in the underbelly

September 22, 2012

276898_394438233955709_1146893989_n MidWay is the official temporary name for the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge, spanning the east and west banks of the Cuyahoga River, but after reading a list of naming suggestions, I think “the underbelly” most perfectly describes this cavernous, linear space. Something about the term “underbelly” paired with my vision of being trapped inside Moby Dick connotes the forbidden yet accessible feeling of this unusual space.

The Kent State University ‘Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’ won a grant to study the varied potential of the lower level. Previously, they’ve studied and proposed improvements to other under-utilized zones in the cities including streets and parking decks.

246725_944252603099_2106791125_n Yesterday was one in a series of events that offered the public an opportunity to engage with the lower bridge, which is typically closed. In Cleveland’s heyday, the lower level housed train tracks and a subway that offered direct access to restaurants and shops on the west and east banks. In the future, people have imagined everything from bike lanes to lounges to a bowling alley (or twelve, the bridge is SO long!).

The event, so aptly titled “7/11” ran from 7am to 11pm and was designed to illustrate the functionality of the bridge67173_944253940419_998216007_n any time of the day. Based on Facebook status updates, it looks as though the bridge experienced high traffic volumes during the morning commute and presumably some lunch time and happy hour traffic as people used the space as a physical link from work to play. However, when Stephen and I arrived just before 9pm, two hours before closing time, we arrived not to a booming oasis but to a very dark, unmarked ghost town.

I posted my constructive criticism about the lack of programming, people, and most importantly, lighting, on the CUDC’s event page, and hopefully future events will take into account the difficultly of sustaining interest in a space over a 16 hour period with roughly 400 RSVPS.

198776_944252438429_264833405_n There is great potential to create an attachment to the river, the lake, the surrounding developments. Simply installing speakers and playing music as people walk, run or bike across the stretch of colonnades could be transformative. Permanent establishments as well as pop-up shops, parklets and food trucks could redefine the bridge as a place to find something specific or unknown.

I look forward to future events that work towards planning and programming the bridge and of course, to some solutions that address obvious safety and way finding concerns.

Stay tuned for more reports from the underbelly 🙂

For more on the event, https://www.facebook.com/events/394438233955709/

Foodie Thursday

September 20, 2012

I know, I know, the common term is “Foodie Friday” (in fact, I just wrote about a great Foodie Friday event that happens weekly!) but today, was definitely a food-centric day!

This morning’s early arrival to work was made sweeter (literally) with a french toast bagel and hazelnut cream cheese by Panera.

Quite frequently, different building product representatives will provide us with lunch in exchange for an hour of our attention. We also get Continuing Education credits, which are necessary for obtaining and maintaining architectural licensure. Basically, we win, a lot. Occasionally, we get people who’d rather feed us a breakfast and learn or cookies and learn and so working a stone’s throw from Little Italy and a brand new Panera Bread is perfection.

Cleveland Connects

And the day only got better from here. Stephen and I attended the third ‘Cleveland Connects’ live broadcast from the IdeaStream studios tonight, sponsored by PNC and The Plain Dealer. In exchange for participating in a discussion amongst the city’s brightest local foods champions, audience members were treated to a catered spread by Nature’s Bin, out of Lakewood.

The event was perfectly time with the Mayor’s Sustainabiity Summit and the non-profit Project for Public Spaces’ national conference at the West Side Market this weekend. Fittingly, tonight’s topic was about placemaking and the role urban farms and restaurants play (can, or should play) in rebirthing Cleveland neighborhoods.

IMG-20120920-01430 Moderated by the Chief Editorial Writer at The Plain Dealer with a special presentation by the Senior Director of Markets for PPS in NYC, the conversation between giants like Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s founder, farmers and CDC leaders brought issues and solutions to the table.

Clearly, the best practices of the future hearken back to a time when people did shop at local butchers and grow tomatoes in their backyard, but those were days well before we became accustomed to quick and easy access to things like Folgers and Wonderbread.

Pat Conway reminded us that in the 1880s there were 3000 breweries in America, and less than 300 in the 1980s. He suggested that microbrews – not unlike boutique coffee shops, chocolates, clothing, etc – were an essential component in placemaking, which is certainly true of Great Lakes on West 25th – soon to be rebranded “The Market District”. ***

IMG-20120920-01446 After so much talk about food, I was uber curious what everyone’s next meal was going to be? How many people emerged from the talk at close to 8pm and thought to themselves “let’s grab a bite at Rascals?”. Hmm.

