Friday, February 29, 2008

The Bar Rouge. A night club, a dancehall and a bordello. Ruled over by Harold Zidler.

One of my favorite friends happened turn 23 this past September. So to celebrate a few of us went out for a drink. Lynne had me pick the place, which works out well for me but maybe not so much for everyone else, since I have a particular affinity for dark trendy-ish bars and I think everyone else was just looking for something cheap and chill. Ooops. Well too bad we ended up at anyway, and even though it might not have been everyone's first choice (aka only my first choice), it was still a good time. See all the smiles! See! See!

Smiles seeeeeeeee! We all love dark, trendy-ish bars. Ok actually it was only a so-so experience. Most of the specialty drinks were super delish, but Lynne got this one champagney/hard liquor mixture. Except there wasn't really any champagne. So it was more like moonshine in a flute. Not the best, which was a sad story since it was her bday, and even the yummy drinks were pricey. That was also a sad story. However, like the best sad stories (Titanic, Gone With the Wind, The Lion King) there's a silver lining. The food was good and decently priced! I had their salmon, and it was way above bar food quality. I was quite surprised. Like the best best sad stories, though, there was an even greater tragedy that caught us by surprise. Come 9 pm the cocktail waitress seemed to disappear into some alternate universe that did not involve taking drink orders or even acknowledging our presence.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wilco: My Pop Quiz Kid, A Sleepy Kisser, A Pretty War, With Feelings Hid

So again with the sporadic posting. The only real break so far in my longest week ever was last night when my girlfreind Steph and I went to the Wilco concert!

We had some vino
(notice the silly drunky posing) and then we rocked out to a fantastic concert. NPR was there broadcasting it. You can check it out here, and you really should. I can't say enough about how amazing it was. (Specifically the little horns solo at about the 1:27 mark in the show. Everyone totally went from chill swaying to all out dancing for those 10.8 seconds.) Also all of Jeff Tweedy's random comments are very amusing, like the one where he talks to some crazy lady in the front who brought her doll to the concert. (Cuckoooo. Loooove it!) The next goal is to swindle New Pornographers tickets out of someone since I missed the presale on that. Anyone want to just give them to me?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Supreme Court Justices Give Me an Appetite

I made time on Thursday night to go see Chief Justice Breyer speak at the 6th and I Synagogue (which is very beautiful inside. So beautiful, I thought for a second that I should be Jewish because they have just got everything - intellectual substance and good decorating taste, but then I remembered how much I like pork. I just don't think I could give up delicious sausage for anyone, not even you, God. I'm sorry. I know you're all about personal sacrifice but sausage?! That's tantamount to asking Abraham to kill his son, and you didn't make him go through with it. Anyways...) My coworker and I got there a little late because we were busy slaving away for the man and wasting our youth furthering corporate profits of which we see almost nothing. So we had to sit way on the side in the balcony. It made it a little hard to hear with the positioning of the speakers and Breyer being a somewhat soft spoken man anyway. However, I still could hear how alive and quick he was in responding to questions. It's nice to know that even though he's my grandfather's age, he doesn't sound like my grandfather. (I love you, Pop pop! You are fabulous! I just think maybe we should leave the Supreme Court decisions to someone with law experience and who doesn't try to convince me that he's a leprechaun every time I come over.)

Well now that acting like a mature young adult who is concerned about the world around her had ceased for the night. We raided the desert buffet and munched on cookies while we headed to Matchbox for a late dinner. I was starved by this point. Absolutely famished. I thought I might not make it, but the promise of an oven baked specialty pizza held me through. I crawled up the stairs to come of Matchbox's 20 hidden rooms that you totally don't even realize are there. With my last ounce of strength, I took my first bite of Mozzi Carozzi and was completely revived. You should definitely try it. It's got to be the most gourmet mozzarella stick ever, and for those of you who don't think mozzarella sticks can be gourmet, well you're wrong. I'm sorry. This isn't an opinion thing. We can't agree to disagree. You need to just go try the Mozzi Carozzi, and then you need to apologize for not believing me. Also during this trip to matchbox, I just found out the most fantastic thing. You can get any pizza split 1/2 and 1/2. So I was able to get 1/2 spicy meatball and 1/2 steak with bell peppers. Both yummy, but I'd recommend the steak. It has this cream sauce thing going on. It was great. Insert Meg Ryan's faux orgasm (or forgasm as I like to call it) display here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Filler Post - Part 2

I know. I know. I just had a filler post, but tonight I went out to Solly's trivia. I had some drinkies, and now I don't really have the motivation (brain power?) to post anything great. So I'm just going to put up some ridic crap. Like...

