes this next year about close, personal bonds with people: romantic, friends, family, etc. It means that it’s time to work on those personal connections that make life really worth living.

I feel good about this one. Let's see what happens.
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº73




This past week was really busy. I found myself doing the corporate dance with a company. All of my spare time and plans were put on temporary hiatus to knock out some projects before the weekend. There was definitely lots of negotiation and clarity involved. It was a very enjoyable experience.

I am happy to announce that as of the 27th, I will officially have been here in Los Angeles or a month. Can you believe it? Honestly, I can’t! When people ask me how it feels to be here, I fumble for a response. It’s hard to compress how great it all is into a short sentence. Usually my response is that I don’t know what made me wait so long to get here. It sums it all up just right!

This week seems centered around getting my affairs in order. This is definitely 75% progress on the transitional period of moving from Puerto Rico to LA. Even though it’s tough, it seems as if I am leaning towards the definitive possibility of staying here. I will be flying back to Puerto Rico for a month in the holidays, but after that it seems I’m on my own again. If all goes according to plan, I will be applying for a California license come the summer. — Why are we already talking about summer when Halloween hasn’t arrived yet!?



Monday. Temperance. Take it easy, take this time to do everything that you have had pending on your to-do list. If there is anything whirring around in the back of your head that won’t let you focus on the present, now is the time to do it before the week picks up. Find those things that are subtle but still bother you and rectify them.

Tuesday. Five of Coins. What did you walk away from? Backtrack. Don’t turn your back on opportunities even if they don’t seem to be immediately what you need. Ask for help when you need it and show gratitude. When you don’t like to rely on others unless you absolutely have to, it can be tough.

Wednesday. The Lovers. Reconciliation with your surroundings, with others and with yourself is manifested in this card. Divine approval shines down as a nudge in the right direction or the reminder that your sacrifice does not go without reward. There is purpose in what you do, and the most important thing is for you not to forget that.



Thursday. Three of Wands. Wait out the circumstances to get your answer. When you’re far away, you’re powerless to control what is happening on the other side. All you can do is be patient, give it time and wait it out. Once you receive the news that come from far away, things will once more mobilize. You will be able to pick up and carry on, but not until then. You have to learn how to be patient and wait.

Friday. Queen of Coins. Stability comes at last, this card is in direct relation to the setup of the week in the Five of Coins. We go from the difficult 5 to the court card of empowerment. This is sheer understanding of the circumstances, luxury and abundance in the environment. Enjoy it, you’ve worked so hard for it!

Saturday. Four of Wands. Stability in the house or the foundation for your career. It’s stable now and you can definitely start to build upon it without any fear of it toppling down. This is reason enough to celebrate where you are, and being grounded in the present. There is no better place to be than in the now.



Sunday. Five of Wands. Nothing stirs reality up like a challenge. Work out the problem at a timely manner to save you any trouble in the incoming week. Welcome the end of this week on your feet, because it’s going out with a bang. Be prepared to handle conflict and confrontation.

What to avoid. The Fool. Don’t put yourself in the position of being in an awkward situation. If you are aware of problems before they come to happen, it will be easier to avoid them. If you decide to plow through life unaware, you will stumble and bump along the way, but you will come out with hard-earned experience. There is a balance you should seek; try to avoid some bumps along the road if you can afford to. Get your hands dirty when necessary and be grateful for the opportunity to be able to.

What to strive for. The Hanged Man. Take it easy. It’s okay not to seek immediate action on your affairs. Settle down, let them sort themselves out. You can’t control every circumstance even if you would like to. It’s great that you’re willing to, but some things you must accept that you don’t have power over. Watch as things happen and embrace the change gracefully. You don’t need to feel that you don’t matter, just acknowledge that sometimes you have to give up your attempts to find your fit in the bigger picture.