IMG-20120920-01438 Earlier in the day, during lunch naturally, I was scanning Cleveland.com’s pages for Thursday happy hours. Of course, Thursday is the new Saturday night for many people, and so specials abound, but one in particular caught my eye: Thursdays at Sterle’s. Just east of Downtown, on E.55th and Superior, this old Slovenian Hall stands out like a tree on the Great Plains. Not unlike Empress Taytu, a gem of an Ethiopian restaurant, this place is bordered by some of the city’s poorest. But that’s what makes Cleveland Cleveland – the strong immigrant populations that fight for their right to honor their heritage against the grit.

IMG-20120920-01445 Even though I had never heard of Sterle’s, I knew it would be the perfect dinner spot. From 7-10pm and for under $10 a variety of schnitzel and pretzels can be loaded with authentic picked beats and sauerkraut. $5.50 flights of beer – from seasonal local brews to German Pilsners – compliment the hearty fare. Earlier in the night, 12 drafts are discounted. While our server, Josie, was perfectly sweet, overall the service was lacking and confusing. It took us a while to place our orders and when my “veal schnitzel” arrived, my bun was meat free, as though she had been a bit too eager to grab it from the kitchen. She brought us popcorn in apology.

IMG-20120920-01449 Despite the less than attentive service and the average food certainly not the best Eastern European fare I’ve had, but since I lived there and am half Hungarian, I’m really a tough critic!Thursdays at Sterle’s is a winner in my book for the entertainment value alone. From late summer through October, polka bands and djs rock the stage and people dance! Everyone dances! Tonight, we were treated to the Chardon Polka Band, a charming group of young men who were really talented and played music far from the polka you might imagine. After all, Sterle’s slogan is “not your Grandma’s schnitzel”.

IMG-20120920-01443 

It’s never been a better time to be a socialite! Check out this week’s earlier post for great events happening in our city this weekend!

***Hey you! Interested in PPS and growing our city’s public spaces? Check out these articles!***

What Public Spaces Like Cleveland’s West Side Market Mean for Cities

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/design/2012/09/what-public-spaces-like-clevelands-west-side-market-mean-for-cities/

The great outdoors: five public spaces vital to cleveland’s well-being

Cleveland Public Square during the July 4th Celebration

http://www.freshwatercleveland.com/features/fivepublicspaces092012.aspx

I’m FALLing for CLE

September 19, 2012

Well, obviously!

B8DA6A61-A5FA-4CC0-B11B-F76C7E3579F3 While strolling around Shaker Lakes, searching for mighty white oak trees bearing edible acorns (more on this bizarre Sunday activity later) Stephen and I had an epiphany: the season is called ‘Fall’ because all the leaves / berries are falling from the trees!!! I can picture the Pioneers saying “Ya know Maw, I reckon the great Fall is acoming”. And then all the acorns just went thud.FFB4426C-C64E-4015-AA58-371CF41EFEDC

***In the interest of full disclosure, in my head all Pioneers have southern accents.  I’m certain all the voices in my head are historically accurate. ***

Anyway, it’s officially Autumn in Cleveland and September is the most perfect month. Luckily, all the great event planners of Cleveland recognize this loveliness. Unluckily, the big push to soak in all that the city has to offer before mandatory winter hibernation occurs leaves me feeling sleep deprived and study deprived. Of course, there is still time to blog. I have priorities, after all.

***If you’re looking for activities for this upcoming Fall weekend, scroll down! For a recap of this Cleveland weekend, stay put!***

IMG-20120915-01396 In addition to the very many fantastic art gallery openings (refer to a future post!) this weekend played host to the epic Ingenuity Festival, this year held at the Port of Cleveland. On Saturday evening we toured the giant warehouses and surrounding platforms overlooking Lake Erie.

IMG-20120915-01391 The space was cavernous and housed more spectacles than my eyes could behold. Some of the art was inventive, some just bizarre and some, plain ordinary. I think my impressions of the event were largely based on my initial shock and quickly onset disgust after viewing a stall for bathfitter. I understand the necessity of sponsorship, but really, bathfitter? I felt like I was on a soap opera – because I think that’s when those commercials air, during the day, when the soaps play (Maybe Calvin from the Brown’s game was right after all!).