The new Miu Miu Tea Cup heels. God I loooove them. They have their main version in black, white, and red (maybe also pink?), and then they also have this fab other version with a silver heel. Check them out. I am determined to own both by the end of the summer.

Other awesome ridic crap that I love: the movie commentator from E News, Ben Lyons. Mmmmm that boy is fiiiiine!

What a cutie. I know, you are going to be addicted to E News now, just to catch him. He's all laid back and just seems like one of those guys that you could hang out with (in bed naked) forever. (Ok, yes. He does look a little young in this picture, but really he's prob like 30 and this is just photo-shoping. Go look at his blog before your judge. Gosh, Judgy McJudmentalson.)

Lastly, I will leave you with some Saved by the Bell, which is maybe the best show ever created, especially because of their totally classic and refined hair styles/fashion statements/graphics...

You can watch it every morning from 7-9 on TBS. It will make your mornings a millions times better as you have to get yourself ready for work. I know seeing AC's dimpled cheeks (facial ones - come on, get your mind out of the gutter) is the only thing that gets me out of bed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Zigazig Zah!... Only Thing Better than Last Weekend was the Weekend Before...


Ok, I have to admit this post has absolutely nothing to to with DC. I know, I knoooow, obsessing about the Spice Girls is not really the point of the blog, but I can't help it. It's the Spice Girls! Everything they wear is so fabulous and shiny, and God how I loooove shiny things. Look at Posh, she's just a walking anorexic disco ball. What could be better than that? Nothing! When Roberto Cavalli is in control of costumes, there's no predicting the genius that will come out. He's like the crazy, drunk uncle of Karl Lagerfeld. I bet they sit around in their tanning booths together just out crazy-ing each other.

Ok but enough of old, orange designers. Back to the concert! Erin and I started out in these pretty crappy seats, but our whole section got moved to the VIP box seats because they weren't sold out. So instead of sitting on the side of the stage, we sat a level lower in the dead center. The view was so much better (as was the selection at the bar - from Miller Light draft to Tanqueray and tonics, much improved all around!). Erin and I got some great shots of the girls strutting around stage while the dancers broke it down You Got Served style.

Aaaaahhh they are so hot! See that one where Posh is strutting around? That was great. They all had solos, and she did nothing for hers but strut.

We didn't put too much planning into the weekend, but it ended up working out really well. The concert was in Newark, NJ, but Erin and I stayed in Manhattan with some of my college friends. The train to the dirty Jerz was only about 20 mins and for those of us who still carry our college ID's everywhere the train was free, and it dumped us off only blocks from the venue. We almost missed the train due to some absurd taxi jam in the middle of Sunday night, but as soon as Erin and I secured our seats, we got our fierce faces on for the concert!

O yea. Fierce.

The train on the way back was a bit more of an ordeal. We had to wait for awhile, and then they ran everyone around to different tracks. Fortunately, Erin and I were able to take shelter inside of the train station bar.

I was quite surprised (and maybe a little impressed?) with how many people were kicking it at the Newark, NJ Penn Station bar at 11:30 at night. It's a crazy time. Our energy carried over back to the lower Eastside. Despite the biiiiitter cold, we were tried to experience some of the city.

We did some more exploring the next day and say some awesome silver rock and trees art work and the Museum of Sex! Boy you do not want to miss out on that. That museum has got some crazy exhibits going on. I'd discuss my favorite parts in more detail, but my mom reads this blog. I'd prefer that she just image my life full of discussing philosophy and sketching dried flowers. So I'll just close out now with PG photo montage of Erin's and my trip anyway.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Day off from Work but still Broke. What to do... Thank God for the Smithsonian!

