Wednesday, March 28, 2012

9:30 club, J Street, Ricky, and Romania

I started out this weekend quite nicely I think. On Friday I rehashed my memories of Thursday morning running an errand involving a stroll to the NRCC and who do you think I just happen to see? Mitt Romney. Oh yea totally not expecting that one.

Thursday was also a perfect day to remember since it was beautiful with all the cherry blossoms full and flowers everywhere surrounding the Hill, (sigh). I took some pictures of the event as shown below:

Saturday was a somewhat productive day despite the rain. I wanted to go out to the Smithsonian since it was a cloudy day and I prefer to be indoors where I don't have to be wet. Well to my surprise I was welcomed to the National Mall by heards of people, huge concert-type speakers and a stage. I began to listen to the words, "I'm an atheist and I'm proud that we made this sh&$* happen!" It was thoroughly amusing to say the least. I couldn't help but stay a few minutes longer to observe the people and watch the festivities. It was quite a unique crowd of people which was very intriguing to me. I guess thats why atheism is so popular among the youth, the hippies, and other people who didn't found the idea of God annoying and wanted to try something new. I get it I do but it was just so odd that the rally was being conducted by atheists that made the whole event sound like a miracle.

Understood: atheists don't believe in God nor do they think its right or legally fair for believers in God should shove their values, beliefs, and ideas down an atheist's throat. But my confusion asteamed from the idea that the atheist activists there at the National Mall where in favor of changing the law to accomodate them but they make claims that they don't respect the law. My question would be how do you perceive to fulfill your objectives as a group of American citizens when you don't respect the fundamental values of our system? No Congressional member wants to listen to someone uninterested in the "job" that he or she does in government and for the country which ties into the atheists fight against "Under God," being used in the country's most valued legal document next to the Bill of Rights. I'm not saying what they "do" as Congressman and women is right or wrong and shouldn't be judged like everyone else, however, in order to make changes to the legal system one must convince the judicary system and the legislative system that you understand and respect the freedoms you have to do so.  I dunno maybe its too complicated for me.

Change in plans for the daytime I decided to go back to the apartment. I chilled around until about 7 then heading to the Metro to U St. It was a bit intimidating to walk around U St when I didn't really know which direction to go off of U. Ducking into a CVS to ask was no help until a local biker guided me towards Howard University. V St was literally around the freakin' corner from the Metro station...ughh. After almost having a heart attack (recipt in hand NOT the ticket!) I was releaved when the will call guy reprinted my ticket....victory! And it was an awesome show - well Band of Skulls were awesome and British (no idea)! Horrorible pics of the place but you get the idea:

Note to self: NEVER where those F*#%@ heels to a show or event ever again, especially when you know the procedure is standing for long periods of time!

All-day Sunday I went to the J Street conference to get a clearer understanding of the Jewish/Israeli side of the Israeli-Palestinian Two-State solution argument. It was very interesting. I met some students from Dartmouth who I gave my business card to during a free and edible breakfast. I tried to take as many notes and got to as many sessions that I could. I stayed until about 430pm then headed back to the apt to await Ricardo's visit. He arrived around 7pm and we walked around the neighborhood. We picked up some items for our pork chops, salad, and quesadilla dinner. It was so nice to have him stay over and to talk awhile about his family, travels, future plans, etc. I wish he had more time to spend in DC since he seemed to love it so much. Next time maybe...

Today was yet another LOOOONNG day. 530am wake up to go to the gym (yea I know I'm crazy). Then out the door at 7ish. Metro to Gallery/Chinatown and then departed from Ricardo :(
Green line to Convention center and another free breakfast with a additional session on Women in Israel. Another few sessions and I was heading back on the Metro to New York Ave to the RAF for another programming session. It was a interview/Q&A session with Jim Lear and his wife Kim Lear. All repetitive information until some of the questions from the students but at that time I was struggling not to tip over out of my seat. Lack of sleep = not good. Rushing out of the RAF to catch the next shady grove train, to chinatown, running to the green line downstairs, then running (literally) through the convention halls up the escalators to the room where my next session were to take place. A little stressful but I made it.

