Every Night I Burn

  • Posted on October 30, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Happy Devil’s Night!

Where I grew up outside of Detroit, the night before Halloween was Devil’s Night. In Detroit, the city burns on Devil’s Night. You don’t leave the house after dark. There is a city curfew. If you made the mistake of leaving your jack-o-lanterns outside, you can bet that they will be smashed in the street the next morning. (I remember¬† being crushed one year when I discovered that my masterpiece was destroyed–I felt so victimized. And I surely blamed my parents for not putting the pumpkins inside for the night.)¬† You also might have toilet paper in your trees and eggs smashed on the side of your house when you wake up.
It was only when I moved away from Michigan that I discovered that this phenomenon is unique to Detroit. I seriously thought that it was a National Holiday.
It’s been over 13 years since I moved away. Who knows, maybe Detroit finally has Devil’s Night under control.

Chicago, in fashion, the soft drinks, expansion

  • Posted on October 22, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Guess where I am this week?

Chicago Skyline

Chicago!

I spent the weekend in the city with my mom, grandma and aunt, where we ate delicious food and saw Wicked on Saturday afternoon. Wicked was awesome–and I did not even fall asleep. Usually when I see a musical I get drowsy and my head bobs at least once. I loved the book and wasn’t sure how it would translate into a musical, but I was really impressed. I even got teary a couple of times. Poor, green, misunderstood and framed Elphaba.

Now I’m about 40 miles outside of Chicago, where I’m in Project Management training until Friday. I can’t say exactly where I am, but let’s just say that there are a lot of trees, and grass, and maybe even a farm or two. Very secluded. Behind gates. When my mom and brother dropped me off on Sunday evening, my brother was expecting white-clad men to meet me at the car and push me inside in a wheelchair. It’s corporate training, damnit! I swear! Although I realized tonight that my room looks like the hospital room from this creepy movie I used to watch as a child called Anna to the Infinite Power. It was about a girl who discovers she’s a clone, and is sent to a “facility” for testing. Maybe they’re watching me…

Huong Viet at Eden Center

  • Posted on October 13, 2007 at 4:46 pm

My mom is in town for a few days (not really to visit but to help my uncle and cousin while my aunt is in the hospital recovering from brain surgery [!!!]). I dropped her off at my uncle’s house this afternoon, but before we parted Larry and I took her to Eden Center for lunch. Eden Center is a strip mall in Northern Virginia, not far from the beltway, that is entirely Vietnamese. Stores, restaurants, salons, you name it. It’s always very crowded–I suggest just forgoing the endless search for a parking spot and just park clear on the other side of the strip mall. Your car is probably less likely to get dinged this way.

We went to Huong Viet, a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant that Michaela introduced us to–thank you Michaela! We love this place. And–big bonus points–it’s Washingtonian’s Top 100 restaurant list. Super cheap and super delicious.

We ate garden rolls and pho. So delicious. Although, I’m thinking next time that I might branch out and try something else. But the pho is just so good…

Pho!

Delicious Pho.

Garden Rolls

Yummy garden rolls.

Taste of Bethesda

  • Posted on October 6, 2007 at 4:25 pm

I’ve lived in Bethesda for four years, and today I finally made it to the annual Taste of Bethesda. It’s sad that I’ve never been before, because it is literally right outside my door. With the apartment windows open, scents of grilled meat waft into the apartment, and I can hear the bands playing Cream covers.

Taste of Bethesda, 3:01 pm
The view from my apartment balcony.

Here are some of my pathetic excuses for not going the past few years: I’ve already eaten at most of the restaurants, it’s too crowded, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, I already ate lunch at a restaurant, and I’m on vacation in the Outer Banks. But since this might be my last year in Bethesda, I just had to go.

Larry and I tried to make it a point to only sample food from restaurants we’ve never been to before, which was difficult because we’ve been to most of the restaurants here. Oh, and we tried to avoid chains like Chipolte and McCormick and Schmicks.

We got lamb stew and an onion tart from Brasserie Monte Carlo:

Onion Tart with Ham, Gruyere and Sage
Onion Tart

Lamb Stew and Saffron Rice
Lamb Stew

We also tried the beef rice noodle bowl from Rice Paddies Vietnamese restaurant.

Beef RIce Noodle Bowl
Beef rice noodle bowl
For dessert, we got a cupcake from Just Cakes and a piece of chocolate cake from Ri-Ra Irish Pub. We broke our little rule with these two, because we’ve eaten at both places. Oh well. They were delicious.

Coconut Cupcake
Coconut cupcake

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake

It was super crowded, and it amazed me that people lined up around the block for Haagen-Dazs ice cream! Come on, people, you can buy that at the grocery store and it will taste exactly the same. Why not try something a little more adventurous?

And another thing, I think it’s a complete cop-out when restaurants serve chicken satay. Please. No one wants to eat dried up chicken on a stick. I think there were at least four restaurants serving this, and it all looked like a shoe sole on a stick. Gross.

All in all, it was fun and delicious, and I’m glad I finally went.

Crafts and Crafty Bastards

  • Posted on October 2, 2007 at 9:26 pm

We went to the Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair in Adams Morgan this past Sunday. I was expecting to find some really cool jewelry and art, and maybe a fun birthday present for my mom. All I ended up with is this:

Ohio Loves Me

So cute. I don’t know who will get it, but I just had to buy it.

There were so many people at the fair, it was really hard to even see some of the popular booths. I felt like a sheep, just being herded from booth to booth. When I tried to stray from the herd, or take a picture, I got elbowed or kicked. I was disappointed in the jewelry selection, which consisted of jewelry made out of hardware (think screws and bolts turned into necklaces) and broken plates. Definitely interesting, but kind of heavy and not quite my style.

The dominant themes of the fair were definitely monsters and T-shirts. Practically every other booth was selling hand-sewn monsters made from brightly colored felt. The most creative monster booth was Missing Monsters–you fill out a missing monster report describing your missing monster in detail, down to number of eyeballs, number of ears, body type and personality, and they “find” your monster and return it to you. I don’t have any missing monsters, but I know a five-year-old boy that might have one or two.