The National Portrait Gallery was our destination today. (There may be a follow up post on museum etiquette since we had some very unpleasant run-ins on this trip, but for right now I just want to talk about how much I love this museum!) If you haven't been since the renovation a fews years ago, you haaaaaave to make it out there. It is a fabulous museum. Everything from the grand stairways to tucked away corner rooms with impress you. Although, nothing is as breathtaking as the enclosed courtyard. Here's Erin and my friend, Amy, checking it out.

The courtyard is a great space. You feel like you are outside, but it is actually covered by this undulating glass ceiling. The best part is not, however, the ceiling or the landscaping or the yummy smells wafting in from the cafe. Although, those are all great. The best part is the flat fountains that you can play in!

That would indeed be me acting like a child. You have to go and try it.

Ok there are actually some pictures in this museum as well. I know it doesn't seem like it, but you really can't blame me for getting distracted by a museum fountain that one is actually encouraged to play in. It was so contrary to the stuffy old marble museum image that I've always had, and don't pretend you wouldn't have been equally as distracted by the possibility of tromping around barefoot in a fountain. I know you would have. However, if you do ever get past the courtyard, there is a ton a fantastic exhibits to check out. We saw all 4 temporary exhibits, and each one was unique and taught me something. The first was a variety of artists' take on the hip hop culture called "Recognize." It combined photography of influential hip hop artists by David Scheinbaum (check out his picture of DJ Shadow, probably my favorite for its use of light), paintings by Kehinde Wiley (which updated classic works of art with hip hop artists and graffiti-like color schemes), graffiti by Tim Conlon and Dave Hupp, a video installation by Jefferson Pinder, AND (my favorite part) the mixed media installation collaboration between Nikki Giovanni (love her!) and Shinique Smith. There's only a few rooms in this exhibit, but there's a ton going on.

The next exhibit we hit was right around the corner. A mini exposé into the lady who was Katherine Hepburn, "One Life: KATE, A Centennial Celebration" is chock full of great Hepburn quotes (most concerning how fascinating she saw herself) and interesting bits of trivia. Plus it also has her 4 best actress oscars! (The most won by any actor or actress!)

There is also an extremely moving photography exhibition of African Americans who have made an impact furthering their race and culture called "Let Your Motto Be Resistance." They have portraits tracing from the early 19th century all the way up to some of the most recent movers and shakers in the black community. My favorites were 2 men. One was an impressive but sad story of "Blind Tom" Thomas Greene Wiggins. Although blind from birth (and possibly autistic), he learned to play the piano simply by listening. By 8 he was a touring prodigy, but Tom never was never able to free himself from under his owner's control. The profit of his whole life work went to someone else. The other was the story of William Edmundson, which has a much happier ending. He spent most of his life working handyman jobs, but one day when he was 59, he believed that he received a message from God. It inspired him to begin sculpting. With no training, he used railroad ties and a hammer to sculpt limestone. A critic stumbled upon his work, and shortly after in 1937 he became the first African American to have a solo exhibit at the MOMA. Those were just a few of the stories, but there were so many more inspiring ones. The exhibit ends on March 2nd. So you really should try to get out there while it is still there.

The final temporary exhibit, which you just CANNOT miss, is Colbert's portrait by the bathroom! You can see the skit related to his campaign to have his portrait put up in the Smithsonian at Comedy Central.

What a handsome devil. Ok, in addition to all of that stuff (which is a lot - I'm super impressed if you made it all the way through this post) there is rooms upon rooms of equally fabulous work from the museum's permanent collection. We spent almost 3 hours touring around and still skipped over at least half the museum. Seriously, you haaaaaave to go.

O yea, there are some pictures of presidents and stuff too I guess. They are by Colbert's portrait, so we gave them a peak. I mean, just because it was President's day and all. We kinda felt obligated.*

*Ok that was a lie. The President's Gallery is sweet, especially the picture of Bill Clinton. His ears and nose look absurd in it! You have to go see. You'll totally giggle and wonder why on Earth he chose that as his portrait.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

October is National Pizza Month... We Celebrated a Little Early at 2 Amy's

So it was gourmet pizza for Valentines Day!

