Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Previously on Search for J Street...

Our 2 heroes found themselves in a bind as they faced what seemed like certain doom at either the hands of the Chicago mafia or the devious trap imagined by none other than the Deep Dish villain...

Haha nooo. I'm just playing with you. There was no super hero action. I wiiiish, but that doesn't mean the rest of day 1 in Chicago was without adventure! After I got done at Northwestern, I wandered around the area for a bit looking for the 22 bus which would take me to the hostel where we were all staying. One stop into a weird shoe store and chat with an ultra friendly doorman later, I finally found my bus stop and made it up
town where Erin and my friend Katie J were waiting for me. They had stumbled upon this delicious cafe called Basil Leaf. Erin and Katie J got yummy looking sandwiches, but when my salad came out it put the sandwiches to shame!

It came with delicious berries and nuts and crumbled blue cheese aaaaaand a honey vinaigrette to top the whole thing off! Plus the waitress and the kitchen were very accommodating. When I asked if they'd take the blueberries off, they gave me tons of extra strawberries! If you are ever frequenting the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, you need to stop by. Not only is the food good; the wine is yummy, the service is friendly, the prices are reasonable, and the customers who sit behind your table and end up in your pictures are quite humorous.

See there's a funny man waving to our parents, and then there he is saluting us with his wine. He was sills. His wife was totally trying to drag him out of the restaurant because he was embarrassing her, but he just made us giggle.

Well after an hour and a half lunch, Erin, Katie J, and I are getting a little worried. See we were suppose to have a 4th joining us, my friend Julia (Baltimore Julia). She said her plane was to land at 1, and by the time lunch was over it was almost 3. Why hadn't we heard from her? Did her plane hit the same Lost-esque turbulence? Was she dead? Alive? Trapped on mysterious island?

*RING* Phew. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief. There she was. It had just taken her a solid hour and a half to commute to the hostel from O'Hare. The crew was all together! Mayhem was sure to ensue.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My computer is BAAAAAACK!

And now I shall finally be able to catch you up on my jet set life! J Street tackles new cities!

Who knew when it came down to it that Erin would turn out to be just like my mom? I never really believed she would be able to play the responsible one. But there I was, at 6:10 a few weeks back, hating her for waking me up 5 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off, just like my mom used to do.


"It's not 6:15"

"Cara stop splitting hairs. I'm making you breakfast."

*GRUMBLE* And then I roll out of bed and pop into the shower. By the time I get out, there is a feast waiting for me on my bed: scrambled eggs, cheesy grits, bacon, honey glazed ham, and toast. It's all a bit cold (I take long showers), but the thought is there. Erin and I run around nibbling on our breakfasts and finishing up all those last minute things we needed to get done. By the time we went outside to catch our shuttle to the airport, I was feeling pretty good about life. All my loose ends at work had been tied up, I had cleaned the kitchen and living room, Erin had cleaned the bathroom, we had eaten as much of our left over food as we could (hence the enormous breakfast), thrown away everything that wasn't going to last, and I even had time to water all of the plants. I told Erin sometimes we are such good little adults. I'm really proud of us!

Then we were off to our first stop: Chicago!

Those are the clouds over Lake Michigan. I was admiring the shadows they made on the water for awhile. Then our plane hit some rather upsetting turbulence, and I wasn't in the mood to admire anything anymore. Erin had taken a few "Tylenol" to get her through the plane ride without her ciggies, and somehow those knocked her out enough so that she didn't notice that the entire plane pulling apart at its seams. I, on the other hand, was perfectly aware of how much this resembled the first episode of Lost. (Except I didn't see any hottie doctors or con artists on my plane. Plus, if we landed on an island, it was going to be a bitter cold one up in a great lake instead of a tropical one with mangos.) We fortunately managed to land (on the second try) without me throwing up all over Erin's stupid grinning face.

Then I was off to my first law school: Northwestern!

