Roses and the Luxury of Homemade

It’s an interesting juxtaposition that something homemade can be luxurious but I’ve recently experienced the luxury of homemade and there’s an art to making it work. The “homemade” I’m meaning is the essence of making one feel at home and making something from scratch — not mass produced. This post is timed with the appreciation of this upcoming Mother’s Day when mothers’ “homemade” talents are nationally celebrated.

Rose’s Luxury is well known restaurant in DC where it’s expected to wait in line. It’s where my friend Patsie wanted to celebrate her birthday. Our ELDC group decided to make it happen. We took an Uber ride from Alexandria into the city. We weren’t anticipating a Cap’s game; otherwise, we would have been there 30 minutes earlier than 5pm. It didn’t really matter because the line would have still been there. As it turned out we only waited about 20 minutes when the hostess came out to ask which seating those in line wanted. We chose the earlier seating @ 6:00 pm.

Roses Luxury on Art Is Everywhere

Roses Luxury outside on Art Is Everywhere

Front of Rose’s Luxury. Photo credit by Alice Wang

The restaurant is located near the Naval Barracks on 8th Street, SE, near my old haunting ground while living in DC, right up the street, so many years ago. It’s actually located near where the former Homebody store was and where I had staged a photo shoot of my Peacock Damask reusable wallcovering. This is a unique home store that has moved just around the corner. Rose’s entrance is unassuming and reminds me of someone’s home. Seeing inside further confirmed this notion and surprisingly made me think of the Georgetown townhouse where I first lived when moving to DC. The ambience has the perfect combination between being welcoming and magical. It also seems to bring that magical feeling of eating outdoors while being in the comfort of dining inside — without worrying about weather.

Roses Front Exterior on Art Is Everywhere

Roses exterior front. Photo credit Ahmad Ibrahim

While eating downstairs, you’re under a ceiling of skylights, letting the sun and sky shine through with natural lighting. I’ll have to go back for the later seating to see the evening stars. Outdoor patio lights are strung overhead. Upstairs has an enclosed front dining room with a bar area that seems dark in comparison — except from the front windows & bright overhead bar lights. There is an intimate “back porch” area for private dinners. What’s noticeable about the downstairs dining is it appears as if it might have been a side alley that was enclosed. Part of an exterior brick wall and possible door opening remains by the wide-open kitchen.

Rose's Luxury downstairs with kitchen_Art Is Everywhere

Rose’s Luxury downstairs with kitchen via DC Dining

Roses Luxury entrance on Art Is Everywhere

Entrance. Photo credit Michel Thouati

Roses Luxury view from our table on Art Is Everywhere

view from our table downstairs. Photo credit via thestreet.com

Regrettably the website doesn’t really have a full menu, perhaps because it changes so often. I can’t exactly remember what I had over a month ago — it was the week before a fabulous week to remember — but I remember I had these dishes below and they were delicious, as was everything, even the cocktails.

FOIE GRAS TART W/ HAZELNUT, WHITE CHOCOLATE & ASIAN PEAR

EGG YOLK & RICOTTA RAVIOLO W/ SPRING ONION & PEAS

This dish looks below familiar because it was ordered by someone else in my group and passed around to share. All the dishes were meant to share.

Rose's Dish on Art Is Everywhere

Rose’s Dish. Photo credit via Curt Barnard

Tom Sietsema, the Washington Post food critic’s, recent review in the Spring Dining Guide knocks down his first rating by 1/2 star but still excellent, if not a little over salty. Fortunately, his descriptions of his most recent meal compare with mine and with what I had above along with the Rose’s Signature Cocktail with gin, lavender and lemon – delicious, simple, refined and balanced.

What’s so impressive to me about Rose’s Luxury is the experience is not only eating exceptional food but enjoying the company of your friends as if it was in your own home, without you having to do any of the work, or more importantly, the cleanup.