Phew that was a lot of suspense built up from a whole 2 posts ago. I know it was just killing you, not knowing where Erin and I had chosen to go out for our Valentines dinner. Don't worry. You don't have to be embarrassed about being so invested in our lives. We are awfully interesting so I can't blame you.

So we picked 2 Amy's because the guy over at DC Foodies is always raving about how fabulous it is. Plus funds are sorta low (I mean when are they not? Thanks for that, recession. Maybe if Washington had economically stimulated me with their package already - O man there's another low brow joke. I told you I had no shame.) so we thought a great way to get away with a delicious and classy dinner without breaking the bank would be a gourmet pizza place. 2 Amy's is definitely affordable. The majority of their wines by the glass selection fell between the $5-$8 range. We definitely took advantage of that. The pizzas were also pretty reasonable, ranging from $10-$15 depending on how much they piled on there, and the one thing 2 Amy's cannot be criticized for is being slow. Erin and I had barely got our order out of our mouth before all of this appeared:

Supli a Telefono
(Fried risotto balls stuffed with cheese)

Pizza Vongole
(Garlic, Capers, Hot Pepers, Clams)

Pizza Margherita
(Tomato, Mozzarella di Bufala, Basil)

Overall review? Pretty good, but not making my top 5. (Sorry DC Foodies but we can agree to disagree, right? No? You want to start a war between blogs? Well fine then. Have it your way. I only wanted to be friends, but if your going to act like a child, then I don't want you as a friend anyway.) First the appetizers. We got smoked salmon croquettes and the above pictures Supli a Telefono. The stuffings of both were awesome. Still moist and very flavorful despite being fried food. However, the outside breading was thick and, after being fried, came out very hard. 2 Amy's could definitely benefit from some light bread crumbs. Maybe some fluffy Japanese ones? I know that's not Italian, but you can fudge it guys.

Onto the pizza. The dough was delish. Seriously, it was absolutely phenomenal, but you could really only tell in the crust because the center of the pizza was pounded so thin that it didn't have the same full flavor. It seemed like such a waste to not allow the dough a little more room to shine, considering that it was so good that this occasion marked the only time I ever actually eaten the crust of my pizza. I thought my pizza was also lacking a little in the cheese department, and for a cheese lover like me, this was sad news indeed. Erin's had a little more going on in that department, so if you are looking for a cheesier pizza, definitely go her route.

Overall, it was really the service and the wine that made 2 Amy's better than the average pizza joint for me. If I go back, I think I will definitely opt for a cheesier pizza, try some small plates instead of fried apps, and drink a lot more wine.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Filler Post

So Erin's and my Valentines Day dinner was lovely, and I will share all about it this weekend. However, right now I am so exhausted from work/dinner/cleaning up the apartment/being sick that I am going to have to put up a filler post in the mean time. So while you all (and by you all I mean Jamie and Steph and my mom since they are definitely 90% of our reader base) wait for a more substantive post, you can watch this lovely music video of the song from the new MacBook Air commercial. The singer (Yael Naim) is such a sweet looking person singing such a sweet little song. You totally just want to be her friend after watching her video, and if you're anything like me and get into repetitive little funks, you'll just sit at work all day and watch her video a million times while ignoring your... um... less favorite coworkers.

If that's not satisfying you, check out Sarah Bareilles' equally fun-girl-sing-along video of "Rhapsody for your TV" commercial fame.

Since I am now in a talented-female-artists-make-me-smile mood, let's throw in a little Tristan Prettyman goodie. She was introduced to me by one of those people who was never really a boyfriend but is still kind of an ex, and even though we didn't even come close to working out, I still got to steal some good music out of his collection, like Tristan. Finally, I'll leave you with Kina Grannis. She just won this super sweet contest hosted by Doritos during the Super Bowl which landed her a prime time spot to debut her video and a record deal. I found out about her because my work bff is actually great friends with her because they went to the same high school back in Cali. Before she ever won the contest, I was a total convert. Watch her video and just try not to be won over by how adorable she is. You just want to go shopping at thifts stores and dip your french fries in ice cream with her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cafe Milano? More like Cafe Yummy-o (that's Italian for delicious)

Tomorrow Erin and I are going out to dinner for Valentines day. We don't make it out to eat together all that often (unless you include the Greek Spot which some of you may not because technically its fast food but I totally consider the Greek Spot fine dining because it is indeed fiiiiine - o gyros I love you so), and I am really excited because we are trying one of the restaurants on our list! You'll have to wait around for the post on it to find out where we went. (O the suspense. I know you'll be back for that. Don't lie. You haaaave to know.) All this excitement had me reminiscing on one of Erin's and my first nights out together on the town at Cafe Milano for her birthday.

