Times Community News Columnist Liana Aghajanian

Liana Aghajanian
Intersections: Columns about Glendale culture, Glendale society, Glendale politics and Armenian life in Glendale

Intersections: Feeling small in a country of open land and meat

There is nothing more frightening, nothing that makes you so very acutely aware of your own insignificance in the world than the wide open spaces of Mongolia.

Intersections: Discovering a taste of Los Angeles in Mongolia

It was midnight when I landed in Mongolia. The ice cold breeze coming through the airport doors from the outside world were a welcome and soothing relief from the Los Angeles heat, but “soothing” wouldn't exactly be the way a Mongolian...

Intersections: Take a moment to thank your local journalist

Waking up to shootings has unfortunately become a norm in this country. We are no longer shocked when someone with a gun storms a school, a movie theater or any other public place and unleashes the destruction of innocent human lives.

Intersections: Searching for faith in a 'Godless' place

Two years ago, I visited a little German village just 25 miles from Leipzig with a pastor, a missionary who was a descendant of Germans but raised in South Africa. He had come back to Germany and now worked within asylum houses in East Germany,...

Intersections: Family ties can take a lifetime to untangle

It’s hard to be a new immigrant in this country. It’s hard to be a new immigrant in any country, but the United States is a unique place, with its own set of cultural, political and economic cues and issues, a place that’s hard to...

Intersections: Rockhaven's history has relevance today

I drove by Rockhaven Sanitarium for years, always wondering what lay behind its ornate metal gates. When I finally visited the property last November, I couldn’t stop going back. It appeared in my daydreams, crept up in conversations I had with...

Intersections: How a church became a beacon of acceptance

Around 30 years ago in the middle of a Bible study class at a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Glendale, something close to a miracle took place.

Intersections: Finding universality in the hills of La Crescenta

Up in the hills of La Crescenta, there’s a space that seems even farther away from urban life than this city that forms the balcony of Southern California.

Intersections: The whole world tunes in to Eurovision

Having once brought the likes of Celine Dion, ABBA and even the Grammy-nominated club hit “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” into the international periphery, the Eurovision Song Contest is an explosion of really bad lyrics, even worse...

Intersections: A different method of storing contacts

Recently, I drove to San Diego to document the triumphs and tribulations of a team of Mongolian memory athletes at a tournament that tests extreme memory, focus and recall skills.

Intersections: Cultural touchstones clear the gray skies

When I woke up last Saturday, something was different. Not to go all Phil Collins on you, but I could feel there was something in the air. It’s hard to explain what it was. An energy? An aura? A hormonal balance?

Intersections: History is the seed of an expanding identity

There was a time when I ran away from my Armenian-ness. I didn't want it. I was determined to be on the other side of the room. I guess this is the normal thought process of any immigrant child.

Intersections: The Queen of Tejano made being multicultural OK

Maybe it was her hair, that thick, overbearing black mane curled to perfection that made my own wild hair easier to deal with, her colorful and often risque fashion sense that set her apart from everyone else and had me enamored.

Intersections: The psychological conflict of consumerism

The last thing I wanted to do is get a new phone. I delayed it as long as I could. I endured my battery dying at around 50% for months. I printed out directions and maps (the old-fashioned way!) to find my way across town for meetings with friends.

Intersections: The roots of tree veneration grow deep

Earlier this week, I was invited to speak at an Arbor Day event organized by Glendale Beautiful at the Casa Adobe de San Rafael, the oldest home in the city of Glendale.

Intersections: Money made off suffering and desperation

The news of three women who pleaded guilty to smuggling Armenian nationals to the United States from Mexico brought the...

Intersections: Traffic safety falls mostly on drivers

When you leave Los Angeles, you need to relearn how to walk again. I mean that quite literally. After spending a lifetime in traffic, trying to survive our various commutes and relying on our vehicles to take us to the corner shop that’s just...

Intersections: Coverage of the Paris carnage lacked context

I was in Morocco when the Paris attacks took place, prematurely tarnishing the optimism I had for 2015. Amid the sights and smells of Marrakesh — perhaps the most colorful city in the world, where you share the crowded streets with motor...

Intersections: Float celebrated the diverse Armenian story

In 1915, a man named Moses (M.S.) Pashgian became the grand marshal of the Pasadena Rose Parade.

Intersections: Interaction with readers makes it all worth it

A few weeks ago, I spent a Saturday in La Crescenta on a local research trip for a future story. My day involved touring facilities with a group of about 20 people. Given my large digital recorder that I kept waving around as the tour took place,...

Intersections: Road trip to nowhere is reinvigorating

I took a drive almost to the edge of California recently. Going beyond the borders of Los Angeles County, I crossed over into San Bernardino, made a pit stop in Rialto and drove a few more hours until I reached the Mojave Desert, taking the...

Intersections: Sitting down to tradition and reflection

Thanksgiving is a complicated holiday — on the one hand, I dream all year long about the food I will come to eat on the last Thursday of November, even as a vegetarian. On the other hand, the fact that it simplifies and paints over the pain,...