There are a lot of messages encrypted in this week’s reading. I look forward to telling you how it worked out next week. Do you have plans for Halloween yet?
♡♡

FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO LOS ANGELES PT. IV



Getting around a large city without a car can be troublesome. Sure, there is the Metro and there are bus systems, but it's not the same when you're used to driving or having a friend give you a ride. Once you are used to the freedom of being able to make your own schedule by getting in your car and just going, it's not the same when you have to rely on long waiting periods and a bunch of previous stops. Time is precious, and not everybody can invest in long waiting periods to get where they need to go. I am one of those people, and I am not ashamed to say it.

I found my solution in Lyft, the new service that started up in San Francisco, California; and made its way to Los Angeles, Califonia. I couldn’t be happier with it! My experience has been very positive overall and I wanted to share some details with you. If you need to get around and you don’t have friends that are available all the time, this just may be the best option for you.



LYFT:
On September 19, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made history with a unanimous, groundbreaking vote to authorize peer-to-peer transportation in the state of California. More than 300 community members showed up to have their voices heard, and together helped ensure an exciting path forward. Lyft is going to stick around for a while longer, which makes many of us on foot so happy! Congratulations Lyft, we're happy for you!

Lyft is a company whose medium is through iOS and Android applications. You drop a pin at your exact location after you figure out your address, then the system calls the available drivers in the area. It rings and tells you how long it’ll take until your driver arrives. You get a photo of the driver as well as a photo of their car. Additionally, you get a time approximation of when they arrive and you can follow their progress through the map. When they arrive, their car is adorned with a pink mustache up front. You can spot them coming as soon as they reach the horizon line. You slide into the car, give them a fist pump and off you go!

YOUR FRIEND WITH A CAR:
My experience has generally been ★★★★★ positive. I get in the car and prompt a fist pump, then the string of questions start. You get to talk as if you’ve been friends all along. Sometimes you actually do make a friend, and have someone to look forward to seeing eventually. I haven’t had any repeats yet, but I have had a variety of personalities facilitating a ride. It has never been awkward; they’re all really very cool. They’re comfortable and they seem really on top of things. The rides are drama-free and really fun. I appreciate the trouble they go through to be good hosts in the personal space of their cars. It really is a small space to be ‘trapped’ in with someone you don’t know, but I have never ever felt trapped. As long as you have good etiquette and you listen to what they say, you can’t go wrong with Lyft. They will do anything; they offer cell phone chargers and water bottles. I have met some really good people here.

I thoroughly recommend Lyft to anybody that needs to get around the city. Mind your etiquette, it is somebody else's car after all!



Photos compliments of Lyft's Facebook page.
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº72




How was your week? Mine was a real eye-opener. Wow! I have discovered how empowering it is to accept that you are undergoing a transition from who you used to be to the person you think that you want to be. Once you're past the point of being scared into going immobile, things really start falling into place. I feel so good with the way things are going, even if the circumstances aren't always ideal.

This week we have two Aces and two Knights. Cups and Swords seem to be having a showdown! Did you see the pairs? That's a very interesting conflict between emotions and logic. Of course, that's the most common polarity to find people torn between. We're no different. What do you get when you're trying to balance out what your mind dictates versus what your heart truly believes you should do? It's only a matter of time.

There is one of every suit present in this spread. The driving force is the Hermit, also known as Father Time. The Hermit will light the way when you find that you need answers. If you get lost, you know who you can count on to show you how to get back where you want to go. It almost feels as if divine intervention comes when we call for it. If you want a sign or a hint, all you need to do is ask.

WEEKLY PROJECTIONS:


♡ Monday.
Ace of Cups. Embrace new possibilities with excitement and an open heart. It's your time to show others how much they mean to you and to let yourself be surprised with all the wonderful emotional gifts in store. When you love freely, everything feels right.

♡ Tuesday. Knight of Swords. Be sharp and stay on your feet. You will need to be quick with comebacks and expect for the day to be fast-paced. Give yourself a chance to exploit your intellect, and keep it ready in case you should be met with a challenge.

