Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Postcard from Cyprus!


Why is a trip to Paphos, Cyprus a must?

Paphos is the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love. In fact, the name of this capital city in southwest Cyprus is actually the name of the love child of the goddess of love. Myth has it that Pygmalion, a devote follower of Aphrodite's cult, stole her statue to keep it in his home. Apparently pleased by this, Aphrodite's spirit embodied the statue and she bore Pygmalion two children, a son, Paphos and a daughter, Metharme.

A temple to Aphrodite was built in Paphos by the Myceneans in the 12th Century BC. However, only the foundations remain. Yet, Paphos is still known for its gorgeous mosaics, which is in part the reason for its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

As is true in life, however, along with love comes conflict, as the history of Cyprus reflects. The island is still currently split between Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north. Greek-Cyprus entered the EU in 2004 and even adopted the Euro in January 2008, while Turkish-Cyprus is independent of the EU and uses the Turkish Lira. However, perhaps like all good love stories, one day there will be a reconciliation.

Where are you?

Send me a postcard! Just take a digital photo, write a 2-3 line message and send it to touristliving(at)gmail(dot)com! I'll turn your photo into a postcard and post it on my blog to share your experience of living like a tourist in your own city.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ah-ha!

Do you ever see something and think: "Ah ha! That's why I like (fill in the blank)!" ?

Like seeing a dog take only a second to switch from depression, with his little head flat on the floor, to euphoria, with his tail wagging madly, just because you call his name?

Or seeing a particularly large chunk of Oreo in a cookies n'creme ice cream scoop?

Or perhaps seeing the way a certain piece of jewelry, worth $10 or $1,000, glitter in the daylight?

Seeing the sunlight radiate off the buildings at a Roman sunset, was always one of those ah-ha moments for me and my love of Rome. 

This picture is another. And it also explains the subconscious urge I had to use red, orange and yellow as the main colors in decorating my apartment. Really, is there anything more beautiful??

What types of things remind you of your loves (big- Family or small-Oreos)?


photo credit - 06 blog.it


Friday, August 27, 2010

Postcard from Sarah in Wales!



Why go to Mount Snowdon?
Mt. Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales, standing at 1,085 metres (3,560 feet) high, and offering one of the best views of the British isles. Winds at its summit can reach 150 mph.

In Welsh, Snowdon is Yr Wyddfa, which means tomb or monument. Why? Another legend. Snowdon is the legendary tomb of Rhita Gawr, an ogre who made it a habit to kill kings and  use their beards for cloaks. Rhita Gawr had his fun until King Arthur came along. Arthur said "Enough is enough" (or something like that) and went to the top of Mount Snowdon and felled Rhita Gawr.

Care for a climb? This site gives details about Snowdon's different paths. And should you make it up the mountain, be sure to sign the log book!

Where are you?
Send me a postcard! Just take a digital photo, write a 2-3 line message and send it to touristliving (at) gmail (dot) com! I'll turn your photo into a postcard and post it on my blog to share your experience of living like a tourist in your own city.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Small Victory in an Otherwise Security-Crazed World

Today, 6 months after divulging all my residences, my friends, my work experiences and practically my love life, I received security clearance (well, the most basic of security clearances). Which in my case just entitles me to keep my belt, shoes and bracelets on as I walk into work.

No longer will I need to be prey to suspicious security guards and touchy machines. I have proven with fingerprints, criminal background check, references and oaths that I am, in fact, reputable enough to avoid a metal detector.

Yay for D.C.!

Perhaps tomorrow I will wear a suit of armor to work- just because I can.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Charting my progress: a nod to HIMYM

As of this weekend, I have officially been living in D.C., in the same apartment, for five months. This is quite a feat for me. I usually move apartments, cities, or countries at this point.

However, accolades aside, I thought I should see how I am doing on my Living like a Tourist-DC list. And the total to date is: 102 things-to-do crossed off...

I have been inspired by one of the best "How I Met Your Mother" (HIMYM) episodes:

"This circle represents people who are breaking my heart. And this circle represents people who are shaking my confidence daily. And where do they overlap? Cecilia."


So let me demonstrate, in chart format, my projected number of activities accomplished against my actual activities accomplished :




I am not doing as well as I had hoped. Hmmm.... with renewed fervor, I move forward nonetheless.

P.S. I still need more suggestions!


