Weekend Notes

This is the DC Miso ramen from Sakuramen, Adams Morgans' answer to Toki Underground. Do you see why it's DC-inspired? I'll give you a minute.

OK, time's up. The pork belly is the reflecting pool, there's a Washington Monument, and the little radish is a cherry blossom. How cute, huh? My waiter explained all of this to me, or else I would've just devoured it without noticing.

So besides a ramen trip, this weekend I helped set up for a photoshoot that my company is working on today, went to two of my roommate's yoga classes, visited Buffalo Billiards twice in one weekend which is strange. I also went to LIV's Fatback dance party, a soul/funk/oldies/90s party where people dance like crazy. After all these years, it's still fun and still crazy crowded! I ended up dancing next to a former coworker, which is always funny. He was there for the same birthday party that brought me there too.

Also filed under coincidences/birthday parties, on Friday I headed to my friend Carolyn's surprise party at Buffalo Billiards. The bus took forever to show up at the bus stop, and there was only one other guy standing next to me waiting. He was carrying a large sheet cake. I get to the party after eating a quick dinner, and there's that same guy. We were both heading to the same place! I saw him and thought immediately, "Awesome, there will be cake."

Chicago Eating Tour 2012

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German chocolate doughnut, where have you been all my life? Glazed & Infused is making dreams come true.

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Me, getting absolutely no air.

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"Time to make the doughnuts..."

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Another fancy doughnut, this time with bacon. Courtesy of hip brunch spot Longman & Eagle.

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I liked the cocktail illustrations at Scofflaw.

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Shortly after eating the massive chocolate doughnut, we had lunch/dinner at Frank 'n Dawgs, where they serve a very dressed up hot dog. I went for a brat with portabella mushrooms, then we split the roasted cauliflowers and truffle fries. It was a meal for champions.

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Big Shoulders

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"Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders..."

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That's right, Chicago!

I love having friends where when I visit them, I don't have to plan anything. They have my holiday all sorted. Sure enough, I didn't plan a blessed thing, Lani seemingly knows everyone and is plugged in everywhere. So as soon as I got off the plane, we were off to see Gemini Club do an in-store performance at Dr. Martens.

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They were really fun, dancing on the counter near the cash register. The lead singer claimed someone threw up but I don't think anyone was partying that hard at the Dr Martens store.

We then ate tacos at Big Star, the kind of honky tonk hipster taqueria where they play Loretta Lynn's "Fist City." I love Loretta Lynn and I love tacos so sign me up. Lani then took us for spicy chocolate ice cream at the futuristic iCream, where your ice cream is individually churned and made to order.

 I know this is probably meant to entertain children, but I oohhed and ahhed with great respect.

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On day two, I did some work at the aforementioned "Big Shoulders" coffee shop, where I ordered a marshmallow latte. Hey, I'm on vacation and it was delicious. I'm just thinking about it now, but a design-y coffee shop selling marshmallow lattes doesn't readily correlate with Carl Sandburg's poem about butchers, tool makers, freight handlers and Chicago brawn.

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Later that afternoon, I walked around Wicker Park and tried to shop but nothing caught my eye. Except murals and street art.

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Everyone has a single speed because it's so flat here.

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Lani has a single speed, and a moped, pictured here! So cool. She is on the fringes of a moped gang, for real. It's a group of guys who hang out and fix up their mopeds. I made her pose with the moped while wearing her cavewoman Halloween costume, assembled from faux fur pieces in her closet.

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I forgot to ride the moped on the trip! Doh! I'm secretly terrified. We rode the bus instead, and I was very impressed with how easy it was to get around on public transit.

That evening, I crashed a going away party at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, with a pre fixe menu. They chose well, and the tapas just kept arriving at the table.

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So good. So filling. The fullness level reminded me of a tapas Thanksgiving.

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Lani's friends were so nice to let me join in the fun! After dinner, we went to see Flight Facilities' DJ set at Primary. I loved it because I am absolutely obsessed with their song "Crave You" and it was so fun to hear a roomful of people singing along. It's a song you gotta sing to, don't you think? And they played a bunch of other songs I knew, only because I heard them before on Lani's mixes. She's so ahead of the game.

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Sorry, shoddy iPhone picture, but you can get an idea of the cool LED wall behind the dj booth. "Wasn't it cute that Flight Facilities dressed up for Halloween, with the little aviator hats?" I told Lani. "Oh that's not a Halloween thing. They always wear that," she said. Ah, I see.

Links I Like

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This is not exactly a glamour shot.  The cake I made this week tasted alright, but it is not very pretty.  And the inaugural voyage of the new bundt pan too!  Something went wrong with the whole make your own frosting deal.  And then I got frustrated and took the frosting bowl, overturned it on top of the cake in one flip, and let gravity take its course.  The hole in the center was full of frosting.

