Tag Archives: baked and wired

University systems, new cultures and Kayaking

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Time flies, and being here for a month feels like it has been only a week. Thankfully I’m here for the whole year so I have time to experience everything without being in a rush.

This week has been a relaxed one in the new experiences field, so I haven’t done many things, but I had a lot of work to do for class.

I had my first exam on Wednesday and it was easier than I thought it would be. The system here is quite different from the one at home. Here they focus on practice and readings during the year, and the exams are not so difficult. Meanwhile, in Spain you don’t have much work to do during the semester but you’ll have to do well in hard exams in order to get good grades or pass. Normally I barely touch a book until the week before the exams, so in one hand it is better for me in Spain because I have much more free time, but in the other hand I think you don’t learn as much. Here, as you practice every week, you became more familiar with the topics and you acquire permanent knowledge.

I particularly prefer this system because, although I have many things to work on during the week, in the end I feel like I am  benefiting much more.

Even if I didn’t do as many exciting  things as the weeks before, I sure did three that I highly recommend.

First of all,  on Friday morning, we went to Walmart. Yeah, I know, not such an experience. But I recommend you guys go there to buy groceries because is way cheaper than Whole Foods. You can get there by uber and it’s 8$ more or less, so if you’re four it’s perfect. We bought nearly the whole market and it didn’t cost me that much, so if you have to buy many things Walmart is your place.

On Friday evening  it was Starry Night Eid Mela, an event the GW Pakistani Students’ Association organized.  It was at the  Marvin Center at 7:30, there were different dance performances, some of them were typical from Pakistan so I had the chance to get to know the culture better. I did that not only with the dances but also with the food. At the end of the day food is part of our cultures, and the food was amazing. Of course, the whole event was for free so I couldn’t miss it.

 

On Saturday I went to do kayaking to the Georgetown Waterfront. It was one of the best experiences I have had in DC so far. The tickets were 16$ for a one person kayak and 22$ for a double one, so it was quite cheap, and so much worth it. The weather was perfect, it’s better to go when it’s hot and sunny because you get wet while doing it, but don’t worry falling is nearly impossible. We had so much fun racing each other and then chilling. Just being there, without moving, enjoying the atmosphere, relaxing made me feel in peace. We even put some music on while we were rowing along the Potomac river. We ended up having  cupcakes and coffee in Baked and Wired, my favorite place in Georgetown.

I’m definitely doing everything  again, all of you should.

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Getting to know DC and its sourroundings.

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One week more, and many new things to tell.

It’s been my third week in Washington DC and I’m starting to feel like it’s not summer anymore, two weeks since classes started and everything is overwhelming. I have so many readings and papers to do that I can’t catch up, but it’s okay, I need time to adjust to this new system, everyone of you is probably having the same problem.

Either way I also had time to go to new places and even visit a new city. We are still adjusting to Washington DC, and one of the things that I really love is walking down to Georgetown and looking around all the shops and restaurants. Georgetown is really beautiful and the walk there by the Potomac river is too. One girl from DC told me that the best cupcakes of Washington were there, in a small place named Baked and Wired, so there we went. The place was awesome and we had an oreo cupcake that tasted incredible, the coffee was also really good compared to the ones I have tried in The United States, as coffee here is also different from Spain it has been difficult for me to find one that I really like, but I found it there, and all of you guys should go to try at least the cupcakes, there are so many  cupcakes to choose from and the place is also really cool.

I also want to talk you guys about the gym, I have been going this three weeks, it’s a really good gym and it’s for free. It has all the machines that you could possibly need, the only problem is that there are usually lots of students there, but you should probably be able to use any machine you want if you don’t go at 5 pm.

This week I also went to Baltimore to spend  a day there. Baltimore was really nice but I didn’t like it at much as  Philadelphia because there weren’t many things to visit. Anyways it was a really good place to spend our Saturday, we arrived at 11 am, walked around for a bit and then we had lunch in Hard Rock Cafe,  the food was awesome, as was the place. After lunch we went to the Italian neighbor and we were so lucky because it was the Madonna Arts Festival so the streets were crowded with people and lots of paintings in the floor. It was really beautiful. Then we went to  Fell’s Point neighbor took some pictures and came back to the Inner Harbor. It’s not a must, but you should probably go there to chill and have a nice day.

Springtime in DC

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This week we officially said goodbye to winter and welcomed in the spring season with warmer weather and cherry blossoms.

