Friday, July 27, 2007


Sunday, July 22

A bunch of us took time out from our papers to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

The museum as a whole was sobering. The special exhibition "Give Me Your Children": Voices from the Lodz Ghetto was well thought-out and informative. I did not like the permanent exhibition, however; it was way too crowded and presented an overwhelming amount of words, media, and artifacts. Not a fun museum to see, but definitely necessary.

Sunday spending total: $1.60 (Holocaust Museum postcards)

Monday, July 23

Emily, Erica, and I got bored of writing and went on an adventure to Columbia Heights. We scooped up some dessert at Sticky Fingers right before close and proceeded to eat dinner at Logan @ The Heights:

We had a lovely time at this brand spanking new restaurant! My burger with bacon and fresh avocado was delicious...not to mention that it was followed by vegan raspberry cheesecake :)

Monday spending total: $33.13 (dessert at Sticky Fingers and dinner)

Tuesday, July 24

Following a presentation by two gentlemen from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the WISE gang went on a tour of the Capitol:

To be honest, I wasn't overwhelmed by the beauty of the Capitol rotunda. To be even more honest, I think that the rotunda in the Texas state capitol is significantly more beautiful.

The best part of the tour was getting to see the House vote!!! In all seriousness, this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I couldn't tell you what was more exciting: the illuminated panels with each representative's name and his or her vote, the electric buzz in the air, or people-watching from the gallery. Speaking of, I spotted several Congressfolk including Dennis Kucinich, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Betty Sutton, Steve LaTourette, Rush Holt, Susan Davis, Steny Hoyer, Vern Ehlers, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, David Wu, and Deborah Pryce.

On a random aside, the Capitol South Metro station has the best advertisements ever. Check out Edna, sponsored by Smart Skies:

I also LOVE Dell's new colored laptop ads:


Later on, Chris, Dave, Jason, Ano, Annie, and I headed to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Here's Dave on the way to Baltimore:

We got to the park just as the Cal Ripken Hall of Fame Send-Off was ending:

Ano, Jason, and Dave were a little disappointed that we didn't get Cal Ripken bobbleheads:

Camden Yards was built in 1992 by HOK Sport, the same firm that brought you Jacobs Field in 1994. I could definitely tell that the two parks were siblings:

As per usual, I was slightly obsessed with photographing this MLB ballpark:

Check out this Camden Yards sunset:

I somehow had a 48-year-old Baltimorean gentleman give me his number at the game. Don't worry, though; he has a 46-year-old internet girlfriend from West Virginia!

Oh, and the Orioles won another pitchers' duel 3 to nothing.

Tuesday spending total: $49.60 (postage, my share of a ZipCar, Orioles ticket, and a hot dog)

Wednesday, July 25

The WISE guys and gals had breakfast with engineering society representatives and a snack with Spanish engineering students later in the afternoon. Outside of that, much more paper writing ensued.

On a high note, I got mango tea and vegan blueberry cheesecake from Java Green.

On a low note, my beloved HP R707 camera died. The zoom and other functions had acted up when I heard Steny Hoyer speak two weeks ago, but my little camera somehow made a valiant recovery for the Philly trips, Washington Monument, and other mayhem around town. Upon turning on my camera most recently, no zoom, no menu, no nothing.

(For those who are wondering, I contacted HP technical support along with several DC area camera shops two weeks ago. The strips in between the manual buttons and internal circuits wore out; these wear down from use and ultimately limit the lifetime of the camera. HP offered me the option of trading my camera in for a newer refurb model, but I instead got a steal of a deal on a new HP R927 from Beach Camera.)

Requiescat in Pacem, my little camera.

Wednesday spending total: $6.90 (tea and cheesecake)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

DC Love

Monday, July 16

To celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Jason's birth, the WISE gang went to Johnny Rockets for dinner:

I got Jason a "Party in a Box" from Chocolate Moose, and he let me wear the other crown:

Emily had a field day with the stringy confetti stuff:

The Birthday Boy is such a STUD:

Monday spending total: $10.00 (burger at Johnny Rockets)

Tuesday, July 17

Nope. Nothing exciting. Paper writing ALL day.