I was inspired when I read recently in the Washington Post a reader’s question about where could one linger for dinner in DC on a similar scale to The Inn at Little Washington for under $300 / person? Well, Rose’s isn’t this expensive or this high-end but it reminds of the top-notch dinner one would remember with friends while eating gourmet food but without being ostentatious.

The answer was Kinship, which happens to be Eric Ziebold’s restaurant — the lower end version of Metier, where we were lucky enough to eat with friends — as their guests.

We’re looking forward to having our own friends over soon to leisurely spend time enjoying fresh food without rushing or worrying about it being too complicated.

We’ll be using lettuce from our rooftop garden for homemade Caprese salad – simple, tasty, fresh and uncomplicated.

Homemade Caprese salad on Art Is Everywhere

Homemade Caprese salad with fresh home-grown basil,  bibb and arugula lettuce

Happy Mother’s Day and hope you receive a homemade experience with a meal and maybe a rose or two.

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Butterflies Everywhere

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I like butterflies. Well, I’m finding butterflies everywhere these days. How appropriately so because of the upcoming transformative celebration of Easter this Sunday.

We host our annual brunch for about 50 folks, so this post will consequently be short. 😉

This is my recent butterfly find from Elle Decor, as they tend to be circling back in style. (Personally, I never thought they flitted out of style.)

Butterflies everywhere in style via Elle Decor on Art Is Everywhere

Butterflies in style via Elle Decor

You can find recent and previous butterfly references here.

Also, here are a few updates and worthy mentions:

 

  1. The Fearless Girl Statue will stay in place for at least a year — until February 2018. Let’s hope everyone gets so used to it that it becomes permanent.

2. If you haven’t read the book Hillbilly Elegy – A Memoir of Family & Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance, it is a worthwhile read with real enjoyment. It’s both eye-opening and exceptionally told (orated by the author) from the insider’s perspective that helps explain a large portion of America’s people and their upbringing while being one of the few to “make it” and find the American Dream. (Even Oprah read this book, or is at least shown in a photo with the book on her table.)

Although the memoir was specific to Vance, it was embraced as a personification of the everyday struggles of America’s white underclass, and it shone a light on issues including race and privilege in America.Deadline Hollywood.

This just learned — the book will become a movie.

Click this link to listen to a sample. It personally moved me with my father’s Kentucky roots and even some real life characters being similar in name. For instance, J. D.’s name and his sister’s are similar names to my brother, John D (named after my father) and my sister Lindsey. Even his first home town in Jackson, KY, is all too uncanny to me. Although he currently lives in San Francisco, is a venture capitalist, works with Steve Case, he has DC Gibson Dunn law connections. There were unexpected guffaw moments of hilarious laughter and equal shocks of sadness but if everyone read this, there could be signs of hope, which is a good thing for this time of year — and a perfect thing on which to end this post.

Happy Easter!

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Another Use for the Wood Pile This Winter

Do you have a stocked wood pile? If so, then you have an opportunity for artistry.

Just look at these examples of another use for the wood pile this winter and how art is everywhere.

From where the wood comes takes on a visual meaning with this fallen tree.

Fallen Tree Wood Pile_AIE

Perhaps this layout suggests the wood pile can be moved?

Mobility Wood Pile_AIE

Or let it move itself.

Fish Wood Pile_AIE

Animals seem to be popular particularly owls.

Mobility Wood Pile_AIE

This one changes with snow and look who’s peeking out.

Bear Wood Pile_AIE

Coming across this wild boar wood pile art might scare you while walking in the woods but it’s one of my favorites.

Boar Wood Pile_AIE

Intricate human portraits can also be created with multiple types and colored wood.

Wood Pile Portraits_AIE

Or add color for a bold abstract impact that can be helpful in guiding your path.

This take a little extra digging but could be a good workout in the new year.

Colored Wood Pile_AIE

Wood piles don’t always have to be linear or laid straight in one plane, as seen in this spiral construction.