Decided to go to Tidal Basin to see what was left rather gone from this past week's peak of cherry blossoms. Stupid! I should've come earlier. Oh well I saw a bunch everywhere during the week. I decided to walk to the Kennedy Center. Glad I did, I walked through GW - Elon in the city equivalent - then to the center where I watched and listened to the most eclectic and original quartet of musicians playing music inspired by Eastern Europe, among other places around the world. Check out The Kennedy Center's live streaming of each show everynight at 6pm (


 Sculpture outside The Kennedy Center
 Side view of The Kennedy Center

 George Washington Monument

 Pearl Harbor Memorial looking onward to the Lincoln Memorial

What was left of the cherry blossoms on Monday


Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Passing by Ted Bulletin

Daddio came to visit on Saturday, March 17th! He had been informed that there was going to be a marathon throughout the city and planned to get to the apartment early (6am) before streets started to get roadblocked. Luckily he found a perfect space right outside my apartment building! YAY! Wash up and out the door to the Eastern Market off the Blue/Orange Metro lines. It was a beautiful Saturday morning. Instead of going to Ted Bulletin's (packed at 9am) we went across the street to a Belgian Waffle place. It was okay food, service sucked and I'm pretty sure that they gave me a cup with eye makeup smeared on the side in addition to leaving two fried eggs off of Daddio's plate which he ordered. No biggy since we were outside. 

 Moment of Truth: Frizzy fries OR onions???

The Belgian waffle place

The market was fun. I knew Tom (Daddio) would love it! I mean there's antiques, art, and fresh produce! What's not to love? Especially with the beautiful weather it was perfect. He seemed really engaged when we went through the produce aisle. There were a bunch of stuff to taste including a green very very VERY hot salsa that I ate as we moved to a PA Amish farm's produce hut. I quickly scanned the area for something diary, bingo! Cheese! and then some pears to smooth the bite of the heat still in my mouth. WOW! I love it! Oh and we did go to Curbside Cupcakes to get a taste (six-pack) of a few types: Chocolate Irish Cream, Red Velvet and the newbie Snickerdoodle. Yum yum, yumm!

 The street...Daddio is in the gray sweatshirt with light wash jeans...hehe gotcha!


yummy yummy yummy I've got yummy in my tummy!

After lounging a bit back at the apartment we took a taxi to the Kennedy Center (gorgeous) and walk around. We even caught one of the free 6pm shows Kristi has told me about. It was a trio (oboe, clarinet, piano) of guys playing classical. Love! Later we ate up at the roof top restaurant. It was okay but like Tom said the food came out a little too quickly (I agree). He also wasn't feeling so well so...yea. The whole reason we were there was to see Shear Madness. It was like a murder mystery "Broadway"like show set in a barber shop in Georgetown. A lot of international kids were in the audience most from the same place: Russia. WOW that's odd but cool! Hunk on stage (one of the detectives) wasn't keeping it together. He laughed so much at the jokes. It was awesome. I highly recommend because apparently the ending changes every night according to what the audience choice of the murderer.

Check it out:

Week Off and Sunny Days

Last week was my freebie week. Kevin and Mike were away in far off sunny places and I stayed here in the lovely spring-like weather exploring the city. Monday was the usual programming (annoyance) day with a Roundtable Philanthropy Panel at the RAF (thank God). Even though I respect the panelists and the work that they do in the non-profits sector the whole seminar seemed to be a Q&A between the TWC Vice President and the panelist instead of most of the questions coming from students. I mean if you are going to pack us all in the auditorium for almost 2hrs and expect us not to chit chat, sleep, or get bored than make it more interactive. I also found it hilarious that the mediator told all of the students to rush out of the auditorium so that they could quickly set up for the CSPAN class. I mean really? You all couldn't find another location for this one day?
Below: Dirty Chai cupcake with Iced Coffee

Tuesday and Wednesday were the best weather days (even though I started feeling out of sorts on Wednesday). I went out and about on Tuesday to Georgetown (again) to study a bit. The apartment is stark white and not very entertaining or stimulating for working longer periods of time. So I ducked into Baked & Wired ( as referred to by my new friend here in DC, Kristi. It took me about 5 mins to figure it out but I got the title's relavance: 1/2 of the shop is a cupcake shop and the other 1/2 is a coffeeshop. LOL Took the Circulator there and back. Wednesday before I started to feel dizzy around noon-ish while on L2 going north towards Tenleytown, I went to Farragut Square to taste the
fresh, healthy and scrumcious bites at Basil Thyme food truck ( Ordered the black truffle and cheese lasagna. YUMMY!

