Sunday, September 20, 2009

Washington Bridal Showcase

September 13 - Here come the brides to be. I heard about the Washington Bridal Showcase from advertising and I though about checking it out. I figured it would be good to see what the wedding industry is offering. The showcase was held at the Dulles Expo and I arrived there about an hour after it opened. The setup of the showcase was like being at a convention with various vendor booths of wedding resources, musicians, photographers, food, hotels, and destination locations. I saw a few vendors that I recognize such as The Knot and The Donovan House.

One of the highlights of the day was the bridal showcase runway show and a lot of people showed up to watch it. A good variety of clothes were modeled and there was even some entertainment with some of the guys doing a little dance routine. I'm glad I was able to go as it inspired me and motivated me a little more in taking my photography to the next level.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fashion's Night Out

On September 10 a global celebration of fashion took place to help promote retail, attempt to restore consumer confidence and to celebrate fashion. In various fashion capitals and other cities around the world, designers, models, and celebrities came out to select retail stores and shoppers came out to meet them and be a part of this event. Even if retail sales didn't rise as much as desired, it did bring people out and made the evening a bit more fun. After all, people can shop anytime.

This celebration was the brain child of Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue magazine, and it coincides with the start of New York Fashion Week. For Fashion's Night Out, retail stores were asked to stay open till 11pm to accomodate the evening's events and celebration. I wanted to see one of these extravaganza evenings so I went to Neiman Marcus in Chevy Chase, DC. Guests were able to go through a walk of fame game, have make-up put on them, get their picture taken, watch performers pose, listen to tunes spun by DJ's, have appetizers, champagne with orange juice, and of course...browse around and shop. By the end of the night, our finances and optimism may not have shifted much, but perhaps people will come away knowing that what we put on is not as important as what we think and feel about ourselves.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

DC Twestival - Support & Community

I was asked by Angie Goff of WUSA-TV 9 News Now if I was going to DC Twestival. Huh...what's that? I found out more about DC Twestival by looking it up on the internet. It's seeing the impact that cities can make by collaborating on an international scale, but working on a local level. Twestival Global focused on one cause, and Twestival Local is encouraging cities to host events in support of a local cause.

Cities are asked to set a fundraising goal and a majority of the volunteers are sourced by Twitter. More than just a fundraising event, as with Twitter and other social networking media, this is also an opportunity to connect with people in the community. It's about contributing to a larger initiative, yet at a local level.

The local benefactor for DC Twestival 2009 is Miriam's Kitchen. According to the Miriam's Kitchen website, their mission is to provide individualized services that address the causes and consequences of homelessness in an atmosphere of dignity and respect, both directly and through facilitating connections in Washington, DC.

Miriam's Kitchen provides free, high-quality meals and support services to the homeless in our Nation's Capital every weekday morning through our core programs: Breakfast Program, Case Management Program and After-Breakfast Program. Additionally, they will be adding an Evening Program in 2010 to provide their guests with a healthy dinner and critical support services.

DC Twestival was held at Midtown Loft + Lounge in DC, and although the venue is spacious, the place was still crowded. When I arrived I saw that food was prepared for everyone and volunteers were walking around serving some appetizers. There were so many cameras around and I added my own to the mix there. I was glad to see Angie Goff there and to meet Sandra Endo. This was a great event for a good cause. It's great to know that DC Twestival raised enough funds to serve 10,000 meals to the homeless of DC.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

LittleBlackBlog .net - Out and About

The date and time was set with 9/9/09 at 9pm in ushering the coming out party for Quin Woodward Pu’s This blog is touted to be a culturally relevant observation of people and events mixing history with a post-modern twist of current events news journalism.

The venue for this coming out party for was the upscale and stylishly furnished L2 Lounge in Cady's Alley of Georgetown, DC. It seemed like an ideal place to host this event, seeing that the stone and modern surfaced, ambient and neon lit spacious lounge somewhat mirrored the style of the blog we're celebrating.

As the night pressed on, more and more guests arrived with excitement in seeing Quin and the other guests there. It was a veritable social media gathering mixing current fashions with various hot topic discussions. The pictures from the night help tell the story of what is now history and blogs are sure to record history in the making as we all venture along the DC landscape of reality and dreams. This is our time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Inspired by Army Strong

As a veteran of the U.S. Army, the term once a soldier, always a soldier still speaks to me. There were a lot of great experiences and things learned during my tenure serving in the military.

