Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend in Pictures

Happy Monday! Hope you had a good weekend! My parents were visiting me from North Carolina for the weekend, so we had a fun activity packed couple of days. My parents used to live outside DC when I was super young, so it was slightly a challenge in how I could show them parts of DC that they hadn't already experienced themselves. Below is a good synopsis of what we did around the city. Feel free to copy and repeat for any of your own future visitors!

Friday night I took my parents to the trendy Sticky Rice down on H Street, NE. I wouldn't recommend this for all parents, but since mine are somewhat adventurous they enjoyed it. And I wanted to show them an area that I hang out in often.

After Sticky Rice I took them back to the more tamer Capitol Hill, where we had wine at Sonoma Wine Bar. We sat upstairs in the lounge, which was nice and low-key. One thing that did annoy me though was that they weren't offering the full wine list upstairs. Only a small handful of wines.

Saturday morning we walked around the market, which is conveniently in walking distance to my apartment and my parents hotel. This is a sure fire enjoyable activity for any guest and I pretty much take all my visitors here.....whether they like it or not.

Since my dad loves his hamburgers Good Stuff Eatery was the obvious choice for lunch. While you can get a basic hamburger here, they also have many unique burgers and turkey burgers that your guests can't typically get back home. And it is pretty fast and easy for lunch.

After lunch we decided to hit a few museums. We took advantage of the last weekend for Corcoran free saturdays. To be completely honest I'm glad it was free as there were not very many noteworthy exhibits right now. And I know William Eggleston did breakthrough things for color photography....but some of his photographs down right depressed me.

On our way to Chinatown we watched the trapeze school for a few. It seriously made me consider taking classes, it just looked like so much fun. And they honestly made it look really easy...which I doubt.

Checked out a couple exhibits at the Portrait Gallery . They have a really great temporary exhibit on the first floor of photography portraits from various artists. Some have stories behind them, though not all. Really interesting creative stuff.

Grabbed cold beers outside at Capitol Lounge.

Saturday night I took my parents to the restaurant Zaytinya for dinner. Zaytinya is one of my go-to restaurants for visitors. It has a trendy cool interior, interesting unique food, and it doesn't have to necessarily break the bank. I also love that you see the whole spectrum when it comes to dress. I hate it when I bring out of town guests somewhere and they feel uncomfortable because it is overly trendy or overly dressed up. At Zaytinya you get the trendy vibe without feeling out of place.

After dinner we went to Bohemian Caverns for a Jazz concert. This was actually my parents idea. I wasn't a huge fan of the artist, but I always love the vibe at this place. If you haven't been it is a great little spot on 11th and U located in a basement. The interior is carved out like a stone cave....It feels so very intimate, like you are in a secret club. It also has a very rich jazz history with the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louise Armstrong and others once performing on its stage.

Before sending my parents on their way back to North Carolina on Sunday, we had brunch at Belga Cafe. A great brunch spot that is a little bit fancier than the usual Tunnicliffes.

Overall it was a fun weekend and I enjoyed showing my parents around some of the touristy DC things as well as the more out of the way local spots. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as I did!

Target's Frugalista

This past weekend I saw a new Target commercial on TV (not the commercial below though...more on that in a minute). As always they aim to please with a new fall ad campaign. The clothes look adorable and I'm anxious to see what my local Target ends up stocking. But something else I noticed was a new word they are using (and maybe created, I'm not sure). Frugalista.

Its interesting to see how this economy has shaped advertising. If I hear another twist on stimulus I'm pretty sure I'm gonna scream. But Frugalista is something new. It reminds me of when Bud Light created the term "Drinkability." Except Target has created a word that says being frugal is stylish. I'm still on the fence about the word though. Target has become an expert on making shopping discount trendy, so I have no doubt it will catch on. And I'm sure after I keep hearing it over and over again it may even evolve into my every day vocabulary. But right now I'm torn between loving it and hating it.

So now you ask why do I have a Target commercial below that is obviously not the Frugalista commercial. Well I searched all over the internet for this commercial...but I guess it is just too new to be on YouTube yet. Danget. Anyways I stumbled upon this Target kids commercial in the process. Not sure why I haven't seen this commercial yet...could be because I don't watch the tv programming targeted with this ad. Or I fast forward on my DVR too much. But I'm a sucker for stop motion graphics. I wonder if they got their inspiration from the Her Morning Elegance video.

Good Morning: Dance

Friday, August 28, 2009

Have a good weekend!