The original motivation of this trip was to visit law schools. Partly because I wanted to learn about the specific schools I visited, and partly because I wanted to learn about what to look for in law schools in general. (Well and partly to take off from work and play around in a bunch of different cities, but I try to pretend that I am super studious and that was really just a serendipitous benefit.) Northwestern was my first stop. I had a really chill Asian gal with a woven orange beret take me around for a tour. She was a good tour guide, but even more than that, she seemed like a person I wouldn't mind spending 3 grueling years sitting next to. Hopefully she was representative of the student body in general. Another plus was that the campus is in a great location. Right on the beach and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The library has a breath taking view of the lake, and the top of the Magnificent Mile is only 2 blocks away (which means lots of shopping!)

In the next episode, will Erin and I meet up with the Super Friends to take down the Chicago mafia or will the Deep Dish villain lure us into his diabolical trap? Stay tuned to find out. Same bat time! Same bat place!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More technical difficulties...

I know I have been quite remiss in my postings. I don't mean to! It's just that the wires in my power chord, which have been slowly fraying for some time now, finally split, and so last Thursday my computer died. I am tempted to turn this post into a rant against Macbooks because this is the third thing that has crapped out on me in the year and a half that I've had my computer. (The other 2 being the battery and the hard drive.) Generally, I am really infuriated with the quality of product. Erin has the old iBook. Her computer is a good 6-9 months older than mine, and she has never once had a single problem. I'm sure that the second Mac got popular, which was in part due to claims of better quality, they decided to jump of the profit wagon and cut costs by getting monkeys to design and build their new Macbooks. Now I have ended up with an expensive piece of poo. (So note to consumers: if you are in the market for a Mac, invest in a refurbished iBook! You will thank me 5 years down the road when your computer still kicks ass and all the Macbooks are being used solely to prop up uneven table legs.)

Ok I'm sorry. I said this wasn't going to turn into a rant, and it did. I'm just in a very emotional place right now with the dying of my computer and the limiting of my blogging, but there is a silver lining! So I went onto the Apple site last night to look up power chords, and those bastards are charging $80 a pop for a product with an average of a 1.5 star rating! I was very sour about paying that much. So I got onto Ebay, and found one for $38! What a better price, right? So I bid on it, and I have to confess this is only the second time I have ever bid on anything on Ebay. The first time I got so freaked out about it (what if the product was in terrible condition? what if it didn't fit? what if it wasn't anything like the picture? what if they wouldn't give my money back? etc...) that I just cancelled the bid. This time, though, I saw it through, and I won! So you are officially looking at a girl who lost her Ebay virginity. Fiiiiiiiiinally. So hopefully in a few days Search for J Street will be back up on my computer screen, and maybe I will even be surfing Ebay again (but with a little more confidence)!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ack! Technical Difficulties!

I am having a bit of a technical issue. (I never thought I would get savvy enough with my blog features that I would have technical issues. It's kinda cool!) See I took all these different videos of stuff during the trip, thinking that these videos would compliment my witty posts and give you, the reader, a fuller sense of how awesome the law school trip has been. But Blogger is being a poo poo head, and won't let me load any of my videos! So the only solution that I've come up with is to start a youtube channel, upload my videos there, and then embed them in my blog. This, however, is a lot of steps, and I have had neither the time nor solid internet access to accomplish this. (Unless anyone out there has a less time consuming solution. I'm all ears!) So, sadly, you all will have to wait until I get this video feature up and running. I am shooting to get that done next week. Then I plan on holing myself up in my living room and blogging until the ends of the world the following weekend because I know you, dear readers, are dying to hear about the law school trip adventures (and also because I have spent so much money on this trip - which is not even over yet! - that I cannot actually afford to leave the apartment for the next month except to go to work - which is super sad because half of the money was spent on cute new clothes!) So bear with me! I promise I will get this worked out, and it will bring us to a whole new level in our blog relationship. Blog second base! Sweet action in a bottle!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

