Category Archives: Wander

D.C.’s Music Scene – Win!

In the past three weeks, I’ve been to three great shows, and there are more coming up and I am really excited and nervous because some of them have sold out already, others of them are artists who have sold out very quickly in the past, so I am eager to see these artists and stay on my game to get in to see them!

Recently though, I saw:

Marnie Stern at the Rock and Roll Hotel!

Die Antwoord at the 9:30 Club!

and…

The Blow at the Black Cat!

(You  can’t see here, but there was a smoke machine and an industrial fan making her look totally ridiculous and awesome at this moment.)

All these shows were totally radical and I really enjoyed them.

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Wow.

Hello, blog!

It’s been a while!

I went to Milan.

I went to Afghanistan.

(wasn’t really allowed to take any pictures…) but I stopped in Dubai! (This is the new tallest building in the world, btw.)

I wore myself out.

MY APARTMENT IS CLEAN.

I’ve been practicing doing math. I’ve been researching things that I want to do. I’ve been planning time with family, and time with friends. I’ve been taking ballet classes (more to come). I’ve been obsessively searching for accent jewelry pieces that do not make me feel generic. I’ve been adjusting to the cold weather! And generally enjoying myself.

I’ve started a new sweater. While the last one (for sister) was a lace pattern and very lovely, the lace pattern was large, the stitches were large, and the entire project was actually, if you can believe it, easier than it will be for me to complete this sweater in a very basic stockinette stitch with a raglan shape. Oy vey. I swear, it will be more difficult to finish, if only because I haven’t been giving it the time. Hopefully with some time riding in the car to family functions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I might come close to finishing the body before New Year’s? It’s only pathetic because when Spud and Chloe did it as a knit along on their blog, it only took a couple of weeks, and that was ages ago, and I think I started around when they did! Nevermind that I had to stop and start over again.  I’ll post soon about this sweater alone and more about the knitalong — which is still available online even if those who were actually knitting along have long since finished.

Anyway, I am excited to be blogging again!

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heatwave!

It is hot.

It is intensely hot.

It has broken 100 degrees more often than not lately, and today, though the temperature will not actually rise above 95, the humidity has increased significantly. It’s wild! It’s crazy! It’s unbelievable how hot it has been! Summer is great! But holy guacamole! This is nuts!

Awesome things from summer have been cook-outs and new friends and baseball games! I finally made it to one at Nationals Stadium, but I have to admit my preference still lies with Camden Yards. Oldie but a goodie. It’s so good. But Nationals Stadium does have Bens Chili Bowl working to its advantage.

One week after my first Nats Stadium experience, I managed to see the Nats play the O’s at Camden Yards and the O’s swept the series so I think that sealed the deal. A pretty grim match-up but baseball games rule no matter what, even when it’s 100 degrees and you’re in the beating sun and literally melting into a puddle, actually no not then, but almost every other time. (We moved to much less expensive, much more in-the-shade seats within an inning and a half…) Point being: BASEBALL IS FUN!

I have this new bocce ball set that I am really excited about — I’ve been waiting and waiting for exactly the right time to break it out and break it in, but it’s been SO HOT! Impossibly hot — impossible for bocce anyway. Bodily contact with anything other than the hardwood floor has been downright uncomfortable. There’s nothing for it. Even the A/C is no match for the humidity.

Yesterday my friend visited and though I have no photographic evidence of this, I will go ahead and tell you all the things we did to cool off. We went to a museum (the National Gallery of Art), we ate spicy foods (not logical, but yes delicious), we went to the pool, and we drank iced coffee in Busboys and Poets.

The pool was awesome because we used to think that when they blew the whistles and everyone got out, that everyone had to get out. I actually asked, and it turns out it’s adult swim, which means that I don’t have to get out! That was really great.

Other things I’ve done lately to cool off in this crazy bigger-picture heatwave (many weeks this has gone on, with few interruptions of nice sub-75-degree mornings, and infrequent but sometimes-cool breezes) include the following delightful things.

PUSH-UPS!!! Childhood memories abound!