An old friend of mine was in town for the weekend and we decided to make the most of the springtime and explore the local areas that surround DC. Old Town Alexandria is just a short fifteen-minute car journey that takes you outside DC into the state of Virginia. It still blows my mind that within such a short period of time I am able to hop between states. That is one of the great benefits of living in DC, you have access to so many different places.

Our first stop in Old Town was lunch. We headed over to Caphe Banh Mi for some Vietnamese food before stopping at Dolci Gelati for dessert. I ordered the grilled lemongrass chicken and had the cookies and cream and bacio gelato, both of which were absolutely delicious.

We spent the afternoon just wandering the streets, popping in and out of all the little boutiques and antique shops. Founded in 1749, Old Town resembles a miniature model railway town. As George Washington’s hometown the area is full of history, old red brick buildings line cobblestone paths.

 

We headed down to the waterfront and stumbled into the Torpedo Factory Art Center. In a small colonial town, I wasn’t expecting a showcase of modern art. On each floor in the factory artists were creating, exhibiting and selling paintings, sculptures and photographs. My personal favourite was Alvena McCormick, an American artist who had been painting since the age of three.

 

After a day of shopping, food and art we made our way back to DC for dinner. We hit up Jaco Taco in Georgetown and finished it off with a cupcake from Baked and Wired. As it was the first warm day of Spring everyone was out in the city and the lines for both Georgetown Cupcake and Baked and Wired were wrapped around the street. Although it is definitely worth waiting 20 minutes for a cupcake I’d recommend not queuing up hungry!

Despite having a very mild winter I am looking forward to making the most of the warmer weather before I have to return to the cold.

‘Georgetown Cupcake’ vs ‘Baked & Wired’

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First and foremost, I would like to clarify that cupcakes are on the top of list of things, which make me happy no matter how bad of a day I had. Only avocados and watermelon beat my love for cupcakes. Hence, me dedicating an entire blog post to cupcakes is totally normal, when you get to know me. So while strolling through picturesque Georgetown for the first time, I could do nothing else but run into ‘Georgetown Cupcake’. Seeing all those delicious cupcakes stacked up on cute étagères, it was impossible to listen to reason and I just simply bought two. I bought two cupcakes and ate them both right after the other. No regrets. Well, maybe some regrets towards my blood sugar level. I will gladly share the perfection with you; only in form of a picture though.

georgetown cupcake

Experiencing a city spontaneously without a plan is the best way of exploring its greatest treasures. In the case of DC: ‘Georgetown Cupcake’. But sometimes a little bit of local help and experience can make a stay in a foreign city unforgettable. So, thank you, to every local, who persistently told me that I should visit ‘Baked & Wired’ instead of ‘Georgetown Cupcakes’. You did not disappoint. I love carrot cake and I love cupcakes. To find the fusion of these two in the form of a way bigger cupcake than the one sold at the store mentioned previously made my day full of exhausting readings not only bearable, but also actually fantastic. As you noticed before, the top 3 things on the list of stuff making me happy are some kind of food. So a cupcake can definitely save my day. And, by the way, I had two again. This might become a thing: Me just always casually ordering double. But hey, I am just trying to integrate into American consumer society. Although, my blood sugar might rebel at one point. I am definitely challenging it at the moment.

baked and wired

Of course, I won’t make this whole article about me visiting two cupcake places. I am not that shallow. Maybe you have already noticed that I like to use metaphors, comparisons and analogies. It is somehow my thing and I like to believe that I am actually good at it. So let’s try this stretch: ‘Georgetown Cupcake’ represents my adventurous, independent and curious side. I love to just stroll around DC and explore new places by myself. Without any former opinion. Without any prejudices. I like to experience it myself without being bound to the borders of someone else’s mindset. On the other hand, locals do know the city’s best places sometimes. Places, which you normally maybe would never pass by. A perfect example of that is the Ethiopian food at ‘Zenebech Injera’ close to U Street. Although, I love Ethiopian food, I would have overlooked that place probably. But thanks to my American friend Meg, whom I will refer to as M from this point onwards, I had one of the best nights with lovely Injera. Another example is ‘Baked & Wired’. Hidden in a side road of M Street, I wouldn’t have seen it.

I will get to know DC in the combination of these two modes of exploration: Going out without any plan and just be lucky in finding the right spots  as well as enjoying the comfort of being guided by trusted locals, who know exactly what is worth to go to. Next stop: ‘Maketto’ on H Street.