An American Girl in Washington


Posted in Travel by AGinDC on 30 July 2012

When we go to Vegas, Lynn and I always go to one famous chef’s super expensive restaurant for dinner. This year, we chose craftsteak, Tom Colicchio’s MGM Grand steakhouse. It was super delicious and I actually managed to take pictures before chowing down. This is rare.

We started with incredibly yummy rolls. Soft and warm in the middle, a little bit crunchy on the outside, sprinkled with sea salt. Yummmmm….

Collicchio’s lobster bisque was a revelation.

Lynn’s fennel and bacon salad was surprisingly delicious.

Our sides. French fries and spinach.

Lynn got chicken at a steak house. It was great, but seriously, there were paintings of cows on the walls. This was not the place for chicken.

My giant, amazing steak. It’s moments like this when I know that no matter how much thinner, healthier, and better I would be, I will never be a vegetarian.

craftsteak also had amazing cocktails and probably had yummy desserts but we were too stuffed to even finish our meals, much less order dessert. If you go to Vegas, I highly highly recommend.

Now I’ve made myself hungry. Off to make a snack!





Posted in Travel by AGinDC on 30 July 2012

As I’ve probably said a million times, Vegas is my favorite city in the world. I try to go often, usually with my aunt (she’s not as lame as the word “aunt” might imply, we have a great time) and no matter what happens I always want to go back. Sadly, with law school and moving to DC and all, I hadn’t been to Vegas in a while. So I was thrilled to see how much the city has changed since the last time I was there. On this visit I experienced a lot of Vegas that I hadn’t seen before, from the classic Fremont Street, which I honestly have never been that interested in (I go to Vegas for the glitz, not the history) but that was slightly cooler than expected (in-a-Nick-Cage-probably-hangs-out-on-this-block kind of way) and the amaaaazing Aria and Cosmopolitan, which is my new favorite place. Anywhere. Ever. I’m going back as soon as possible! Pics below.

You have to have a little Elvis in Vegas. This statue is outside of the Cirque theatre for the Elvis show at Aria, which is ending this year and is going to be replaced with an AWESOME rock Cirque show that I am definitely seeing.

Lick is a store. This is its sign. It probably only exists in Vegas.

This dragon and everything surrounding it are made completely out of chocolate and sugar. It’s a sad waste of chocolate but so, so cool. At Aria.

These cakes are at Aria as well at a super delicious patisserie . They make custom cakes and boxed lunches for your flight!

This is Aria from the outside. There are more Prada and Tiffany boutiques on five blocks of Las Vegas Blvd than in the entire Northeast. And more bored shopgirls too.

On the bottom of the shot? A typical Vegas truck. I wonder, does anyone really order hot babes straight to them?

This is a chandelier at The Cosmopolitan. It’s like the W on crack. Which is to say, in Vegas. Modern Victorian decor with a James Bond theme. Is it any wonder I love it?

Speaking of chandeliers, this is Chandelier, the bar/restaurant in the middle of the Cosmopolitan gaming floor. It’s amazing.

This is Bond, a bar at the Cosmopolitan. They also have a bar called Vesper. Of course.

Fremont Street is basically the classic Vegas you’ve always heard about but probably never visited. It’s reeaalllyy far away from the Strip. We took a bus. It was a long ride. Like, past the Stratosphere and beyond the Sahara long.

One of the best things about Fremont is seeing all of the classic neon signs that don’t really exist on the Strip any more. Unless you count the giant picture of Donny & Marie at the Flamingo. But that’s not neon. Just terrifying.

The Golden Nugget! A classic. Terrible picture though. Sorry. But doesn’t my iPhone 4S take awesome pics?

The 4 Queens. Equally classic. Equally bad photo.

This is Vegas for real. Mario and Luigi, taking a smoke break. And apparently a head break too.

I’m The Cooler for reals so I don’t gamble more than $1 at a time. But I do shop. I have been obsessed with the Reed Krakoff Boxer bag since it first came out. Sadly, there’s no RK in DC and I haven’t been to the one in New York so I’ve only drooled on them from behind my computer screen. In Vegas I finally touched one. And still drooled. And cried a little. Especially when I saw this amazing green one. If I weren’t bootstrapping two non profits and a startup right now I would have bought one. Sigh. One day.

Those are the pics! With any luck I’ll be back in Vegas in a few months. For now, I’m working hard preparing for our very first Michelle in Training classes! School starts next month!



There’s a First Time for Everything

Posted in Weekend in Washington by AGinDC on 14 July 2012

I have pretty much always been anti-hiking. Living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a thing that gets done a lot and I have never really seen the point. Who wants to walk around a lot of bugs and trees, looking at nature and remarking on how awesome that twig over there is? No thank you.

However, in my quest to try new things and find ways to incorporate healthy activity into my every day life, when my friend Maci said she was going hiking I thought it was a good chance to try something new. And it turns out, I had a blast! Maci doesn’t go lame-o walking path hiking, she gets a serious workout. We were climbing over rocks, bending back branches and sweating up a storm. It was awesome, and now I’m totally sold. If you haven’t been hiking, head over to Great Falls National Park in Potomac, VA for anything from a beautiful hike to kayaking and even some serious weight loss. I’m planning on becoming a regular.

Gorgeous views!