IMG-20120915-01387 ***My sense of being underwhelmed could also stem from the fact that I hold events held in warehouses to high standards: I’ve been to majorly rad parties and likewise events in warehouses and bunkers and it might be hard for anything on this side of the Atlantic to ever be as cool as it is in Eastern Europe.***

IMG-20120915-01397 I was also very hungry – because apparently on the weekdays three square meals is perfectly adequate but come the weekends my stomach wants to be fed every two hours. Stupid body. So, when everybody was about ready to abandon the fest and flame throwers, we headed to W. 25th to meet up with friends celebrating a birthday at the new Nano Brew and also to grab grub.

IMG-20120915-01401 This of course, led us to Bogtrotters, which has got to be the strangest sandwich shop in the city (and a not very kind name for an Irishman). I’d heard  rumors swirling about this place, specifically concerning the bi-polar lady who works the counter and sometimes jumps over it to throw people out. Needless to say, I was expecting something spectacular during my first visit.

IMG-20120915-01410And I got it.

Our food, HUGE sandwiches, were free because the register wasn’t working. And the lady was even sweet about it. She was less nice to the group of drunkards who were kicked out after us. I deduced that she probably has a good eye for people’s level of sobriety and in my case, after a very long week of work and extracurricular projects and workshops all day Saturday, I looked dead tired and so she probably pitied me, the sober, tired, hungry girl!

Prior to this epic night, the weekend began IMG-20120914-01382with a trip to Whole Foods for their Foodie Friday, where 5 alcohol samples are paired with food samples for four dollars! Since I was returning to the studio to finish compiling a portfolio for a Saturday morning review as part of an architecture convention in town, I subbed out some of my wine options for extra trail mix. OMG, it was a brilliant move.

IMG-20120914-01384

****While I imagine our readers pour over these posts and wish they could time travel to live our fabulous lives, sometimes you don’t have to have a time machine to be cool like us! Go to Whole Foods on September 29th and see my friend Ariel Clayton perform while you guzzle and nosh!***

And of course, no weekend is complete without brunch! We attempted Luna but there were more people packed into the little Cedar Fairmount cafe than pastries available, and so we ventured to Larchmere, a darling street technically in Cleveland, just south of Fairhill and north of Shaker Square. Amidst Loganberry books and Big Al’s Dinner is a new establishment, Bon Vivant. In the former Bean and Vine location, the contemporary French restaurant feels rich and cozy inside while the garden in back is an oasis that must be experienced.

IMG-20120916-01414 While we had a bit of sticker shock when we saw the $15 prix fixe menu, brunch options are plentiful and the price includes a mimosa or a highly recommended bloody mary – the new chef’s own concoction. My eggs benedict was perfection and Stephen’s tofu scramble was our waitress’ favorite.

I highly recommend the spot not only for the food or ambience, but also for the wonderful service. After refilling my coffee, our waitress came back with a new cup and said “I think this tastes better!” and after waiting not very long after ordering, we were presented complimentarIMG-20120916-01416y mini-muffins as an unnecessary apology.

The best part was when our waitress told me I looked like Britney Spears “in her prime”. She referenced the ‘Lucky’ video, so Stephen pulled up some pics on his phone and when I posed like a doe-eyed sixteen year old starring longingly into the camera he said he saw the resemblance.

***Later, Nidhi said I was prettier and more talented. I’m certain she meant more talented at singing, because I really am. Not.***’

THE FUN STARTS HERE!: THIS WEEKEND!!!

FRIDAY: Join the Brooklyn CDC and area architecture firms in the first official Parking Day. From 11am-1pm in the Prospect Triangle, we’ll be laying down astroturf to create mini-parklets out of asphalt parking spots. studioTECHNE will be screening PeeWee Herman’s Big Adventure with bikes on loan from Joy Machine Bike Shop in Ohio City.

Later, meet halfway at the new Midway, the temporary name for the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge, open to the public just for the day to explore the potential of this great cavernous space. 7-11 event time is just that, from 7am to 11pm!

SATURDAY:  Celebrate the 8th International Public Markets Conference in Cleveland – which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the West Side Market – without needing a ticket at the Centennial Market, across the street from the WestSide Market from 10:00 – 5:00. With almost 40 handmade vendors and lots of other neighborhood fun happening all weekend long, it’s the perfect outing for everyone!

