An American Girl in Washington

Two great launches

Posted in Cocktails, again by AGinDC on 16 September 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week I had the opportunity to attend the launches of not one, but two new projects created by two friends.

First, Austin aka Eric Taylor threw a fundraiser to launch his new org, We, the Readers. I’ve spoken before about how thrilled I am about WtR and what it means for reading skills for local students and increased community participation in local education. The business model is genius and you should totally sign up to be a mentor. The fundraiser was pretty genius too, it was held at Iron Man Tavern and for $15 you get enough pizza and beer to require some serious gym time the next morning. The crowd was fantastic, the pizza was yummy, and Austin was as Texas charming as ever. I have high hopes for this org, but then again, it is seriously unlikely that Austin can ever fail.

The next night (was it? The days run together.) I went to another fantastic happy hour, this time though, it had an educational twist. Justin Peters of Graham & Peters consulting is a great guy and a founding board member of my new org, the DC Young Entrepreneurs Network (shameless plug, Follow Me!). He is also, however, a partner in a new and fantastic small business consulting group that came up with what I think is one of the most innovative and totally-DC ideas that I’ve seen in a long time: Happy Hour University. The idea is to have a series of happy hours that aren’t just about the drinking and the networking on their own, but that also have fun educational components that teach you how to do the networking intelligently. This is so perfect for students, interns, people who are new in town, and people who have been here forever and still suck at the DC social scene. Genius, right?

This first HHU was at Tabaq and I really think they have all of the pieces in place for a fantastic and long-lasting series. I can’t wait to see where they take it!

Today is a double-header. Next I’m going to write about an experience just as DC as happy hour: Lobbying on the Hill.

Happy Friday!

AGinDC

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Tuesday through Friday

Posted in All about moi, Cocktails, again by AGinDC on 13 August 2011

Another crazy week with no time to write. One of the many reasons I shouldn’t have children is that I am so inconsistent. Can you imagine me as a teacher? Don’t even try.

So, what have I been up to? Well:

Tuesday: On Tuesday I went to a WordPress meetup with @designbyjihee. She wanted me to go so I could see all of the possibilities for making websites using WordPress.org and meet some of the techies in town who know what they’re doing. The meetup was actually super interesting. I didn’t understand half of what they were saying, but attending as someone on the hiring side, it was really helpful to hear the designers talk about their philosophies, the problems they have with their clients, and what should and shouldn’t be expected in a working relationship. I also saw a lot of great examples of incredible work. This was definitely worth attending and I think I’ll be going every month just to see what else I can learn.

Wednesday: On Wednesday I met the acting director of the DC Small and Local Business Department for the NAACP. He was actually a really great guy. Young, smart, went to Dartmouth (Mount Holyoke’s brother school!) and was really interested in working with the NAACP to get some of their services and opportunities out to the communities on the East side. So I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do in the future.

I then headed to Local 16 to support two of my favorite DC men. Darius’ org, DC Social Innovation Project hosted a spotlight happy hour to show off three local non-profits, including Austin’s We, the Readers, an amazing new organization that I really think can make a difference in the lives and reading levels of local DC kids. It takes very little dedication that can make a significant change so please, go to his website and join!

After Local 16 I went to Matchbox in Eastern Market to ruin my diet with a delicious pizza and mostly to meet L’Rai, an up-and-coming stylist who will be doing consultations at The Fashionable Life. I am so excited to meet Rai! Not only is she completely adorable, but she’s a fellow Michigan girl (yaay!), she’s getting lots and lots of print work, which is exciting, and she and I thought of like twelve things that we want to do together in the future! I also think she’s incredibly talented and the girls at The Fashionable Life will love her.

Thursday:  On Thursday I met up with one of DC’s deputy mayors, again for the NAACP, which was super interesting. I then had a conference call for the Fashion Law committee for the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts which was a blast because I think we’re planning some really fun things for the rest of the year. Then my friend Erin came over and we had chips and salsa and wine and watched too many episodes of Awkward Black Girl, because we love it. I ended the night with the hi-larious GOP debate. Those are the moments when I love Twitter the most.