Tuesday spending total: $2.00 (CVS run)

Wednesday, July 18

I started my morning off with a tour of the Washington Monument:

Upon going up 500 feet, I took some sweet photos. Here you can see the Jefferson Memorial:

World War II Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Lincoln Memorial:

The White House:

Random buildings:

Eisenhower Executive Office Building:

Mall looking the other way (the Capitol is somewhere behind the haze):

Once I was back on the ground, I took another shot of the obelisk:

Good Morning, George:

Here are more Lincoln Memorial/Reflecting Pool/WWII Memorial shots:

And finally, R2D2:

I came home for a bit before going to a Capitol Hill briefing on Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Careers. Congresswomen Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Jan Schakowsky spoke along with two female professors. (I wish I knew/remembered more about this event, but I don't. Speaking of Cathy McMorris Rodgers, check out this article about the ten Congresswomen with children under the age of thirteen.)

I came home and worked on my paper some more before giving up for the night.

Wednesday spending total: $6.90 (House of Representatives Gift Shop purchases)

Thursday, July 19

The WISE gang had a late morning/early afternoon appointment at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which definitely was interesting. Afterward, Emily, Erica, Dave, and I went to Luna Grill and Diner for a late lunch. George drove past while we were eating there; he has quite a motorcade.

We didn't want to go home and write our papers, so we went to Marvelous Market for coffee, tea, and pastries. We got our delectables to go and munched on them while people-watching at Dupont Circle. A most lovely diversion before a night of paper writing!

Thursday spending total: $16.00 (dinner, tea, and a snack)

Friday, July 20

After two speakers and more paper writing, I met up with Pat Rodjom for dinner!!! We went to the Brickskeller followed by Big Hunt and had a fabulous time! On our way back to the Dupont Metro, we ran into an impromptu concert:

I heart Pat:

Friday spending total: $21.50 (my share of dinner and drinks)

Saturday, July 21

More paper writing. Ew.

I finally couldn't stand looking out my window at the perfect blue sky anymore and left the dorm for a U Street adventure. I was hungry when I got off of the Metro and decided to check out Ben's Chili Bowl:

My chili dog at this historic African American establishment exceeded my expectations to the utmost extent. Soooo tasty!!!

I hit up Home Rule and Go Mama Go! again but wasn't in the mood to buy anything.

Soon, I made my way back to Dupont:

I LOVE this neighborhood. I was thinking the other day and realized that Dupont is a lot like Coventry, only better (both have a large hippie/activist and gay population, fun restaurants, and unique shops). Ariel told me that Ted Gup once lived here; I need to remember to ask him about that.

Anyway, I went to Saturday evening Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. From the outside, this Church appears to be nothing special:

The inside, however, is GORGEOUS. I don't like to take photos inside places of worship, but I just couldn't resist:

I had no idea that this was where John F. Kennedy's funeral Mass was held. The people in the above photograph are looking at an inlaid marble plaque that states:


There are several beautiful chapels within the Church, including Our Lady's Chapel, the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, and the St. Anthony of Padua Chapel. (I'm still trying to figure out the Franciscan connection...)

I went home and met up with Emily. The other day, Sherme my Roomie decided that she wanted to get a cake from CakeLove. But she wanted me to have some love, er, cake, too and asked them about creating a milk-free concoction. The folks at CakeLove were worried about cross-contamination and told her to look up a local vegan bakery called Sticky Fingers instead.

Emily and I ventured to Sticky Fingers. The rest is history:

If you haven't noticed, I like DC a lot. But now that I have discovered Sticky Fingers, I can never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, ever leave.

SARAH-SAFE CHOCOLATE CAKE. Oh wait, THREE KINDS of SARAH-SAFE CHOCOLATE CAKE. And that's not all. Brownies, cookies, muffins galore.


Saturday spending total: $25.50 (lunch, CVS run, dinner, and LOTS of chocolate cake)

Monday, July 16, 2007


I spent Wednesday, July 11, Saturday, July 14, annnd Sunday, July 15 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, specifically in the fair city of Philadelphia.

To quote Lauren, "Ben Franklin is more popular than Jesus in this city!"