Later, check out the Latin dance party at SB Eight One in Westlake. Son Gitano, Stephen’s band is a headliner, along with DJ Nacho Mirando.

What: Live Salsa Band Party
Where: SB Eighty One, 24481 Detroit Rd, Westlake, OH 44145
When: 8pm for salsa and bachata lesson, 9pm starts the party
How: Dress up or casual nice and take I-90 to the Clague Rd exit
Why: No work the next day so let’s party!

SUNDAY: Sleep / Study / BLOG 🙂

IMG-20120915-01413 Above: WestSide Market in cardboard, at the 2012 Cleveland Ingenuity Fest.

Discover! AsiaTown

September 9, 2012

chinatown1jpg-75ee1a75466f943a Although the street sign along Superior may read ‘ChinaTown’ and vacant, industrial lofts dominate the streetscape, AsiaTown is a true gem of a Cleveland neighborhood with diverse offerings.

The first two M+artys (meeting + party, a new networking concept for small businesses and their supporters launched this year in Cleveland) were held in the AsiaTown Center plaza this past Spring. The Center also plays host to numerous festivals and openings, including a photography exhibit debuting this Friday featuring the family of a friend of mine, Lisa Wong.

IMG-20120903-01307 Of course, the real draw year-round is the super market, where you can find inexpensive, delicious taro filled sesame buns and vegetables like bok choy  changsha squidand chinese eggplant.

Last weekend, after a scintillating trip to Toronto and the best dumplings in this Hemisphere (read about all the adventures here!), Stephen and I were inspired to create an ethnic meal of our own, above.

changsha eggplant With a recipe in tow for Sichuan Style Eggplant (I lived in Changsha, capital of the Hunan province, where I had the most amazing garlic smothered eggplant and squid and where spicy food is also king. If you’re interested in reading an article about eating ‘beyond white rice’, which I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Travel Section after my first stint in China, click here!), we took to Asia Food Co. and began a very atypical grocery searching trip!

seaweed In Toronto we dined on seawood, right, a myriad of dumplings and scrumptious eggplant. Stephen had never had the vegetable and fell head over heals for the melt-in-your mouth dish so naturally, this dish was a first priority, but when we saw the leafy bok choy and piles of seaweed begging to be tossed on a stove, we couldn’t resist!

The meal was so delicious we vowed to create Steve’s World Cuisine, a concept IMG-20120903-01295restaurant that may or may not exist for my own personal gain 😉

If you endeavor to make such a scrumptious meal on your own, do go to AsiaTown and pick up some authentic Sichuan Peppercorn, chili paste and fresh ginger and of course eggplant!

***THE RECIPE IN PHOTOGRAPHS***

IMG-20120903-01297

IMG-20120903-01296

IMG-20120903-01300

chili paste and ginger

IMG-20120903-01302

IMG-20120903-01303

Bok Choy and Ginger

IMG-20120903-01305

  seaweed, chili paste and garlic

IMG-20120903-01304 

The yummiest eggplant this side of the Pacific!!!!

Football Regression

September 9, 2012

So last year I did a regression on the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions since 2008 to see how many games they would win. (I’m from Detroit and now live in Cleveland, I can like both teams, OK?!)

image

Surprisingly, my completely unsubstantiated basis for using a 2nd-order polynomial as the regression method turned out to be relatively correct. The Lions won 10 games and the Browns won 4.

Here is my prediction for 2012.

image

The Lions will go 16-0 and probably win the Superbowl, and the Browns will win a paltry 2 games. Here’s hoping I’m wrong about the Browns!

glbf-map We all know the story of the Little Engine that Could, despite his unfounded fears that he was an inadequate fella’, but this weekend, our little raft for the Lake Erie Boat Float really couldn’t.

stephen battling lake erie Not that it was the heap of recyclables’ fault (because we tested it and it really did remain buoyant!). No, it was Hurricane Isaac’s remnants that damned our mission to set sail a pile of pool noodles, five gallon water jugs, old kiddie pools and mounds of plastic grocery bags – ironed into a sail and braided into rope – into Lake Erie (pictured above).

IMG-20120829-01245 The three year old event designed to help raise awareness about the impact of plastic on our environment held a permit to launch rafts made of entirely post-consumer recyclable material at 10am on Saturday. IMG-20120829-01243Unfortunately, raging winds and rains moved into the area overnight at by sunrise, Edgewater Beach was being pounded by waves I thought were only possible in the ocean!

