Monthly Archives

May 2015

The P&S ‘Best of’ Guide to DC

May 25, 2015

for body

I’d love to introduce you all to my best friend and guest blogger, Chelsea! This LA native took the East Coast by storm four years ago, but just like me, is heading back to her roots this month. So, as I packed my room and Chelsea watched Britney Spears music videos from the early 2000’s we decided that the best way for us to pay homage to the city that we had fallen in and out of love with thousands of times over the past four years was to choose the best of the best.

Below you’ll find our favorite pampering spots, #onlyatGW moments, must-see touristy things, DC eateries and much more. We went through museums, nail salons, romantic spots, lunch places and drunk brunches. Along with each list we attached a little story.

We hope you enjoy our little slice of DC!

Best of DC_Food
Best of DC_Pampering
Best of DC_Exercise
Best of DC_For Tourists
Best of DC_Our DC
Best of DC_Only at GW

Biggest moment

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Move Out

May 24, 2015

On my last night in Washington DC I left the shades up on my bedroom window and my glass balcony door. I wanted to be able to look out onto my little piece of the city before the night carried me to morning, to moving day.

For almost a year I looked out across an alley to a rooftop garden tended to by the elderly couple that lived across the way. It was luck that we had chosen the one apartment on the seventh floor alley that looked out on an open garden rather than look directly into apartment windows of the building next to us- had I appreciated that enough?

For the weeks leading up to graduation I had been focused on who I was going to miss rather than what I was going to miss. In those moments before I fell asleep with my room almost bare and my dresser bubble wrapped next to me, I understood for the first time that DC had become my city in far more ways than just geographic location. I was going to miss it.

Because in truth, DC is more than a place that I lived, its a moment in time.

The city, its streets, its landmarks, its color, is anchored to the memories that line the passing of my four years at college. The Lincoln Memorial is my freshman year, while Twenty-Third Street is connected so closely my sophomore year. The walk around Washington Circle my junior year, U Street colors the summer. Running down Connecticut in DuPont will forever be senior year.

While I was connecting myself to all of these places I was spending a great deal of time saying, never DC, only New York. Nostalgia and hindsight have left me wishing that I hadn’t been overlooking Admo and Logan Circle to what may happen in the future. My fingers and toes are crossed that I do end up in New York City,but  I can’t help to acknowledge that I’ve never given the District enough credit.

Any of my snapchat friends can tell you I cried in the UHaul as my dad maneuvered it through Dupont. I was crying because I had just said goodbye to that garden terrace, my best friend and was in the process of saying goodbye to my city. I waved as I passed our Thursday night bar one last time.

As an homage to my four-year city, be on the look out for the P&S BEST OF DC tomorrow! There’s a guest blogger, some graphics, and a wide selection of memories, places & people from our last four years in the District. We couldn’t be more excited to share it with all of you. 

little moments make you move,

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Graduation Weekend

May 20, 2015

I woke up on Monday morning with three texts that said the same thing:

“This is weird.”

I lay in my bed knowing that my roommate was gone and that my apartment was half empty thinking the very same thing. It was weird. After a whirlwind weekend of eating, drinking and celebrating it was all over and the class of 2015 was left asking: what next? 

But before I get to the ‘what next,’ I have to share with you the ‘this happened.’ Here are some of my favorite highlights from graduation weekend:

  1. Sharing graduation from the School of Media and Public Affairs with my roommate and auburn hair soul sister, Liza. Its a pretty cool thing to celebrate graduating from a small major in a school of big majors with your day one friend. Liza and I went from struggling through Stat 1003 during our first semester of GW to sitting next to each other, as roommates and genuine friends, around the small table of our Feature Writing class this semester. She was a common thread throughout college and I was truly #blessed (to use her favorite phrase) to celebrate the end of GW and SMPA with her.

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  • Running into Chelsea’s arms post Columbian College’s Graduation ceremonyMy sister captured the most perfect photo of my best friend and I crashing into each other because, well, we did it. Not only did we do it, but we did it together. I would love to say that we each really motivated each other upon our scholastic paths, but it would be way more accurate to say that we spent a lot of time pretending to do homework and instead laughing hysterically, eating chocolate, whispering in the library and snap chatting photos of me wearing this headlamp that I use to read when its dark. It would probably be more accurate then to say, we did it, despite one another.