Anyway, that was awesome.

My friend who visited, upon arriving in the apartment, promptly informed me that my consumption of grapes was all wrong, and then put all my grapes in the freezer, which was also awesome.

I’ve been meaning to finish knitting my first pair of socks (I still only have one…) and a pair of mittens (I still only have 1.75…) but touching yarn is so uncomfortable that I can’t really bring myself to do it. I’ve been reading a lot, which has been nice. The long weekend was great. We watched fireworks from a friend’s rooftop and had a really awesome panoramic view of all the fireworks – legal and otherwise – all over the District and surrounding cities.

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BEST: egg

Memorial Day weekend, my sister and I had a whirlwind trip to Brooklyn. We ate perfect food at perhaps my favorite breakfast establishment (anywhere?) and I have to share it. We didn’t order anything I hadn’t had before, but that’s because I love the things we did eat so much.

Please enjoy these photos of our breakfast. YUM!

coffee and beignets

biscuits and vegetarian gravy (w/ mushrooms) and caramelized grapefruit with brown sugar and mint

eggs rothko - brioche with egg over easy under melted cheese, with candied bacon and a broiled tomato

requisite table-top portrait - sisters

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Beach weekend

Last weekend S and I decided spontaneously to go to the beach. We made the plan in a bar on Friday night, and when my phone rang at 6:05am on Saturday, I felt a mix of satisfaction and pleasant surprise at myself and S and our following through with said plan. By 7:15 we had hit the road, with all the requisite beach-going supplies, including camping necessities in the event that we found ourselves with no place to go come night-fall. We got crepes for breakfast from a real Frenchman upon our arrival. (Yum!)

It was a perfect day, if a little (a lot) windy. S got more sun than I did, and one of our mini lacrosse sticks broke right in half mid-use, but I had a real-sized one in my trunk and so it didn’t ruin any fun. We saw dolphins, had subs for lunch, read books, wore hats (too windy for the umbrella), and had a really nice time. I got new earrings. We played roof-top minigolf on the boardwalk, took a spin through the haunted mansion, went on that pirate ship/sea dragon awful thing (and enjoyed it, if only for the relief of walking on solid ground afterwards — in my case), played skeeball and wack-a-mole (S won).  We had a drink at the Dogfish Head brewery and then took a recommendation for a really good Chinese place (a little overpriced, but very tasty nonetheless). We were seated in the restaurant’s display window, which was pretty awkward when a crowd was standing and waiting to be seated, right next to us (through the glass), but we didn’t let it get to us. I took it as a compliment, although I guess I prefer compliments that don’t involve strangers staring while I eat my peking duck.

Sunday was pretty gloomy looking and rather chilly, despite having had a really lovely forecast on Friday evening. We decided to split after breakfast, but didn’t get very far before we turned around and went back because it seemed like things were taking a turn for the better. It was still a little cold on the beach, but it was nice reading and sprawling in the sun for a bit, even in my denim jacket and not a bathing suit.

Stopped at Holly’s on the way back (tiny restaurant on the east side of the Bay Bridge with really tasty crab soup and milk shakes), and did a word search containing all 50 states.

It was a really nice weekend. It’s reassuring when something so spur-of-the-moment goes so smoothly. (It also didn’t hurt that it was just before Memorial Day weekend and things were still technically “off season”) I hope this happens many more times between now and autumn.

Side note: Apparently this upscale bus line is starting summer service between DC and Deleware beaches Memorial Day weekend!

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recently

"dinner" out with "ladies"

morning after - fresh fruit, coffee

flowers in my office window last week

Tulips on the Tidal Basin

sprawling to read/nap/knit on the Tidal Basin

These have replaced my single tulip in my office window. (Tulip died, I procured three african violets after receiving a tip on the care and keeping of them, and then my boss went on vacation and left her green things in my care. A risky move, for sure, but I'll do my best.

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Fun!

via Lindsey

This weekend, my friend Brooke and I organized a reunion for alumni in DC, meant to be a potluck picnic. It turned out so great, and our location was so idyllic that we were even featured in Prince of Petworth by a stranger.