Karen's Official Living like a Tourist list- D.C. Edition


For Pity’s Sake (you’re in D.C.!)
  1. White House (inside)
  2. Washington Monument (top)
  3. The Capitol (inside)
  4. Library of Congress
  5. National Archives- Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Magna Carta Originals
  6. Natural History Museum
  7. Air and Space Museum
  8. National Portrait Gallery
  9. National Art Gallery- West Building
  10. National Art Gallery- East Building
  11. Botanical Gardens
  12. National Arboretum
  13. Cherry Blossoms
  14. International Spy Museum 
  15. Crime and Punishment Museum
  16. National Building Museum Lego Exhibit
  17. National Zoo
  18. National Aquarium
  19. Lincoln Memorial
  20. Jefferson Memorial
  21. World War II Memorial
  22. Monument Cruise on the Potomac
  23. Holocaust Museum
  24. Smithsonian Castle
  25. Native American Museum
  26. Woodrow Wilson Exhibit
  27. Old Post Office Building
  28. D.C. Acropolis- Columns that belonged to the Capital
  29. Newseum
  30. John F. Kennedy Center
  31. Ford’s Theater
  32. Dumbarton House
  33. Supreme Court
  34. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  35. Watergate (inside)
  36. Georgetown’s M Street
  37. FDR Memorial 
  38. Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial
  39. National Archives- Civil War Exhibit
  40. For Food
  41. Sorriso- Italian-Cleveland Park
  42. Sette- Italian- Dupont
  43. Thaiphoon- Thai- Dupont
  44. Leopold’s- Cafe- Georgetown
  45. Bistro du Coin- French- Dupont
  46. Café du Parc- French ?- Penn Ave
  47. La Forchette- French - 18th St.
  48. Rosemary and Thyme- 18th St.
  49. The Diner- American- 18th St.
  50. Dukem- Ethiopian- U St.
  51. Meskerem- Ethiopian - 18th St.
  52. Falafel Shop- Old City Café- Columbia St.
  53. Grill from Ipanema- Adams Morgan
  54. Napoleon- French- Adams Morgan
  55. Open city- Woodley Park
  56. Front page- Dupot
  57. Lauriol Plaza- Mexican- 18th St.
  58. Straits of Malay- Malaysian- 18th St.
  59. Mandu Korean Restaurant-18th St.
  60. Mie N Yu
  61. Perry’s Rooftop
  62. Rosa Mexicano
  63. Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza
  64. Pizza Paradiso 
  65. Café DuPont- French
  66. Circa
  67. Zorba’s-Greek
  68. Indique- Indian- Cleveland Park
  69. Mate- K Street- Sushi
  70. Il Canale- Italian 
  71. Alero- Mexican- Cleveland Park
  72. New Heights
  73. Mama Ayesha- Calvert St.
  74. Café Oaxaca 
  75. Aria - Italian
  76. Wasabi- Sushi 
  77. Penang Malaysian Restaurant
  78. James Hobans
  79. Meze- Lebanese
  80. Falafel at Amsterdam shop
  81. Russia House
  82. Sticky Balls & Godzirra rolls at Sticky Rice- Sushi- H & 12.5 St
  83. Cafe Green- Raw food
  84. Malaysian Kopitiam
  85. Camille's
  86. Madhatter
  87. Jaleo- Tapas
  88. Cashion's- Adams Morgan
  89. Marrakesh
  90. Two Amy's- Pizza
  91. Cuba Libre- after it opens in Sept.
  92. Agora Turkish Restaurant to try the Raki
  93. Brunch (savory crepes) at Napoleon
  94. Haydees- Mexican Food and Live music- Mt. Pleasant
  95. Nam Viet- Vietnamese- Cleveland Park
  96. Crepe Amour- Savory Bachan Crepe- Georgetown
  97. Lavandou- Provencal- Cleveland Park
  98. Jyoti- Indian- 18th St.
  99. Bus Boys & Poets- U Street
  100. Grillfish-Seafood
  101. Firehook Bakery
  102. Hot Potato Cafe
  103. Chopt- a DC craze
  104. El Tamarindo- El Salvadorean & Mexican- Adams Morgan-Florida Ave.
  105. Pasta Mia- Italian- Adams Morgan
  106. For a Night out
  107. Buddha Bar
  108. 9:30 Club
  109. Madam’s Organ
  110. Bossa
  111. Foreign Language Cinema on E Street
  112. Habana Village- Salsa
  113. Screen on the green
  114. Champagne Bar @ Napoleon
  115. Verizon Center
  116. Red Derby- Board Games & beer
  117. Rocket Bar- skeeball machines & games
  118. For the spirit
  119. St. Matthews Cathedral
  120. National Cathedral
  121. Washington Mormon Temple
  122. Franciscan Monastery- DC
  123. Santa Rosaria (Holy Rosary) Italian Church
  124. National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception- Basilica
  125. For Sport
  126. Nationals Game @ Nats Stadium
  127. Orioles vs. Nationals Game (I can cheer for both, can't I?)
  128. D.C. United Game
  129. Capitals Hockey Game
  130. D.C. RollerGirls
  131. Bowie Baysox Game
  132. Frederick Keys Game
  133. Richmond Flying Squirrels Game (because I have to watch a team with flying squirrels as the mascot!!)