More about the Chi-Town

Ok we just got home and cleaned up. Our taxi ride home from the bar was hysterical. For the 1st half we're sitting there all quiet, and then Katie mentions this Family Feud question: things that ruin a cab drivers day - top 5 answers. (On a side note, Family Feud used to be Katie's and my show! During summer break we would call each other at 11 when it came on and play along with the show. I mean we loved it that much. Aaaand Al Boreland was the host at the time! He was totally lovable as the host. I wish it had lasted longer!) So apparently the answers on the show were (in no particular order): a flat tire, a ticket, a low fair, traffic, and being robbed. Erin and I are disgusted at these answers because we think that puking and doing something naughty in the back seat should have made the top 5. Well at this point or cab driver cannot restrain himself anymore. He says, "Noooo way. People can do whatever naughty things they want in this car as long as I get to watch." Which, of course, has us in hysterics. So having now actually asked a cab driver what ruins his day, I can tell Family Feud that tickets do not make the list, puking does make the list (the smell and the cleaning up are one of the worst things ever), and having inappropriate relations... well they apparently will actually make a cabbie's day. Who knew?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Greetings from Chi-town!

O man, funny story - get this... So last night we stopped into some random bar in our neighborhood after seeing Baby Wants Candy (which was awesome! and I will give more details later, but first...). That bar was called something super generic like Chi Town Pub or Chi Town Bar. We get in. Have a few buttery nipples. Order a pitcher of beer. Then it all of a sudden clicks for Julia (who is my genius friend getting her Phd at Hopkins but who for some reason doesn't always function in the common sense level). She says, "Oooo. Chi Town means Chicago! Not an abbreviation for Chinatown!" No I kid you not. Direct quote. Could I make this shit up? Well ok, I probably could, but I didn't. This is her 4th time visiting Chicago, and she just now gets what Chi Town means? O Julz! That is totally why I keep you around. You're sills.

Anyways life in Chicago has generally awesome. We've done a ton of stuff so far and had some super yummy food. I don't even know where to begin! O I did actually look at a law school too.

Seeeee. This trip isn't aaaaall play. (Just 96.2% play.) But we're off to grab some true Chicago deep dish. So I'll have to wait until tomorrow for more details. I'm sorry to keep you in such nail biting anticipation. I know you are just dying to here what we've been up to here, but you will just have to wait a bit longer. Trust me, all the suspense will just make it that much better. Ok off to paint Chi Town red! (That one's for you Julz. Sorry, I can't help but poke fun a little!)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Off we go!

Search for J Street will be on the road for the next 10 days! I'm off to visit law schools/ditch out on work and play around in other cities. Tomorrow morning (actually in like 6 hours - man I need to get to bed), Erin and I are catching a plane to Chicago where we are meeting 2 girl friends from high school. We have the weekend in Chicago. On Monday we head to Boston. On Wednesday we make a quick stop in New Haven just to eat at this amaaaaazing sushi place called Miya. (I went to visit a friend at Yale once, and he took me there. Now ever since I have been trying to get back with Erin. It is honest to God just that good. So good we are diverting the trip just to have dinner there. So good we have set away hundreds to eat there. So good my heart is pounding just thinking about the sheer unmatched deliciousness. O sooo good.) Then Erin heads home while I play around in NYC from Thursday through the weekend. Aaaah! All so exciting! Adventures to be had and what not!

There is one sad part about leaving, and that is leaving all this gorgeous weather which I have not yet had a chance to enjoy in order to spend my days slushing around in snow in Chicago and rain in Boston. I am way sad that my trip couldn't have been more perfectly timed to miss the beautiful days in each city. We literally are arriving with the rain and then bringing it to the next city with us. This would normally make me a pouty girl. But I'm not because THESE arrived yesterday:

My koi fishy galoshes! I know, I know. They are maybe the coolest thing eeeeever! So now I can suck up all the rainy dismal weather because my feet with be styling! Nothing is going to keep me from exploring. The metaphorical search for J Street will go on in Chicago, Boston, and New York. I will be blogging from the road. So I'll be sure to post some pictures of the boots in action when I update you all on my life. (Ok, I realize you probably are not nearly as impressed with my fishy boots as I am, but you're going to have to humor my new obsession until the novelty wears off. Sorry, that's just how it is. So your better pretend to be impressed with all these fishy boot pictures or else! Or else what, you say? Or else we're not friends anymore! What?! You do not have other friends. Well fine. I don't need you either.)