Happy birthday! Blow out the candle and make a wish!

Good job, Erin, but don't tell anyone or it won't come true. That dessert, by the way, was as delish as it was pretty, just like everything else that night. Erin and I went through and ordered pretty much one of every type of food they offered: inventive appetizer, salad, pizza, and pasta dish. Then just split it all. They were all great, but the hands down fav was the pasta. It was pumpkin stuffed, and the flavor of the whole dish was perfecto (that's Italian for perfect - look how fluent you are becoming while reading this post!). Sometimes I feel like restaurants add flavors like pumpkin because they are trendy at the moment or in season, but they don't really use the flavor to its full potential. They cover it up with too many other flavors, or they cook in a way that diminishes flavor instead of enhancing it. Cafe Milano, however, really worked it! The pumpkin was strong and sweet, and it went so well with the creamy but light sage sauce. These kids know how to do Italian pasta. Don't get me wrong. I love some myself some absurdly cheesy, American-style Alfredo smothered all over some grilled chicken and tortellini, but (guilty pleasures aside) this is how pasta dishes were meant to be done.

Also the champagne was yummy-o (remember that's Italian for delish - I'm testing you to make sure these language lessons have really been ingrained). I preordered Erin a bottle of Vueve because I stand by the belief that no matter what the occasion (birthday, wedding, dentist appointment, or Chris having the chance to make it to the final 3 on Project Runway), you cannot go wrong with a glass of bubbly!

(By the way, this picture is actually from Erin's dentist appointment post celebration.... Haha no. I kid. It's from her bday. Erin doesn't get her teeth cleaned. She's dirty.... No no. I kid again. She's clean. Sometimes.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stealing an old post

Search for J Street was not my first blog. I know its hard to believe since in the last week and half J Street has become so intertwined in my life that it has become hard to see myself ever being with another blog, but its true. My old blog was not, however, without a few fun posts before we closed down shop, and so tonight I am going to steal the post about Solly's trivia night.

And I quote: "The best kept secret in DC has to be Solly's trivia night. Erin and I had been dying to go, but they only host it every other Wednesday. We were always getting our Wednesdays confused, and Erin used to work at night. So even if we did remember, she was probably working. Alas, the trivia gods finally shined on us, though. Erin got a fabulous new job with regular hours, and we remembered that this was trivia week! Off we went, joined by our fabulous teammates, Steph and Courtney. We called ourselves "The Figgies" because figs are very trendy right now.

Thanks for spelling it phonetically, Erin. We wouldn't want them to be confused by our nonsense name. Now for the first 3 rounds we were actually doing really well. We couldn't believe it. We were in first place! I kid you not. Look:

Ok, I know that's impossibly hard to see, but trust me. It is us. I just have a crappy camera. Our beginners luck ran out after that, but the night was in no way diminished. In fact we could have gotten every answer wrong, and I still would have been content to sit there and wallow in my own stupidity. Why? B/c the DC rugby team hosts this trivia night, and they are hot! I couldn't believe that we were the only all girls team in the place. Maybe it's because Solly's is all the way on the end of U St. Maybe it's because Solly's doesn't look like anything special from outside. I don't know. What I do know is that The Figgies will be at every trivia night from here on out, ogling the rubgy men. And get this. On top of being hot and hosting trivia, they spotlight charities during the trivia nights and collect money for them. Men who are hot and have hearts of gold! What a great night. Plus my ipod won a contest for best playlist, and they bought us a round of drinks! (The secret was to load the playlist with a bunch of Irish drinking songs. We couldn't lose!)

Then, when I left to go to work this morning, I stumbled into something strange on our patio and remembered that Erin and I stole a bale of hay last night. I blame that last round of drinks. We can't be held responsible for our actions when we are on a post-best-ipod-playlist-celebration buzz.