As I type this from BWI (thanks for the free Internet, Google!), I wanted to let you dear readers know that I’ll be home in Massachusetts until next week (nothing like Thanksgiving in Massachusetts). I know from my sources Cork Market isn’t open yet, but dear, dear readers if it opens this week, send me an email (ustreetgirl@wordpress.com) or leave a comment about it. And if anything else happens in the area while I’m gone, please do tell.

I, like everyone else on Facebook, have been tagged a few notes called “25 random things about me.”  While I find it cute, I wasn’t really compelled to write my own list. However, this morning when I read one of my favorite food blogs, Mighty Appetite, I saw that the blogger Kim O’Donnel had taken that concept and twisted it, she’s written a list of 25 random kitchen things about her. Now that’s my kind of list.  I’ve expanded it beyond the kitchen to be about food, so I could write about my food experiences outside of the kitchen as well. I cut it to 10 because I’m lazy.

  • I’m currently having a love affair with olives. I think I’ve been eating at least 10 a day. I’ve been going through jars at a rapid place and am always ordering them when I eat out. I love restaurants like Jaleo that give you olives to eat in lieu of bread.
  • At the beginning of the spring I buy fresh herbs with all intentions of tending to them and having fresh herbs to cook with through the end of the year. They wilt by the end of the summer.
  • Growing up, my favorite dish was an Italian casserole my dad made: penne, tomato, Italian sausage, and mozzarella cheese. He makes it for me every time I’m home and it makes me oh so happy. However, I’ve never made it for myself.
  • My family has a vegetable garden as well as a few fruit trees and now I miss not having my own fresh eggplants, tomatoes, zucchinis, lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, and pears every summer. The U street farmer’s market is an OK substitute.
  • I’m a sucker for a good, full bodied red wine. Recent favorites have been a Tempranillo from Spain, a Malbec from Argentina, and a Pinotage from South Africa.
  • The Food Network, an old roommate, and my competitive nature forced me to start cooking seriously. I just had to one-up her great creations in the kitchen and match her aspirations to go to cooking school. She took a few classes at Le Academie de Cuisine, I’m still working on it.
  • I’ve had several dining partners over the past few years, and it’s great to have a foodie friend who will go out and try whatever restaurant you’re into. It’s a bummer though, when you’re both broke and can’t afford to go out to the really nice places you want to eat at. That’s where cooking together comes in.
  • I don’t know how to use a charcoal grill. I wish I did, but my father is territorial over the grill or something (must be a man thing) and never taught me how. I think this makes me deficient in someway.
  • I have foodie crushes on Jose Andres, Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain, Mark Bittman, and Alton Brown. I recently had a dream where Anthony Bourdain was my boyfriend and I woke up happy. Real life boyfriend did not seem to mind this because he understands my foodie crushes.
  • I used to hate onions, mushrooms, and fish. Now, I’ve given them all a chance and I love onions and most fish. However, I still hate mushrooms.
MCCXXIII, courtesy of NCinDC (Flickr)

MCCXXIII, courtesy of NCinDC (Flickr)

OK, I’m the first one to admit that MCCXXIII was pretty lame, but as a college student it was pretty freaking cool, at least before I turned 21 and could go to a real bar (then it was the Georgetown bar scene, which is a whole other thing). It was in that repertoire of Home (closed), Tequila Beach (closed), Yuca (closed), Lulu’s (closed), Pearl (closed), Apex (gay club still going strong), that were very popular in the under-21 college crowd when I was in college 5 years ag0, or so. Nearly all of them, now including MCCXXIII, have closed.

I had some memories in those places (I was going to type “good” or “fun” memories but I realize that I really had neither) and even though I didn’t step a foot in any of them after I turned 21, it’s still a bit sad to see them go. They were the only places under-21, fake ID-less college student me could go.

I mean, remember Spank, the top level of MCCXIII that was supposed to be super-exclusive? I remember feeling so cool sophomore year when me and my friends managed to score the right wristband to get up there one Thursday night. I’m pretty sure I wore it the next day to classes to show off my coolness. Yes, I’m glad those days are over, but let’s take a moment of silence for those not-so-great clubs of our college years that are no longer with us.

We’ve gotten a lot of snow the past few days up north. It’s been snowing non-stop since Friday until it finally decided to take a break today. I went into Boston a few days ago at the height of one of the storms, tried to take some pictures, but a lot came out pretty blurry (it was also pretty cold). Here are some of the best shots:

Christian Science Building with the snow, in Boston

Christian Science Building with the snow, in Boston

Prudential Center, Boston at night

Prudential Center, Boston at night

From the MFA, Egyptian ruins

From the MFA, Egyptian ruins

An iconic image of Boston, courtesy of Brian Lewandowski (Flickr)

An iconic image of Boston, courtesy of Brian Lewandowski (Flickr)

Just a note: I will be traveling home to the Boston area for the holidays. I will still be blogging regularly, and will still be covering everything U street-related, but understand that I will only have the power of the Internets to help me while I’m 500 miles away.

Meanwhile, there will be plenty of snow (a white Christmas, for sure), family, food, and maybe a few gifts up north.

Insipired Yoga at 12th and U

Insipired Yoga at 12th and U

I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for nearly 8 years. I made yoga a regular practice more than two years ago when I was marginally employed and living in the West End area after graduating from college. It was a repetitive, calming process, going to yoga at my local WSC four times a week. It wasn’t though, particularly challenging.

Then I moved to the U street corridor, and almost immediately noticed that there was a yoga studio right near my place. How convenient. Inspired Yoga immediately renewed my interest and devotion to a regular yoga practice. While still offering a calm place to rest my often over-active mind, Inspired instructors challenged my practice to grow and expand beyond what it was. I feel stronger, more present, and happier when I go to yoga classes at Inspired. It might be cliche, but it’s true.

However, even more important than a challenging yoga practice, Inspired Yoga has offered me a sense of community. All of the teachers are friendly and eager to listen; they also have an incredible knack to say exactly what you need to hear. There is a sense of warmth and comfort when I walk into the studio, one I usually only associate with coming home. That’s something special.

A regular feature in which I spotlight local businesses.

Yikes, this has really been a violent few days in my neighborhood. A teen was stabbed at the U street metro station Saturday night, around 9:20 pm. He actually got on the metro afterwards and then got off at Columbia Heights (presumably to flee from his stabbers?), where he finally received medical attention. The teen’s wounds aren’t  life-threatening.

Holy crap. Between the three incidents I reported on Thursday and the fatal stabbing in Columbia Heights on Friday and this, a lot of blood has been shed. It hasn’t been the most violent few days in DC for the year, but it certainly has been concentrated in my neighborhood and the surrounding ones.  I know my neighborhood is still safe, that these incidents are all most likely gang-related, but it still doesn’t make a girl feel good to know someone was stabbed a block away from where she lives.