Veni. Vidi. Vici. ✌️

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  • Food touring DC with my family. Graduation weekend was more about the food than it was about my diploma. This is not a complaint. In fact, its just the way I wanted it. The reservations were made months ago and I couldn’t wait to enjoy my parents and my sister over a great dinner. There’s something unique and wonderful about DC cuisine. It may be my true love of farm-to-table, and the way that this city knows its soul food, but I’ll truly miss the place and the food when I leave. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate the end of my time in DC: with some great food and my great family.

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  • Getting my first heirloom. When I was 14 or so my father designed a ring for my mother. It looks like an antique; its subtle but with a huge personality. I once told my mother I’d love it to be my ‘something borrowed,’ on my wedding day. Its one of those pieces of my mother that I’ve always wanted for myself. Just outside my graduation ceremony on Saturday she looked at me and told me that she had the first part of my graduation gift. She slipped the ring off of her finger and onto mine. I squeezed her hands and asked her over and over again if she was sure about this, but it seems that she was. The ring is sitting on my right ring finger as a reminder that my mother and my father are always behind me 100 percent. Also that good things come to those who graduate college.

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  • 7:30 am Veuve. Somehow, on Sunday,  I got all of my friends out of bed and into my apartment for an early morning mimosa toast before Commencement on the National Mall. At one point, I sat down on the couch and looked at my friends pouring glasses and eating croissants and I felt graduation for the first time. I hadn’t perceived what was happening until that moment, and even then it was just a blip of feeling; these people were splitting off to different coasts and different cities and I would miss them more than anything. The feeling went away as fast as it reared its head because another bottle of bubbly was popped and my sister was yelling about getting into formation for a group photo. We finished the bottle of Veuve and then Chelsea and I Bernied to no music at the same time without talking about it and I knew I would never find better friends.

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Namaste (On The Mall)

May 12, 2015

The first week of May was the 10th Anniversary year of the Metro DC Yoga Week. For the whole week over 45 participating Yoga on the Mall Sitting 2studios in the DMV area got together and offered classes at reduced costs, and in some cases, for free. This post though, is about the penultimate moment of the whole week: Yoga on the Mall.

And by Yoga on the Mall, I mean yoga at Sylvan Theatre, the brown outdoor stage that sits just below the Washington Monument. This seems easy enough to find, right? On Saturday morning, in a mist both emanating from the sky and my head, this was not an easy feat.

Cassie and I were running a bit late. It rained until we got to the Reflecting Pool. I kept reading the Facebook event wondering where in the world Sylvan Theatre was and why all the DMV yogis I had envisioned to be set up right outside the Vietnam Memorial were nowhere to be seen. But then we heard them; it was the voice of one of the instructors on a mic telling everyone to give it up for the 10th annual meeting of DMV yogis on their mats at the mall.

Walking up to it, late as we were, was a pretty cool scene. We were edged up right to the Washington Monument with at least one hundred rows of people in Lulu Lemon on mats in front of us, following the hill down to the open stage where the instructors were beginning to introduce themselves.

It was a pretty great experience laughing with hundreds of other yoga enthusiasts as the instructors yelled for people who hadn’t showered yet to stand up in a tree pose and for all the single ladies to get up into Warrior II. It’s always exciting to feel like you’re a part of a community in this great big city.

For all you readers/Yogis, make sure you mark your calendars for next year’s Metro DC Yoga Week. I may just have to time a trip in order to do some more flows on the National Mall.

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Yoga on the Mall

View from Downward Dog

 

The view from downward dog

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On My Mind, Graduation Week

May 11, 2015

“We went to a Nats game, so what else do we have left to do?”

My best friend, Chelsea asked me this last night sitting in her apartment. I rattled off a list of four or five things: Arlington Cemetery, sunrise at the Lincoln, drinks at POV, a picnic on the mall. While in many ways we were talking about the items left unchecked on The To Do List, we were also talking about something bigger. We were talking about ways to fill our time during our last week as GW students, the final countdown to the weekend we have been working towards for the last four years. Here’s what’s On My Mind this GW Graduation Week:

1. kayaking, the potomac

Despite the fact that someone told me last night that they were sick for a month after accidentally swallowing the water from the Potomac, I’m going kayaking today. Its something that I’ve watched people do, Instagram and Snapchat for my entire time in DC, so when Chelsea thought up the idea, I jumped right on board. This is the first time that I’ve had such an extended period of free time without classes or work, and so I’m taking advantage of the District in a way not always possible during the school year. And if that means wearing a life vest, so be it.

