New York City, here we come!

My image of New York has been built up by years of hearing about it and seeing it in pictures and movies. It's always been a distant land of bright lights and skyscrapers; a metropolis that never goes to sleep. But it finally occurred to me this summer that I can visit New York and see the city for myself. A group of Hinckley Interns and I travelled to NY for a weekend and it turned out to be one of the busiest weekends during my summer, and if nothing more, it definitely made me want to revisit NY in the future again. The list of things to do and see is just never-ending! 

There were many highlights from the trip, but my number one is probably fulfilling my long time wish of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So many of the artworks I have learned in my art history courses have been taken care of and housed by the Met. It has a long standing history of collecting various renown artworks and continues to be the largest art museum in the U.S. The Met was the first place I visited with my roommate, Alex, after getting some breakfast at a diner and walking across Central Park. As I had imagined, the Met was a huge museum that covered various geographical areas and time periods. I decided that a tour would be a good idea, so we went on an intern led tour that covered some modern art pieces as well as Islamic art and European art. Over and over, works by Pollock, Van Gough, Mondrian, and Monet popped up in the tour which was amazing to see in real life. We also entered the Japanese art section and saw works by Hokusai and Kano Tanyu as well as beautiful lacquer ware and ceramics.  

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Some other things we did that weekend were going to Times Square and watching a broadway show, Chicago, which was a dark tale about fame and fortune. The singing, acting, and dancing it it were great because well...its broadway!

We also went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum which was an phenomenal museum that outlined and presented the build up, details, causes, and aftermath of 9/11. Artifacts and photographs, first hand accounts, videos, and recordings were set up all throughout the exhibitions. It was a lot to take in and was emotionally heavy, but valuable to be able to understand in such detail. The fact that 9/11 was during my lifetime, something that I can clearly remember, and an catastrophic event that occurred right where the museum was, added to the emotions that I experienced while walking through the museum. It was one of the most well executed and organized museums I have ever been to. 

We also went to Chinatown and Little Italy where all the diversity of NYC seems to converge, creating unique communities that are difficult to find elsewhere. I loved walking through this part of the city and seeing the unique history of NY embedded within the cityscape. Not only the diversity, but the energy and business of NY was an interesting experience that made DC seem much calmer. Visiting NY was like a weekend sampler for when I go back to explore it more!

Happy Birthday America

Celebrating July 4 in the capital will be one of the most memorable experiences from this summer. One of my best friends, Emily, visited me for the weekend and we were able to do as many of the "must do when in DC" activities that can fit in to one weekend! 

7/2. Thursday evening Emily flew in to DC and we went to Busboys and Poets for dinner. Busboys and Poets is a restaurant/coffee shop/ bookstore with lots of artwork decorating the space. I feel like it is a good representation of the diverse and eclectic culture of DC. It was a great introduction for Emily as her first DC experience. We also stopped by Ted's Bulletin near U Street to get pop tarts for dessert! The salted carmel pop tart is a lovely creation that includes a caramel filling with a hint of salt wrapped in a buttery dough- more like a mini pie than a pop tart.

7/3. On Friday, we started early by going out to breakfast at Paul. This cute little bakery chain has some wonderful French pastries and breakfast/lunch foods like sandwiches and omelettes. After a relaxing breakfast on the patio, we walked across the street to the National Archives. There we saw the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. It was amazing to see the three real Charters of Freedom that are essentially the start to the American political system and its philosophy. Although the ink on the documents were fading, I was able to find Article III of the Constitution where it mentions the abilities of the Supreme Court. 

We then walked through the National Mall to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.This spacious museum had very high ceilings where various airplanes were hung and displayed. The museum included aircraft and spacecraft that document the exploration of space and air travel. As I walked through the exhibitions, I was amazed at how far humans have come to understand the Earth and beyond, but also the fact that humans are such small beings in this this huge, mysterious universe. 

The next museum we went to was the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art. I was in awe of how many works of art this museum has, many of which were works I had learned about in art history classes. I could literally spend hours in this museum, and will definitely be coming back!!

After lots of walking and museums, Emily and I went to my Supreme Court intern friend's good-bye dinner. it was a bittersweet time of hanging out together before she leaves, but we promised we would someday have a SC intern reunion. Although I've only known the SC interns for less then two months, it seems as if I've known them for much much longer.

7/4. Happy Fourth of July! Emily, my roommate Rachel, and I went out to get breakfast at The Coupe! This great brunch spot is ideal for not only food, but it is also a bar and a coffee shop. It is within walking distance from the apartment, which is always a plus! I had a tofu scramble, with an english muffin and hash brown.

After shopping with Emily at Nordstrom Rack for lets just say the amount of time needed until we felt content, we went to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. With a few others, we found a spot to sit and watch the fireworks. It was a great view and the fireworks shot up right across the water and next to the Washington Monument. We then walked around the area to see the MLK Memorial and Roosevelt Memorial.

7/5. Before Emily's departure, I had really wanted to show her Georgetown, so we went around noon to explore the area. We saw the Old Stone House (1765), which is the oldest structure in DC, had lunch at Good Stuff Eatery, and went to Baked and Wired. This weekend has been a fun and busy time, showing that DC has so much to see and do!

Washington DC: A New City

It has been about four weeks since I left Utah and landed in Washington DC to start my summer experience as an intern. So far, my time in DC has been an absolute whirlwind of moving, transitioning, meeting, working, and learning! I feel so grateful to be able to gain experience with wonderful staff and interns working alongside me.  

