See What Washington D.C. Looks Like at Night

Every night when dark settles over the District, bright lights around the city’s famous landmarks power on, creating a magnificent glowing aura around it. Even if you had traipsed around the city snapping shots of yourself in front of memorials and monuments earlier in the day, it’s worth the trip to come back out at night and see them again in a, well — different light. A thinner volume of visitors and cool night air makes the walk all the more pleasant. Not to mention a creative, romantic date idea! Continue reading

Izakaya Dinner at Kushi

Dinner at Kushi is one of the most delicious Japanese meals I’ve had in awhile. Special shout out goes to their mini rice bowl with salmon sashimi and roe — the fish glimmers with freshness and melts in your mouth like really fresh sashimi should; those little orange-red pearls of salmon roe burst when chewed, spreading delightfully rich and savoury goodness across the tastebuds. If heaven exists, I would hope I’ll be served this little bowl of gargantuan deliciousness thrice a week. Continue reading

Where to Buy International Groceries in the D.C. Region

Yum…home made curry laksa.

You know you’ve had that issue before. The day when you had a craving for your mum’s home-made specialty dish. You emailed her for the recipe; she emailed back quickly and you got all fired up about making it. Except, you weren’t sure if you’d be able to find the ingredients in the regular stores. And sure enough, their “international aisle” was very limited.

The lovely thing about living in D.C. are the many ethnic grocery stores in neighbouring Maryland and Virginia suburbs. So many in fact that I’d never be able to do justice in compiling a full list of stores, so I’m giving you a selection of my personal favourites.

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Eight Things You Can Still Do During the Shutdown: Washington D.C. Edition

DSC_0295_zps1c018a1bThe hotel’s been booked. Bought your plane tickets. Requested a few days off. You’re all packed and ready for your upcoming trip. Even mapped out all the quintessential Washington D.C. museums and monuments you want to visit. And then, the government shutdown happened. Oh no! Sightseeing plans foiled. Money down the drain. Leave wasted. Trip ruined.

No, wait. It’s true that the famous museums and monuments are what visitors flock to D.C. for, but there are free places and spaces in the District that may be less obvious to tourists, but no less worth visiting. Here are my suggestions: Continue reading

Armin Van Buuren at Echostage

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When Armin Van Buuren, the DJ king of trance music, comes to your neck of the woods, it’s not really an option for fans to miss his performance, so I bought my ticket a month before the date. Good thing I did too, because it sold out shortly after.

With an infectious smile and boundless enthusiasm, Armin spun original tracks from his collaboration with artists of other genres, ranging from rock to classical. It goes without saying of course, that he was fantastic in keeping the energy in the club going for the three and half hours that he was on stage. The early hours of the morning just seemed to fly by, as duller moments in the non-stop set list never lasted long enough for one to lose their dance momentum. Before I knew it, Continue reading

Gun Violence Isn’t Just an Article in the Papers

I suppose I should write some thoughts about the Navy Yard shootings. Because we’ve seen a spate of mass violence in public spaces so often in the past year, my immediate reaction was a heavy sigh of resignation, when I should have been more concerned it was happening in the region where I live and work.

The day had started off miserably with rain. My usual 20 minute commute doubled that day – no, not because of the rain or the shootings, but because of a serious accident involving a car and a motorbike along Montrose Road, just before the exits to the highway. Traffic was diverted, but I saw just enough to know that the wreckage was chilling. Amidst the glow of flashing emergency lights from police and fire vehicles, the charred gray remains of a motorbike lay on its side in the middle of the road. A dark suited man stood yards away from a black car, looking fearful and shaken, self-conscious of curious eyes in cars (including mine) that inched past the scene of the accident. I don’t know if or how he was involved, but his demeanour said enough. This was probably a fatal accident. Continue reading

Warner Theater Walk of Fame in Penn Quarter

IMG_2355The Warner Theatre, a historic District landmark that once screened movies, is situated along Thirteenth Street in Penn Quarter, and is now a live performance venue that has hosted internationally famous celebs like Frank Sinatra, Sting, Jay-Z and David Copperfield. According to people who’ve been there, the interior is decorated in a grand red-and gold. On the outside, the theatre looks unassuming. Occasionally I’ll see someone grab an IPhone snapshot of the theatre’s awning on which the names of acts are displayed in simple black lettering, but during the day, the theatre is devoid of activity. Most people walk by without so much as a glance, and they certainly wouldn’t think to look on the ground as they pass the theatre.

If they did, they’d have a pleasant surprise. Continue reading

The Legendary Peacock Room in Freer Gallery

Photo: Neil Greentree. Click to see more of the room.

The hallway leading to the Peacock Room in the Freer Gallery is dimly lit, just enough for you to see where you’re heading. This only heightens the anticipation of walking into a magnificent room first built in 1800s London, displayed in a museum, then sold to a 1900s Detroit homeowner before being gifted to the Gallery around 1919.  Visitors that came sauntering into the Peacock Room spoke in hushed tones, eyes full of curiosity and wonder as they approached the room. For good reason.  Continue reading