  134. Support Runners- Marine Corps Marathon
  135. For Dessert
  136. Cake love
  137. Georgetown Cupcake's Secret Cupcake
  138. Georgetown Cupake's Saturdays Mint Cookies & Creme Cupcake
  139. Georgetown Cupake's Mondays Chocolate Mint Cupcake
  140. Red Velvet's Red Velvet cupcake (duh)
  141. Pitango- Cardammom flavor
  142. Pitango- Spicy Chocolate flavor 
  143. Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream
  144. Café Dolcezza 
  145. Dolci Gelati
  146. Yogenfruz 
  147. Tangy Sweet 
  148. Schokolade 
  149. Hook- lingonberry linzertorte 
  150. Co Co Sala- Chocolate Onyx 
  151. Boccato Gelato- Cake Batter flavor- Arlington 
  152. Boccato Gelato- Chocolate Guinness flavor
  153. Boccato Gelato- Elvis flavor (Peanut butter & jelly)
  154. Island Style Ice Cream
  155. The Dairy Godmother
  156. Crepe Amour- Steve's Job crepe- Apples, almost, cinnamon & caramel
  157. For a Drink
  158. Tryst
  159. Café du Parc
  160. Le Bar
  161. Potenza
  162. Rooftop bar- JandG
  163. Estadio- frozen alcoholic slushies 
  164. Dickson Wine Bar- U Street
  165. Veritas Wine Bar
  166. Brickskeller Saloon
  167. Urbana- P Street
  168. Bar DuPont
  169. Nanny O'briens
  170. Try DC Brau’s Porter
  171. Black Squirrel Pub- Beer
  172. R.F.D. Washington- Beer
  173. Dark and Stormy drink- Islander Caribbean Restaurant
  174. Four Corners Pub- Cleveland Park
  175. Biergarten Haus- Capitol Hill
  176. Brasserie Beck- Belgian Beer
  177. Meridian Pint- Pour your own pint- Columbia Heights
  178. Adams Mill- Adams Morgan
  179. Breadsoda-Beer & ping pong- Wisconsin Ave.
  180. For Caffe
  181. Illy café on M and New Hampshire
  182. Caffe Affogato (drowned coffee) at Pitango
  183. Ebenezers Coffeehouse
  184. Java Green Café
  185. Chinatown Coffee Company
  186. M.E. Swing Co.
  187. Mayorga Coffee
  188. Mocha Hut Coffeehouse
  189. Quartermaine Coffee Roasters
  190. Sparky's Espresso Café 
  191. St. Elmo's Coffee Pub
  192. For Me
  193. Mimosa salon- manicure
  194. Imago-Eyebrow threading
  195. Dhoonya Dance- Bhangra classes
  196. Fired Up- Paint your own ceramics- Cleveland Park 
  197. For Happy Hour
  198. L’Enfant Belgian Beer Happy hour 
  199. Lima outdoor terrace
  200. Zenten Rooftop bar- Donovan House- Canton Ginger Liquor
  201. Art & Soul- SnoCone Happy hour
  202. Vapiano 
  203. Ceiba
  204. Vinoteca
  205. Chocolate & Bubbles Happy hour- Co Co Sala
  206. ONE Lounge- potato pancakes
  207. Medaterra- Woodley Park
  208. For Hookah
  209. Soussi
  210. Chi Cha Lounge
  211. For Culture
  212. Chinatown
  213. Passport D.C. Days
  214. Italian Festival
  215. Free Friday concerts- Kennedy Center
  216. Concert- Wolf trapp
  217. Freer Gallery
  218. Phillips Collection
  219. Alliance Francaise Event
  220. Goethe Instituit
  221. Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
  222. DaVinci the Genius Exhibit- National Geographic Museum
  223. Allen Ginsberg's Photography "Beat Memories"- National Gallery
  224. Gallery at the Canadian Embassy
  225. Italian Embassy
  226. Washington National Opera
  227. Shakespeare Theater
  228. Hand Dance Club- DC's national dance
  229. For Being Outside
  230. Rock Creek Trail
  231. Kayaking on the Potomac
  232. Paddle Boat- Tidal Basin
  233. Eastern Market
  234. Bike along C&O Canal
  235. Tubing on the Potomac
  236. Photograph DC's interesting murals
  237. For getting out of the city
  238. Port City Brewery- Alexandria
  239. Old town Alexandria
  240. Oasis Winery
  241. National Harbor
  242. Arlington Cemetery
  243. Mount Vernon
  244. Annandale- Korean restuarant
  245. I don’t know what for…
  246. Ollie’s trolley
  247. O Line at National Zoo- Orangutan’s crossing
  248. Drag Queen brunch at Perry’s
  249. Post Office Museum
  250. Againn- Beer Floats
  251. Cereal Bowl
  252. Funxion
  253. Albert Einstein Memorial
  254. Spotting Black Squirrels
  255. Find a D.C. geocache
  256. The Big Chair- world’s largest chair, in Anacostia 
  257. The Big Adirondack Chair
  258. Participate in a D.C. Dance Mob
  259. Homeade Root Beer marshmallows (what are these??) at Buzz Bakery
  260. A DuFrein (Guinness with a shot of espresso) at Tryst
  261. For helping round off this list
  262. Union Station 
  263. Ronald Reagan Airport 
  264. Dulles Airport 
  265. BWI Airport 
  266. Freedom Plaza 
  267. Ronald Reagan Building
  268. The Circulator
  269. The D.C. Metro System

