July 2017 Recap

Happy first day of August! Can you believe we’re in the home stretch of summer already?

I realized I haven’t really checked in about what I’ve been up to since AwesomeCon. (Vlogs are coming… I think…) So let’s get going with just a bit before July started!

Ai Wei Wei instameet

I had the opportunity to go to the Hirshhorn for their new exhibit, Ai Wei Wei: Trace at Hirshhorn, on the opening day just a bit before the museum opened to the public thanks for the lovely HM. (Fun fact: She also was responsible for my first ever Instameet, which means that she is responsible for me getting involved with the Instagram community at large!)

The exhibit consists of two main pieces:

  1. Trace, which was originally housed at Alcatraz, and features portraits of political prisoners made of Lego. The children’s toy adds to the pixelated feel of the portraits, as several of the original source photos are only available as blurred, pixelated surveillance footage stills. Some of the featured figures are still in prison today.
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  2. The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca, which is a wiiiiiiiiide wallpaper composed of arrangements of the Twitter bird, surveillance cameras, handcuffs, and “alpacas”. These are actually grass mud horses (草泥马), a subversive Chinese meme that sounds like an expletive directed at your mom that is a penultimate Chinese symbol of fighting censorship and Ai Wei Wei has a history of incorporating the furry creature in his art.
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It’s a great exhibit and I highly recommend stopping by to see it when you visit the Hirshhorn!

Gretchen’s Baby Shower

This was my first-ever baby shower (outside of one for our account lead at work) and it was a lot of fun! Gretchen is the Yelp NoVa Community Manager and it’s been so great being on the NoVa team since I moved to this area. Her sister and sister-in-law, Jen and Taylor, did such a great job with the decorations! My only regrets were having her registry gifts sent directly to her house (I showed up with just some little trinkets for her to enjoy because in my head, I didn’t want her to have more stuff to bring home? This was kind of a silly thought) and then dropping the clothespins for the game down my front and not realizing I should have won. Oops! It was still a great time and a great day to celebrate Gretchen and her incoming little one!

Diaper cake
Look at this adorable diaper cake!!!
Taylor, Jen, Gretchen, and her mom!
Taylor, Jen, Gretchen, and her mom!

Daybreaker DC @ The Hive

The National Building Museum has their summer installment up and it is Studio Gang’s Hive. I got to attend a fun Daybreaker where I was able to do yoga AND dance in the cool PVC pipe hive. It was an extra treat because Ben accompanied me, since my usual Daybreaker crew was unable to make it to this one and I really really wanted to see The Hive.

 

Girl’s Night

The evening after Daybreaker, I had a great girl’s night with my friends. We haven’t had one like this since… December? We had Annie’s pro photobooth setup, delicious snacks, a BUMPIN’ 2000s summer dance jams playlist playing, face masks, and Monopoly Deal, a surprisingly addicting game.

sweetlife block party

sweetgreen is a popular salad chain that started out in DC and for the past few years, they’ve had a big concert/festival up in Columbia, Maryland. This year, they kicked it back to their roots, with the original sweetlife festival being a block party in DC. The weather was pretty great, if a bit hot and balmy, so I ate a lot of gelato. (Thank you Dolcezza!) There was great music, there was a fun photobooth with vegetable props, and lots of yummy food. It was really great spending an evening with my friends at maybe the hippest event I have ever stumbled into. (I kept looking around thinking someone would realize I was not cool enough to be there…) It was a night to remember for sure.

Devika’s Birthday Brunch

I got to see my friend Devika’s beautiful house and meet her super kind mom and meet her super nice friends. It was just a low-key, really nice party at her house, I’m so grateful for my friends and for her (and her nice mom).

Sunflowers at McKee-Beshers

I’ve been seeing photos online for years of people frolicking in fields of sunflowers and I finally got to see them in person myself! The McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Center plants fields of sunflowers every year to attract wildlife, and I was able to visit twice in one weekend. On the Saturday, the clouds overhead looked extremely ominous, so we tried to take our photos fast. Suddenly, the wind picked up and, despite it being a really hot and humid day, the air temperature very quickly dropped and got comfortable. I didn’t have much time for relief because it then started pouring, and we stayed in the rain for just a while longer, soaking in the sight of the blooms in the storm before running to the car.