This is not for the weak…

The wonderful LadiesDC made me Woman of the Week!

Posted in All about moi by AGinDC on 12 July 2012

Woman of the Week: Kat Calvin


Like most in DC, Kat Calvin is a lawyer. And like half of DC, she’s a lawyer who’s not practicing. What Kat is doing, however, is flexing some serious entrepreneurial muscles.Founder of DC Young Entrepreneurs, a network of self-starters moving and shaking things in the District, Kat is getting ready to celebrate her two year DCversary in August, while looking to bring more excitement to year three. “[During these past two years] I’ve had a couple of fabulous jobs, I’ve met some amazing women through Ladies DC and elsewhere, and am now getting ready to work on my own projects,” said Calvin, “mostly dealing with women and entrepreneurs.”

One of those projects is a program Kat founded called Michelle in Training (MiT). Named after our country’s very own First Lady, MiT is a program that has created a curriculum to foster social intelligence, philanthropy, cultural awareness, educational curiosity, civic responsibility, and personal branding in high school girls who aren’t receiving enough of an education on these values inside their classrooms.  With a lot of effort and some serious dedication, Kat and her MiT board plan on welcoming 10 high school sophomore girls from DC’s Dunbar High School this fall to make up the organization’s first-ever class. The selected participants will evolve and grow together, spending the following three years exploring everything from new cultural experiences to shadowing young professional women and building their own portfolios in order to take on the world post-high school graduation.

How has Kat gotten so involved with helping women advance professionally? “I was raised by a woman who went to a women’s college in the 70s and then I attended that same college, so I’ve pretty much always been about helping women,” Calvin said. “All of my Barbies had professional careers and Gloria Steinem was one of my earliest heroes.”

As Kat gets ready to induct MiT’s Class of 2015, she offered some thoughts to how women can continue to evolve professionally. “We have to work together,” she said. “It’s only through peer mentoring, resource sharing, and joining women’s networking organizations like Ladies DC that we’ll all be able to help each other out. We have to look out for each other, for the girls coming up, and always be looking for opportunities to improve.”

Want to learn more about MiT? You’re just in time! There will be a launch party this Friday, July 13 from 1pm-6pm where you can swing by TangySweet in Penn Quarter, get your FroYo fix and learn all about these wildly ambitious young women who are following in the footsteps of Gloria Steinem, herself—soon-to-be heroines for future generations of girls across the country.

Connect with Kat via Twitter and follow her adventures through her blog.

A Return to Blogging

Posted in All about moi, Just another day in DC by AGinDC on 2 July 2012

The last seven and a half months of my life have been really really up and really really down. Mostly up, literally, since I spent that time traveling 117,000 miles, mostly in the air. I got to go to Alaska, twice, spent a lot of time in Cleveland and Sacramento, spoke on a panel with John Legend, and met a lot of very cool people. I got a tan in Miami, watched Field of Dreams in Iowa, partied at South by Southwest and spent more time in New York than I had in years. Of course, I also only spent four days of month at home, effectively paying rent for my shoes, had to deal with a lot of corporate bullshit and marginal ethics and just plain assholes and spent a lot of time very, very unhappy. And there are a lot of things I believe in, but being unhappy isn’t one of them. Life is too freaking short and I am 15 months to 30. I almost always believe I can do bad all by myself, so I chucked the deuces to the corporate non-profit life, packed my bags one more time, and took the Boltbus back home to the District. And it is glooooorious.

Last week I actually rode the Metro while reading the Express. I saw my friends. I went to happy hour! I even got my mail the same week it was delivered. It was incredible. I’m home, and it’s wonderful. Especially because now I finally have the time to start blogging again. Rather than spending my hours compromising my value system and wishing I was working on Michelle in Training, I’m home, having poolside work sessions, lunching at my favourite hot spots, and unpacking my apartment, which has been boxed up since I moved in March. The beauty of living in a city that rocks as much as DC is that every time you come back you get to rediscover it’s awesomeness all over again. My Friday night dinner at Founding Farmers had my taste buds dancing, I forgot how good the chicken and waffles and Farmer’s Fizz is. My lunch meeting at Chopt was a reminder of why they should name my perfect salad after me (seriously, it’s incredimazing). Even waiting for the single-tracking red line on a Sunday night while a French guy complained to me held a certain charm and je ne sais quoi. Yes, French man, the metro is slow. No, it is not coming. Yes, you can walk. All the way back to Paris.

I’m home. I don’t know for how long. I don’t know what’s next. I do know that I will not be applying for jobs, let’s see… ever again. I have no desire to work for anyone else for another day in my life. People are idiots. And unethical. And men. Yes, I will be taking full advantage of my Southwest black card. I’ll be writing from Houston and Vegas this month, in case you’re interested. And yes, I will doubling the number of events I throw in this town. Even traveling so much I still managed to throw at least one event a month in DC. Because that’s how I roll. But now that I’m back and my two year DCversary is coming up? It is on. As Elton John would say, the bitch is back, and ready to establish her kingdom. Finally.

Laissez les bon temps people. Le bon freaking temps.


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Writing to come soon…

Posted in All about moi by AGinDC on 1 July 2012

That’s right folks. Major life changes that will result in blogging awesomeness. But first, a video that basically describes my life and everything in it right now:

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