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Postcard from Mals in Northern Ireland!

Why is the Giant's Causeway a must-see? 
These basalt columns were formed 50-60 million years ago by an ancient volcanic eruption. Their mostly hexagonal tops were shaped as the lava cooled. There are similar columns at Fingal's cave in Scotland. Therefore, a legend arose that two giants, Irish giant, Finn McCool and Scottish giant, Benandonner, were to engage in a brawl. Finn's wife, however, did not want her husband to get in a fight, so she covered him with a baby blanket. When Benandonner came looking for him, he saw the great mass and, indeed, assumed it was their baby. Benandonner ran away believing that such a large baby, could only be produced by a father that is truly gargantuan. As he ran back to Scotland, he tore up the causeway so no one could follow him. The end. So for science or for legend, it is a great site to visit!

Where are you? Send me a postcard! Just take a digital photo, write a 2-3 line message and send it to touristliving (at) gmail (dot) com! I'll turn your photo into a postcard and post it on my blog to share your experience of living like a tourist in your own city.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Send me a postcard!



I have a favor to ask of you... but let me explain first.

There are couple travel traditions that are starting to go out of style. New technology à la Iphone or 3-oz security rules and pay-for-luggage policies have made travel more perfunctory and less pleasant. Everything now revolves around efficiency: condensing, organizing, minimizing and streamlining. That is today's travel mantra. Those Up-in-the-Air George Clooney's out there love this, but those traditionalists of the days of yore, like me, miss the unruly, space-gobbling, unplugged simplicity of million-fold maps (instead of GPS-es), paperback books (rather than Kindles) and decks of cards (in place of digital brickbreaker).

Photo from "I Antique Online"

I'll admit that I even have unwarranted nostalgia for some of these traditions that passed before my time, traditions like leather, square-box suitcases adorned with stickers from various countries. (Completely cumbersome and inefficient for frequent travels, but great looking!)

Even from when I was young, however, travel has changed and traditions have diminished. Stewardesses used to give out blankets and pillows to customers, and kids would receive playing cards and little wing pins to wear proudly. Patch collections from different countries or states were common and would be sewn on backpacks or leather jackets (oh the '80s!). Passport stamps were more decorative and culturally representative than the current "Valid for a 30 day stay. Work not permitted" stamps of today.


Picture Source

And postcards. Postcards were my favorite tradition. This tradition hasn't faded away as quickly as some other ones. However, postcards aren't sent as frequently or with as much enthusiasm as they used to be. And of course not- Why send a postcard which takes 1-2 weeks for delivery (assuming it makes it) when you can use your IphoneDroid to post all your vacation pictures and hear everyone's comments of jealousy while you are actually lounging on that beach you are talking about? 



Point is: it pains me that this tradition may no longer exist one day.

NOW COMES YOUR PART!

I know that all you reading this are in interesting places (I find all places interesting!), and I get really jealous just hearing about them. So, I would like you all to send me postcards from wherever you are. However, by postcard, I just mean:

  1. A digital picture, preferably representative of the place you in which you are living (or visiting) like a tourist.
  2. A short max 3-line message describing the one thing that any tourist to your city needs to see.
  3. Your name (or clever alias)
I will turn the photo you provide into a postcard similar to the one you see below and post it on my blog for everyone to read.

I know that e-postcards are not a new invention. However, I also know that they aren't frequently used... So I have decided to use this modern twist on the tradition to resurrect it, but also to share with everyone the experiences of other everyday tourists out there.

So start sending in your pictures and messages to touristliving (at) gmail (dot) com.

Wish you were here, or as is more often the case, wish I was there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Je me souviens

As is typical for me, I write my list of 365 things to do in D.C. and then I skip the country.

This past weekend I was in Montreal, one of my favorite cities in the world and possibly my favorite city in North America. Montreal in the summer is also a very different beast than in the winter. Montreal in the summer is all about outdoor living with cafe terraces, summer festivals and rooftop bars. People take advantage of this short period to exploit their flower collections; porches, flower boxes, window sills etc. all abound with gorgeous vegetation. Next to the wrought iron outdoor staircases, this makes any neighborhood a lovely view.

Of course, I have a running list of great things about Montreal, part of which I put down in this article, part of which run through my head as memories.

This particular trip, however, was not fully travel bug-induced. This was the wedding of a family member, another reason I love Montreal. Growing up, many of my childhood memories of family were set in Canada: Christmases, New Years, some Easters and at least part of summer vacations.

Grandparents' houses are always full of wonder for children, and my wonder was easily awakened particularly by a silver tin box hidden under my grandfather's couch. This treasure trove was filled with every type of button you can imagine, and we were allowed to shift through it and select some. The shiny or jewel-shaped ones were the most sought after. My grandfather also saved his old pill bottles, the thick plastic white ones, for us to use as building blocks- a type of logo factory.

He also had the prettiest, freshest smelling, ripe red tomatoes growing from boxes that hung off the side of his back porch. I think it is a toss up between whether my grandfather's tomatoes or the ones in Italy ruined me for life for any other tomato.

And then there were the treats: bugles filled with cheeze whiz, swedish raspberries from the penny candy shop downstairs, lime hush puppy slushies from nearby, Nectar soda, coffeecrisps and coconut-chocolate cookies hidden in the egg compartment of the fridge. These were available pretty much at any time during the day, and if they weren't already on the kitchen table, all you had to do was mention that you might be hungry...

Montreal obviously has a different allure for me now: cheeze whiz (gross) and slushies aside. But I think certain memories forever bind you to select places; Montreal definitely has a hold on me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Listography D.C.

In order to keep me from getting further distracted and accountable for, not only my one thing of the day, but for making the most out of my time in D.C., I have started a list, yes- a list.