♡ Wednesday. Ace of Swords. Echoing the card from the day before, this one is all about expressing your ideas and standing up for yourself. You know that you're capable of debating an idea if you're passionate about it. Be open to get dialogue going, because that's often where the best ideas come from.



♡ Thursday. Ten of Coins. The feeling of luxury resonates today. Kick back, relax and reward yourself for a job well done. You finally got where you wanted to go. Whether you are putting finishing touches on a project, meeting a deadline or remembering how hard you worked for something… it doesn't matter. You've got it now, so enjoy it.

♡ Friday. Two of Wands. Halt! Rome wasn't built in a day, or so they say. Know when to take a break. I take a good look at this card and I see a naughty figure barring the way forward. If this is the road you want to take, you need to recognize that sometimes you will be met with obstacles. Let yourself

♡ Saturday. Knight of Cups. See, he floats in his dream world and he loves it. Sometimes we recognize we are not grounded, but we don't mind it. That's certainly the case here. This Knight is so focused on delivering his feelings that he seems not to be so aware of the beauty that surrounds him. In this world, feelings that flow freely are liberation of the soul. Vindicate yourself by saying the things you feel and expressing your emotions without harness. Be free.



♡ Sunday. Hermit. Take some time off to think about this week's progress. How do you feel about it? Are you happy with where you got to? That's an important step every time you feel that you've gotten further along. Reflect on who you are and who you want to be so that you don't lose sight of what you want to do. Onwards from here!

♡ What to avoid. Seven of Coins. Do you have too many projects floating around? Hold it right there! Pick one before your ideas float off again. Got it? Okay. See it through to the end. After you're done working on it, you will be available for the next round. Visualize your goals as a step-by-step process rather than taking them all in at once. It'll help you pace and focus yourself.

♡ What to strive for. Six of Swords. Change. That person that you used to be is gone, and this is the new you. Allow yourself to embark on a new journey. Now that you're starting fresh, it's time to say good-bye to those aspects of yourself that you were not happy with. See them off with memories that aren't really doing anything to improve your future. Be thankful for what you experienced and make space for new memories coming.

Are you looking forward to this week? I am!
♡♡

FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO LOS ANGELES PT. III





It’s no secret that I enjoy a very specific niche of nightlife. There are so many musical nuances out there that I am not exactly sure how I should call them anymore, but the names most frequently used for this type of outing are: gothic clubs or parties, fetish balls, etc. I'll stick with industrial party, since that is the first term that I used for it and the one I am most comfortable in keeping

PARTIES IN PUERTO RICO:
A bit of my Puerto Rican pride is about to come into the light. Back home in Puerto Rico, they know how to party. They do it right! While the Industrial scene was still going, the parties were really great. Many were themed as masquerades or black valentine balls with prizes for the best costume. People went all out! Industrial parties back home meant going all out with make-up and wearing clothes that are not recommended to wear in the Caribbean. Once, my boyfriend J won the contest for the costume he made himself and his girlfriend at the time.

I didn't get to experience very many parties of this kind back home because I moved to Florida right when they were kicking off, but I know that J did. When I returned to Puerto Rico in 2010, I was a regular at The Castle in Ybor City, which was an excellent venue. It was strange to adapt to the local scene of Puerto Rico again, but it was very short-lived anyway. We went to about four parties before they stopped being hosted. The withdrawals from the events were difficult to get over when you wanted to go out dancing but only had the selection of mainstream Techno or Dubstep. It's not the same thing!! Since then, everyone has adapted to it and the truth is that they still talk about how they miss it. Melancholy echoes in their voices when they talk about the nice times they had together.


This flyer is from the second to last party that I was able to attend in Puerto Rico. It was held exactly one night after my birthday under the influence of an ominous full moon. We knew that it was happening, and we focused on enjoying the spooky beats as well as the creative Halloween costumes. They handed out the S.Transmissions mixtape and the best costume award went to Captain Jack Sparrow or Yaya. I'm not quite sure...

