That Spring Summer Feeling

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The rain has stopped and spring weather has returned with a vengeance. Many of the peak bloom cherry blossoms washed away but they are still around. And so are allergies, but I am fighting to keep them at bay.

I noticed that quite a few festivals will be taking place this weekend. One is the free music series in Adams Morgan. The other is an all day funk festival in the U street area. I need to run some errands, but I do want to hit up the funk festival with my camera since it seems like it will be a lot of fun.

CAM just emailed me that he is giving me more chairs since he just purchased a new sectional sofa. I will have so many chairs in my apartment! I will have to figure out how to keep kitty from scratching them up.

Happy Birthday Ella

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Yesterday was the birthday of Ella Fitzgerald, the undisputed queen of scat. CAM invited me to attend an event they were having at the National Portrait Gallery honoring the jazz legend. Sounded cool and since we haven’t been hanging out much lately I agreed. I knew it would be tough by it being a Friday night, but I took a quick power nap beforehand to try to push through. I didn’t want to flake out despite the rain.

The event was relatively low key. There was a 14 piece brass band and a lovely vocalist name Lena singing a selection of Ella’s songbook. She was a good singer with lovely phrasing, but a bit one dimensional. I liked that she included selections that are often not associated with Ella – lots of bittersweet, drippy, ballads reminiscent of Billie Holiday. And while she was good, I would have liked to hear a variety of singers sing their interpretations of Ms. Ella’s classics.

I thought there might be appetizers and wine, but apparently the food and drinks were for purchase. The crowd was somewhat mixed. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was a night out.

We then headed to dinner in Chinatown at a Latin/Asian fusion restaurant called Zengo. I was a bit skeptical since fusion can be hit or miss. Fortunately, this was a hit!They consider their food tapas style so all of the portions were meant to be shared and were in deed small bites. The shrimp taco was my favorite and the calamari salad was also very good. My main complaint is that the place was loud. Too loud to have a conversation and we could barely hear the server. Not sure if was because it was Friday night or if it is always that loud. I also thought it was a bit pricey for the small portions. The flavors were nice and the right combo of tapas would leave you satisfied, though a bit lighter in the pocketbook.

I was so tired despite my power nap so we hopped back on Metro and came home, took off my make up and called it a night. All in all it was a nice evening.

 

 

Sleeping Beauty

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Rock Creek Park can be so peaceful and beautiful. Today I had to pull over to take a picture of it as the sun sparkled on the water. The park is not yet in full bloom, but it is slowly stirring from its long winter of beauty sleep.

Hitting rock bottom with bottomless Mimosas

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Spring has arrived in our fair city, which means that hibernators cast aside the covers and venture out into the world again. This was the case on a holiday Saturday. I reserved a spot for a Yelp Elite meet up at Urbana in Dupont Circle. I am still in the process of trying to “make connections” in a city that is notorious for being a bit “standoffish”.

I caught Metro since parking can sometimes be a challenge and boy am I glad I did. When they said bottomless Mimosas, they meant it. For the full two hours of the event bottles were popping and glasses were topped off with build your own Mimosas. Finally at around 3:30 PM the restaurant cut us off and sent us on our tipsy way.

The endless glasses of Mimosa helped take the bite of the fact that a roach fell from the ceiling and landed in front of the people in our party and the lack of flavor in my crab omelet. Then, there was the strange interaction with the “manager” who seemed to think that the meet up was Monday at 7 PM instead even though it was happening at the table right behind the hostess stand. So while Urbana could have been promising, three strikes and you are out! I do not plan to return. In addition, I alerted the parent company that the place is infested with roaches and that they need to hire an exterminator ASAP.

Our Mimosa fueled shenanigans continued down the street, but everything after about 3:30 is pretty much a blur so I will end the story here. While I had my camera I did not take any pictures.

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Cherry blossoms and crazy crowds

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My Lord, there were hoards of people in D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival. I went out on Sunday hoping that the crowds had died down. No such luck. There were people EVERY WHERE! I have never seen so many people in that area. And they were from all over the world. To be honest it made it difficult to really relish in the beauty of the blossoms, but what can you do. Otherwise, I would risk missing them all together. And sure enough, it is Tuesday and a big storm is blowing through. Bye, bye blossoms! Here are pictures from my walk around the basin. Enjoy!