Dancing in the rain
Sun and wind and rain in my face, and sunflowers all around. Paradise.

We went back the next day with Ben’s parents and got some nice photos in the sun. I did miss that cool summer storm breeze, though, and the crowds were significantly bigger.

Twirling in the sunflowers
Leave your guesses as to how many shots it took to get this in the comments

Visiting Delaware

My brother is interning in Delaware this summer, so my dad and I visited him this past weekend. It was actually my first time going to Delaware as the destination and not as a state I pass through on my way to/from New Jersey. It was a lot of fun to see my brother and to watch Girl’s Trip, despite it not being a good, er… family movie?

Yacht Ride

My dad had a friend who invited us out on his yacht, so I got to enjoy a truuuuuly beautiful day on the water. The weather was PERFECTION and I really enjoyed being on the water, it remains one of my favorite things in the world.


With that, I am looking forward to August! There is more summer fun coming up and I am trying to stay in the summer mindset in September, since it’s always hot for most of September anyway and the autumnal equinox isn’t until the last week of September anyway!

What do you have planned for the rest of summer?
What are you going to miss about summer?

Infinity Rooms, Disco Fashion, & An Assassination| week in review

Happy Revenge of the Fifth and Cinco de Mayo for the people of Puebla. Please be sure to observe respectfully and enjoy the magic of Star Wars on this lovely Friday.

This week has been one of my more eventful weeks, especially as I’ve been doing a lot of DC things and exploring parts of my base city that I haven’t in the past. (I arbitrarily posted on Instagram every day in April, and most of those were San Francisco latergrams, so many people reached out to me thinking I had moved to SF. Nope! I just hadn’t gone out very much in April. 😅)

INFINITE KUSAMA // I cannot believe that I was able to see Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit at the Hirshhorn a second time, and this time it was through my own tickets! I’ve been trying to get tickets literally every single Monday since the ticketing system opened up, but every week ended with disappointment. BUT I finally was able to get them AND they were for an early morning slot, so I brought Ben and my friend Vivian to see Kusama for the last time on Monday, as her exhibit will be leaving DC and headed to the next destination for her tour. I’ll try to put together a dedicated post with photos and a video if possible, but if you’re able to catch Infinite Kusama when it comes to your city, I highly highly recommend it. It’s a bit stressful with the lines and the short time limits in each room, but it is really accessible art and I find a lot of peace in the patterns that helped calm the artist’s mind.

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“All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins” – Yayoi Kusama, 2016

TIM GUNN & DISCO FASHION // On Tuesday, the Library of Congress hosted Tim Gunn to talk about the fashion of disco as part of their month-long celebration of disco fashion, history, music, and culture. I got there early because my ticket had some nonsense about “ticket does not guarantee admission, we recommend arriving 30-45 minutes before doors open” but almost bailed because I was not in the mood for that nonsense, ya know? I don’t even watch Project Runway! I was thinking this and singing a little bit under my breath (I think it was “Till There Was You”, if you were curious) and it was an absolutely perfect day, weather-wise. The Library of Congress is this gorgeous building, and I was glad to see there was no line winding outside yet, so I started hurrying towards the entrance. As I walked up the steps, I noticed a few meters in front of me were a man and a woman. As I got closer and closer, with my hustlin’ pace, I realized:

I was walking about 10 feet behind Tim Gunn.
To go to see Tim Gunn speak at an event.

No one paid me much mind? They didn’t ask me to back up, and I feel like if I wanted to, I might have even been able to just walk through the staff-only door that he and his handlers went through. There was a funny incident at the security check, where the security guard asked for a handshake from Tim Gunn because he and his wife were fans… but I had my arms out waiting for him to wave the metal detector wand over me… and it was a wee bit awkward. (Also awkward: me trying not to bother Mr. Gunn because celebrities are people too, so instead of asking for a photo or anything I just said “thaaaank you…. and hiiiiiiiii~” when he held the door open for me.)