I have picked out 365 things to do, one for each day of the 1-year lease I signed.

Yes, I have already done many of the items on this list. (I had to account for the 5 months I have already spent here!) Besides, my theory is always to put something on a to-do list that is done already. It gives you the feeling of accomplishment and the impetus to keep going.

As you will see, my list is only at 200-some. This is so that I can add things as I come upon them or as they are suggested to me (suggestions welcome!). Here is my work in progress:

Karen's Official Living like a Tourist list- D.C. Edition


For Pity’s Sake (you’re in D.C.!)
  1. White House (inside)
  2. Washington Monument (top)
  3. The Capitol (inside)
  4. Library of Congress
  5. National Archives- Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Magna Carta Originals
  6. Natural History Museum
  7. Air and Space Museum
  8. American Art Museum
  9. National Portrait Gallery
  10. National Art Gallery- West Building
  11. National Art Gallery- East Building
  12. Botanical Gardens
  13. National Arboretum
  14. Cherry Blossom Festival
  15. International Spy Museum 
  16. Crime and Punishment Museum
  17. National Building Museum- Lego Exhibit
  18. National Museum of Women in the Arts
  19. National Zoo
  20. National Aquarium
  21. Lincoln Memorial
  22. Jefferson Memorial
  23. World War I Memorial
  24. World War II Memorial
  25. Moonlight Monument Cruise on the Potomac
  26. Holocaust Museum
  27. Smithsonian Castle
  28. National Museum of the American Indian 
  29. American History Museum- Julia Child's Kitchen
  30. National Museum of African Art
  31. Woodrow Wilson Center
  32. Woodrow Wilson Presidential Exhibit
  33. Old Post Office Pavilion
  34. D.C. Acropolis- Columns that belonged to the Capital
  35. Newseum
  36. John F. Kennedy Center
  37. Ford’s Theater
  38. Dumbarton House
  39. Supreme Court
  40. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  41. Watergate (inside)
  42. Pentagon (inside)
  43. Georgetown’s M Street
  44. FDR Memorial 
  45. Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial
  46. Korean War Veteran's Memorial
  47. National Archives- Civil War Exhibit
  48. World Bank Building
  49. For Food
  50. Sorriso- Italian-Cleveland Park
  51. Sette- Italian- Dupont
  52. Thaiphoon- Thai- Dupont
  53. Kafe Leopold- Cafe- Georgetown
  54. Bistro du Coin- French- Dupont
  55. Teakwood- Thai & Sushi- 14th Street
  56. La Forchette- French - 18th St.
  57. Rosemary and Thyme- 18th St.
  58. The Diner- American- 18th St.
  59. Dukem- Ethiopian- U St.
  60. Meskerem- Ethiopian - 18th St.
  61. Old City Café of Jerusalem- Falafel- Columbia St.
  62. Grill from Ipanema- Adams Morgan
  63. Napoleon- French Savory Crepes- Adams Morgan
  64. Open City- Woodley Park
  65. Front page- Dupont
  66. Sushi AOI- New York Ave
  67. Lauriol Plaza- Mexican- 18th St.
  68. Straits of Malay- Malaysian- 18th St.
  69. Mandu Korean Restaurant-18th St.
  70. Bayou- Cajun Food- Penn Ave- Foggy Bottom
  71. Mie N Yu- Table with curtains- Georgetown
  72. Perry’s Rooftop
  73. Rosa Mexicano- Penn Quarter
  74. Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza
  75. Pizzeria Paradiso 
  76. Café DuPont- French
  77. Circa - Dupont
  78. Teakwood- Thai/Sushi- 14th Street
  79. Zorba’s Cafe-Greek- Dupont
  80. Indique- Indian- Cleveland Park
  81. Mate- Sushi- K Street
  82. Il Canale- Italian 
  83. Alero- Mexican- Cleveland Park
  84. New Heights  New American- Adams Morgan
  85. Mama Ayesha- Lebanese- Calvert St.
  86. Café Oaxaca - Adams Morgan
  87. Ghana Cafe - 14 Street
  88. Heights- Columbia Heights
  89. Aria - Italian- Federal Triangle
  90. Wasabi- Sushi 
  91. Penang Malaysian Restaurant
  92. James Hobans- Dupont
  93. Meze- Lebanese- Adams Morgan
  94. Amsterdam Shop- Falafel- Adams Morgan
  95. Spices- Asia/Sushi- Cleveland Park
  96. Russia House- Dupont
  97. Sticky Rice- Sticky Balls & Godzirra rolls- Sushi- H & 12.5 St
  98. Bens Chili Bowl- Vegetarian Chili- U Street
  99. Amorini Panini- F Street
  100. Cafe Green- Raw food
  101. Malaysia Kopitiam- Malaysian- Dupont
  102. Camille's- Sandwiches
  103. Madhatter- American- Dupont
  104. Jaleo- Tapas- Penn Quarter
  105. Cashion's Eat Place- Adams Morgan
  106. Marrakesh- Moroccan
  107. Two Amy's- Pizza
  108. Cuba Libre- after it opens in Sept.
  109. Agora- Turkish Restaurant to try the Raki
  110. Haydees- Mexican Food and Live music- Mt. Pleasant
  111. Nam Viet- Vietnamese- Cleveland Park
  112. Crepe Amour- Georgetown- Don't go here! They are rude!
  113. Bistro D'Oc- French- Downtown
  114. Comet Ping Pong- Pizza
  115. Lavandou- Provencal- Cleveland Park
  116. Jyoti- Indian- 18th St.
  117. Bus Boys & Poets- U Street
  118. Oro Pomodoro- Pizza- Rockville
  119. Pupatella- Pizza- Arlington
  120. Grillfish-Seafood
  121. Firehook Bakery
  122. Hot Potato Cafe- E Street (Penn Quarter)
  123. Chop't- a DC craze
  124. El Tamarindo- El Salvadorean & Mexican- Adams Morgan-Florida Ave.
  125. Pasta Mia- Italian- Adams Morgan
  126. Red Rocks Pizza- Columbia Heights
  127. Le Pain Quotidien- Alexandria
  128. Faccia Luna- Thick Crust Carciofi pizza- Clarendon