 

Sunday brunch accidentally

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The Accidental Brunch at Busboys & Poets

Holy Crab Benedict! I had it for brunch today at Busboys. I wound up here by accident. I caught the Circulator with the intention of seeing the cherry blossoms. Had no idea there were different routes and wound up on a super hot bus that took me down 14th Street. Got off at U Street because the bus was getting more crowded and I couldn’t take the heat anymore.

I’m practicing using the video feature on my Canon and I hoped to create a short video of my day. but no such luck. Instead made a slideshow. I need to invest in a new lap top and editing software. I might break down and get a Mac. Really been itching to develop my video skills lately.

 

A rainy night on U

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A rainy night on U Can I get a window seat?

A late dinner at DC Noodles after checking out the new Trader Joes at 14th and U. Loved the new store for so many reasons. Primary because I don’t have to go to Maryland to fight for groceries anymore. I was so hungry after shopping and had a craving for ramen.

While DC Noodles doesn’t specifically have ramen they do have a soup that you can build yourself much like ramen. You choose a broth, a noodle, and a protein.  I chose a spicy broth, egg noodle, and pork. I chose the pork hoping it would be tender and juicy. It was not. It was more like chicken which I expect to be dry. I also wanted to try the pork bun which was pretty good. I ordered the Thai tea creme Brule for dessert. Not a true creme Brule,  but good. To drink I had a jpop which is like a Japanese wine cooler. It was perfect for taming the heat from the soup. All in all I am pleased.

I would have liked to see the crowd in the area be more diverse,  but perhaps it was a result of the rain.  When I lived in that area in the 90s it was completely different. I never would have imagined the transformation. Parking is also  atrocious.  I think it’s a fun area to catch a cab and restaurant hop. More lively than other areas. Oh! And there is a fabulous secondhand store in the vicinity near my beloved Busboys and Poets called Crossroads Trading.  Found a gently used Coach for under $100. So happy!

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t left you, without a strong post to scroll through

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O.K. so if you aren’t a hip hop head you wouldn’t recognize that homage to rappers Eric B. and Rakim, my favorite rap duo. “I know you got soul” is off their legendary album Paid in Full. I had the cassette and played that baby to death on my Walkman. Yessir, I said Walkman.

Where have I been?  Just working hard and trying to figure out how I can find my place in this new life I have chosen. I usually don’t have the energy or the motivation to post. Spring is here so maybe my energy level will increase. I worked out 3 times last week and noticed it improved my energy on that days that I exercised. The challenge is being able to get up early enough to do it before work because after work, I am simply drained. Looking forward to having mild spring days where I can walk through Rock Creek Park and get some fresh air. Which reminds me, I do need to stock up on Claritin.

Looking forward to sharing spring photos soon.

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Zoo Lights

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The National Zoo is one of my favorite places in the city (if not my favorite) so when I heard that they were having Zoo Lights I knew it was something I would have to experience. On an unseasonably warm night, I left my apartment about to walk up to the zoo when I hear someone yell out “free rides to the zoo!” Big Bus had double-decker buses parked at the Metro station to take passengers up to the Zoo. I decided to sit on top to get a bird’s eye view. The traffic along Connecticut Avenue was ridiculous and it probably would have been faster to walk. I wasn’t in a hurry since it was still quite early in the evening. The zoo was packed! There were rides for the kids, kettle corn, a dancing panda, and people everywhere you turned. Enjoy, and have a blessed holiday!

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Pamper

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I had so many plans for getting back on track but it wound up being another Saturday spent recovering from what was a rough week. Hope to spend what is left of the evening soaking in the tub and getting a facial. I would love to cook my meals for next week. Bought my ticket for Thanksgiving and want to find a destination for Christmas. Warm and tropical and relaxing are at the top of the list. Tomorrow I will cram in everything that should have been done today. I am so content to stay inside and regroup on grey, dreary days.