Stream behind M St in Georgetown

In the afternoon I headed up north to visit Elo's favorite bookstore, Politics and Prose. It was very indie and busy which is always nice to see in a bookstore (not giving money to the bookstore giants like Barnes & Noble or Amazon). They even had a seminar with an author going on while I browsed the American history and politics sections. I didn't stay too long and then went back on L2 to Van Ness for the Metro back home. Ugh....head...ached. At least I got two beautiful days to go out.

Doesn't this look tasty?!?!?

Thursday was soup and rest in front of TV day. Ugh not feeling well at all. I so hoped to get more work done but that's life right! I was happy that my interview scheduled with Theola Labbe-DeBose, Staff Writer for The Washington Post, was the following day and not Thursday. It would have been a disaster. Friday comes along and I'm trying to recoop. I met up with Theola at the office around 1030 more like 1045am. I got a first time tour of the offices and met some nice people. I also chatted with Theola's editor Eli Reyes. Can you say network, network, NETWORK! I was so happy that the interview lasted almost an hour! It was so carfree and easy to talk to Theola.

Friday night was exciting more so than I originally planned. TWC hosted the International Festival in P1 (basement level in apt). Students from around the world brought materials, decorations, food and high energy to show people what their country is all about. So many of them were so proud of their roots it was inspiring. Stupid moment: why the hell would Student Services decide to cater food to be served for an hour right after everyone went to all 8 classrooms to eat food from around the world and are so full they can't eat anymore? How does that make sense? So instead of the event lasting 2 hrs it ended up whining down 4hrs later. It was nice and interesting, however, I was sick and wanted to sleep or do work or something productive. Ugh...I hate when people don't think. But all in all it was fun.

Here are some pics from that night:

 My friend Sandra and colleague from Taiwan

 Beautiful isn't she!

 Bienvienos de Puerto Rico!!!

 My friend Sonyi dancing with the Puerto Ricans!!!

 Viva Mexico!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Adam's Morgan

Sunday was a down time day. Woke up later than usual (1030am), went to the gym (burn off alcohol calories), ate and went to Florida Ave around 2pm to catch the bus towards Adam's Morgan. I walked around on what was one of the most beautiful days. The flowers were in bloom or budding, the birds were churping and the streets full on sunlight. I definitely didn't expect DC to have such Victorian style  neighborhoods full of interesting, vintage looking homes. First in Dupont then in Adam's Morgan. It was a very nice surprise. 

 Firehouse on a side street
 The neighborhood walk
 Yea...everyone has these scooters
My feline friend came up to greet me and then hide in this nice French woman's garden.

I decided to scout out the place I would soon meet up with Boot Camp TWC colleague Gia. I figured it was a good plan since I was really excited to see it myself. What could be better than a coffeeshop that sells coffee, pastries, food and alcohol?!?!?!?! Not to mention the hip and cozy atmosphere (check out the pics below. The place is off 18th Street (aka late night weekend party central) and at the traditional late night weekend (afterparty) snack hubs of DC. For more info go to their website: Tryst Coffeehouse
I don't know if I was more shocked or annoyed that everyone and their posse was at this place at 4pm on a Sunday...well if I put it that way its 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone just woke up and has got em munchies :) I couldn't find a table (at first) so I sat at the bar. I need to warn you the coffee is NOT cheap so only go when you are willing to pay a pretty penny or special occassion or desperation ("I'm drunk and I don't know where else to go....oh...this looks like a good place.")
I did spy on people in the presiding area to hopefully snag a table. Lucky, an hour later and after paying my $5 (including bar tip) for iced coffee and ran for the first table available:

 The table. I had a happy hour beer special, Colorado something. It was dark and good.
 Once Gia came we ate food. Food is good. My sandwitch was okay: mozzarella, tomato, basil, pepper, and pesto. 
 The couch to my left. 
 At 6pm the busboy came around with candles to set the evening mood. LOL

Making the best out of my time in Adam's Morgan I scheduled to meet another colleague, an Elon alum, Kelsey Glover (2011). We met up a few storefronts down from Tryst at Madam's Organ. There was a sweet jazzy, blues jam band playing in replace of Heir the Dog (female vocalist) who had recently broke up, sad. Flat Tire beer, onion rings and two hours later Kelsey drove me to Columbia Heights to catch the Metro back home. It was a day and night well spent. 

 From street level....
To balcony (second floor) level