Intersections: Graves mark the consequences of war

I’m walking in Arlington National Cemetery on the Sunday before Veteran’s Day. I can feel the weather changing seasons in real time, and within a few minutes, I have to put on my coat again as I make my way across the grounds.

Intersections: Story research focuses on the ending

I am fascinated by death. I don’t mean that in a morbid way. I think it’s misunderstood and conveniently ignored until it reaches us. By then, we are so paralyzed by it that in between grieving our loved ones, there’s no time to...

Intersections: How well should we know our neighbors?

On the street where I am temporarily staying in London, a newsletter arrives through the mailbox every few months. It details the neighborhood news, is often unintentionally hilarious (the last one had a single line about a local bakery running out...

Intersections: Armenian wool's international tale weaves itself

When you tell people that you've got a bag of sheep's wool in your possession, the first thing you get asked is, "Can I touch it?"

Intersections: Impulse buy spins into a yarn of its own

Last month while in Armenia, I ventured to the suburbs of the capital, beyond the bus station where Soviet-era vehicles can take you across the country for as little as $6, down toward the road that will eventually lead you to what is regarded by...

Intersections: Strangers don't stay strangers in Armenia

It's incredibly easy to meet people in Armenia. I suspect the same goes for a lot of countries in the world, where one minute you're a stranger and the next you're part of the extended family, being force-fed homemade goods and liquored up before...

Intersections: The heat rearranges priorities in Armenia

Something about the summer in Armenia this year is different. Even the locals feel it. Something feels a little strange, a little odd and quite different. It's hot. Not just "normal" hot, but unbearably dry, you-can't-even-move hot.

Intersections: The desire to roam feeds a human need

When residents in Armenia ask me where I'm from, I usually expect them to tell me they have a brother or aunt or nephew who now lives in Glendale or Hollywood after I give my whole spiel about being born one place, brought up in another and explain...

Intersections: Life in the time of grief and the kindness of strangers

A few months ago, my grandmother passed away. It was a slow, agonizing end, one of those things that began with a trip to the hospital and only became progressively worse as the months wore on. In some ways, she knew that once she went in, she...

Intersections: Sweetness bears fruit in an ancient land

In the summer in Armenia, fruit is a part of my daily life. I think about how it tastes, how long it lasts, where the best open air markets are located across the city to acquire the freshest of berries and apricots, and how many varieties of...

Intersections: Reflections on a return to the homeland

After three years away, I am back in Armenia, writing to you from a fourth-floor balcony overlooking a city perpetually caught between East and West.

Intersections: Reality has very little to do with 'Glendale Life'

The most asked question in the Armenian-American diaspora for the last few weeks has unequivocally been this one: “Did you see the trailer for ‘Glendale Life?’”

Intersections: The Crest won't stay a secret for long

They’ve come from Paris, from London, from New Mexico, Austin and Portland, trekking up these wild hills hidden away in the crevices of Los Angeles, into this suburban small-town extension not exactly known for attracting outsiders, where the...

Intersections: Put on edge by the Santa Ana winds

The floor was covered with shattered glass from the patio table. The mangled umbrella was halfway in a pool filled to the brim with leaves and debris.

Intersections: Examining the self-defense class issue

Two popular self-defense classes for women hosted by Glendale’s Status on the Commission of Women in honor of Sexual...

Intersections: Feeling flush over a taboo topic

I am sitting on a gray, velvet, diamond-tufted couch in a top-floor apartment that overlooks Los Angeles. The view is breathtaking. There are hookah pipes strewn around on tables outside and a Mariah Carey song is the background music of the day.

Intersections: A ride that changed a life

Lt. Lola Abrahamian never intended to become a police officer. She was already enjoying a fruitful and rewarding career she had had since graduating from college, but an interest in criminal law and a chance meeting with the Glendale Police...

Intersections: Women's club keeps up with the times

Drive down La Crescenta Avenue fast enough and you'll miss it — a humble, stone-and-brick building hidden behind a utility pole and a few trees.

Intersections: There's no place quite like Glendale

Glendale has the distinction of being the fourth largest city in Los Angeles County, the birthplace of Baskin Robbins, home of the historic Alex Theatre and where the first scheduled transcontinental passenger service was flown out by Charles...

Intersections: It takes teamwork to cross the divide

“Glendale is not what it used to be.” I have lost count of the number of times I have seen that phrase written and spoken throughout my time growing up in and around this city.

Intersections: Saying goodbye to the Internet is hard to do

This week, 27-year-old Glendale resident Karen Kazaryan was sentenced to five years in federal prison for hacking into the accounts of hundreds of female victims and coercing them to send naked pictures of themselves to him.

Intersections: The merits and drawbacks of living at home

A panel discussion on a late-night TV program happened to catch my eye a few nights ago.

Intersections: 'Speakeasy' offers a glimpse into the past

Deep down below a bustling street in Glendale, there exists a cellar beyond the wildest dreams of any oenophiliac, or for those of you not versed in Greek root words, lover of wine.

Intersections: Booze goes underground in Glendale

Prohibition in the United States began in January 1920, when the 18th Amendment essentially banned the production, transport and sale of alcohol.