I told Debie my new career is domestic goddess.  That was before I did that to the frosting, set off the smoke detector, and opened the fridge, somehow breaking one of the shelf doors so that all the condiments fell out onto the floor, mustard and jam and ketchup bottles everywhere.

Anyhow, the chocolate sour cream bundt cake tasted good, that's what counts.  The recipe is from my beloved Joy the Baker cookbook.

This week, I wrote about a really nice, brand spankin' new hookah place on H Street for Scoutmob.  Highly recommend if you are in a hookah-smoking mood. [Scoutmob]

I visited the new rustic and manly Epic Smokehouse in Pentagon City. [Eater]

I also photographed some of the crazy fun of Fashion Night Out in Georgetown [BizBash]

A ton of links from the rest of the Internet:

So I made it all the way to the end of this gif-based tumblr about how everyone is married. [#MyFriendsAreMarried]

Stumbled on this interview with writer Molly Young, and it made me want to read her work.  Loved her articles (1, 2) on Cosmo's Helen Gurley Brown! [Into The Gloss]

Bet you can't read this eulogy about a horse who loved children without tearing up.  Big fat tears rolled down my cheeks while reading this at the Pentagon City mall food court. [WaPo]

In case you want to look like Kate Moss.  Well, the makeup and hair at least.  Seems more attainable than the pricey wardrobe and extreme thinness.  [WhoWhatWear]

NOOOO! They are my Brangelina. [NY Daily News

Snarky take on the dead-horse VMAs: "Recoil at the torrent of teenaged girls stuffed into outfits every color of the day-glo. There are streams of Snookis." [Spin]

Love Design*Sponge's Grace Bonney, and here's a quick interview with her on an interesting website that uses a questionnaire answered famously by Marcel Proust. [The Proust]

Scoutmob grades D.C. politicians' Twitter accounts. [ScoutmobDC]

Weekend in Review: Picasso, Bacon and Chevron

Hello there!  How was the weekend?  Hope it was fantastic, and that your Monday wasn't half bad either.

I didn't do much of importance but in the best possible way.  I spent my halfday on Friday at the National Gallery of Art.  I wanted to see the "Picasso's Drawings" exhibit before it closes on May 6, and I highly recommend you do the same.  It's thrilling to see all the different styles Picasso tried out in his early career, starting from his first known work at age 9.  Age 9!  That's like our elementary school art classes when we were drawing houses with chimney stacks and swirly smoke. 

While I was there, I also took a walk through the "I Spy: Photography and Theatre of the Street."  If you are all interested by cities and urban life, this is worth a trip.  I found Bruce Davidson's "Subway" series which captures the horror of the NYC subway system in 1980 so intriguing, because visiting New York now, it's almost impossible to imagine that things could've been that bad, and equally unbelievable that in the span of 20-odd years things turned back around.  The subway cars in Davidson's photos are just absolutely covered in graffiti.  That level of disrepair and neglect is shocking to see.

Remember the bulletin board conundrum in my last post?  I realized I had some white paint, and in the spirit of the white bulletin board in that post, I tried that technique but with chevrons.  I bought some painter's tape and taped them off after reading this chevron-how to.  Good thing this project was practically free, because it didn't turn out so great.  The white paint is splotchy because I'm an uber lazy painter, the tape peeled off some of the cork in places, and in other places the paint leaked under the tape.  Maybe it you are more careful than me it would work.  I need to stop crafting and just buy things.  I don't have the art expertise to make it look good.  But eh, I covered up the problem areas with postcards and Instax photos and Instagram hides a multitude of sins.

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I also tried to cook a bit - I made chicken salad and started Joy's Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits.  I just made the bacon for now, will make the biscuits later...  Joe told me I had to blog about the bacon, guess he liked it.  It was pretty yummy!  My roommate Christine just went vegetarian (she started a fun blog about her journey!), and she snapped this less than appetizing picture, but I promise it was good.  I don't think it tempted her too much though...

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Frosting Fiasco

Is there anyone who can eat a Georgetown Cupcake neatly?  Certainly not me.  Stacks of little miniature cupcakes are served at seemingly every fancy party I go to, and they always look cute and dainty.

But I invariably pick up the variety that has frosting injected inside (perhaps via this device?).  I take one bite, and frosting is simultaneously exploding and imploding and probably all over my chin.  Maybe my nose too?  Then I have to reach for the napkin while trying to hold onto the rapidly disintegrating crumbs of the cupcake, which seemed like a two-bite endeavor but now feels like more of a meal.  Do I keep eating this and continue making a huge mess?  Or do I throw it away?  But is that admitting defeat?  And has anyone noticed this sorry spectacle?

These are the things I worry about while all the other guests are refilling their drinks, ha.