Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

On Saturday I had one of those days that seems so almost never happen: a Ferris Bueller Day. 'What is a Ferris Bueller Day?' you may be asking yourself. Well, loyal reader, a Ferris Bueller Day is a day in which you seem to accomplish an extraordinary amount of things. For Ferris that day included convincing his hypochondriac friend to boost his own father's Ferrari, springing his girlfriend from school, eating out at a fine dinning establishment for lunch under the pretense of being the "Sausage King of Chicago," sneaking onto a float in a major parade, visiting the an art museum, and catching a foul ball at game at Wrigley field, which, you have to admit, is an awful lot to accomplish between the hours of 8am and 5pm. My day involved no elaborate answering machine rouses (sadly), but I did manage to tour the Library of Congress, have lunch in Eastern Market, pick up a new fabulously bright coat at a vintage shop, bake cookies (from scratch! Mom aren't you proud?!), attend a St. Patty's Day party, dance my butt off at my last salsa lesson, and then re-attend the fore-mentioned party. Phew! I am tired just thinking about it all again, especially considering that most weekend days I maybe run some errands, maybe clean a bit, maybe go out, but mostly lay in bed.

So the day started off on the right foot to begin with, a surprisingly quick metro trip down to Capital Hill. Trains pulled up exactly as I walked onto the platform, and fellow train riders were in great St. Patrick's Day spirits.

I got off at Cap South to the sight of a gorgeous blue sky with happy little clouds. It made a great backdrop to be exploring some of the national treasures that I have resolved to take better advantage of. The Library of Congress actually has 3 buildings, but the Jefferson building is the oldest and the one most often associated with the institution.

(Look at that happy cloud in the background!)

I was really impressed by the outside of the building, but little did I know that there was even more going on inside. Walking into the main hall completely took my breathe away. They say that the Jefferson building is one of the most beautiful in America, and I would have to agree. I've seen few others that can even compare.


Sorry some of the pictures did not come out that well. You're not allowed to use a flash so some of my shots are a little dim or blurry. I guess one of these days I should invest in a better camera!

The librarians room! The door was so tiny. They must only appoint very small Librarians of Congress.

This is one of only 3 perfect copies of the vellum printed Gutenberg bible left in the world. (The other 2 being in England and France.) Vellum printed means that each of those pages are actually made out of animal skin instead of parchment. Kind of icky, huh? But still pretty cool!

The stain glass windows were so amazing! As were all of the floor tilings. I was obsessed with the amount of details that went into them and took a ton of pictures of the floor. Some of the designs also inspired me fashion-wise, especially the yellow and brown interweaving chain 2 pictures down. I just thought it would be perfect as a hem design on a dress. Maybe I will make it a project of mine this summer to recreate it.

Look at my cultural friends taking in the sights!

And here's my cultural friends, inspired by their surroundings, thinking up novel ideas and new philosophies. They are so smart!

Also, there are all these quotes about knowledge all over the building from great thinkers across the ages, and I was just amazed that the Library of Congress had the foresight to include a quote from Schoolhouse Rock, which, although quite young in the grand scheme of great thinkers across time, has cemented itself as a classic source of wisdom for our times.*

After being cultural and learned all morning, we were all pretty hungry. Being cultural and learned takes a lot out of you. Fortunately it was a beautiful day. It had warmed up while we were inside, and the sky was still full of happy little clouds when we got out. So we walked over to Eastern Market, which is only a few blocks away, and quickly agreed on a Greek restaurant.

I've actually passed this place a million times when I used to work on the Hill, but before I was always heading towards some bar for happy hour. So I was pretty excited to actually get the chance to try it, having learned that hole-in-the-wall Greek place are really where it's at (thanks to the Greek Spot over on 11th and U! Mmmmm. So good.) Once inside, I realized that it was actually a quaint little place and not as much of a hole-in-the-wall as I had thought. Plus it also was quite bustling. So I guess everyone but me was in on the fact that Zack's Tavern is the place to be.

As for the food? I am quite the cheese lover. So when I saw some sort of sizzling cheese appetizer, I jumped on it. I thought it was going to be a Greek version of mozzarella sticks, but I am apparently a complete novice when it comes to Greek food because that is not what came out at all. Instead what I got was, quite literally, flaming cheese.

That's sizzling cheese if I ever saw some. As for how it tasted? It was alright. I liked the cheese. It was melty and mild but also a little sweet. However they doused the whole dish in a bit too much lemon and wine. It tended to overwhelm the cheese. We all got gyro's for our main course. Unlike the sizzling cheese, there was nothing disappointing about them! They were loaded with all the yummy stuff, the lamb was well spiced and tender, and the feta was what really topped them off. It was completely melted. I feel that most of the time when I order a gyro, the feta is thrown on at the end and is still cold. Gyros are yummy no matter what, but I didn't realize how much having the whole thing baked in together really added to the sandwich. There was no cold cheese or veggies to stand in contrast to the meat. It was all warm and melty together. We were all big fans! Look at those smiles from happy customers:

So after we paid our bill (Side note: the check came out and our server's name was Kookie. With a K! You know she had to be a stripper at her other job), we wandered towards the market/metro and ran into a vintage store that for some reason I had never investigated before, despite my love for vintage. How could I be so remiss? We remedied this immediately.

Jess tried on some fantatsically high (almost drag queen-esque) shoes, which made her approximately an entire foot taller than Amy.

Remix also had a small area of random but all very fun vintage furnishings. I was particularly taken by a pair of matching mini suitcases in a green and blue flower pattern. They seemed like the perfect carry on.

Amy is actually the one who spotted this crazy coat, but I proceeded to fall in love with it instantly after having in brought to my attention. After a quick modeling show in the mirror, I had to have it. How often does a girl come across such a fabulous green and blue brocade, full length 70's coat? Not that often, let me tell you. If you have the good fortune to come across one, don't let the chance pass you by! I actually wore the coat to work today, and even though it was chilly out again, I felt so springy being in such bright colors! (Plus it also matches my new obnoxiously bright shoes!)

Amy gets her party on with the party shirts before we leave!

While I would have loved to stay and peruse the market as well, I had to get home to bake cookies and get ready for my friend, Michael's, carbomb party. Michael and his group tend to be a total mess, lots of fun but nonetheless a total mess. Despite the eventual debacle I knew their party would turn into, I was impressed with how much effort they put into. Look at their carbomb station! (And notice the delicious cookies!)

We finally got back home and crashed. And that was my Ferris Bueller Day.

*Apparently some guy name Sir Francis Bacon actually came up with that line and not Schoolhouse Rock, but I think this is all just a plot to discredit Schoolhouse. Don't you worry. I'll get to the bottom of this. Schoolhouse Rock will be recognized as the source of wisdom that it is!

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