Friday:  Friday morning was a disappointment. I had a hair appointment and, although I showed up on time, the stylist didn’t. This is the problem with trying to support small, local establishments. There are certain things that you accept as a black girl at a salon. You’re going to be there forever. It’s going to cost way more than it should. They’re probably not going to be very professional. Fine. I can deal with that. It’s tradition, it’s the way it is, and even though I am 27 years old, can afford to go to a much more expensive and professional salon, I choose to support a local salon. Well, I should say, chose. I specifically made my appointment at 10am on a weekday because I just do not have time to spend five hours in a salon. So I made the first available appointment. And I showed up early. And waited for 25 minutes. And the stylist never showed up. So I went home.

Then, she called ME at 10.40 and asked if I was going to show up for my appointment!! I told her that I waited until 10.20 and she never came so I left and she didn’t even bother to apologize or ask if I wanted to reschedule. She was just like, “okay, no problem”. No problem indeed. So, now I’m done with tacky local places. I’m going somewhere posh, somewhere expensive, somewhere that will listen to me, somewhere that will give me a haircut that doesn’t look like you got it in a black salon on Georgia Ave. My loyalty to the community only goes as far as I’m not being abused. Once I feel disrespected or that my time and money aren’t appreciated, I’m out. I don’t care. So, too bad tacky salon. There are plenty of women who will let you abuse them because we are just so used to it, but I’m out.

Ugh.

The day got much better from there. I worked from home and then met up with Lindsey Mask, the founder of Ladies DC, at a Cap Lounge meetup with a few local PR professionals and a couple of press flacks. The happy hour was a blast, I met some great people and now that I have LilyPad, it’s fun getting to know a whole new part of DC!

I cancelled everything for the rest of the night because I was so exhausted, I just needed to stay in and work. My plan is to do the same today until DeanBax comes over for our Doctor Who marathon. There’s so little time before The Fashionable Life, plus DCYE and about a million other things that I’m working on that I really just want to stay inside and tackle these projects and get them done!

Oh, I did one other big thing this week. I bought a plane ticket and reserved a Club Med vacation in Turks and Caicos for the end of September! My life is so insane right now and I know that I’ll have a heart attack or get an ulcer if I don’t go on a vacation after CBC week. I have literally been booked with something every day since June and it will continue through the end of CBC week. And then, I’m going far far away, to an island where I won’t have to do anything but sleep, eat, and stare at the lapping waves. I can’t wait.

Have a great weekend!

AGinDC

Marvelous Marvins

Posted in Cocktails, again by AGinDC on 9 August 2011

A short one today.

Last night, after my Capital Cause meeting, I went to Marvins to meet up with DeShuna Spencer, the founder and editor of emPower News Magazine, my new favorite source of all things news-y. DeShuna is absolutely remarkable. She has an amazing vision to create a news site that is actually unbiased, factual, tells the stories that no one is telling, and relates directly to the community. I love it and I love her and I am very excited to see where she takes emPower in the future. We spoke a lot about where she’s going in the future and I guarantee, you’ll be hearing a lot more about her and emPower on AGinDC!

Now back to work. Afternoon fatigue has set in and I’m barely holding on. Oh yeah, we went to Marvin’s on U. It was good, of course, but everybody knows that!

Until tomorrow,

AginDC

A Georgetown afternoon

Posted in Cocktails, again, Local Arts and Artists, The Fashionable Life by AGinDC on 29 July 2011

As much as I hate getting to Georgetown, once I’m there I genuinely like it.  I especially love the shopping…  So, although the Circulator ride was as tortuously slow as always, once I got there I had a wonderful time.

First I headed over to Marvelous Market to meet up with the amazing Sharon Glickman, stylist and image consultant extraordinaire.  Sharon and her associate are coming to The Fashionable Life to give free mini-consultations to all of the girls there and I am so out-of-control excited about it.  Most girls our age just do not understand how important image is for our careers, our love lives, our social lives, our confidence, everything.  Having the right style and look can make or break you (especially in a town like DC) and I’m really hoping that even a short meeting with Sharon will change a few minds and a few lives.  I totally love her.