Hope you have a good weekend! I'm heading out a little early to go meet up with my parents who are visiting for the weekend. I'm a bit nervous the weather is going to crap out, which means museums galore! Luckily they are into that sort of thing. But I'm excited for them to see my new diggs....not really so new but they haven't been up here in a while. Have a wonderful and hopefully dry weekend!

Sidenote, thats not a picture of my family up above....if it were that would make me pretty old. But I love the look on the father's face as the little boy takes a bathroom break. Such a classic family shot!

Some Polaroid Love

In honor of the last of the Polaroids being sold today at Urban Outfitters (see post below), I thought I would share some Polaroid love. I sifted through several Flickr groups to find a few inspirational favorites.

With all the Photoshop filters and effects in the world, I still don't think you can achieve the same look. There is just something about Polaroid pictures. In a way they feel timeless. While yes sometimes there are hints in the pictures of the time. All the photos have the same classic washed out look. They remind me of my grandparents generation, my parents generation, and yes even my generation. Who have found new creative ways to express themselves with Polaroids during such a digital age.

So if this doesn't make you want to go out and get a Polaroid, I don't know what will.

Get Your Polaroid Fix

Just recently have I become a lover of Polaroid pictures. Of course when they were a dime a dozen and easy to find, I didn't appreciate them as much. Isn't that how it always goes? Though I'd like to think that my love for it now isn't just because they are discontinued and hard to find. But it definitely does add to the appeal.

So whether you've been a Polaroid lover for years or are just now starting to appreciate it, you can get your last Polaroid fix (and also maybe your first Polaroid fix) today at Urban Outfitters. In a collaboration with The Impossible Project they are selling all the last of their remaining deadstock of Polaroid film and cameras today.

If you haven't heard of The Impossible Project, they have a pretty interesting mission. When the production of analog Instant Film stopped in 2008, they formed to try to re-invent and re-start production. Recently they acquired all the production equipment from Polaroid, which is great and encouraging news. What is really interesting though is that they don't want to just restart production, they want to develop a new product that will better fit into today's marketplace. I say more power to them. And I'm really curious to see what they produce and how it honors the tradition of Polaroid.

They are aiming to have a new product out in 2010, but if you can't wait until then get over to Urban Outfitters and buy up the last of the traditional Polaroids now. In DC there are two Urban's in NW. One on 7th and H in Chinatown and one on M street and 31st in Georgetown. If you don't live in DC check out this list of stores carrying the last of the Polaroid. I'm extremely tempted to take my lunch break and head down to Chinatown.

Good Morning: Pretty in Pink

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Erin Jang's Design

I'm like a kid in a candy store looking at Erin Jang's Flickr stream of her work. As a side note (why have I had so many side notes lately?) it is really interesting how much the uses of Flickr have started to change and I love that more designers are starting to put their work up on there. I've noticed different groups for business card ideas, invitation ideas ect and it is a great way to quickly scan for ideas. I highly recommend searching through flickr groups for whatever inspiration you need.

So back to Erin Jang, she is a designer for Esquire magazine by day (so fun right?) and invitation designer by night. Both pretty sweet gigs if you ask me. Her styles are definitely a little different between the two, as you would expect. But I love when you can see various sides of a designer's work.

For this invitation she took her inspiration from the architecture where the couple is getting married. Such a wonderful idea and resource to pull from! Its always great when you can tie in elements that are meaningful to the couple.

These wedding invitations were inspired by the couple's love for vintage ephemera and secret notes. The little envelopes containing fold out invitations are so sweet. There is something to be said for creating an experience with different steps to open an invitation/brochure.

Below are Erin's table of contents design for Esquire magazine! So freaking cool, right? And a slightly different look from her invitations. I feel like this is a unique take on both table of contents and photo collages. I always appreciate it when magazines get creative with this section in their magazine which can so often be overlooked design wise. And in my opinion these are inspiration board worthy!

Check out Erin's flickr stream of designs here and her wonderful blog here.

Good Morning: Smile, Laugh, and Be Happy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Taylor Gourmet Deli in Dwell

Monday night I finally had my first taste of Taylor Deli on H Street, NE. I had heard great things about it since it had opened and I'm not exactly sure what took me so long to get myself down to H and 12th. But I'm glad I finally did. The sandwiches are absolutely amazing and the sleek modern interior with a glass garage door adds to the experience. I highly recommend any of the chicken cutlet sandwiches, especially the one with gorgonzola cheese and roasted red peppers. Absolutely delicious.