As I enter my fifth week, I finally feel as if I’m settling down in the routine of things and getting a hang of my tasks at my internship. Before coming to DC, I was nervous not only about work but about coming to a new place I've never been and navigating through everyday life. But I kept telling myself (and still do) that this is all a learning process that will be what I make out of it. It's always important to have a goal, which for me is to learn more about curatorial tasks and discover if museum work is what I want to do in the future. But it's also important to enjoy the ride. 

Because the past few  weeks have been a whirlwind, I would like to quickly re-trace my footsteps and present the highlights of my first taste of DC. So far, DC has been an incredibly diverse, unique, and engaging place that I believe every young person should experience in some way or another. I have already found things I know I will miss when I go home, including places, sights, people, and of course, food. Just as a heads up and as a cautionary note for some, this blog will consist of many food pictures. DC has a vibrant culture of food that I can’t not talk about. Even within that past few weeks that I’ve been here, I have come across tastes from various cultures that all together make up DC’s food culture. So just so you know, prepare to be overwhelmed with beautiful food pictures.

But don’t worry; this blog will also consist of sights and places in DC as well as my experiences at my internship. Here’s to the start of my summer experience as a Hinckley Intern in the nation’s capitol!

 

Favorite adventures thus far…

Donburi. (I warned you about the food pictures :P) This was one of the first places I went out to with my roommate and it was a wonderful decision we made.  Because I was missing Japanese food, I was so happy to have found this highly rated restaurant on Yelp. Entering Donburi was a new experience because I had never gone to a Japanese restaurant with rap music playing in the background. However, this unique atmosphere plays out well in the food choices that are traditional with a hint of modern taste. I got the shrimp tempura and chicken donburi. I don’t want to know how many calories it must have been, but it was a glorious bowl of tempura over rice with just the right amount of sauce. It’s located in the Adams Morgan area of DC.

5/23. Saturday morning of my first week in DC, my roommates and I went to Eastern Market to check out the flea market and farmer’s market. Fresh produce and unique trinkets were found all throughout the area. We got lunch at Ted’s Bulletin, which has homemade pop tarts. Everything was so fresh and yummy! We decided that whenever we need fresh produce, Eastern Market is the place to go.

5/24. On Sunday, we went to Georgetown together, a cute area full of shops and restaurants. We went to Baked and Wired, a macaroon shop, and a Spanish restaurant. I am so glad that my roommates love food just as much as I do. I am looking forward to the adventures we’ll have this summer.

On Monday, which was Memorial Day, my roommate and I went to Maple, an Italian restaurant very close to the apartment. It was nice to take a walk around the neighborhood, and eat delicious gnocchi in a peaceful setting.

Cute houses in our neighborhood. They remind me of Crayola crayons. 

Cute houses in our neighborhood. They remind me of Crayola crayons. 

Gnocchi and grilled octopus.

Gnocchi and grilled octopus.

5/30. My roommates and some other Hinckley Interns went to the Smithsonian’s American History Museum the second weekend in D.C. It is an impressive collection outlining major events of American history. I loved the section that includes presidential china as well as dresses worn by the first ladies of American presidents. The museum had so many objects from various eras.

President Wilson's presidential china.

President Wilson's presidential china.

Dress worn by  Michelle Obama.

Dress worn by  Michelle Obama.

Greensboro lunch counter from 1960. Student protestors sat in these very seats 55 years ago and their activism ultimately led to the desegregation of lunch counters.

Greensboro lunch counter from 1960. Student protestors sat in these very seats 55 years ago and their activism ultimately led to the desegregation of lunch counters.

Shake Shack- A Wednesday tradition

Shake Shack. This is one of things that I can’t believe I lived without for 21 years. Okay, that may be exaggerating a bit, but I really have never had a better tasting hamburger in my life. My roommates and I were all amazed by the juicy and perfectly sized, not too big, not too small size of the hamburger. We decided that this would definitely be a weekly tradition as long as we are in DC.

Mushroom burger!

Mushroom burger!

6/6. The Phillips Collection- Third weekend in DC

This has been so far, my favorite day in DC. With a couple of roommates, Hinckley inters, and Supreme Court interns, we went to the Kalorama Gallery Stroll at Dupont Circle, which I found out through a docent at the Supreme Court. The Phillips Collection, which was apart of the gallery stroll, is America’s first museum of Modern Art. We saw paintings by Rothko, Matisse, Kandinsky, Renoir, Picasso, Chagall, Degas, Monet and many more. The whole time, my mind was in awe of the fact that I was surrounded by some of the most extraordinary works of French impression, American modernism, and contemporary art. Visiting the Phillips Collection reminded me once again why I love art and museums. I truly experienced Pablo Picasso’s quote that “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Seeing art is seeing the skills and history of an individual, right in front of you. There is no other experience that can really give you the same feeling and emotions as looking at a painting.

My favorite: Claude Monet, Au Val saint-Nicolas près Dieppe, Matin, 1897. The soft colors make it so peaceful.

My favorite: Claude Monet, Au Val saint-Nicolas près Dieppe, Matin, 1897. The soft colors make it so peaceful.

Lunch with some of the awesome Supreme Court Interns and Hinckley Interns!

Lunch with some of the awesome Supreme Court Interns and Hinckley Interns!

6/7. Relaxing Sunday with a book at Uprising Muffins: The next day, I stopped by at Uprising, a muffin shop next to the Howard-Shaw metro stop. I decided that it was a day to relax and read so I happily sat with a banana walnut muffin and started reading Making a Democracy Work by Stephen Breyer. Sometimes, it’s nice to get some time to relax and read, with nothing planned for the rest of the day. :)