As the party raged on, I was fresh off the plane from Japan and feeling quite refreshed. It didn't take very long to realize I was dancing right beside J. An emotive chain of events happened after this encounter. I owe a lot to this party, it was just the right push needed to know that he and I were in fact meant for one another. Magic!

PARTIES IN LOS ANGELES:


Perversion
was my second ever lifestyle event in Los Angeles, California.

As soon as you step into the club, reality changes. You find yourself in a void when you’re on the dance floor; the strobe lights make you feel as if you’re dancing in outer space. You are free of judgment and don’t really care if anyone is watching you dance.

A few steps in, you’re waiting for the vocals to start on that song you used to listen to while you were working. You know which one it is, the one that you play when you’re driving in your car and you know all the lyrics to, even though nobody you meet in your daily life knows. You live and breathe it out, weaving your hands through the air and moving in unison with those around you in the dance floor. You join a collective wave of life that pulses through the room, and your consciousness dissolves. You’re having the time of your life and you don’t want the night to end. That’s what I find every time I go to a gothic club.

Nobody messes with you or gets up in your personal space. If they do, you don’t have to worry about them coming around to try a second time. In my experience, they have all understood what it means to manifest that you are not interested. Compliments are freely exchanged without anybody being weirded out.




I like that out here in Los Angeles they tell you exactly what you’re going to get in terms of music genres. Popular genres include but are not limited to Industrial, EBM, Trip Hop, Darkwave, Synthpop, Deampop, and Witch House. There is a salad of genres tossed to make just about anybody who listens to this type of music happy. The assortments go a long way to bring in diverse demographics under the same roof in one event. Really, it makes for a very interesting mix.

They have taken to using event names like Warlock, Mode:M, Perversion, Helter Skelter, Malediction Society, and Blue Monday.

The variety of fashion styles under the same genres is interesting to me. Some people still style their kanekalon dreads in neon colors, others are clad entirely in latex or pvc and prefer their hair styled in victory rolls. I love the fact that nobody looks the same even though the vast majority of those attending the event are wearing black with few color accents.

I have the time of my life whenever I go out goth clubbing. Even if I wake up sore the next day, — and I usually do, — I wake up smiling. The experience is absolutely gratifying, and worth coming out at least twice a month to shake off the stress of the week and get lost in the music that I love.



What do you enjoy the most about a night out? Is it getting ready that excites you, or is it that grand moment that you step onto the dance floor and reality disappears? I'd love to hear what your weekly preparations for a night out include.

Flyers compliments of Hector Tomas.
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº71



This is the start of my third week in Los Angeles, California. I'm enjoying the process of getting acquainted with the many different things that the city has to offer. There never seems to be a dull moment with all of the things going on and all the things yet to do! Last weekend I went goth clubbing and remembered what it is about those parties that I enjoy so much. You feel free when you're listening to the type of music that you enjoy and you are surrounded by others that also resonate with it. It's refreshing not to stick out like a sore thumb, to be around people just like you for once. It was beautiful!

This week has two fives, two knights and an ace. I found the contrast between illustration and message to be especially interesting. While there is barely any movement in the cards and the figures seem still, there is a lot of activity suggested in the traditional titles of the cards. I can relate; I don't move around much, but life continues to stir all around. Whether or not you are constantly on the go has little to do with how much you get done. As long as your day is productive, then you will be doing just fine.

WEEKLY PROJECTIONS:



Monday. Five of Coins. When it is just you against you, the challenge can be great. Sometimes you don't want to ask for help and you end up turning the cold shoulder on others, just so you can face your battles alone. Sometimes there is no help readily available; but at other times, there definitely is. Figure out the balance between asking for help and knowing when you don't need help.