It was pretty fabulous. We had approximately 1 million snacks and I didn’t ever do a headcount, but the group photo above was taken after a few people had already departed. We even had one member of the entering class of ’66 (the third class ever) and one from ’86. It is really impressive to look at the very recent graduating classes also. There is a really amazing concentration of us in the area, given the small size of our graduation classes. People are doing really great and interesting things! Among us there are law students, grad students, interns, employees of the government and private sector, commercial and non-profit, as well as doing impressive and inspiring things with their personal lives – really compelling hobbies and volunteer work.

Doug brought a grill and that was fantastic. People kept walking past and wondering aloud, either to us, or whomever they were with, if that was actually allowed in Malcom-X Park. We didn’t actually know, and at one point a park officer walked past looking menacing, and a hush fell over the crowd but he simply continued on his way and we all looked at each other gleefully and agreed that that was indeed a confirmation of just how allowed it must be. This was a tiny grill, but it was featured prominently within our little spread, and so we felt reassured by the unspoken approval of the “authorities.” Not that the approval of authorities has ever been a high priority among New College students or alumni.

Red heads - via Lindsey

via Diana

So the moral of the story is that it was really wonderful getting everyone together, and it was great to see everyone, and we should do this a lot more often! Also worth noting is that this casual concept, born of a happy hour among friends and classmates, became an event endorsed by our alumni association precisely because they hope to host an official event sponsored by the alumni association, highly publicized, in the fall of this year, so please stay tuned in to the NCAA for news or announcements about other New College Alumni events! It’s nice to remember that we like each other and want to see more of each other.

via Lindsey

via Lindsey

via Lindsey

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The National Arboretum

So… I’m finally getting around to writing about our picnic in the Arboretum!

It was basically an amazing trip. Neither of us had been there before, nor did we have any idea what to expect. The first thing to strike us was the sheer size of it. It is an enormous place, especially when you go there directly from within the city-est part of the District. I honestly felt like I was entering Jurassic Park or one of the filming locations from Lord of the Rings. The first thing you can see when you get past the welcome part with the maps and information and stuff are the columns from the Capitol Building (pre-(I think)1957), before it was expanded.

We walked toward those, and I knew I was interested in the flowering trees, just based on the time of year, so we meandered in that general direction and quickly ran into a woman walking her dog, who advised us that she had been there recently. She said she expected that the pink magnolias were in full bloom and that that would be a lovely place to picnic. (She must have noticed the baguette conspicuously hanging out of our bag.) She told us how to get there, and we took a short cut/scenic route through “Fern Valley.”

So we walked around to find the very best spot to sprawl, and then we did just that. We stretched out, read a little, ate a little, and it was completely perfect. I was totally awestruck the entire time, that we had found exactly the right thing to do on exactly the right day – and I was equally amazed that we had never done it before!

After lunch and and being lazy in the sun, we decided to explore a bit more. We went to the bonsai museum on the Arboretum grounds where they had incredibly, unbelievably old bonsais. There was one from the 1700s!

I definitely want to go back and find the actual very specific space that was once occupied by my grandmother’s home and my great-grandfather’s business.

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Joanna Newsom at Sixth & I

Tuesday night, Roommate and I got to see Joanna Newsom play. It was really fascinating. She is incredibly talented, but that is obvious from her albums. What isn’t obvious is the incredible hand-eye-brain-inspiration coordination required to manage such talented and creative thought-matter at the same time as one is performing one’s own creative product in front of a crowd, with an ensemble of musicians, and playing harp or piano and singing such not-conventionally-intuitive melodies. It just baffled me. And what was incredible was that live, she really did reproduce the sound she accomplishes in her albums, not in a boring or canned way, but in a way that was really a testament to how completely skilled she is as a musician.

Lucky for all of you, you can hear the concert in its entirety because it is streaming on NPR’s website! Somewhat miraculously, NPR is right around the corner from Sixth & I and they actually broadcast the show live on Tuesday night. They’ve also posted a handful of photos from the show.

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