2. cap decorating

There was no way I wasn’t decorating my cap. I’m all over that crafting, do-anything-for-a-cute picture type of life (which any of you who read this on the regular well know). What I’ve realized though, is that cap decorating isn’t just about the finished product; cap decorating is another reason to get my friends in one room, with some craft supplies and probably a little bit of champagne. As for the design I’m going with? Its more than likely that a P&S mantra may walk across that stage with me.

3. starting the clean up/ pack up5 Days to Go

Not only do my roommate and I have to do a full apartment clean for the impending arrival of parents, grandparents, cousins and siblings, we have to ready ourselves for the pack up. This apartment isn’t like our past dorm rooms where there weren’t many places to put things. No, we live in this apartment. We’ve spread out here. We have a junk drawer. Who’s going to claim the stuff in the junk drawer? What about the cute bowl we bought together at Target? There’s so much organizing that’s going to have to go on in the next few days. If anyone has any tips for moving, let us know in the comments!

4. the ‘lasts’

So, here it is, the week of last’s. Now that I know that I’m vacating DC in the next week I keep asking myself, is this the last time I’ll do [insert activity here]? It’s a weird feeling going from having ‘so much time,’ to having only enough days for ‘one last time.’ The first last came this morning when my culture editor at The Hatchet posted the Commencement Guide with a line that read, “and Kelly Brand’s last Slice of Life.” It was the first thing I woke up to, the first reminder that this week will most likely be full of last time’s. It was weirdly thrilling. Less surprisingly, it also left me feeling a little sad. But this week we’re embracing the last’s: cheers to one final week as a GW student & a DC resident.

 

Vingt-deux (22)

May 6, 2015

Its been a week and a day since I woke up as a twenty-two year old. I can’t say that in the week that’s followed April 28th, I’ve felt much different. Its not the way that twenty-one shows up and let’s you know that its there. Twenty-two is much quieter, a bit more unassuming than the birthday’s that have come before it.

For that reason, I started to think about what I’ve done since turning 22. It’s actually a pretty impressive list of new, funny and thoughtful things happening to me and around me. So, while 22 was a bit quieter, the week that followed has been pretty weird, pretty funny, and pretty great. It made me realize that vingt-deux shouldn’t just be written off.

Here are 10 things that have happened since April 28th:

  1. I got flowers sent to me on a Monday
  2. Grilled a hamburger on my very own for the first time (I didn’t turn on the grill)
  3. Received a ‘thank you’ note for being me
  4. Got punched in the face (inadvertently, yet punched just the same)
  5. Drank red wine & oranges for breakfast
  6. Thought of my next great idea
  7. Found out another one of my friends will be joining me in the tri-state next year
  8. Drank my first bottle of Veueve with my favorite people
  9. Was forced into an ab workout of all ab workouts
  10. Was gifted a Peonies necklace

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Oranges

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wasn't so bad #22

 

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On My Mind, The Home Stretch

May 4, 2015

I think when someone coined the phrase ‘home stretch,’ they were talking about the next two weeks of my life. Because that’s all I can keep thinking: this is it. This is real.  I have one more undergraduate piece to turn in, a whole lot of happy hour’s to attend, at least one more boozy brunch and a special visitor on my mind during this home stretch:

1. my last undergrad paper, dc

Ironically, I’m sitting at Tryst in Adams Morgan writing this post while I should be writing my last piece of creative non fiction of my undergraduate career. In true fashion of pretty much my entire undergraduate career as a creative writing minor, I’ve been hit with a pretty bad bout of writer’s block. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that once I turn this in, I won’t be turning something in until I find some MFA program that will take me in. Pretty weird thought after some serious schooling all of my life. Anyways, wish me luck.

2. cinco de mayo, the 5th/one of the last tuesday’s

Its appropriate that Cinco de Mayo is on one of the class of 2015’s last tuesdays to go out. With the beautiful weather and my affinity for a good margarita, I imagine my friends and I will find ourselves at a Mexican-inspired happy hour. Hopefully it will be somewhere I can wear a huge sombrero for the night.

3. cassie, dc

You heard it here first- after graduating on last week’s On My Mind, Cassie’s back on the list this week! While last week it was all about her being my first friend to be thrown out into the world, this week is all about her impending weekend visit to the District. I couldn’t be more excited to show her the city that I’ve come to love so much. Plus, we haven’t been here together since 8th grade when both of us still had braces, scrunched hair and an affinity for poofs.

4. brunch

In a city that values brunching so much, I don’t brunch nearly enough. With Cassie coming and classes over this weekend seems like the perfect time do a little brunching. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t going to be a bit boozy!