Archive | March, 2010

Food: Pizza

23 Mar

My roommate Abby gave me the wonderful idea of buying a frozen cheese pizza and adding toppings. Voici —

One-half: spinach, feta cheese, basil, red onions, mushrooms
One-half: potatoes, caramelized onions, oregano, rosemary, garlic

It’s great, economical-ish, and tasty.

My other roommate, Erin, has added bacon and brie on her pizzas in the past, both of which turned out really, really well. She also made the dough from scratch, which is beyond my league.

While I’m on the topic of cheesy, starchy foods … I had chili cheese fries at Stoney’s, located in Logan Circle. I give them points for thought and originality for broiling the CCF, as it gives the fries a nice, crisp exterior. However, once you crack the cheesy shell, you’ll find that the chili is not much more than water and stewed beans. I don’t know, I find something deeply unjust about that.

Dispatches from the Capitol: Monuments and Mirrors

17 Mar

Potomac, Jefferson Memorial
Washington Monument

Dispatches from the Capitol: National Zoo, CCF, and Union Station

10 Mar

What’s for dinner today?


… read a panel next to the cheetah enclosure. According to it, my 100-150 lb. weight bracket put me in the same class as the female warthog, and as a female warthog, I could be eaten within a half hour by lions and would be especially relished by hyenas. However, I would not have to fear cheetahs, because according to another sign, adult humans are too dense and heavy for cheetahs to eat. Instead, cheetahs prefer prey at or below 100 lbs., like a gazelle — which is “about the size of a sixth grader.”

I feel for any sixth grader who is reading this blog or is familiar with that sign. All the same, some of those signs at the National Zoo were curiously hilarious.

Aside from humorous blurbs, the Zoo has other obvious treasures. Here are photos of a couple of them. First, the Fly River Turtle, or Pig-nosed Turtle. I prefer the former name, because it evokes images of a shoreside reptile sporting cool threads. Second, the White-faced saki, who looks rather like an old sage in this photo.

Now, I have a very cool story to share with you. Today, I ate chili cheese fries — surprise, surprise.

As you can see, the chili and cheese look good, but the fries look more like they’ve been microwaved than fried. I tried getting some ketchup in my basket to add a little flavor, but air pressure worked against any ketchup flow. An older man, maybe in his 50s or 60s, passed along his ketchup bottle, which worked just fine.

We both continued eating — I read a Chinese article while fries undoubtedly poked out of my mouth. He talked to the waitress about his hometown of Chicago and how he visited Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week. It was freezing there on Saturday, apparently.

Then he left.

And then the waitress told me that he paid for my meal and instructed her not to say anything to me until after he had left. That was all.

After that, I joined a photography group through a church I’m attending in DC. We took some photos around Union Station. Most of mine turned out bleh — a combination of poor shutter speed judgment, lens flare, and the fewer number of interesting subjects out at that time of night.

This one is decent, and even has the Capitol in the background. That little neon red light trail on the left is courtesy of her ciggy.

Travelogue: More Straight East Coastin’ (Updated)

7 Mar

Northeastern winters are barren trees that raise their scraggly arms to the sky, clawing at brick buildings.
This is truly nearly region-wide. For stretches, Virginia can look just like Maryland, which can look just like Delaware, which can look just like Pennsylvania. As such, driving to Philly was like running on a treadmill, eyes blurred by a reddish-brown haze.

But beyond nature and within the concrete jungle, Philadelphia definitely holds its own. For one, among all the urban sprawl, wonderful murals canvas the city with vibrancy. I love this.

I can’t really speak to the food here, despite leaving the city with a gut large enough to shame a Yokozuna. I spent most of my time … and money … in Chinatown — which unlike DC’s “China” “town,” is actually legitimate. However, my guess is decent dim sum at Joy Tsin Lau and excellent Shanghai soup-filled dumplings at Sakura are not Philly trademarks. For that, one looks to the cheesesteak. I had one at a tourist hole, Pat’s, which was acceptable but also generally considered to be a sub-par cheesesteak on the greater Philadelphia cheesesteak-o-scale.

All right, I’m clearly losing my writing faculties. Quickly —

1. I left the Body Worlds exhibit with a much more profound appreciation for my brain, a clearer understanding of cancer’s effects, and my fair share of the heebie jeebies.

2. I saw the Liberty Bell, and its exhibit was interesting in that I learned how the bell was resignified to stand for liberty and thereafter co-opted by various causes. It wasn’t exactly stated in that way, though.

An unofficial Ben Franklin reenactor stood next to the building that housed the Liberty Bell. I wanted to take a photo with him, but he was too busy telling two men how he acquired his costume (shoes from a female donor, coat from Montreal, normal white shirt, etc.).

Update 1, 03/09/10:

Photos! My camera was in my office drawer this weekend. Luckily, some of the dudes on the Philly day trip are avid photographers. These are by Dan Chiang:

A bell of some significance.

Ben Franklinesque.

Independence Hall.

In line at Geno’s. I am the one closest to the camera with my back turned.

Philly cheesesteak, wiz wit (in English, Philly cheesesteak with cheese whiz and grilled onions).