Thursday, June 21, 2012

baraat in 42nd street

baraat in 42nd street
I shared photos of Central Park and the High Line, but the real reason I was in New York this spring was for a wedding.

The wedding was for Shagun and Gaurav - the bride being a friend of my friend Matt who took me as his plus one. Shagun and Gaurav live in NYC, but are both originally from India and chose to have a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. I was treated to a whole weekend full of celebrating like I had never experienced before.

Indian weddings are truly spectacular - the celebratory atmosphere, the colorful garments and elaborate jewelry, the delicious food, the music - all of it fabulous. The schedule included three full days of ceremonies and celebrating. Due to our travel arrangements, Matt and I missed a few of the events (I was disappointed that I didn't get to have my hands tattooed with henna during the Mehndi). We did get to attend the end of the Sangeet the day before the wedding which included lots of dancing and music and delicious food and cocktails at the Eventi Hotel.

The day of the wedding began with a Chura ceremony in the morning (which Matt and I accidently slept through due to a late night of drinking the evening before!). The wedding itself started with the Baraat - the procession of the groom to the wedding ceremony on horseback. The wedding was held at the Grand Hyatt New York - sandwiched between the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal right smack in the heart of Midtown. Needless to say, witnessing an Indian groom riding a horse down East 42nd Street in Manhattan was quite a site to see!

All the wedding guests (and plenty of tourists) gathered outside to watch the procession:
baraat in 42nd street
The groom was hoisted onto the horse:
baraat in 42nd street
The groom's adorable nephew was hoisted up, too:
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
There was much celebrating in the streets, and lots of curious onlookers...
baraat in 42nd street the groom proceeded down 42nd street on horseback:
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
My favorite part was the dhol drummer:
baraat in 42nd street
You couldn't help but dance to the beat:
baraat in 42nd street
Everyone was celebrating:
baraat in 42nd street
Except for the horse, who was a bit stubborn:
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
baraat in 42nd street
The wedding procession then moved into the lobby of the hotel (minus the horse), up the escalators, and into the reception space with everyone dancing to the beat of the drum along the way.

Stay tuned to see the bride and photos from the wedding ceremony...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

good beats, good eats

instagram collage - concerts
Before I got sick, I was on a bit of a pre-summer fun frenzy. My evening social calendar was more packed than it's been in years. In a nine day period, I went to three concerts, ate dinner at five restaurants, and had three Girls' Nights Outs in a row with some of my oldest and closest friends who all happened to be in town at once. The schedule was going to continue with Larry's birthday dinner, Truckeroo, and perhaps a weekend at the beach - all of those cancelled/postponed due to me getting sick and Larry's work schedule.

Our greatest pleasures in life are good music and good food (this is probably obvious by the names of our dogs!), so needless to say, that nine day concert and restaurant filled stretch was fabulous. It was also probably the reason I got sick. Wop wop. But let's focus on the fun stuff:

The Beats:

JASON ISBELL at The Mansion on O
I don't really have the words to describe this show. The Mansion on O was one of the coolest and weirdest places I've ever been. Four levels and 100 rooms full of art, junk, and everything in between. There were 32 secret doors, a shower in a phone booth, a giant bubble gum machine, and art guitars. Valuable antiques and yard sale crap. Sensory overload. Fascinating. The performance space had dozens of crystal chandeliers and held only about 200 people.

And Jason Isbell - an amazing songwriter and musician performing in such an intimate venue? It was pure magic. I hate to even admit this because it sounds so corny, but at several points during the concert I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps. He's that good. (I admitted this to Larry and he confessed the same, so evidently we're both corndogs.) This show is definitely being added to my list of best musical experiences. Unforgettable.

One of the most fun concerts I've been to. I liked Joe Pug before, but he was phenomenal in person. Amazing songwriter and such an energetic performer - I swayed and danced the whole show. I was super excited to see the opening band - David Wax Museum, after seeing a few of their videos on YouTube. They did not disappoint - they have such a unique sound (described as Mexo-Americana) and play rare instruments including a donkey's jawbone! Plus, I have a bit of a girl-crush on Suz.

And when the two bands teamed up and sang a Gillian Welch song at the end of the show? Well, let's just add that to my list of best musical experiences, too. Bravo.

This video is beautiful and look how much fun they're having:

One of the main reasons I was excited about this show is - confession time! - Rhett Miller is easy on the eyes. He also puts on a rockin' concert. But the best part of this show was The Spring Standards - the best performance by an opening band that I've ever seen. All three band members are multi-instrumentalists and they sound fabulous live. Pure fun.

The Eats:

Love this place and it was the perfect location for a girls' night with two of my best and oldest friends who were visiting from out of town. The best part about dining with your oldest friends? No one's shy about ordering the mac and cheese (truffled, no less!), the cheese plate, entrees, AND dessert and washing it all down with a few glasses of wine. Also, I highly suggest the halibut. And the ricotta dumplings. And the olive oil panna cotta...

Clarendon's newest hot spot lives up to the hype! Oh boy, this place was delicious, had great atmosphere, and was another perfect spot to meet up with girlfriends for a gabfest. Try the pork tacos - rumor has it they contain pigs' ears - and let me tell you, they are delicious! (As was the cornbread, the beet and burrata salad, the shrimp roll, the mac and cheese (yes, again!), the dressed crab, the cheesecake, and the donut topped with peanut butter ice cream. What? I'm not going to eat at a restaurant with PIG in its name and not take the opportunity to pig out!)