(No, I do need you! Come back! I promise to keep the fishy boot pictures to minimum, ok? Good. Let's never fight again!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Home again, Home again, Jiggety-jig: Search for J Street back at the E-Market

I made my first trip of the year to Eastern Market this weekend. Mostly I made the trip to appease my girlfriends from New York who were in town (since the produce specifically the heirloom tomatoes haven't really kicked into full gear yet - which is a lot of what I go for... mmm heirloom tomatoes... sooo yummy). See I had this skirt that I got at Eastern Market way back in the summer of '06 when I was interning on the Hill. My senior year roommate loved the skirt so much that she pretty much never gave it back the entire year we lived together. For real, I think it was actually hanging in her closet at certain points in the year when she had just totally given up on the charade of "borrowing" it, which was fine because it is a very bold skirt and, unlike her, I only had a hankering to wear it every once in awhile. Since this was her first trip to DC since she first laid eyes my skirt, she had a strong desire to check out the market for herself and see if she could find something she liked equally as well. The other NYC visitor and all of us DC natives were up for something quasi cultural anyways. So we all headed down.

It was a great day for checking out the market. I mean firstly, it had finally stopped raining. God it rains a lot in this city. (In fact I finally got so sick off all this rain I broke down and ordered new galoshes even though I had been trying to save money for my upcoming law school trip. I just couldn't take the wet feet anymore. And I was ruining my H&M walking shoes - ok yes, the shoes were only $12 but stiiiiill. I'd like them to last at least a season. And anyways I'd had my eye on these boots forever. They have koi fish on them and are hot! I can't wait until tomorrow when they arrive!) And secondly, it wasn't too cold out either. I even got away with wearing a dress! Gosh I miss dress season! So there was lots of frolicking in bare legs and window shopping. Even thought the market is not really in full swing yet, I already saw a ton of things I am coveting! Exhibit 1: This super adorable, perfectly round ottoman. Aw if it was a person, you'd totally be pinching its little cheeks right now!

Exhibit 2: Colorful things! I heart colorful things! Especially the chandelier below! If the walls in our apartment weren't made of out paper, Erin and I would have totally gotten it. Sadly I can't even hang a bitty little picture without the plaster caving in so we'll have to wait until we get a little more quality of a place to hang a chandelier.

Exhibit 3: Which-one-of-these-is-not-like-the-other watering cans. Perfect as an art statement in our little patio garden! I feel like these watering cans were a little over priced, but I am totally considering making the statement with some equally cute but maybe cheaper ones later in the summer.

Exhibit 4: Vintage sunglasses. Ok actually I don't really covet these since they are so big on everyone's head, but I do love how fun they are to play dress up in. I totally miss being 10 and playing dress up. To this day theme parties are still my favorite because for that night its ok to be 20-something and still playing dress up.

Exhibit 5: Huge cuffs. O lust!

Exhibit 6: The tin ceiling pane framed mirrors! I have wanted one of these since we moved to DC, but never bring enough money to Eastern Market to afford one. Plus it always kills me how overpriced they seem, but I know at some point this summer I am going to cave and buy one. I just cannot resist their seductive call much longer. It's like this mirror is telling me: "Cara, look how good your bare, warm season legs and sweet little dress look in me. Just take me home , and I will tell you how good you look all the time!" O tin ceiling pane framed mirror, you're so bad! But I like it.

O but the best moment of exploring Eastern Market was when Allie found a dress in the exact same print as the skirt I bought 2 summers ago! (See skirt in this post for comparison.) We were never expecting to see that print again, and yet there it was. She almost bought it just for the sheer coincidence factor, but in the end we decided that the pattern was a little much for an entire dress. O well, I guess that just means I will have to deal with Allie still borrowing my skirt whenever she gets the chance. Fortunately for me we live in different cities now, instead of the same room. So I'm no too worried about it. (I'm far more worried about how I am going to afford all the Miu Miu embellished heels that I am dying for this season!)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Sartorialist Exhibit!