IMG-20120906-01329 Over the course of the past two weeks, Craft+Wine Club’s regularly scheduled programming had been transformed to include boat building, including two off-site events at Euclid Beach where we tested the rafts (take one and take two, at right), fully confident our little guy would safely take Nidhi out to Canada and back again.

We christened the boat, shown below, something Bridget said she had always wanted to do. Meanwhile, Nick signed his name, Nidhi said “what are you doing?” (I presume, because she asks this of Nick a lot) and Stephen said “you know, I just checked the radar for the tenth time in twenty minutes and there are going to be 8 foot waves”.

IMG-20120906-01332 Nidhi was significantly less confident at 8:30am on Saturday, and so while she was overjoyed that she would not become part of the many sunken ships and IMG-20120906-01331 perished crew lurking in the bottom of the Great Lakes (like she also would have been if she had ridden the noodle cluster pictured at left and below!), Stephen was inversely irritated to learn that this lovely contraption would remain in his van (at the event, PolyFlow wouldIMG-20120905-01326 have been available for us to re-recycle our creation!).

However, having a liking for organization, the float didn’t last in the back of the van long;  but before Stephen banished it to its current resting place on a hook in the garage, we had to put the good fella’ to use and simulate the act of rowing. In the driveway. In raincoats. You didn’t think these were Photoshopped, right?!

ali battling lake erie

Thanks to everyone on team CrAFT: Nidhi, Bridget, Tiffany, Julie, Juliana, Laei, Nick, Stephen, Ricky and Ariel! We’ll get ‘em next year!

Brownies, mmm

September 7, 2012

The endearing nickname for the Cleveland Browns seems a tad too adorable when describing 300 pound, grunting men but I suppose inventing a cuddly name is the only way fans here could remain fans.

IMG-20120830-01259Last Thursday I had the good fortune to have an early morning meeting with someone whose club seats would surely have gone to waste had I not put on a football-loving-facade.

{I’m pretty sure he knew I didn’t have a clue when I said “oooo we are playing the Chicago Cubs” (…in my defense, cubs ARE bears); but he was stuck with four stellar tickets and I looked eager, I suppose.}

IMG-20120830-01251 After a flurry of text messages – apologies to people whom I previously had plans with, offering tickets – it was decided that Nidhi and Nick (who like / know about football) and Stephen and I (who know stadium beer is expensive / happy hour at NoodleCat is cheap) would proudly occupy amazing seats.

IMG-20120830-01260 {An aside for NoodleCat: It was my first visit and the food was super unique, filling and half off during happy hour, plus $1 black labels. Try the steam buns– they are so far from the authentic versions I ate in Asia, but the hamburger-shaped, stuffed goodies are delicious! Just east of Public Square, it is an easy walk to the game and the street front patio is a great place to watch fans!}

IMG-20120830-01271If you’ve been to the club level prior to this season, you’ve still missed out on the newly renovated vendor area ringing the stadium. The view of Lake Erie is stunning and the burgers are gourmet. While observing the awesomeness of the new club level, I was approached by Calvin, a fan, who asked me if I was a Soap Opera star. Well, that’s a new one. I told him I wasn’t. He said I should be and guessed I was 23 years old. We became good friends.

Also, I was so surprised to see a line at the sushi counter.

Sushi and football? That’s a mashup I never envisioned! c’est la vie!

IMG-20120830-01263The stadium itself is also pretty great – I must say this because I know the contractors who built it and they are great people! It’s also amazing to me that it used to be a municipal stadium and is one of the few in the country where the naming rights will never be sold to a bank!

Sadly, the Browns were pretty lousy (some blamed it on the referees, I gathered from listen to angry, shouting fans) and so we left – along with 3/4 of the audience in the third quarter.

While I can’t say I’ll return to the stadium, I am looking forward to the Colts v. Browns in Indianapolis later this fall.

Maybe by then I’ll know a thing or two about the game! 😉

IMG-20120830-01269

Just kidding. This isn’t a Star Wars post. If you wish it were, you’re reading the wrong blog. I might post about it sometime. Just not today.

Anyway. Ali had a 80s themed joint birthday party (of the year, not of life) at Haus de Sticky (Steve and Ricky’s named combined is Sticky) AND WE WENT ALL OUT. Steve, Ali, and Ricky all have really similar birthdays.