After our meeting I went to Cafe Milano where I had dinner with my new BFF, Elizabeth Kane of Elizabeth Kane Real Estate. Elizabeth could not be more adorable and is incredibly smart to boot.  I’ve only known her for a week and she has already more than doubled my real estate knowledge.  (To be fair, I had almost none to begin with, but that’s still pretty impressive).  Neither Elizabeth nor I were very impressed by the service or food at Cafe Milano.  They have definitely seen better days.  But the company was great and it was right next door to the Peacock Cafe, which was our real destination for the evening.  The Jete Society was having a happy hour!  I haven’t been to a Jete Society event since last summer and it was so nice to be there now that I have been here for more than three weeks.

The people were fantastic and I finally met K Street Kate! I love her website and am always insanely jealous of the marvelous events she seems to attend almost every night.  It turns out that not only is she even more fabulous in person but she is also insanely nice and very, very tall.  Even in my highest heels I was looking up to her!

Now that the Smithsonian has killed the Young Benefactors Society I have to join another arts org and last night the Jete Society clinched it.  Not only did I love the people but the drinks were fantastic (the Great Gatsby was amazing.  Gin, sparkling wine and pink lemonade.  Yum.) and I am already shopping for flapper dresses for the Great Gatsby-themed ball in September!  I absolutely adore the ballet and now that my one year DCversary is coming up it’s time for me to get back into the arts scene.  I can’t wait!

After Georgetown I went home and saw my wonderful and amazing friend who just took the bar exam!  I am so proud of her and of course had to take her out for drinks.  So, we went to Room 11 and sat on the patio (the weather last night was perfect) and had cocktails and split a grilled cheese sandwich.  I remember very clearly the mixed feelings of relief and trepidation and disbelief at the end of the bar exam and she was definitely feeling all three in full force!  But I know she passed and I am looking forward to a November phone call celebrating her scores!

I am so glad today is Friday.  I’m looking forward to a weekend of friends, movies and lots of sleep.

Have a great weekend!

AGinDC

Could this night get any more DC?

Posted in Cocktails, again, Just another day in DC by AGinDC on 22 July 2011

So, last night started out well.  I went to Lost Society, the new bar and restaurant on 14th and U.  I absolutely love it.  High-end, pretentious, amazing food (the french fries and bourbon bread pudding- OMG), Hendrick’s Gin, beautiful patrons, fantastic rooftop bar that I’ll visit in the fall.  I love it.  My Detroit bestie and I had a great time catching up (we email every day but actually have to Google cal a time to see each other!) and I really could have stayed all night.

After LS I headed to Lima with @EvolvingElle.  We had the world’s latest dinner reservation at The Park so we started at Lima with drinks and conversation.  There were two men in their mid-40s sitting at the table next to ours and of course they started flirting with us.  We kind of talked and the one with his left side to us was single but we couldn’t see the left hand of the guy on the right.  Didn’t matter though, they were in from out of town (of course, it is DC, after all) and we weren’t interested so after our one drink we left.  But not before I went to the bathrooms and Lima is now #4 on the “Best Places to Have Bathroom Sex in DC” list.  Let’s review:  #1: Buddha Bar, #2: Zengo, #3: Napoleon, #4: Lima.  Why?  Well, the first requirement is that there’s no obvious separation between the men and women’s bathrooms.  At Lima there’s just an open doorway and the men’s bathroom is around the corner but the women’s bathroom is actually in that open hallway.  I mean, hello?  Another requirement?  Doors that go floor to ceiling.  Done.  And the thing that makes Lima a unique and special bathroom sex snowflake?  There are LIGHT SWITCHES in the bathroom stalls.  Yep, exactly.  Done and done.  In fact, the only reason that they’re not above Napoleon is that the stalls are really really small (only hipsters need apply) and the reason for the light switches is because it’s bright as hell in there.  Darkness always wins out so Lima is stuck at #4 for now.