Tuesday. Knight of Cups. A message of love rings loud and clear. See, this knight ventures out into the world past the gates of his fortress. The fortress can be the confines of the self, keeping the way he feels very much inside and protected. As he ventures outside of his safe zone, he finds that he can express his emotions freely. Be very open to any messages or confessions you get today.

Wednesday. Knight of Wands. Impulses reign supreme today. Be mindful of your actions and who you get tangled up with. When you're just getting out of a difficult time period, you may be itching to try a bit of everything that is available. As long as you don't go overboard with your indulgences, you will be just fine.



Thursday. Five of Wands. What have you stirred up now? There are specters forming from the skeletons in your closet. It's true that you have to face them, but take this as an opportunity to realize that your problems are of your own design. In the same way that you managed to get yourself into them, you will find a way to come back out. Sometimes, the only way out is through. This is true for most problems, especially the ones we don't want to face.

Friday. Ace of Swords. Talk things out; stand your ground if you have to. If the situations that you are facing are not fair, it is more than all right to talk about it. Stand up for yourself when the situation calls for it and don't let anybody tread over you.

Alternatively, this could be a wonderful moment to exchange ideas and be open to dialogue. Things that may have been formerly held back can now come out into the light. Talk about the things you think about and be open to any advice that you may receive.

Saturday. Death. Difficult changes come when you start laying down the facts. Sometimes people can't handle an aggressive display of thoughts, especially if they don't see where it's coming from. Sometimes changes are outside our control, and the smart thing to do instead is to let go and witness the changes little by little.



Sunday. Three of Cups. Rejoice! Come together and enjoy time spent in good company. The worst is past, and much like any other movie, a big celebration comes after the matter. Lay the unnecessary things down to rest and focus instead on the great improvement that comes when you find yourself met with a new beginning. Onward!

What to avoid. Eight of Coins. When you focus on a single activity for too long, you start to neglect the rest of the things out there that you might want to do. Allow yourself to admire the beauty of your craft, but let it go and stand on its own after a while. You have worked so hard to get where you are; your reputation can stand on its own now. Allow yourself to dream up new ven

What to strive for. Ten of Cups. Seek emotional satisfaction and wholesomeness. Look for the things in life that make you happy and protect them. Share your love with others and help them see what it is about this that makes you feel at your best. Accept the support you get from the ones closest to you and regard them as part of your inner circle.

An interesting week with a climatic course of action awaits us. Jump in, it's going to be a fun ride!
♡♡

FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO LOS ANGELES PT. II




TRANSITIONING FROM PUERTO RICO TO LA:
I never told you about what I was going through before I arrived to LA. My original flight was actually planned for the third week of May. All would have gone according to plan had my mother not fallen critically ill in the hospital. I cancelled my flight to keep her company and nurse her back to optimal health; this all happened a week before my intended flight. The farewell celebrations had commenced and everything, so it was a truly difficult process. J held my hand through the way; I could not have asked for better support. During that difficult month, he took care of me as I took care of Mom. We were all there for each other, it made us grow closer to one another. After spending so much time with him, I couldn't see myself with anybody that isn't him.



As she got better, we started to celebrate again, little by little. Come July, things were entirely back to normal and we were once more in jolly spirit. I spent all summer actually having what I considered to be a summer vacation. Granted, I worked... but I also had this mindset of it being a transitory period after which real life would really start to kick in. I enjoyed myself so very much with the ones that I loved.

As the date for my definitive flight late August approached, I started to feel a change in my surroundings. As if by chance, elements were falling into place. Doors to opportunities always open when a big change is coming. People started to look for me, whether for catching up or reconciliation. A bunch of things that were previously up in the air started to sort themselves out. In preparation to leave, really big things started to happen. The changes manifested everywhere; I felt changes in my love, professional and domestic lives. It was really happening.



