Adventures in Colorado

I was able to travel to another state once again thanks to my job — this time heading out West to Colorado. It was a vacation that had a lot more physical activity than what I’m normally used to, but it was totally worth it getting to take in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. On top of that, this trip was full of a lot of firsts for me: first time staying at a historic, five-star hotel — oh, I mean five-diamond hotel as I was constantly corrected on — first time seeing the red rocks of the West at Garden of the Gods and first time being at any altitude above 500 ft. (Side Note: The altitude at Pikes Peak completely kicked my ass, but I’ll consider it training for Peru elevations). There were a lot more things I would’ve liked to have seen (i.e. the UFO Watchtower and visits to ‘ghost towns,’ but that just means I’m headed out to Colorado again some time in the future.

Current Obsessions

A Weekly Roundup of Kawaii Thangs, Jams and Interweb Finds. 

BEAUTY: As much as I want to devote time to making sure my eyebrows look good and I’ve got the highlight of a glazed donut, I’m lazy. Beauty hacks for lazy broads like me.

DC THINGS: July’s 10 Best Beer Events in DC.

ILLUSTRATION: Discovered this cute Elizabeth Graeber mural (pictured above) at Bakehouse DC. Consider her work: things work checking out.

LIFE: “Rub A Dub Dub, Let’s Talk About Chub Rub!” is a cute title for an article containing tips on dealing with this super  serious summer problem.

Mattress Factory

This story was first posted on The Office Goth‘s blog. 

I can’t seem to get away from photos of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Dots Mirrored Room at The Broad in LA. Each and every time I see one I have the same reaction of Wow! followed by thoughts of, How can I find cheap enough flights to LA? I must see this thing!

For those of us who can’t make it over to the West Coast for that exhibit, here’s a little consolation for you: the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh.

Mattress Factory actually has two works by Kusama: another Infinity Dots Mirrored Room— this version uses colorful dot reflections instead of lights — and Repetitive Vision, a slightly trippy white room with red polka dots, mannequins and of course the mirrors that make it an ‘infinity room.’ For a lack of a better way to describe them: these installations are EVERYTHING.

And the rest of the Mattress Factory wasn’t too bad either. Some other highlights:

IRIS_SIRI by Kevin Clancy: You walk straight into a fluorescent room to find windows covered in a rainbow film and life-sized resin cats draped across laptops. This exhibit reminds me to quit being so distracted by the Internet to go out and enjoy life for a bit.

Catso, Red by James Turrell: When you’re surrounded by super minimalistic art that uses three-dimensional light, there are tons of photos opps waiting to happen.

The Mattress Factory is one of the things I love about Pittsburgh (along with Randyland), and I’d say it’s one of the biggest surprises I found in a city that I’ve always only associated with universities and manufacturing. If you’re on the East Coast like me and are looking to go on a quick, affordable trip, Pittsburgh is definitely one way to go!

POW! WOW! DC 

So there was an event called “Pow! Wow! DC!” and it basically was my wall crawl dreams come to life…

Pow! Wow! is an international street art movement where artists get together to host mural festivals and help make neighborhoods across the globe look beautiful. It’s a movement that’s already taken place in cities like Austin, Hong Kong and Honolulu, and now DC was added to that growing list!

Over the course of 10 days, local artists like No Kings Collective, Cory Oberndorfer and Decoy, along with international artists like INSA and caratoes, went to work making NoMa colorful by painting murals over abandoned buildings, bike trails, and even making the old Ibiza nightclub look good.

Pow! Wow! DC organizers NoMa BID and local artist Kelly Towles hosted a couple happy hour tours so people could catch the muralists in progress during the 10 days of their work, and luckily I was able to attend one with my boyfriend Cesar and some friends right before Memorial Weekend. At that point, the artists weren’t quite wrapped up, but I loved everything I saw so much that I ended up stopping by again after all the murals were finalized. Here are some photos from both times I visited:

For a full listing of Pow! Wow! DC artists, visit the Pow! Wow! blog,
or check out some cool videos and photos on Instagram.