  129. Bao - Bao dumplings- Vermont Avenue
  130. Nando's Peri-Peri
  131. Asian Spice- Sapporo on Draft
  132. Justin's Cafe- Portobello/ spinach spread sandwich- yum!- Near Nats Stadium
  133. Love Cafe- U Street
  134. Birch & Barley- 14th Street
  135. Rustico- Pizza- Alexandria
  136. Utopia- U Street
  137. Zaytinya-Mediterranean- Penn Quarter
  138. Mai Thai- 19th Street
  139. Cosmopolitan Grill- Balkans- Burek (not on the menu)- Alexandria
  140. Oyamel- Penn Quarter
  141. Slaviya- Serbian & E. European- Adams Morgan
  142. Asia Nine- Sushi- E Street
  143. Montmartre- French- Capitol Hill
  144. Dalchini- Indian- Dupont Circle
  145. Hotel Tabard Inn Restaurant- N Street
  146. Local 16- U Street
  147. Pasara Thai- Dupont
  148. Tonic-Brunch- Mt. Pleasant
  149. Social- Columbia Heights
  150. Jandara Thai Restaurant- Woodley Park- Not good!
  151. Founding Farmers- Penn Ave
  152. Iron Gate- N Street- CLOSED
  153. Sonoma- Italian- Capital Hill
  154. Sushi Ko- Glover Park
  155. Hollywood East Cafe- Dim Sum- Wheaton
  156. Paul- French Bakery- Penn Quarter
  157. For a Night out
  158. Buddha Bar
  159. 9:30 Club
  160. Madam’s Organ
  161. Bossa
  162. Foreign Language Cinema on E Street
  163. Habana Village- Salsa
  164. Paul Oakenfold DJ live in D.C.
  165. Screen on the green
  166. Silver Theater- Silver Spring
  167. Napoleon
  168. Verizon Center
  169. Red Derby- Board Games & beer
  170. Country Club- Mini Golf course inside the bar- H street
  171. Shelly's Back Room- Cigar Lounge- F Street
  172. Mambo Room- Low-key dancing- Adams Morgan
  173. Rocket Bar- skeeball machines & games
  174. Bohemian Caverns
  175. Soussi- Hookah
  176. Chi Cha Lounge- Hookah & Live music
  177. For the Spirit
  178. St. Matthews Cathedral
  179. National Cathedral
  180. Washington Mormon Temple
  181. Franciscan Monastery- replicas of Holy Land sites in the Chapel and grotto
  182. Santa Rosaria (Holy Rosary)- Italian Church
  183. National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception- Basilica
  184. Tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine
  185. Sagrada Corazon- Haitian Catholic Mass- 16th street
  186. St. Patrick's Church- Oldest Parish in D.C.
  187. For Sport
  188. Nationals Stadium at Navy Yards
  189. Nationals Game @ Nats Stadium
  190. Orioles vs. Nationals Game (I can cheer for both, can't I?)
  191. D.C. United Game
  192. Capitals Hockey Game
  193. D.C. RollerGirls
  194. Bowie Baysox Game
  195. Frederick Keys Game
  196. Richmond Flying Squirrels Game (because I have to watch a team with flying squirrels as the mascot!!)
  197. Support Runners- Marine Corps Marathon
  198. For A Sweet Tooth
  199. Cake love- 44th Cupcake "Salted Caramel"
  200. Georgetown Cupcake- Bethesda Row Location
  201. Georgetown Cupcake- Secret Cupcake
  202. Georgetown Cupcake's Saturdays Mint Cookies & Creme Cupcake
  203. Red Velvet's Red Velvet cupcake (duh)
  204. Pitango- Cardammom flavor
  205. Pitango- Spicy Chocolate flavor 
  206. Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream
  207. Café Dolcezza 
  208. Dolci Gelati
  209. Yogenfruz 
  210. Tangy Sweet 
  211. Schokolade 
  212. Hook- lingonberry linzertorte 
  213. Crumbs- Grasshopper or Black Bottom Cheesecake cupcake
  214. Co Co Sala- Chocolate Onyx 
  215. Snap- Bubble Tea
  216. Boccato Gelato- Carambola (starfruit, kiwi & mint) & Cake Batter flavor- Arlington 
  217. Frozen yo- Self-serve, frozen yogart- red velvet flavor
  218. The Dairy Godmother- Alexandria
  219. Hello Cupcake- Dupont
  220. Hello Cupcake's Blarney Stone Mint Cupcake for St. Patrick's Day!
  221. Yola- Dupont
  222. Sweetgreen- Dupont
  223. Gelateria Dolce Vita- Georgetown
  224. Pleasant Pops- Watermelon Mint, Strawberry Rhubarb or Blueberry Pancake
  225. Parisian Macaron- Provence Lavendar or Chocolate Ecuador- Cacao- Cleveland park
  226. Lavendar Chocolate Bar at The Cocoa Gallery- 14th Street
  227. Sweet Potato Cupcake- LoveBites Food Truck
  228. For a Drink
  229. Tryst
  230. Café du Parc
  231. Le Bar
  232. Potenza
  233. Rooftop bar- JandG
  234. Bourbon- Glover Park
  235. Estadio- frozen alcoholic slushies 
  236. Dickson Wine Bar- U Street
  237. Veritas Wine Bar- Dupont
  238. Bistro du Coin- Dupont
  239. Brickskeller Saloon
  240. Urbana- P Street
  241. Bar DuPont- Dupont Circle
  242. Nanny O'briens
  243. Try DC Brau’s Porter
  244. Cafe Berlin- Capitol Hill
  245. Black Squirrel Pub- Beer
  246. R.F.D. Washington- Beer
  247. Dark and Stormy drink- Islander Caribbean Restaurant
  248. Four Corners Pub- Cleveland Park
  249. Biergarten Haus- Capitol Hill
  250. Mie N Yu- Bar/Lounge area
  251. Brasserie Beck- Belgian Beer
  252. Meridian Pint- Columbia Heights
  253. Adams Mill- Adams Morgan
  254. Breadsoda-Beer & ping pong- Wisconsin Ave.
  255. Policy- 14th Street
  256. Marvin- 14th Street
  257. Bar Pillar- 14th Street
  258. Stoney's- P Street- Beer Joint
  259. Cafe Saint Ex- 14th Street
  260. Sign of the Whale- Dupont
  261. Madhatter- Alice Beer
  262. Churchkey- Cask Ales
  263. For Caffe (or Hot Cocoa!)
  264. Illy café on M and New Hampshire
