Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lagerfeld Confidential

I spent the other night watching Lagerfeld Confidential. I always thought he seemed to be an overly eccentric crazy (old) man; but I was intrigued. After watching this semi-autobiographical documentary - I am totally in love with Karl! He comes off as very human, but somewhat fragile. A great sense of humor: very polite and friendly with those he comes in contact with, but very serious when it comes to work in a no nonsense German type way. Totally drop dead Chic. A big idea maker, not interested in the details. Solitary. Brilliant.The film is a series of interviews conducted over 3 years and just video watching Karl - very voyeuristic. It starts out slow but by the end you're into the very meat of the biography. You see him working, playing, eating and just hanging out. Topics cover his views on prostitution, fashion, society, life/death, religion, politics and his own childhood. He seems like he would be an amazing friend. I wasn't shocked to see that his entire world is very glamorous -very 'Chanel'. All black and white with no color -pure style. One thing I wondered is he protests so much about how he likes solitude, being alone. I kept wondering 'doth he protesteth too much'? Does he just want a big hug?! Who knows. Now for my favorite part of the film: the filmmaker is in a bathroom at Chanel and there is a sign that says (paraphrasing) PISSING EVERYWHERE IS NOT VERY CHANEL. Ladies and gentleman, I have found my new favorite phrase! I literally paused the movie to go and write this down. From now on, I will say something to be 'not very Chanel' whenever I'm not pleased with it. One more time for emphasis: PISSING EVERYWHERE IS NOT VERY CHANEL.
Karl Lagerfeld with Marc Jacobs posing with posters of their simpson's cartoons shown in August 2007 Harpers Bazaar.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I've gone Topsy Turvy!

Wednesday I met the delightful Lana from Topsy Turvy! We enjoyed cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake and chatted about blogging and politics. Tune in to her blog to hear all about her Washington Adventures!She enjoyed the chocolate cupcake with ganache icing and hazlenuts while I had the YUMMY red velvet seen below. The little heart on top is glittered, which you can't really see here. If you're in Georgetown be sure to check them out at 1209 Potomac Street ( just off M Street). They're fortunately a block away from my office, so you may run into me there!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tabard Inn

I met friends last night for drinks at one of my favorite establishments in DC: the Tabard Inn. Besides having a wonderful restaurant, the charming little hotel has a nice cozy bar area as well. Housed in 3 old joined townhouses on a quiet and charming street right in Dupont Circle, the inn was named after a hotel in England which is referred to in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” as a place of respite for pilgrims. The 3 townhouses are all painted gray to blend in with one another.
As you can see, the individual pieces aren't neccesarily nice, but have a lot of personality and charm -adding to the overall ambiance. The dim lighting helps!
Each room of the Inn is decorated individually with quirky antiques and every bedroom has a secretary with books inside! House and Home, an interiors magazine published in Dublin, Ireland, chose a small room in the Tabard Inn for inclusion in an article on the 30 most beautiful bedrooms in the world in its May/June 2005 issue. Rates are very cheap for rooms, but you MAY have to share a bathroom (not sure how I feel about that!). Read more about the inn online HERE.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

National Zoo

No, thats not an Italian Cathedral, thats home to spineless creators (of the oceanic variety)! Like I mentioned yesterday, I spent some time Sunday at the National Zoo. Normally I find zoos really depressing: caged animals with sad expressions on their faces, scrutinized all day long isn't my idea of a fun time! However, the Washington National Zoo was fantastic! Run by a branch of the Smithsonian (isn't everything in DC?), it recently underwent extensive but ongoing renovations. Many of the buildings are from the 1930s and are really charming.A detail from the Elephant's home. First stop was into the Aviary section -one of the large outdoor cages that you could go into was from the early 70s and contained a very friendly peacock seen below. I thought the structure ingenius! Light and airy, just enough to hold it up: pure grace!He was seriously about 6 inches away. Also in the aviary were these two unusual blue birds nesting together. I think they're friends! I loved their lacy 'hats'.
And whats a visit to an aviary without flamingos! So many different hues of color! BEAUTIFUL!
The gorillas had this beautiful stone building to call home. Notice all the little statues of creatures on the roof; Warding off evil spirits perhaps? They were of lions, tigers & bears (OH MY!).
Here is the most famous resident of the zoo, the panda! He was adorable, if a bit dirty!
These coral were spectacular -almost neon. I bet they glow in the dark -notice all the neon blue tips?

Like underwater flowers! But it's not all fun and games: while in the wild, one must always be aware of - AGGRESSIVE CRANES! AHHHH!
If in Washington on a beautiful day - stop by and visit the zoo, you won't regret it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Neighborhood tour

This past weekend I visited the Washington Zoo (more on that later) and walked through one of my favorite neighborhoods on my walk home that I thought I'd share with you.
This part of washington is the residential part of the city. From the zoo you can walk along rock creek park which is in a gorge below these neighborhoods. I've always loved these enormous old decorative bridges that connect these neighborhood. This one spans between Woodley Park and Kalorama.
This iconic mural announces your entry into Woodley Park from Kalorama - recognize the face? Marilyn Monroe of course!
Crossing over the bridge, you come into Kalorama. Kalorama is home to many of the grandest homes in the city built around the turn of last century, many embassies and along Connecticut Ave and the other major roads these GRAND old apartment buildings. Much of the work my firm does is in this area.
This building has this marvelous gazebo on the roof that looks out over the park. I've always wanted to go up there! Also notice the beautifully ornate and colorful corbels under the roof and the surround of the front door -all terra cotta. My dream apartment would be a small one-bedroom up there overlooking the park (pipe-dream maybe, but practical size wise anyway!)
Another big beautiful apartment building - this one with a porte cochere. More beautiful terra cotta work!This is one of the more famous buildings - the Dresden. Notice the building curves - more of it faces the park this way, and also it fits the site better. These windows are HUGE.This one is an entire city block, I walked up once and peeked into the lobby -as ornate and beautiful as you could imagine! More rooftop gazebos!Just south of here is the famous curved hilton where Reagan was infamously shot. Not a very pretty building -but the first place I stayed in DC back in high school. Across from the hilton is this beautiful mansion -now offices. I would say that was a shame, except it must be dreadfully noisey inside with all the pedestrian and car traffic -it's on a major intersection. Now we're in dupont (that intersection i mentioned before is the border of neighborhoods). I've always been fascinated by this building you see here. It's nautically themed -notice the porthole windows and the lighthouse on top! The base houses a retro looking hair parlor and a bakery (firehook). This mansion is right on Dupont Circle. It's now a private club but at one time was the Robert Wilson Patterson mansion. Designed by McKim, Mead & white in 1900 -the exterior is all white terra cotta except for the marble columns on the 2nd floor. It houses Washington's first garage ( you can barely see it to the far left). The Patterson's lent the house to President and Mrs. Coolidge in 1927 while the White House was being renovated.
This last is close to my apartment right off Dupont Circle. It now houses the National Trust for historic presevation but was originally a very grand apartment building. Andrew Mellon (from the Pittsburgh banking family and one of the founders of Carnegie Mellon University, my alma mater) lived here while he was working as treasurer for the United States in the top 2 floors(he also was responsible for the John Russell Pope designed nat'l gallery of art, donating the building to the Smithsonian). Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Monday, October 6, 2008

All the great operas in 10 minutes

I came across this wonderful youtube video through a friend- a hilarious summation of all the great operas and how they're all full of incest, rape, prostitution, murder, suicide, etc. (watch the little ticker tape at the end of each opera)!