Dupont Underground 

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Right at the corner of Connecticut and Massachusetts Avenue sits Dupont Underground, an abandoned underground trolley system turned events venue and art space.

I must have walked past this entrance so many times, but never even knew of its existence or of its history until everyone from BrightestYoungThings to IGDC and The Washington Post kept talking about it. If you read my post last summer about“The Beach,” a giant plastic ball pit at the National Building Museum, this is it. These are the exact same balls I tossed around like a kid at Chuck E. Cheese’s last summer, except now they’re being repurposed into a real-world version of Minecraft known as Raise/Raze.”

Volunteers donated their time in order to construct some of the 650,000 balls left over from “The Beach” into brick-like structures that  the design firm Hou de Sousa envisioned. With a ticket for a time slot, I was allowed to walk in and build some of my own structures. Those tickets for entry were pretty limited, so when my boyfriend warned me I better make sure my schedule was clear for a certain Saturday afternoon, I was lucky I listened. Raise/Raze is now closed to the public, but I’m eagerly waiting for news on what will go down in the underground next.

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Flower Mart

You wouldn’t normally find me in Glover Park unless I’m stuffing my face with tacos at Surfside, but I decided to wander through the neighborhood for the All Hallows Guild Flower Mart event at the Washington National Cathedral. Somewhere along the way I’ve become obsessed with picking out flowers, which I’m not so sure how that happened to a person who once prided herself on her non-girly girl ways, but it did.

Like many of you out there, I ended up going the flowers route for this year’s Mother’s Day, however, going to Flower Mart at least made me feel a little better that I didn’t just run out to the nearest grocery store as if my gift was an afterthought or something. I think I may have showed up a little too late in the day to walk away with my first pick of bouquets, but I’d still recommend the event for anyone looking to check out (or to see the inside of a Catholic church for the first time, like my case!)

 

Winthrop Clothing Co.

Today I saw a meme that went a little something like this:

[At Interview]

“What is your dream job?”

*Visualizes dressing pugs as famous historical characters*

Me: HR Manager.

And I had to laugh to myself because that’s so me.

About two months ago, Daisy (my boyfriend’s mischievous beagle) became the first pup I chased around with a treat and my Canon. I’ve since moved on to my sister’s dog Tipton, who’s looking like a real dapper gentleman playing his records here. This particular photoshoot was less about modeling Warby Parker glasses for the Warby “Barker” Instagram account, and more about creating a nice Mother’s Day gift + showing off this cute  Winthrop Clothing Co. floral bow tie. Hopefully everyone I know with a pet realizes their dogs are next in line for my camera!

A DC Wall Crawl

I’ve spent a lot of time scrolling through photos under Instagram hashtags like #StudioDIYwallcrawl, #ABMlovesmurals and #Ihavethisthingwithwalls and jealously wondering why DC can’t be on LA’s level with the patterned street art murals.

It turns out I’m wrong.

Over the last few months, I’ve attempted to hit up as many of the murals that we do have, and along the way I’m finding the District has its little pockets of color too. Just like New York, we’ve got a Jason Woodside polka-dotted mural, and also a mural by Australian artist James Reka at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Terrace. We even have a church turned technicolor events venue, which is pretty cool if you ask me. Here is where to find them:


19th and N. Moore Streets (technically in Arlington, Va.)


3500 O St NW (behind the Saxbys Coffee) 

429 L’Enfant Plaza SW (the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Terrace)


1309 5th St NE (at Union Market DC)

66 Rhode Island Ave NE


635 North Carolina Ave SE (at the William H Rumsey Aquatic Center) 

  
19th Street NW (between Belmont Road and Mintwood Place in Adams Morgan) 


700 Delaware Ave SW (at Blind Whino)

Follow my street art adventures on Instagram, where I’m using the hashtag #DCWallCrawl.