After Lima we went to The Park for our incredibly late dinner reservation.  Of course, The Park being The Park, they were unorganized, uncommunicative and late.  We waited over an hour past our reservation because they way over-booked.  They’re like the American Airlines of restaurants.  But the food is so good and it’s where the Bourgie crowd goes so… what’s a girl to do?  While we were waiting, who should walk in but the guy from Lima!  I swear.  So he talks to us for a while, buys us some drinks and, in my defense, I was so tired and hungry and not paying attention that it still didn’t occur to me to figure this guy out.  So we’re talking, it turns out he’s a state senator or some other underpaid, unimportant political position, and he ends up spending like the whole hour talking to me and even sat down with us when we had dinner.  Honestly, he was a pretty interesting guy so I didn’t really mind, but then, as he put his hand on my thigh (yes) and called me a “sexy innocent intellectual” (whatever that means) I noticed a picture of a totally adorable little boy on his phone.  Of course I asked him about it.  Of course it’s his son.  Of course he also has a daughter.  And then it finally occurred to me to look and of course he was married!  Hahahaha.  So pathetic.  I would have been more upset if a) he was cute, b) he wasn’t like 45, c) I had been remotely interested in him or d) it wasn’t past midnight on a Thursday and I just wanted to go home.  Instead, I just chalked it up to an experience as DC as smoking cigars at Shelley’s or pushing past tourists who stand on the left and joked about it in the car with my friends.  I love this town.

Oh, and the late-night dinner at The Park?  Delicious, but not worth the wait.

Have a great weekend!

AGinDC

Cocktails at Morton’s

Posted in Cocktails, again by AGinDC on 15 July 2011

Last night I was able to take advantage of the gorgeous evening by having drinks on the balcony at Morton’s Steakhouse.  It was a friend’s birthday and we had bourbon (him) and gin (me) and talked about… actually, I have no idea.  Nothing important.  But it was nice.  I really like Morton’s.  I love the old Washington feel of the place, I love how over-accommodating the staff always is, I love the old school bartenders and the camaraderie that you always feel in rooms full of privileged white men who are just oh-so-happy to feel “hip” by being nice to the two young, well-dressed black people in the room.  It explains a lot about why so many young black men are choosing to be Republicans.  It’s just so easy.

After drinks I walked home from Farragut North to Columbia Heights.  The weather was gorgeous and it feels like it’s been so long since I’ve been able to walk around the city without becoming a sweaty disgusting mess.  I love the weather right now, I know it’s too much to hope that the days of gross humidity and frizzy hair are behind us, but for today, I’m going to pretend.

Have a great weekend!

AGinDC

Buddha Bar!

Posted in Cocktails, again by AGinDC on 28 June 2011

Last night, after another successful Capital Cause meeting (lots of great events coming July through October.  Stay posted!) I headed to Buddha Bar with my new Monday night group.  We decided to skip Shelley’s this week and my eyes and clothes and hair were thankful for it.  I love Buddha Bar, it’s where I celebrated my birthday last year.  I love upscale dining, a requirement of formality, and over-the-top opulence.  It’s why Vegas is my favorite city on Earth.  So, obvs, Buddha Bar is my kind of hang out.  Sadly, the Monday night crew is mostly made up of laid back guys who wear things like flip flops and cargo shorts, so they weren’t as thrilled with the venue as I was.  In fact, one of the guys had to borrow shoes from someone else before they’d let him in!

The nice thing about Buddha Bar is that they have a pretty decent happy hour, so everyone could drink for a reasonable price.  And their tiny spring rolls are crazy delicious.  I also love that the bathrooms were clearly designed to have sex in (Buddha Bar and Zengo both have sex-appropriate bathrooms.  What is it about upscale Asian fusion restaurants and restroom copulation?).

We finally left Buddha Bar around 10 after the tiny waitress not-so-subtly informed us that we didn’t tip enough, which, after we added up, we realized that we had actually been more than generous.  This, unfortunately, did nothing to further ingratiate the place to the guys.  I have a feeling I won’t be getting them back there any time soon.  But I’ll be back!

In other news, I am exhausted and need to take a social vacay.  Probably some time in November…

Til tomorrow,

AGinDC

Motiv at The Blaguard

Posted in Cocktails, again by AGinDC on 24 June 2011

Last night I had drinks and pizza at Vapiano, which you know I love.  Then I headed over to The Blaguard in Adams Morgan for the Motiv Strategies launch party!  I first heard about Motiv when Carl, one of the founders, came to my party a few weeks ago.  Sadly, I didn’t get a lot of time to talk so I was super excited when I got an invite to their official launch party!

