Thursday, October 9, 2014

An Inpromptu Birthday Washington D.C. Trip

Native Foods Cafe (a popular west coast vegan restaurant) just opened in D.C.-- perfect birthday celebratory place.
Oh yay!
This past Tuesday (October 7th with a 99% full moon unseen due to sweet smelling pitter patter rain) celebrated another born day. Prior to that (October 6th) my oldest brother welcomed a little treasure- an angel baby named Princeton. Omg another little Libra in the family!!! Cannot wait to meet him this holiday break.
My new friend.
I imagine a vibrant glittery future of bringing crayons, books, poems, Purple Rain, and cats into his world. Plus he must learn to treat all women with respect, honor, and compassion especially his mommy. In fact, I'm going to make him a crown in the studio today. King Prince or Prince Prince? Hmmm.
So what special shenanigans did I get myself into on Tuesday-- a day of no classes?
Well, I traveled down to Washington D.C. via Megabus for a whopping $15 (to was $13+ fro was $3+ $1 reservation fee).
Here recaps a splendid memorable initiation into 31 captured in pictures and subtitles.

Colorful Frida Kahlo locket played a starring accessory role.
Cinched brown three quarter sleeve top for $6 & bright ultramarine blue white polka dot J. Crew dress for $6. Both from Philly Aids Thrift.
Cute thick patterned XOXO tights and comfy olive green Rocket Dog flats made for walking. Both from Burlington Coat Factory.
First thing's first complimentary birthday reward-- soy raspberry shot hot chocolate from the Starbucks on Union Station. Plus a "happy birthday" from the sweet barista!

At Dupont Circle's Native Cafe Foods Cafe (it took me a while to find it), I ordered the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger which is topped with these amazing fried pickles. Can you believe I almost ordered this without the fried pickles???! Crazy!
So it was quite hard at first getting this between the jaws, but I managed! The flavors are unimaginably out of this world! Sweet, tangy BBQ sauce marrying some wild secret ranch dressing with a "nutty" melted cheese and fresh veggies make for one of the best burger bites ever. The patty was well seasoned and tender. Bacon well smoked and crisp. Each bite, however messy, was well worth the bus trip. Plus the customer service was excellent! Very nice and courteous staff.
For birthday dessert, because one must have cake, this Spicy Chocolate Cake was to die for. It is made of fair trade cocoa with a hint of cayenne pepper and a luscious chocolate glaze. Rich, moist, and full of mouth watering chocolate fervor each forkful tasted like I was consuming the best romance novel ever written. It's incredibly delicious! Definitely one of the finest vegan sweets ever eaten. After dessert, I found a lovely place to write for a while. "Route" is so close to being finished I can smell it. 
I love riding the Metro. Another wonderful "place" to write. So sleek and futuristic. Headed to American Art Gallery the only Smithsonian Museum opened past five thirty.
The Library by Jacob Lawrence. Before I even saw the title just looking at this vibrant, lively composition screamed intellectual gathering place. Distinctive Pan African colors (red, green, and black) popped on and against light cobalt blue and ebony figures. Different hued books (mostly golden ochre tone) surround everyone and fill the canvas.
Hibiscus With Plumeria by Georgia O'Keefe. I couldn't leave without one parting glance at sensually captivating beauty viscerally painted by the likes of such a woman- one of Frida's lovers. It just seemed appropriate.
A piece that I know and love. This is Harlem Renaissance painter William H. Johnson's very famous "Cafe." Two hatted figures enjoying a drink date. Vibrant bold patterns on the man and modestly fashioned woman in her light pantyhose and kinetic fat red gloved hands. The woman reminds me of profound writer Zora Neale Hurston so much.
Sob Sob by Kerry James Marshall. A midnight shade woman lies at the foot of what is to believe an interior upstairs home library. Shelves are lined with African/African American literature and philosophy. Lone figure takes bottom center, her comic thought bubbles raised above her head like cloudy halos.
Close up of Sob Sob. Abstraction and realism weave together in this large scale composition that is worth diving into when it comes to breaking down its varied semiotics.
Black & White by Bryron Kim and Glenn Ligon. Very deep commentary on display here. See how the black rectangular elements are all painted ebony, but the white component has varied degrees of flesh tones.
I always forget that Duane Hanson's "Woman Eating" isn't human! She feels like a shadow watching. Instead polychrome sculpture is so real that one is sure that she is physically bound to get up at any moment. Too bad she's frozen in time stuck holding a silver spoon next to untouched dessert staring at some sleazy 1980's checkout magazine for the rest of her statuesque "life."
Eying woman's "banana split" also reminded me that I deserved ice cream.
Man With The Cat by Cecelia Beaux-- fellow PAFA alum and wonderful realist portrait painter. Enjoyed how beautifully technical and precise the little orange tabby cat was painted. Rendered proficiently well. I was also fortunate to read some of her journal entries too. They had a page opened up to her outrage on the Titanic. She was rather candidly passionate about the tragedy. Wow.
Molasses Swamp II by Will Cotton. Yeah. It took me a while to move away. There are all kinds of wickedly infectious candies, chocolates, cookies, popsicles, and other sugared treats. I didn't know if I wanted to swim in this scandalous fantasy concoction or vomit at the thought of human footsteps walking through sticky trickle. Either way, it's richly fascinating.  Excess, gluttony, and even stimulating gratification breathes into sinful narrative.
Dinner was a slice of Beyond Chicken Free Pizza with Daiya Mozzarella, Veggies and Sambazon's Acai + Vanilla Protein drink. Yumminess breathed life into me after a great amount of time book store frolicking and skipping in the autumn rain drizzle. 
Ended the celebration with soy based gelato at Pitango. Here is raspberry made with real organic berries bursting with ripened sweet life on the tongue. Chocolate noir, classic rich decadence, is a perfect accompaniment. Genius to serve with a tiny spoon. Makes one satisfied to savor each bite slowly as though they were standing on an Italian street corner.  Yummiest happily ever after.

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