So every fashionable DC blogger was all over the arrival of the Sartorialist show at the Adamson Gallery. I really wanted to go to the fabulous opening party or the fabulous party for Scott Schuman when he was in town, but sadly my schedule did not allow. Last weekend I got myself together and finally made it there to check out the exhibit with Steph and Erin. A handful of the photos I recognized from the website, but most of them were ones I had never seen before/didn't remember if I had seen. So it was a lot of fun checking everything out! Since I've started Search for J Street, I take so many more photos of life so I can post pictures of what I accomplish along with writing about it, and I think my budding interest in photography gave me a bit more of an appreciation for the composition aspect of the photos. When I first started following the Sartorialist (pre-blog inception), I was definitely only interested in the clothes, but now I am so inspired by how Scott puts together his photos. One day I hope to have my friends and I posed in equally inspiring ways in the photos on my blog! Then they will look uber hip like boy with the dreamy lips on the left or girl with the knee socks in the wind tunnel above!

The overall layout of the gallery was somewhat striking in its minimalism, especially compared to the subjects in the photos who normally are anything but minimal in their dress. The affect was very sophisticated. I felt so mature and cultural just being in the building!

These 2 photos next to each other reminded me so much of Erin and I. There's the girl on the right in her suit and tie. The outfit's structured and completely pulled together. (That's me.) Then there's the girl on the left in something loose, flowy, and totally relaxed. (That's Erin.) I guarantee you that when we're 30 we'll look just like these girls, equally fabulous in our own ways.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Aaaah! Another Blog Celeb Sighting!

You guys are not going to believe what happened today! (Ok from the title of the post you probably already guessed that it has to do with a blog celeb sighting, but when I get to that part of the post, just act surprised anyway, will ya? Just humor me!)

So I decided that working at this corporate law firm was a good way to pay the bills and get my foot in the legal door, but it's not really one of those jobs that makes me feel good about my contribution to society... well... because basically my contribution to society is killing trees by printing endless unneeded documents for companies that probably did something bad.

(Photo courtesy of Gail van Varseveld)

In the grand scheme of the universe of karma, I don't think I'm doing very well at the moment, and so I decided to try and volunteer. The first thing that came to mind was the local paper, Street Sense. I had thought when I first moved to DC that it was some sort of scam, but then I read it once. There was one left over at the Greek Spot while I was waiting for my food one night. I can still remember so clearly, when I realized that the whole paper was dedicated to giving the poor and homeless in DC a voice, how impressed I was with the endeavor and how mad I was at myself for being so judgmental of the paper at first. So when they finally emailed me back about volunteering, I jumped at the chance to go to their orientation tonight!

I wandered into the church where Street Sense is located, and, after a bit of stumbling, finally found the bell for the Street Sense suite. Tromp tromp tromp. Someone comes down the stairs to let me in, and it is none other than Betsy who write the blog Fashion is Spinach! The best part was, she opened the door and says, "O my gosh, it's you!"


Well to be more accurate she recognized my coat (the one from my shopping spree at The Remix. It's a pretty unmissable coat), but what a small world! Fashion is Spinach is one of my fav blogs ever, and one day Betsy wrote about how she was from Delaware in a post. Which is crazy because I am from Delaware too!

(Photo courtesy of

So I wrote her an email (which I've never done before - well not that I've never written an email. Of cooooourse I've done that. I mean I've never written one of my bloggers before). And then she wrote me back! So I sent her my blog, and obvi she reads it because she remember the coat. Which is equal part embarrassing and flattering because as much as I adore my little J Street blog, Fashion is Spinach is way better. Betsy's been doing the whole writing thing for quite some time longer. Well anyways she was there to volunteer too, and so I am hoping I run into her again. Blog celeb sightings are so fun!