Motiv is one of those great new DC businesses that is focused on providing innovative strategies for corporations and government offices that have gotten a bit… old/boring/moldy/sad/ineffective/insert word here.  How exciting is that?  If there is anything that the establishment in DC- and around the country- needs, it’s a little bit of shaking up and thinking outside of the box.  Enter: Motiv.

I’m excited to see where this business goes, and also excited for any future super awesome open bar parties they may have.  I also really liked The Blaguard.  Our bartender was one of the owners and he was just ridiculously nice and very proud of his bar.  And the food was fantastic.  I’m definitely keeping them on my list of “places to have happy hours”.

Personally, this has been an incredibly fun week but I am soooo glad it’s Friday.  I slept an hour late today because I just could not wake up.  Tonight, drinks on the Hill and then I’m turning in early.  Tomorrow, I’m volunteering at the Safeway BBQ Battle on Penn (come! BBQ and it’s for a good cause, the Boys and Girls Club!) and early, early, early on Sunday morning I’m volunteering for my people, Teach for America.  And then I’m sleeping and reading and cleaning my neglected bedroom.  I may even walk into my kitchen for the first time all week…

Have a great weekend.  There’s an insane amount of stuff going on.  For the best listing, I recommend Brightest Young Things.  Oh how I wish I had gone to Dude Fest.  Sigh.

Ciao til Monday!

AGinDC

Samba and Sangria

Posted in Cocktails, again by AGinDC on 23 June 2011

Last night I went to a happy hour benefiting the Young Benefactors Group for the Institute for Responsible Citizenship.  I love going to events where this group will be present because it is primarily made up of young black men in the city who happen to be very professional and have a slightly higher quotient of good-looking members than most DC organizations.  Also, the sangria was free.

The party was at Eden, on 17th and I, on the roof, which was perhaps a little too hot for my tastes.  But the drinks were delicious, the cupcakes were moist and yummy, and the company, as always, was wonderful.  I spent most of my time talking to a girl who I met a few weeks ago and really think I may end up loving.  But, with my week-long party crusade starting to wear on me, and with the heat causing me to sweat like a mad woman, I bounced by 8pm and took my tired behind home.  With a little salmon in me and Rachel Maddow lulling me to sleep, I was in bed by 10.30, texted until 11, and then slept like a rock.

Tonight, Vapiano and The Blaguard.  I will report back tomorrow.

Happy Friday Eve!

AGinDC

A Capital Success

Posted in Cocktails, again, Just another day in DC by AGinDC on 22 June 2011

Last night a new organization I’ve joined, Capital Cause, had their first event of the summer: a happy hour at Tabaq on U St.  I really like Capital Cause because their goal is to encourage DC’s young professionals to get involved in philanthropy and give of their time and (very little) money.  It’s a fantastic idea and also happens to be one of the best-connected young professional organizations in DC.  It’s actually kind of amazing how many extraordinary young DCers they have on the board and as members.  So, I was excited about the happy hour because I knew I would get to hang out with some of the great people I’ve met so far, and that I would meet tons of new folks over cocktails and networking bingo (my favourite game!).

Another thing that I really like about CC is how quickly they turn ideas into action.  I’m on the events committee and we just thought of having the happy hour a month ago or so.  But, with regular meetings (another wonderful logistical practice that so many people don’t do these days), lots of communication, and a Google group, the party was up and running in just a couple of weeks.  We very quickly had a venue (and Tabaq was awesome and gave us 10% of the bar), gorgeous posters, and 400 RSVPs within 72 hours of announcing the event thanks to the incredible network of fellow CCers.  I must have gotten about 12 emails about the event from every other listserv that I belong to.  Talk about powerful (and free) marketing.

When I first came to DC I tried to curate exactly the right kinds of memberships to help me develop a well-rounded group of friends, contacts, and experiences.  I’m still looking to round out a couple of my goal genres, but with CC I definitely found a group of intelligent, ambitious, and highly capable young professionals who are all committed to making philanthropy a part of their daily lives.  I love it!

If you want more information about Capital Cause or want to join (it’s only $30!), click HERE.

Another great event tonight, this time at Eden.  I’ll report back tomorrow!

AGinDC

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