The biggest eye-opener was to meet with a person I feel a riveting connection to; the kind that nests deep inside your soul and starts to sprout new things in you. I won't get into whether the changes are for the better or for the worst, but I will admit that meeting up to lay down the facts was thoroughly therapeutic. We connected over past situations, over the hurt and the sweet promise of the future to take that hurt away. In amazement, we found synchronicity in how we both felt. We had gone through the same experience while being worlds apart. At that moment we sat together, there were no barriers or things hidden. The truth spilled out and brought light to our darkness. I am so happy to have closure.

Those last couple of days in Puerto Rico were a huge blast. I spent every day of the week with Mom and J. I took delicious skirt steak and plantain dumplings to J's work as well as cheeseburger dumplings. We delighted in each other's company as well as in really tasty food. There is nothing we enjoy more! Another treat that we indulged in was some Domaine Carneros rosé champagne. It is by the same company that produces Taittinger, and tastes like heaven-sent raspberries. This champagne is made in Napa, California. Isn't that a funny coincidence?

Parting was bittersweet; I fought back the tears in my eyes, but could not dissuade them completely. When you can see that your departure causes the ones that you love most pain, it hurts you too. I was blue during most of the day, and then overcome by stupor as the changes started manifesting. During both plane rides I felt stunned, in denial of all the changes that were manifesting. I spent the week at my best friend's house and we had a great time. It still felt like a temporary vacation while I was under her wing. The vacation ended when I went with my room mate to my new apartment. That's when it hit me — this is really happening!!

WHAT IS THERE TO DO IN LA?



Everything. If you enjoy a music scene, no matter how underground, you will find it. I love the fact that people listen to the type of music I listen to here, which is a rare luxury in Puerto Rico. You say you like synthpop or 80's pop music? They have it. You want some underground obscure metal? Not a problem; you can find it. Hipsters thrive off shady stores with cassettes and EPs or LPs to bands you've never even heard of. The packaging on them is great, too!



Little Tokyo.
This place is so much like the real thing, although compacted into a handful of stores. You can find authentic products that are consumed in Tokyo, Japan's supermarkets. I found my favorite green tea Kit Kats as well as the mushroom cookies, but I have no idea what they're called. I can't read kanji.

Right over the supermarket is a wonderful bookstore that has all kinds of writing and art supplies. It even sells day planners! As you walk along the maze, you can find volumes of manga in Japanese, clip art books, design magazines, beauty magazines, etc. They sell  +81 and Kera. After you get around enough, you notice toys as well as phone charms. They had a bit of everything!

A quirk about this place is that as you go down the stairs, you will find a bunch of cosplayers huddled together. They look like high school kids dressed up as their favorite anime characters. I was very happy to see there is even room for oddballs in town. Everyone is entitled to self-expression no matter the time of year; no matter if it isn't time for Comic Con or Halloween yet.


Further down the road, you will find markets that sell authentic Japanese make-up. The shelves are crammed with products I recall seeing abroad as well as some I had not seen before. They have a bunch of touristy things as well as tea sets for adults and teens. They sell ingredients and accessories for the kitchen as well.

The food is WONDERFUL. There is this minute man ramen place called Daikokuya that I cannot visit Little Tokyo without eating at. They sell dumplings, tempura and noodles. Everything is very filling and cheap, so you can imagine the waiting time. I think that you spend more time waiting outside than you do inside the restaurant. As soon as you sit, they take your order. The food takes less than ten minutes to arrive, after which you pay and you go. It isn't a romantic leisurely place, but the food tastes authentic and is very filling. I thoroughly recommend Daikokuya.

Tea. You can find tea shop everywhere. There is a wonderful tea shop in Little Tokyo called Four Leaf. Their menu is nice, but it doesn't offer many options for those who need decaffeinated coffee or tea. I got lucky, my first ever pick was also the one I would like to stick to. I had tea with hibiscus, pomegranate and berries in it and it was absolutely delicious! It was naturally sweet and refreshing, and really hit the spot. I must take photos to show you what I am talking about!

There is so much more I need to tell you about, but it will have to wait at least one more week. I love living in LA, and don't ever want to leave.
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