Intersections: Parked in Deukmejian's paradise

If you ask Richard Smith how he's doing, you're bound to get the same answer any time of the week. "It's just another day in Paradise," he says with a smile.

Intersections: Finding ways to monitor that sinking feeling

Sometimes when friends and I are feeling nostalgic, we'll recount our earlier days together, particularly when we were first introduced to the Internet, that wonderful tool that changed everyone's lives forever.

Intersections: Feeling insignificant in Alaska

For the first time in 10 years, I got on a bicycle yesterday. It took a good 10 minutes to retrain myself how to ride without falling over, but when I took off, it felt like absolute freedom.

Intersections: Squeezing the most out of a juice fast

Four days ago, I woke up and imagined I was having the most glorious of breakfasts — eggs, beautifully crafted pancakes and waffles, fresh whipped cream, hash browns and all the butter and toast I could eat without getting sick. Except I wasn'...

Intersections: Does filling a cannabis prescription feel normal?

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a friend I was working on a story about medical marijuana usage among seniors and the challenges they face using it in assisted living facilities for real, debilitating ailments.

Intersections: Comfort woman statue debate continues

Over the past two weeks, I've been on the receiving end of endless emails opposing the planned Central Park monument honoring "comfort women."

Intersections: An explosive reminder of intolerance

When I lived in Armenia during the summer of 2011, there was a new bar down the street from my apartment. I found myself there most nights when I stayed within the confines of the capital.

Intersections: In praise of the ethnic grocery stores

There is perhaps no activity I love more than spending time in an ethnic grocery store.

Intersections: The joys of ethnic grocery shopping

There is perhaps no activity I love more than spending time in an ethnic grocery store.

Intersections: Finding the good and strange in Glendale

Last week, I watched with delight and surprise a one-minute video that hit the Internet this month under the title, "Hello Glendale."

Intersections: A short visit to Fresno brings things full circle

I've been determined to go to Fresno for a long time. When I was younger, I used to browse through shipping labels at swap meets, and came across beautifully designed orange and peach labels from forever ago that hailed from the San Joaquin Valley.

Intersections: Waiting for the ethnic identifier

Please don't let them be Muslim. Please don't let them be Hispanic. Please don't let them be Armenian.

Intersections: Increased demand for Armenian language skills

On a Saturday morning in a brightly lit classroom at the Burbank Adult School, a group of students are practicing their language skills.

Glendale families receive free health services at community expo

Glendale mother Poonam Desai has health insurance for her family. But her plan doesn't provide for vision or dental coverage.

Intersections: A memoir that's hard for the author to read

In January 1969, when Wendy Lawless and her sister were living in New York's famed Dakota building, their mother swallowed a bottle of pills and called her husband — their stepfather — at his hotel to say goodbye.

Intersections: Thoughts of regret, watermelon, coffee

At some point during my reporting adventures in Armenia, I found myself in a Yezidi Kurdish village thanks to a good friend, also a journalist, who had worked in the region for years.

Intersections: A harmless comment that wasn't harmless

On a sunny spring Sunday last year, I was walking throughout rows of sellers at a flea market with my boyfriend when I heard a voice call out to him.

Intersections: Remembering the simple things, however difficult

I love the way my mom cuts fruit, the way she wills the pear in her hand to undress itself for her, without a single blemish in sight. I often think about her seamless execution when I'm cutting fruit myself, my apples full of potholes, and my...

Intersections: How do guns make us better off?

A gun show was held in Glendale last weekend, what may be the last one in the city as the City Council gets ready to vote on banning gun shows on city...

Intersections: A coroner delves into his family's past

When retired coroner investigator and La Crescenta resident Vidal Herrera took a reporter to visit the L.A. County coroner's office last May, he didn't expect his questions about the building's history to unravel a long-buried and traumatic family...

Intersections: L.A. in top 10 for traffic congestion, but not No. 1

It should come as no surprise that Los Angeles has made the list of top 10 cities for worst traffic congestion in the country, according to a newly released report from the Texas Transportation Institute. It might seem surprising however, that we'...

Intersections: Breaking from chain-owned businesses can be tough

In 2006, a British comedian named Dave Gorman decided to take a coast-to-coast road trip through 17 states to see if it was possible to travel across the United States without using a corporate-owned or chain business throughout his entire journey.

Intersections: Lifelong dream of cold, snow comes true

The day I was born, a snow storm was brewing in Tehran, or at least that's what my mother tells me. I am starting to suspect that my introduction into the world on such a turbulent day has played a part in a lifelong obsession I've had with extremely...

Intersections: Huell Howser really was amazing, in more ways than one

I vividly remember seeing Huell Howser in person for the first time. I was in my last semester of college, interning at KCET and constantly wondering about the series of events that would or wouldn't take place after I was handed that coveted...

Program offered for English learners

I was delighted to read Liana Aghajanian's recent article informing your readers of the English-as-a-second language class offered through Glendale Community College's non-credit Continuing Education division (“It's never too late to tackle...

Intersections: Driving home the need for a citywide resolution

I've never liked New Year's resolutions, though I (sometimes silently) make them every year.