But the point of this post is actually not to praise their food (though it is darn good), but to talk about their article in the most recent issue of Dwell. They had the issue sitting out on the counter but while waiting for my food I was only able to skim the first couple paragraphs. Even so, those first couple paragraphs were stuck in my head all the way home until I could finish the article online.

What struck me the most was how well written and researched it was. I feel like usually design magazines gloss things over, but this was not the case for the Taylor Deli article. You could tell the writer actually spent time on H street, NE, really experiencing it. They didn't write it off as a great hipster DC neighborhood, but they also didn't write it off as run-down and unsafe place to be. I felt like the author really got to know H street and painted a honest, down to earth picture.

On the design side of the article I appreciated seeing refurbished apartments that the two owners designed above their deli. Hearing about their creative processes of cutting corners yet still making it unique. Can you believe in the picture below they got the green cabinets from Ikea and the tile back splash off EBay! So very creative, economical and still stylish.

Check out the article on Dwell right here for good writing, an interesting perspective on H street and amazingly sleek design. Then get your butt over to Taylor Deli and try one of their chicken cutlet sandwiches.

Photographs by João Canziani

Good Morning: Strike a Pose

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

J. Crew's Fall Catalog

This morning I got the newest fall catalog for J.Crew. Swoon. But let me sidetrack real quick. Yes thats right, J.Crew delivered their catalog to my work address. As if it wasn't hard enough to be sly with my personal packages and keep my shopping addiction under wraps. A few of my coworkers have already started to catch on nicknaming me confessions of a shopaholic. Now they have sent me catalogs to sit in my mailbox for all to see. Thanks a lot, J.Crew.

Back on subject though, J.Crew's fall line is probably going to put a huge dent in my paycheck. I only quickly glanced through it because again I'm trying to be sly about my "problem" at work. I'm looking forward to fully indulging by circling and dog earring the pages when I get home. But one thing that caught my eye that I had to share was their A to Z theme. I absolutely love the way they've incorporated their clothing, the models, and each letter. I scanned in a few of my favorites below. So classy. Well done, J.Crew, well done. I guess I can forgive you for outing me as a shopaholic.

Eric Hutchinson - OK It's Alright With Me

I know I'm a typography nerd when I fall in love with a music video because of the use of text.  But it also doesn't hurt that I already loved the song.  

As a side note another aspect I really enjoy about the video is that it is very simple and in black and white.  So many music videos these days have all the bells and whistles and I appreciate something that goes the route of a little more subtler.

{thanks Katie!}

Good Morning: Sweet Little Things

Monday, August 24, 2009

My weekend in Pictures

How is it already Monday again. I feel like somebody is pressing the fast forward button on my life. And yet again another weekend has passed and another work week begins. Luckily it was a pretty low key weekend in the city, especially with the rain on Saturday. I definitely needed it after having guests in town and being out of town for the past several weekends.

Friday night I went to the Nats game with the $1 ticket deal. Surprisingly they were decent seats for $1, but of course it rained. Every Nats game I've been to this year it has rained.

Kept my friend Katie company while she packed for her big move next weekend. I realized it hadn't been since college that I hung out on a friends bed and talked. It was really nice and nostalgic.

We also found some real gems while she was packing. Like this "yearbook" we both got before our freshman year of college. It had all of our future classmates high school senior pictures in it. While we went to the same college we didn't actually meet until DC. So it was fun to look at old pictures of people we knew and also made me a little nostalgic. What is up with all of this nostalgia lately! Of course we also had to text pictures to our friends to let them know we had found blackmail material.

She organizes her books by color which I love and would totally try if I didn't have my books spread out everywhere.

Saturday night Turner and I went to see In the Loop at E Street Cinema. If you don't know of E street it is a large independent movie theater in DC. They are always showing great indie films and documentaries. In the Loop was pretty hilarious and whats great is parts of it were set in DC. I loved how they made fun of how young everybody in DC is.

Sunday Turner and I found a stray kitten that has been hanging out on his back patio. We let it come inside and play for a little bit.

If you can't tell by this picture, the kitten has the EXACT same markings as Max. White belly, white paws and a little bit of white on the chin. We decided to nickname it Maxette since it looks kind of like a mini Max. They didn't really know what to think of each other and I think Max got swatted a few times.

Sunday we went to the Capitol Skyline pool for burgers and swimming. The good news is they are continuing this until the end of September. I always hate how pools close labor day when it is still so dang hot outside. The crowd was somewhat similar to the Saturday Brightest Young Things crowd, though not so hipster and edgy. A little more laid back and casual. And what is great about Sundays is you get a free burger with your $10. Though no Spike this week.
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