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.

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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!

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!

Obscura Day

I spent last Saturday exploring catacombs and rummaging through 1920s morphine prescriptions…

You might say that was a pretty morbid way to spend a spring afternoon, but I was more happy than anything to finally take part in Obscura Day. Obscura Day is an annual event held by Atlas Obscura that gives you access to lots of strange, historical, sometimes abandoned attractions around the world. Think in terms of tours to abandoned theme parks, walks through Chernobyl ‘ghost cities’ or visits to hidden beaches. Just like my obsession with Roadside America, I like to follow Atlas Obscura when I want to explore lowkey spots your typical travel guide wouldn’t include, hence my visit to a gravesite and an oddities shop last weekend.

This year, WONDER COMMONS hosted an Obscura Day event at the Westminster Burying Ground and Catacombs in Baltimore, a place where you can find the gravesites of Edgar Allen Poe and James Calhoun, the first mayor of Baltimore. I’ve been to Poe’s gravesite before, but it was an entirely new experience getting to poke around the catacombs beneath the church and have a guide share quirky historical anecdotes on body snatching.

About a 15 minute drive away was a little shop of oddities known as Bazaar, a store that offers up skulls, taxidermy, vintage Ouija boards and bone jewelry for sale (if you’re into those kinds of things). The shop hosted a “Find The Mole Hand” game for Obscura Day, which sounds more gross than it actually is because trust me, you’d spend a couple hours in there if you stopped by. I showed up too late to claim one of the eight prizes handed out for finding the mole hand, but still ended up spending a good while just looking at black and white photographs and air plants.

Obscura Day only comes around every April, but there are always tons of Obscura events happening all over the U.S. Check out their website before going on your next vacation!

Current Obsessions

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

CULTURE: LeJuan James and his videos out here making us Latino-Americans laugh about the ridiculous things our families do and say. Here’s an article written about him by someone who gets it!

LIFE: Had a slow day at work and found myself watching a TEDTalks playlist on forgiveness. If you have any sort of soul, Anand Giridharadas’ talk on a mini mart employee forgiving a Texan white supremacist for shooting him a few days after 9/11 will have you crying your little eyes out.

MOVIES: You have most likely already seen this if you identify as a Potterhead… the trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. So so SO excited!

STUFF: Trying to jump back into creative writing again, and this book 642 Things to Write About is helpful in providing me with prompts so I can’t lie to myself by saying I don’t know where to begin..