I had one of those days recently completely without meaning to and am still basking in the glow of how perfect it was. The day started out innocently enough — I just signed up for ClassPass’s free two-week trial and decided to wake up early for a class at Elevate Interval Fitness. Needless to say, after two weeks without working out, Elevate totally kicked my ass. My coworker Matney invited me to the zoo and after a quick pit stop for doughnuts and coffee, we spent a couple of hours walking around the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, where I made friends with an orangutan and found a golden lion tamarin I will one day have to smuggle home in my purse.
I met up with the boyf and headed to Chinatown Coffee Co. for a R E F R E S H: Moroccan Mint Tea, my new summer fave, then onto Shake Shack for a cheese fries R E F U E L. We headed into the American Art Museum to see Mingering Mike’s Supersonic Greatest Hits, an exhibit about a self-taught artist known only as Mingering Mike. Though he privately recorded some songs, Mingering Mike’s musical career was, for the most part, entirely made up. The exhibit comprises dozens of hand-painted cardboard records, album covers, song lyrics and liner notes made by Mingering Mike in the 60s and 70s, when black radio was still brand new and artists like Marvin Gaye and James Brown were just coming on the scene. Not only are the works super funky fresh, but the exhibit is also a powerful dialogue on the historical moment in which Mingering Mike lived.
From there, we hit up Showtime Lounge for a quick Tecate + PBR break before an early dinner at Red Hen where we indulged in bubbly + squid ink pasta which is basically MAGIC. Then an Uber ride to the Angelika theater pop-up at Union Market for a showing of Ex Machina, a movie about robots that act like humans and humans that act like idiots. It was fairly mind-bending/blowing and we both left there feeling like maybe we need to stop trusting machines so much.
We weren’t quite ready to stop yet so we made a trip over to Crane & Turtle to check out Bar Otsukare, a Japanese whisky pop-up led by Eddie Kim and Jesse Selvagn. Eddie & Jesse became interested in Japanese tipples while working together behind the bar at Daikaya and have amassed a collection of rare and funky whiskies, shochus, and sakes. Their kickoff event was an all-around good time, and we had a blast sampling new (to us) drinks among some of our Room 11 friends (where Eddie used to work and Gavin, my boyfriend, currently tends bar). Stay tuned for Bar Otsukare — They’ll have more events coming up and, trust me, you won’t want to miss them.
We finally made it back home and I passed out in front of the TV (no surprise, given I’d been awake for close to 24 HOURS by that point). I’m constantly amazed by how vibrant, creative, and fun the DC food/art community is, and how much there is to D O and S E E and E X P E R I E N C E. I can’t stand hearing transient folks bemoan the erroneous belief that this city is all lobbyists and lawyers and politicos hanging out on the Hill and downtown when there’s so much beauty and culture and LIFE going on in the rest of the city. It’s absolutely magical to get to be a part of it all. Also, let’s be real — It’s insane the amount of shit you can get done in one day when you put your mind to it.