This is the upstairs/bar portion of Birch & Barley. We found ourselves here for dinner and happy hour to celebrate Larry's birthday before the Joe Pug concert. The original plan was to go to Standard, but there was a two hour wait. No worries - the 555 beers on Churchkey's menu plus multiple orders of tater tots kept us more than satisfied!

Delicious tacos and the best sangria I've ever had! Love this adorable little Mexican place next to Bazin's in Vienna and it was the perfect spot to celebrate our ninth anniversary before heading to Jammin' Java for a concert.

Yeah, yeah, it's a burger joint and it's a chain. So what? It's freaking delicious! (Especially after a night of drinking and concert-going!) Yes to the Shackburger, yes to the crinkle fries, and yes to splitting a cup of frozen custard! Mmmm!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

coming soon: art on the avenue

Just a quick hello to announce another upcoming show! My calendar is quickly filling up with art markets, and I have to admit it's a bit overwhelming due to my current state of feeling under the weather. But I'm super excited that Funnelcloud Studio will be vending at Art on the Avenue in October. This is going to be a fun one - 300+ artisans (plus food! performances! music! and a pie baking contest!) in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria - which in my opinion is one of the cutest areas in Northern Virginia.

So if you're inclined to plan ahead, mark your calendar and check it out:

October 6 - Art on the Avenue (Alexandria, VA)

Hope to see you then! But for now, it's back to healing for me...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

just some pics

DSC_8030 ES crop
Soooooo...when I woke up sick on Larry's birthday last week, I assumed it was just an unfortunately-timed 24 hour bug. Oh how wrong I was. A WEEK spent in bed/on the couch and attempting to self-medicate with pina coladas and Nyquil did not cure me. I finally caved and went to the doctor after I spent a night coughing myself silly and keeping both Larry and me from getting any sleep. That sucked and I needed relief. (Also, thank you Larry for not smothering me in my sleep.)

The good news is I don't have pneumonia! But I did score myself three prescriptions and a diagnosis of bronchitis and a sinus infection. I'm hoping today is the last freaking sick day because I am SO behind and overwhelmed with work I don't even know what to do. Art markets! Freelance projects! Etsy orders! E-mails! HELP! (Reminder: Charm City Craft Mafia's Pile of Craft is this Saturday in Baltimore from 10-5. I'm woefully unprepared, but my shop will be there and thanks to these antibiotics, hopefully I won't scare any potential customers off with my gnarly cough.)

I haven't felt like writing and I certainly haven't been taking pictures lately since I spent three straight days wearing one of Larry's undershirts while hacking up my own lungs. Lovely. So I went though my archives from the last few months and decided to share a few random photos:

Mini G&T:
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Forget-me-nots: (Anyone know how to get these to rebloom? They looked so pretty when I first planted them, but now they're brown.)
DSC_1445 ES
Coonhound in the corner:
DSC_9445 ES crop
Wine and reading:
DSC_8341 ES
Due to my brown thumb (and tendency to forget to water plants), I planted lots of succulents this year. So far they're thriving under my neglect:
DSC_1412 ES crop
The reason why I can't have accent pillows on my sofa:
IMG_3812 ES crop
Blue planters:
IMG_4727 ES crop
DSC_1673 ES crop
Weekend plans:
DSC_8202 ES crop
Lake Anne Plaza in Reston: I stopped by last week and got a sneak peek of Toya's new shop! New Family Naturals will be opening its doors in August. (Pssst: Into microinvesting? Like healthy and delicious snacks? Check out NFN's Indiegogo page and score some goodies while supporting a local small business.)
DSC_2227 E crop
Homemade pasta:
DSC_8436 ES
Old Town Suds bath bomb! Oh my - I treated my achy joints to a soak this weekend and this bath bomb smelled amazing, turned the water blue, and made my skin super soft. Plus, the colors of the bomb remind me of a tiny globe:
DSC_2264 ES
Mom and her grandpups:
DSC_1648 ES crop
The best sandwich - fresh mozzarella, tomato, and avocado on naan:
DSC_8345 ES
More succulents:
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1. A snuggle:
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2. A sniff:
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3. BLEEECCCHHH! Direct hit right on the kisser:
DSC_9444 ES crop

Ok, friends - time for a codeine-fueled snooze. See you on the flip side...

Friday, June 8, 2012

the high line

the high line
The (former) architect in me has been intrigued by the photos of the High Line ever since it was built a few years ago. When I was in New York City earlier this spring, I was delighted to have the chance to finally visit this elevated urban park in person.

The day after the wedding that Matt and I attended in Manhattan, we had a few hours before we had to catch planes/trains back to our respective homes, so we spent the morning strolling along the High Line:
the high line
the high line
the high line
We stumbled upon lots of funky new modern buildings:
the high line
And the most depressing billboard I've ever seen:
the high line
the high line
the high line
the high line
the high line
Afterwards, we grabbed brunch at a place called Cafeteria in Chelsea:
cafeteria | nyc
Behold: CROISSANT FRENCH TOAST (genius!) and Blackberry Lemonade:
nyc brunch at cafeteria
After stuffing our faces, it was time to part ways - Matt back to Canada, and me to DC. Hopefully, it won't be another three years before we can do this again!