Spiral Wood Pile_AIE

They can even be a sphere, which is very unusual. I just wonder what would happen if you took one log out for the fire? 😉

Sphere Wood Pile_AIE

Speaking of a fire. This next wood pile reminds me of an oven. It uses a traditional stacked construction with the stair supports to help frame. The creative layout comes with 2 layers and a lot of wood that will keep you warm in the winter, hence the oven concept perhaps?

Under Stairs Wood Pile_AIE

Finally, this hut construction is truly artistic and more for execution than for practical use — unless, the huts can be shelters. However, I rather suspect they may have been made by Patrick Dougherty, who fashions large sculptures out of twigs and natural objects.

Wood Pile Huts_AIE

However you stack your wood pile, just know it doesn’t have to be boring and you can have fun while doing the chore.

What the Doctor Ordered

A RHode Island Getaway

Now that I’m better and coming off my sick-leave, I had an opportunity to travel for an impromptu getaway to Rhode Island to visit family. It seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. It also seems like I’m not ready to give up the beach combing yet — just because it’s no longer summer.

It was right after the big marketing push for announcing new designs so I knew there would still be some work to do but I relished the opportunity to relax. We had Hurricane Matthew that is brewing in the tropics on our tail. We survived a harrowing drive all night in the rain where people were using their hazards because it was so difficult to see and trucks were spaying us with tire-mist and constantly coming in our lane.

Fortunately, my husband did all the driving and made reservations at a boutique hotel in Connecticut, just outside of New York City, right off the Merritt Parkway. This meant we only had 3 more hours to drive to RI and hopefully the morning would be better.

Don’t let the name or stark location fool you but the Hi-Ho is a pretty cool place, boutique indeed with its 70’s retro styling and Andy Warhol prints and Palomino pillows in the bedrooms. Old-fashioned phones and red high-top tables set the contemporary breakfast room decor. We had one of the best continental breakfasts with one of the staff making sure everything was fresh and filled and greeting all the guests warmly.

Hi-Ho Hotel on Art Is Everywhere Hi-Ho Hotel bedroom on Art Is Everywhere

hi-ho-bathroom-feature-wall_on Art Is Everywhere

Like this one wallpapered feature wall.

There was an interesting Barcelona wine bar/ restaurant to try that was attached to the hotel but we weren’t staying for dinner. We’ll have to go back! As it turns out, I believe this  is a chain restaurant and each location may make their own unique adaptations. At least when we want our Spanish-fare fix, we can go a little closer to us in Reston, VA, but may not be as good. The one at the Hi-Ho has cabanas and their own vegetable garden and their award-winning food looks exceptional. Another reason to go back. In fact, this may be our regular pit-stop on our way to RI. I’m glad we discovered it!

hi-ho-barcelona restaurant on Art Is Everywhere

Beach + Food + Family

We weren’t expecting the weather in RI to be in the 50’s! We mostly brought short-sleeved tops but layering with sweaters and jackets kept us warm while we attempted to catch fish in the surf. Although our luck wasn’t good, the striped bass were biting as others were more lucky catching them on the beach (and throwing them back).

We tried some new places for food, like 210 Oyster Bar & Grill as well as some old favorites, like Haversham Restaurant & Tavern right off Post Road (road to the beaches).

two-ten-oyster-bar_AIE

210-oyster-bar-inside on AIE

Where we ate inside overlooking Salt Pond

210-oyster-bar-aerial on Art Is Everywhere

210-oyster-bar-outside-front on Art Is Everywhere

Front “tiki” bar to try in the summer

clam-cakes_on Art Is Everywhere

Clam Cakes!

haversham-restaurant-exterior_aie

“The Sham” as locals affectionately call it

haversham-restaurant-interior_aie haversham-about_aie

We were happy to have clam cakes in the off-season and see Green Hill in a peaceful state as all the transplanted vacationers had mostly packed up for the summer and had gone back to their other New England homes. The residents, however, and those who have long-time connections to the area were enjoying the calm. Everyone was friendly and was waving hello as almost a code that suggested we all have something in common for being here.

Here are some of the photos from our trip. Our (left) side of the beach had all the sand this time but this will change as the currents shifts from year to year.