He was SUPER hilarious. While he only briefly talked about disco and how the fashion was a very logical progression from the 60s and how important disco was for people in terms of finding acceptance no matter what, I learned a lot about Tim Gunn like:

  • He comes from a background in academia, and didn’t even study fashion in school.
  • He hates leggings as pants.
  • His feelings towards the Kardashians? Disdain.
  • Ditto for the current White House administration.
  • He and Anna Wintour are arch-nemeses and he is not ever invited to the Met Gala because he once told the New York Post that the most outrageous thing he ever saw at a fashion show was Anna Wintour being carried down 5 flights of stairs. To be clear, he wasn’t trying to imply that she couldn’t work a Manolo and understood that this was the quickest way for her to get to the next show without waiting for the elevator, as no one in 6-inch Manolos can beat security guards down 5 flights of stairs.
  • He once met Vivian Vance at the FBI headquarters when J. Edgar Hoover was the director. Later, when it came out that Hoover was a cross-dresser, he realized that he never met Vivian Vance…
  • He adores Heidi Klum. But not his other Project Runway judges.

He was so well-spoken and charming and funny and thoughtful and kind. I really have a greater respect for how honest and genuine Tim Gunn is and will keep an eye out for his future endeavors for sure! In the meantime, disco on.

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Also I was OBSESSED with that white skirt in the background. I spent half the interview staring at it.

HISTORY ON FOOT – LINCOLN ASSASSINATION WALKING TOUR // I was invited by my Instagram friend Albert to an instameet at the Ford’s Theatre. It’s a walking tour that takes you through downtown DC to several key locations that are settings for the conspiracy that was President Lincoln’s assassination. I cannot recommend this tour enough, as it’s led by a fantastic actor who does all these great voices for different people’s testimonies of the evening, and the walk itself is really lovely. I learned so much about Lincoln’s assassination and US history in general like:

  • The General Post Office building (now the Hotel Monaco) was the first all-marble building constructed in DC and housed the first public telegraph office.
  • The term “lobbyist” was coined in the lobby of the Willard Hotel, from which you can see the White House, the Capitol, and the Washington Monument.
  • While Mary Surratt was the first woman to be executed by the federal government for delivering a package for John Wilkes Booth (the man who shot Lincoln), her son, John Surratt, who was one of the lead conspirators, escaped trial and execution twice and died at the ripe old age of 72. Tsk tsk.
  • The Treasury Building’s basement is meant to survive an attack on the capital in the event of an emergency. It is where the president and other high-ranking government representatives would have been evacuated to.
  • Tad Lincoln found out about his father’s assassination a few blocks away, while attending a different show at a different theater, when someone burst into the theater in the middle of the show and shouted that the president had been shot.

There was so much to learn but I don’t want to spoil all the details of the assassination for you. If you have an interest in US history and especially if you’re interested in Lincoln’s assassination and the conspiracy surrounding it, book this tour. (It’s a little over 1.5 miles, 2 hours, at $17.)

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Adjacent to Ford’s Theatre is Star Saloon, where John Wilkes Booth stopped for a drink right before shooting President Lincoln

That was my week! I’m wearing my Star Wars shirt today and listening to a lot of John Williams at work. Have a great Friday and weekend everyone!

What do you have coming up this weekend?
What are some DC things that I should do next?
I really felt a deep love for the District this week because of the beautiful weather and the amazing fun events I got to do here that I can only do here.
Do you take advantage of the unique fun your town/city offers? (Tell me how if you do!)

SCK Adventures: Nomz, Museums, and Late Nights (Day 2)

(Day 1)

Day 2 is probably the morning that we woke up most refreshed after getting the most amount of sleep during this SCK adventure. This is because of what happened at the end of Day 2, but we’ll get to that.

TL;DR We focus a lot on food today, kicking off with fried food galore, doing some museum hopping in the afternoon, and then going out for a night on the town with friends before eating a late night meal at 4 AM.

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