  265. Caffe Affogato ("drowned coffee"- espresso w/ gelato!) at Pitango
  266. Ebenezers Coffeehouse- Near Penn Station
  267. Bourbon Coffee- Supporting Sustainable, Economic Development in Africa!
  268. Java Green Café- 19th Street
  269. Chinatown Coffee Company- H Street
  270. M.E. Swing Co.- Alexandria
  271. Bread & Chocolate- M Street
  272. Mayorga Coffee- Takoma
  273. Marvelous Market- Eastern Market- Capitol Hill
  274. Quartermaine Coffee Roasters- Bethesda
  275. Peregrine Espresso- Capitol Hill
  276. St. Elmo's Coffee Pub- Alexandria
  277. Saxby's- Ronald Reagan Building- Mint Hot Chocolate
  278. The Cocoa Gallery- - Belgian White with Mint Hot Cocoa
  279. For Some Pampering
  280. Mimosa salon- Manicure
  281. Dhoonya Dance- Bhangra classes
  282. All Fired Up- Paint your own ceramics- Cleveland Park 
  283. Stroga Yoga- Adams Morgan
  284. Drive a Zipcar Mini Cooper
  285. For Happy Hour
  286. L’Enfant Belgian Beer Happy Hour 
  287. Lima outdoor terrace
  288. Zenten Rooftop bar- Donovan House- Canton Ginger Liquor
  289. Art & Soul- SnoCone Happy hour
  290. Vapiano 
  291. Ceiba
  292. Vinoteca
  293. Chocolate & Bubbles Happy hour- Co Co Sala
  294. ONE Lounge- potato pancakes
  295. Medaterra- Watermelon Margarita- Woodley Park
  296. Cafe Japone- Sushi & Sapporo- P Street
  297. Ping Pong- Dim Sum Happy Hour- Chinatown
  298. Commissary- P Street
  299. For the Season
  300. Zoo lights- Free this year at National Zoo!
  301. Candy Cane & White Chocolate Swirl- Yogen Fruz
  302. National Tree at White House
  303. Willard Hotel Tree in lobby & decorations
  304. Holiday Market- Penn Quarter 
  305. Hot Toddy or Mulled Wine at Poste
  306. Ice Skating at the National Art Gallery Sculpture Garden
  307. For Culture
  308. Chinatown
  309. Passport D.C. Days
  310. Italian Festival
  311. Millennium Stage free concerts- Kennedy Center
  312. Strathmore Music Hall
  313. Wolf Trapp
  314. National Theater
  315. Freer Gallery
  316. Phillips Collection
  317. Alliance Francaise Event
  318. Goethe Instituit
  319. Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
  320. National Geographic Museum
  321. Tea at the Mansion on O Street
  322. Corcoran Gallery
  323. Allen Ginsberg's Photography "Beat Memories"- National Gallery
  324. Gallery at the Canadian Embassy
  325. Italian Embassy
  326. Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center
  327. Shakespeare Theater
  328. Hand Dance Club- DC's official dance
  329. Columbia Heights Day- Street Festival
  330. Norman Rockwell Exhibit- American Art Museum
  331. Historical Society of Washington DC
  332. American Red Cross Headquarters Tour
  333. Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Festival- September 26
  334. For Being Outside
  335. Rock Creek Trail
  336. Kayaking on the Potomac
  337. Paddle Boat- Tidal Basin
  338. Eastern Market
  339. Bike along C&O Canal
  340. Tubing on the Potomac
  341. Brookside Gardens- Wheaton
  342. Theodore Roosevelt Island- Trails
  343. Photograph DC's interesting murals
  344. Friday Farmer's Market- Federal Triangle
  345. Chicha Morada at Latin Market- Columbia St.-Adams Morgan
  346. Barrack's Row- Shops & Restaurants- Capitol Hill
  347. Rent a bike from Capital Bike Share
  348. Meridian Hill Park
  349. For getting out of the city
  350. Port City Brewery- Alexandria
  351. Old town Alexandria
  352. Del Rae neighborhood in Alexandria
  353. Oasis Winery
  354. National Harbor
  355. Arlington Cemetery
  356. Monticello
  357. Mount Vernon
  358. Authentic Korean Restuarant in D.C. suburbs
  359. I don’t know what for…
  360. Ollie’s Trolley
  361. O Line at National Zoo- Orangutan’s crossing
  362. See Baby Giant Anteater- National Zoo
  363. Visit Baby lion cubs - National Zoo
  364. Drag Queen Brunch at Perry’s
  365. Hard Rock Cafe- This used to be a tradition for me
  366. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum- In case I don't actually meeet Obama
  367. National Postal Museum
  368. Hyperbolic algebra Coral Reef Exhibit at Natural History Museum
  369. Meridian Pint- Pour your own pint
  370. Rally on the National Mall
  371. Using App to get photo up on the wall Ben's Chili Bowl
  372. Againn- Beer Floats
  373. Cereal Bowl- Cleveland Park-Out of business now!
  374. Funxion- Beet, Alcoholic Drink
  375. Albert Einstein Memorial
  376. Spotting Black Squirrels
  377. Find a D.C. geocache
  378. The Big Chair- world’s largest chair, in Anacostia 
  379. The Big Adirondack Chair
  380. Participate in a D.C. Dance Mob
  381. Buzz Bakery- Homemade Root Beer marshmallows (what are these??)- Alexandria
  382. Eat Wonky Food Truck- Poutine
  383. Solar Crepes Food Truck- White bean hummus crepe
  384. A DuFrein (Guinness with a shot of espresso) at Tryst
  385. Food from a Food truck- a D.C. Craze
  386. For helping round out this list
  387. Union Station 
  388. Ronald Reagan Airport 
  389. Dulles Airport 
  390. Freedom Plaza 
  391. Ronald Reagan Building
  392. The Circulator
  393. D.C. Metro
** All photos created by Karen Mardelli using Picnik!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dancing with Myself... and hundreds of other people