Our sandy left side of Green Hill beach_AIE

Our sandy left side of the beach

green-hill-rocky-right-side_aie

The other — rocky and seaweed right side. Our beach usually looks like this.

Notice this change as you turn the corner on AIE

You notice this change as you turn the corner. (Photo Credit – The Rev. Peter Spencer)

Algae covered rocks on AIE

Algae covered rocks (at low tide) harbor lots of wildlife

mussels-and-snails on Art Is Everywhere

Mussels and Snails

One of our favorite days was the very last, when we spent time walking in the Trustom Pond Wildlife Refuge. It’s right next door to these beach properties, which is wonderful that is protected from being developed and serves as a safe haven for many wildlife. In the summer, a big part of the beach is closed off in an attempt to protect the nesting grounds of the piping plover.

Trustom Pond on Art Is Everywhere

Right as we started walking on the first path by the field that leads you to the pond, we saw a bobcat — first time! Initially we thought it was a dog. It was sitting on the path looking at something (probably for dinner) in the clearing. Another couple coming our way walked around the corner and scared it but didn’t even realize it was a bobcat. They thought the strap on our binoculars was a leash and therein the bobcat was a dog. It simply turned around and walked into the woods. It was not very afraid but we picked up a large stick as we continued on our way.

One of our favorite spots walking back is the lily pad pod. This is where Peter caught a bullfrog and pretended to kiss it when our boys were younger. They were grossed out!

lily-pad-pond on Art Is Everywhere

Frogs are everywhere on AIE

Frogs are everywhere you look

Frogs are everywhere 2 on Art Is Everwhere

This time, we saw a beaver!

See the beaver in trustom pond on AIE

See the beaver?!

The pictures reflect for me the magic a much-needed break can bring. Getting back to Nature, sharing meals and the importance of spending quality time with family all leave lasting, life-sustaining memories.

Beautiful Skylit Boulders on Art Is Everwhere

Beautiful Skylit Boulders

Pear cherry tomatoes from our roof top garden to share on AIE

We shared our pear-shaped cherry tomatoes from our roof top garden.

Bird imprints left lasting impressions on window on AIE

Bird imprints left lasting impressions on the beach house window

Pics Appear as Paintings

After Vacation

If you’re like me, returning from vacation and going “back-to-school” this week is HARD! ;(

I so want the beach-living-life and living-in-the-moment with little to do to continue. If only I didn’t have to work….

Although our vacation was cut short by tropical storm Hermine, we had the most glorious weather for a 2 week getaway. I can’t complain that we were evacuated and caught one of the last ferries to Hatteras during the only day of rain.

Beach Sunset Ocracoke_AIE

Pics Appear as Paintings

Upon returning, I have tons of photos to organize and delete from my phone due to lack of storage. Yes, I cursed Apple and thought of that new Google phone advertisement that uses other phones’ “storage full” alerts just as you’re trying to get that single moment captured. It’s happened to me more than once! Just like the yeti crossing the forest, I almost didn’t get this picture of the Pamlico Sound on the most calm and perfect-beach-day, right before the storm and look what showed up!

Dolphin in Pamlico Sound_AIE

A shark in the water!

Actually, it’s a bottle-nosed dolphin, and not a shark but sure spooked me at first, especially after thinking about the many shark bites that have occurred in the Outerbanks in waist deep water, as I’m fishing in waist deep water. I’m used to seeing dolphin in the ocean, beyond the surf but still in moving water with waves. This is why I was surprised to see this one swimming with its mate in great arks while blowing water out their spouts, as they serenely swam from the sound at North Point, where the calm waters meet the rough Atlantic waves. I tried to capture this but alas, I really needed something better than an iPhone. If you look beyond the waves, you can see how calm the water was in the sound.

North Point Ocracoke_AIE

What I really wished I had was one of these fairly new photo apps that adds filters to your photos to make your pics appear as paintings. NPR questions whether it is “art”? Photography is an art form and choosing how to display one’s photograph adds to that description. They are not real paintings however and should not be misrepresented as such.