The first building we saw on Wednesday was the United States Mint:

Too bad we didn't have time for a tour. Money, money, money...

I then snapped a photo of Independence National Historic Park:

A bunch of us went to visit Benjamin Franklin's grave:

We walked down the street a little bit to the Betsy Ross House:

This colonial gentleman COULD NOT BELIEVE that I journeyed all the way from the Connecticut Western Reserve to visit Ms. Ross's home:

I learned some interesting things about Betsy Ross. She was one of SEVENTEEN children and married three times. She trained as an upholsterer (extremely rare for a woman at the time) and left a legacy of flag-making in her family.

We passed by the Free Quaker Meeting House:

Free Quakers were Quakers that supported the American Revolution. They could not "reconcile themselves to the Quaker principle of pacifism when it came to defending their country" and subsequently broke from the other Quakers. Betsy Ross regularly attended this meeting.

Some silliness ensued outside of Independence Hall:

We went through security and neared the building itself:

Don't ask me about this picture:

We eventually made it into the building where so much history occurred. Here is a photo of the Assemblyroom, where THE Declaration of Independence was signed:

While we were waiting to get into Independence Hall, Emily and I hopped across the street to visit the Liberty Bell:

I like how you can see Independence Hall in the background here:

The earlier Philly photos were with the whole WISE gang. We were in town for a brief visit to the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM. My three roomies and I had some unfinished business and came back to Philly for the weekend.

After piling out of the Chinatown bus and walking some distance, our first stop was Geno's Steaks:

On our walk back north, we went through the 9th Street Italian Market. I somehow resisted the temptation to buy beautiful-looking strawberries at ONE DOLLAR a carton... Instead, I splurged on a cute green top while my roomies got gelato.

We hit South Street and proceeded to do a massive amount of shopping. So many cute boutiques with relatively inexpensive clothing and accessories! Upon acquiring too many shopping bags, we dropped off our stuff at the Bank Street Hostel.

We then hailed a cab to the Franklin Institute Science Museum to see King Tut:

The first thing we saw upon walking into the Franklin Institute was this Lincolnesque statue of - you guessed it - Benjamin Franklin:

We originally had wanted to go to the Phillies game instead of the King Tut exhibit. In my opinion, we clearly made the right choice (even though the Philadelphia baseball team did triumph 10 to 4). We got to see so much cool stuff from the pyramids of Egypt!

We got dinner at Pietro's Coal Oven Pizzeria and heard a band on Walnut Street before calling it a night.

The next morning, we had a most delicious breakfast at FARMiCiA:

Afterward, we headed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The collection was fantastic and made me miss the love of my life, CMA. We barely had time to walk through Photographs, European Art 1850-1900, Modern and Contemporary Art, European Art 1500-1800, Arms and Armor, and European Art 1100-1500. (We didn't get to see Asian Art or American Art.)

This art museum also allowed cameras; here are shots of the Armor Court, a fountain, an impressionist painting, and a modernist painting that I liked:

The Eastern Entrance of the museum is where Rocky was filmed:

Here is a picture of a statue of George Washington in Eakins Oval:

The Comcast Center, still under construction, recently became the tallest building in Philadelphia:

Here is the view down Benjamin Franklin Parkway:

We had just enough time to sneak into the Rodin Museum, which has the largest collection of Rodin's works outside of Paris. I have a special place in my heart for The Thinker, since there is a version of this sculpture at the CMA. (I used to go talk with him after I failed physics tests.) There are casts of The Thinker all over the States and the world; here is Philadelphia's take:

Here is the front of the museum:

This is looking outward from the front steps:

The Age of Bronze:

Erica, me, and Emily before leaving the museum:

We ate lunch/dinner at the City Tavern. George Washington and John Adams frequented this establishment, which still serves authentic 18th Century cuisine. Here is what one of the dining rooms looks like:

After eating, we returned to Chinatown to catch the bus back home. The return bus ride was not pleasant at all; the bus smelled, and we were stuck in traffic sans air conditioning for some time. We made it back to DC much later than anticipated, came home, and CRASHED.

Weekend spending total: $199.57 (OUCH...retail therapy is good once in a while)