July 31 has been named National Dance Day in the U.S., and to celebrate this day, there was a event on the National Mall co-hosted by Nigel Lythgoe (below), co-creator of "So You Think You Can Dance."


In honor of this, there was also a not-so-secret flash mob choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon. If you have not heard of a flash mob, it is when, in a crowd of people, about half of them know to break out in dance, song, movement etc at a specific time, while the other ones are left dumbfounded by what is going on around them.

I particularly like that Wikipedia describes a flash mob as "unusual", "pointless" and "brief":  "A flash mob is large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then disperse."

Flash mob dances follow the same idea... with a little more direction. I wish I could say ours looked like this one below performed for Oprah...But no, it wasn't quite this way.



Our version...

video

(Ours might look a little less organized... it is just because we didn't have the Black Eyed Peas for inspiration).

Point is though: a flash mob is supposed to be inconspicuous. In this respect, our flash mob failed desperately, as it was announced on stage, practiced in a big group next to the crowd and then, as we were sent back to mingle with the people "not in-the-know," we were then asked to raise our hands if we knew the dance...

The element of surprise was definitely lacking. In the end, this "flash mob" was more of a choreographed performance of ordinary people which was filmed to air on "So You Think You Can Dance."

However, for dancers, this is pretty exciting. "So You Think You Can Dance" is the American Idol or Eurovision of the dance world.

This was my first time participating in a flash mob. Though I wrote about an opera flash mob in which I wished I had participated... Dancing I can do. Opera not so much. I can also do pointless and unusual, so perhaps I will find one of those for next time...

More Scenes from National Dance Day:

Russell Ferguson, krump dancer & winner of So You Think You Can Dance- Season six


Beat Ya Feet Kings- DC Dance Crew team featured on "America's Best Dance Crew"



Someone not particularly impressed by Flash mobs and National Dance Day  OR... 
someone who ACTUALLY knows the meaning in inconspicuous. Perhaps this was the scene right before jumping into the Flash mob dance. In that case, bravo!

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