I personally don’t think anyone is doing that but instead sharing on various social media networks, for which they are meant.

Prisma translates your photos into various styles and those used by famous artists and Artisto works similarly for videos.

I loved these two examples, one of Venice, my favorite Italian city, and the NPR building, in DC, using Prisma’s appropriately named “wave” app for this post.

Venice Prisma App_pic as painting_AIE

NPR building with Prisma Wave app pic as painting_AIE

I have a lot more photos to share but want to try these apps first.

Kayaks Ocracoke_AIE

We kayaked to Teach’s Cove where Blackbeard hid but was caught and supposedly beheaded at this Springer’s Point Beach. The pathway through the woods is beautiful and creepy — what I call American Gothic and very True Detective-like.

Kayaks with Running the Storm Prisma app filter_AIE

Kayaks with the “Running the Storm” filter using the Prisma app

In the meantime, I’ve spread out all my collected shell treasures so I can make a wreath or something to visually enjoy rather than just adding them to storage.

Beautiful White Shells_AIE

Beautiful White Shells via Dinner en Blanc

Finally, I’ll end this post by relaying a funny story about one of our last nights in Ocracoke when we closed down Zillies while waiting in between bands of rain from the first tropical depression that threatened to evacuate us but fortunately, petered out. It was a good excuse, however, for more rounds. We met two NOAH researchers, who were there working on excavating the many shipwrecks off the coast. They recently discovered a German U-boat that they had been searching for for 8 years! I asked them when is the PBS documentary going to be aired? They weren’t too sure on that but did mention a story that was due to publish in the Washington Post the Sunday after we returned. Then they asked us, “What does one do for 2 weeks on Ocracoke?” That was an easy answer, “live in the moment” and enjoy the many different surprises this island always delights us with. This year it was Dajio’s for breakfast, shrimp fest and pizza and ghosts! (another story), as well as listening to new live music, like Barefoot Wade. He can do a mean island-man Led Zepplin and Red Hot Chili Peppers acoustic all with guitar and steel drums! Who knew? Here’s his Lets Slowdown as reminder to the hectic fall ahead. (Ocracoke is so hippy, but I love it!) 😉

When we returned, and finally went through the huge mounds of mail back home, we were lucky that I decided to restart the paper early. The article published on Thursday, the official non-resident evacuation day — the day described at the start of this post. We left the next morning since we weren’t being run out and enjoyed one last night in what I think was a haunted house, complete with a friendly-spirit, river-mink that visited us and had a beautiful sunset off the deck. Although, not the same as the Blue House, which we had to move from the second week, it was lovely in an odd, mid-century, kind of way.

Sunset at Faraway Oaks in Ocracoke, NC_AIE

Sunset at Faraway Oaks in Ocracoke, NC

Reflecting on my reply to the NOAH guys, one of whom I had seen several times over the years (Ocracoke is a small enough place for this to occur and start to get to know locals), it would be nearly impossible for me to live there and have to do work. There are just too many temptations to enjoy. I realize I gave them an answer that really doesn’t apply to their situation. Oh well, I hope I see them next year, as they mentioned they were parked by the island cemetery and I relayed the story about how our friend’s bike lights just randomly went out while riding by there and then he heard really strange sounds that weren’t just the wandering wild chickens. His cute but chatterbox 6-year-old son suddenly got verrrrry quiet, bringing his father a bit of eerie relief. The NOAH guys laughed and hesitantly said “no,” they didn’t need a “walk home” (– to their car) when I offered jokingly. Fortunately, we were biking home but in the rain and laughing all the way. This is when I wish someone had gotten a picture. Fun times I won’t forget.

The wooded path at Springer's Point Ocracoke_AIE

The wooded path at Springer’s Point, where ghosts have been seen.

Springer's Point path into the Ocracoke woods_ AIE

Springer’s Point path into the Ocracoke woods

single-grave-in-cemetary-in-woods

Graves in the wooded cemetery & single flower carefully placed

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