Being in the Army (military) means you live up to a higher standard. It's something that becomes a part of us and how we live life. There are 7 core Army values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. It's not enough just to know the words, but to know what they mean, and to live them out day in and day out. I remember my time in VA Beach a couple weekends ago and the Army Strong tent they had set up there. That brought back so many memories of my time in the Army, and I'm often reminded of the men and women of our armed services and I'm thankful for their service and sacrifice. So life takes on greater meaning, as we consider others and it's too easy to take things for granted, especially freedom.

I'm inspired. I've talked about balance in life before, and instead of working more today, I knew I needed some time to exercise and spend time with others. I put on my Army Strong biking jersey that I got awhile ago and went biking with a couple other bikers and it felt great. It felt great to be outside enjoying the freedom to go just about anywhere. It had been awhile since I biked, but I felt strong and thought I biked well today. I'm sure my performance was enhanced by the Army Strong jersey I wore, but I'm also sure it was also because of the strength within me, inspired by experiences of living Army Strong.

A Birthday, Dippin' Dots and Taking it Easy

Sunday, September 6 - A Friend's Birthday Celebration: I've been on overdrive this year having so much to do that it's been hard keeping up with life. It's Labor Day Weekend, yet I decided to stay in town and catch up on life. Even though I've been so busy, I recognize the importance of trying to maintain some balance in life and I do what I can to be there for people. My friend was having a birthday celebration lunch at Sweetwater Tavern on Sunday and the invite said that only 4 people were attending, so I thought it would be a cozy lunch. It turned out that there were two tables and about 10 people, so it was good to have people come out and celebrate. Sweetwater Tavern did everything they could to make our time there as enjoyable as possible and that was appreciated. I love them Aussie Rolls with that special butter! Birthdays are special occasions and it's good to be there for them. The birthday guy had carrot cake made for him with enough to go around. When they brought it out and before the candles were blown out, I took a picture with my iPhone. It was just one picture but it's sure to mean a lot.

Sunday, September 6 - Dippin' Dots and Chilling Out: That afternoon I went to the shopping mall to look around. :) I also brought my laptop in and sat at a table and worked on some pictures. I had to get them done and made a lot of progress with the pictures. As I was packing up, I was in the mood for some dessert. I wanted something specific and it became clear that I desired Dippin' Dots. I enjoy ice cream, yet it's been rare that I've had Dippin' Dots. I don't think I've had it more than 4 times. I had a good variety of flavors to choose from and had a couple taste tests. As small as these dots are, they are filling. There were three sizes to choose from: Kiddie, Regular, and Large. I would have got the Kiddie size, but that would have been slightly embarrassing, so I got the regular size of Strawberry. As I was having my Dippin' Dots, I went from eating them quickly to discovering that I needed to slow down and savor the ice cream dots. It's too easy to eat them quickly and let them crunch in your mouth, sort of like eating a lolly pop rather than taking your time with it, tasting it, and prolonging the enjoyment of it. So I scooped a spoon of Dippin' Dots and put it in my mouth and just let the dots just sit on my tongue a few seconds, savoring it's taste, and found the enjoyment of it to be so much more flavorful. I thought about how life is like that. We're usually on the go here and there with so much on our plate, that I think we fail to slow down and enjoy what we have, thereby missing the full potential of the moment. What a lesson this was to me, as I made those ice cream dots last a long time and savored it and the life that I've been given.

Impromptu Photo Jaunt in Alexandria

Saturday, September 5 - Old Town, Alexandria Stroll: After the photo session with Mrs. Alexandria, her husband, and their dog, I decided to walk around since I was already here. Might as well bring my camera along. :) I was hungry at this point and considered what kind of food I had a hankering for and settled on going to The Fish Market, a famous restaurant on King Street known for it's food and it's history. I had the crab cake sandwich prepared fried along with some refreshing lemonade and also had a caramel sundae. Next time I'll just go to Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream for dessert.

Old Town Alexandria, especially down King Street near the Torpedo Factory Art Center there is such liveliness with people walking around, people walking pets, eating at restaurants with outdoor dining, people cycling, people hanging out on or near their motorcycles, and people performing their respective acts to make some money. I got to see Jamey Turner playing the "glass harp" as he makes music and plays some famous tunes by rubbing his fingers atop 58 water-filled glasses. The glasses are held down on a wooden soundboard by rubber bands a bit of duct tape. He's been playing here for many years and he always draws a big crowd as he sets up and as he performs.

The rest of my time was spent just strolling around, enjoying the sights and sounds and capturing some wonderful subjects with my camera. Here are a few pictures from the evening: