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Gothic BC fashion! Greater Vancouver Zoo tour: feeding red pandas, bears & hippos. Brentwood Mall rainbow sky bridge.

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Life has been more colorful lately in Vancouver, BC. I’ve been emerging from my lockdown dungeon, and safely reuniting with close friends (while still wearing my mask).

Let’s do a round-up of recent Vancouver Goth escapades, including snaps from this new Rainbow Sky Bridge (Amazing Brentwood Mall’s Instagrammable spot). We’ll also visit the adorable animals of the Greater Vancouver Zoo. I’ll end with some recent writing / hosting work and podcasts — including a feature about The Satanic Chef!

amazing brentwood mall burnaby rainbow bridge

I popped into Burnaby’s Brentwood Mall, which has a new pedestrian Rainbow Skybridge. When the sunlight hits the colored panes, they glow and emanate onto the bridge’s floor and ceiling. (The shopping center also has a new dining court and other renovated areas.)

brentwood rainbow sky bridge amazing mall instagrammable vancouver bc

It felt right to dress like a Goth alien to take some snaps. I’m wearing a women’s fitted t-shirt from The Satanic Temple shop; it’s a short sleeved “I am a Friend of Satan” tee designed by Lucien Greaves, in Royal Blue.

My mini backpack is Cyberdog, sunglasses Pugnale Eyewear, mask Lemonwood Luxury, maxi skirt is vintage from Burcu’s Angels boutique in Vancouver BC.

brentwood mall rainbow light instagram bridge walkway

The Amazing Brentwood Rainbow Skybridge is one of the six eye-catching “Aura” art installations in the shopping centre, designed by Canadian artist Elyse Dodge.

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Closeup on my Satan-friendly shirt. The Satanic Temple store has Hail Pride clothing, homewares, books, and other memorabilia as well, with funds going to their campaigns.

feed red pandas interaction greater vancouver zoo langley

I’ve been making furry new friends this summer… I took a special tour of the Greater Vancouver Zoo, which includes interactive experiences with the resident animals, like this kawaii red panda.

feed hippos vancouver zoo private tour

Anyone can book an interactive tour at the GVZoo, which is located about 45 minutes to an hour from Vancouver, in Langley BC. My friends and I also got to feed the hungry, hungry hippos…

bear statue vancouver bc zoo

… and hang with two types of fuzzy bears. (But not as closely as this, of course.)

OOTD: Black Inca Noir sun hat Lack of Color, sleeves Sleevey Wonders, Goth striped top Forest Ink, skirt Charli Cohen.

interact with red panda feed pandas zoo

In addition to regular admission tickets, The Greater Vancouver Zoo offers private behind the scenes interactions with several animal species, which you can choose when you book in advance. My friends and I were delighted to come face-to-face with the red pandas!

red panda eating bamboo cute

Red pandas are native to Burma and China. This little guy chomped away on bamboo; that’s what they mostly eat, as well as some protein sources.

feeding red pandas experience animal encounters

As you can see, red pandas are polite and friendly… and adore eating sweet figs on a stick! What a treat to feed them by hand, and be right up close with their cute snouts.

smiling happy face red panda

I love how red pandas always look happy. (They’re not actually related to panda bears, but belong to their own classification; they’re an ancient species similar to skunks, raccoons and weasels.)

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The Sanrio character Aggretsuko is based on a red panda. (Fortunately, this one didn’t erupt into a heavy metal rage.)

red panda eating food fruit on stick

Red pandas have curved, retractable claws and a thumb-like bone that help them get a good grip on snacks. Aren’t they the sweetest?

hippo rising out of pond water

We enjoyed speaking to the zoo staff, and learning about how they care for the animals and work on conservation projects. At this pond, we held up apple slices, and a hippopotamus slowly started to come out of the water.

greater vancouver zoo british columbia feeding hippopotamuses hippos

Hippos spend most of their time submerged in water, but this one came up to us and opened his mouth, ready for a meal.

hippopotamus eating melon watermelon hippo chewing

The other hippo got a frozen watermelon to help him cool down from the heat. He played with it, then chomped it between his strong jaws.

feed hippos apples hippopotamus feeding zoo

Ready, aim, and throw apples right into the hippo’s gaping mouth!

hippo big wide open mouth

The hippopotamus kept his jaw wide open, in a bid for more fruit. (These are the third largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos.)

brown bears in zoo ethics vancouver zoo

Onward to meet the grizzly bears, who are orphaned rescues. Like all the animals at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, they live in enormous natural environments.

brown bears vancouver zoo gvzoo

We threw corn over the fence, and the bears stood up on their hind paws to try to catch them!

private tour encounters bears vancouver zoo

We also met three black bear siblings. These bears were rescued from Alaska after they lost their mother; they wouldn’t have survived in the wild on their own.

feed black bears honey on stick

It’s true: like Winnie-the-Pooh, bears do love honey. We dipped a wooden stick into a jar of sticky honey, and let them lick it through the fence.

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Don’t overlook the smaller animals at Vancouver’s Zoo. A zookeeper showed us a Madagascar hissing cockroach, and let it run over our hands (and Rob’s P-cross / The Process tattoo).

ball python snake pattern holding snakes

“He’s a cold-hearted snake / Look into his eyes, uh-oh.” We petted the ball python, which was curled up tight to preserve heat.

ostrich greater vancouver zoo animals review

There were too many animals at Vancouver’s zoo to photograph for you — including giraffes, elk, tigers, cheetahs, ostriches… See the full list here.

vancouver zoos reviews mara lynx

We had never seen a Patagonian Mara before — it’s the second largest species in the rodent family, and can run at high speeds. The northern lynx was a sweetheart; when we called her name, she came up to the fence with her ears twitching.

vancouver jurassic park dino dinosaur statues

The Greater Vancouver Zoo also has a new dino park, with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs.

t rex statue vancouver animatronic dinosaurs park

The T rex moves his head and jaws, making us feel as if were in Jurassic Park.

tyrannosaurus rex statue museum park vancouver dinosaur exhibit

The Greater Vancouver Zoo is certified globally, and is dedicated to education and conservation — they’re constantly improving the facilities for the animals, and have a safari-style park in the works. I’m looking forward to returning and seeing these new additions.

Outfit details: Black Inca Noir bucket hat Lack of Color, sleeves Sleevey Wonders, black and white striped top Forest Ink, skirt Charli Cohen.

close to human clothing daniel graves aesthetic perfection clothing line

Let’s wrap up with some outfit features, which I’ve been sharing on Instagram (@lacarmina).

How fab are these Kubrick cat-themed tank top and leggings? They’re by Close to Human Clothing, a fashion partnership between musician Daniel Graves of Aesthetic Perfection and designer Sam P.

stanley kubrick cat clothing meowbrick catwork orange

The apparel line is a love letter to pop culture and cats. Close to Human offers shirts, stickers and more for men and women, in all sizes.

close to human fashion clothes aesthetic perfection band merch

The tank top is a clever, catty take on Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” film poster (the movie is a personal favorite). Put your paws on “Stanley Mewbrick’s Catwork Orange” and look real horrorshow! Find this and more on Close to Human.

lucien greaves art tarot cards design card

Speaking of cats and other creatures… Here’s a look at some of the cards from The Devil’s Deck, a new Satanic ritual / oracle card deck by Shiva Honey! 

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Shiva also sells Satanic clothing, like this Pride crop top from the Queer Magick, on her Serpentinae website.

the devil's deck satanic tarot cards shiva honey

The Devil’s Deck is a work of art. Gilded in gold, this 30 card ritual deck is a companion to Shiva Honey’s The Devil’s Tome. The beautiful quality cards are illustrated by Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves, artist Alexander Corey, and Shiva.

serpentinae tarot cards satanic devil deck

The Devil’s Deck is a wonderful tool for contemplation. Each represents a Satanic ritual or act of introspection (such as Solo Ritual, Forgiveness, Justice), with an accompanying booklet to help interpret the meaning.

lucien greaves drawings illustrations satanic temple art artwork tarot

The Devil’s Deck differs from the standard tarot: it has 17 Ceremony cards and 13 Illumination cards. (Here’s a selection of the art by Lucien Greaves.)

the devil's tome shiva honey book rituals

The deck is designed to be used in conjunction with Shiva Honey’s The Devil’s Tome, which describes the full Satanic rituals for personal empowerment.

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You can find Shiva’s devilish deck, tome, clothing line and more on her Serpentinae website.

rosemary's baby hail satan book satanic novel

If you need some Satanic Summer Reading List suggestions, I’ve got your back. I was delighted to take part in a special episode of “Hexed Texts” for The Satanic Temple TV. On this show, TSTTV hosts (including yours truly) recommend their favorite devilish books. I’m at 15:00 hailing “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin; the Mia Farrow film also rocks!

Watch our program here; it also features Dr John Skutlin, Lucien Greaves, Stu de Haan, Chalice Blythe, Citlati Soona, Stephen Bradford Long, Lilith Starr, Hadrian Flyte and more.

fleurs de villes vancouver bc telephone booth flowers public floral art

I leave you with some bonus outfit snaps — it’s nice to be out and about again! This floral phone booth was part of downtown Vancouver’s Fleurs de Villes public art installation. My emo romance top is by Forest Ink; it says “I’ll find you again wherever we end up next.” My choker is Frame Chain.

flower pyramid public installation fleurs de villes downtown vancouver

Bury me in a pyramid of flowers… Rainbow skirt by Cyberdog, sleeves by Sleevey Wonders.

Rose Briccetti art exhibit leimin space leiminspace la gallery collage

A head’s up: If you’re in Los Angeles, you can find my photo on the wall of LA art gallery Leiminspace! Artist Rose Briccetti is having a solo exhibit there, and she included my cut-out from Millie Magazine in her wall collage.

the satanic chef adam dodge ostrofsky satan temple restaurant cook

I’m also delighted to share my profile of The Satanic Chef, Adam Ostrofsky – it’s published on Fodor’s Travel! Read my article about how a Bible-burning chef uses food events at The Satanic Temple to champion outsiders, and push back against Satanic Panic and injustice.

An excerpt of my writing: “He begins each episode (…) by burning The Holy Bible. Sometimes, he’ll tear out pages and fling them into the flames of his wok. If he’s feeling particularly devilish, the chef might dice up scorched verses with his TST membership card, and snort them up his nose.”

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And I was interviewed for the debut podcast episode of “Human Dreaming” by Britt Sheflin. She writes, “Join me as I discuss lucid dreaming, secular Buddhist dream practices, travel through dreams, and more with La Carmina.” You can find this podcast interview here as well as on Apple, Spotify and more.

vancouver heatwave 2021 beach spanish banks kitsilano sunset

Somehow, I survived the insane Vancouver heatwave in mid-June…. and have more travels on the way. Here’s to making the most of summer 2021!

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