I wore a dress that I bought at Value World in 2004 because my RA told us that the Valentine’s day party she was bringing us to was 80s themed and IT TOTALLY WASN’T! WTF! NO ONE ELSE WAS DRESSED UP. But I got this super sweet dress. And I kept it. Forever.

Ali and I started the night by drinking a bunch then spinning around really quickly in order to emulate what dancing looked like in the 80s. S-s-s-s-a-a-a-a-f-f-f-f-e-e-e-e-t-t-t-t-y-y-y-y. Then we clung onto each other for dear life because we were so dizzy. (This is the new pic for CleSocial!)

image

Some really cool people tried to photobomb this picture of some gorgeous 80s ladies. And by tried, I mean succeeded. (80s Ladies: Ali, Anita, Nidhizzle, Julie, Tiffany. Photobombers: Hans, Chris.)

image

SO WE LET THEM INTO OUR PICTURE. The new girl with the hot pink tubie and black leather mini is Emily. I know her outfit looks 80s but she actually dresses like this every day.

image

This was Steve’s pose practically all night long. Steve: “Leave me alone with my drink. It’s 1988! I am a baby.” Ali: “NO.”

image

ANOTHER PICTURE OF STEVE LIKE THIS. (Ivy, Ricky, Ali, Steve, Sagree.)

image

Unclear what is happening here but I think someone was giving out free Whitesnake tattoos or similar.

image 

And then Emily decided to preen me. Tiffany is a “Three martini lunch power broker woman!” according to Ali. There were a lot of comparisons to Miranda from SATC. And Julie decided to do a side ponytail to prove that she, too, was from the 80s.

image image image

And my strapless dress kept falling down that night so that sucked.

Bridesmaidzilla I

August 27, 2012

I had the glorious oppurtunity to be a bridesmaid twice this year. My friends Steph and Lindsay both got married this summer and they asked me to be a bridesmaid for them. Since I have super huge aspirations to be Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses, I of course emphatically said yes.

But this blogpost isn’t about me.

I’m just kidding! OF COURSE it’s about me!

Stephanie’s wedding was held in Poughkeepsie, New York and I drove there in 8 hours, alone with my RadioLab but also I think my car might be haunted. Remember how this was at the end of July and I’m a terrible blogger? Yes.

Here is a picture of me and the other bridesmaids before the wedding. BEFORE THE GROOM HAD EVEN SEEN THE BRIDE. Stephanie, the Bride, is the one wearing white. Or Ivory. I can’t tell the difference.

image

Here is me walking down the aisle. If you notice, it looks eerily similar to the time I modeled. Apparently I treat everything like a runway. I’m a model if you know what I mean…

image

Amazing picture of us jumping. Steph and Mike are the ones in the middle. The flower girl is really in the middle. She’s all like, “Please. Like I’m going to get my shoes muddy.”

image

This is right after the ceremony and one of the cutest pictures ever.

image

Stephanie: “What in the world are you doing?” Nidhi: “Being Hulk Nidhi.” Momment on facebook (Momment is a word I made up for Mom-comment): “looks like you are working on your American thighs.” because I statused previously “Should probably start doing my squats because I’m pretty sure I can’t knock anyone out with my American thighs.”

image

After all these super awesome pictures were taken, the reception started and I promise I have no pictures of that. Synopsis: I missed the cake, ate a whole bunch of strawberries, and slow-danced with some young whippersnapper.

Lindsay’s post coming soon! As soon as I acquire pictures.

JuliAli Birthday Bash!

August 19, 2012

Last Friday night, (ok, last last Friday night (I’m a bad blogger)), The Gang and I went out downtown on W. 6th to celebrate the 21st birthdays of Ali and Julie. I decided that since we were going out to W. 6th, Julie and Ali would have to be 21. FINALLY TWENTY-ONE! Woo-hoo ladies!

The stipulation for invitees, according to Ali, was, “GIRLS ONLY. HOT GIRLS ONLY. WILD AND CRAZY AND HOT GIRLS ONLY.”

Ali, Tiffany, Anita and I started from Cleveland Heights around 9:30. When Anita and I were waiting outside to be picked up, I was holding some sashes that I made for Julie and Ali that said, “Birthday Sexy” because I thought “Birthday Sex” might be too crass. So some young whippersnappers I can only assume were in college said, “Happy Birthday!” and I told them we were twins and it was our 21st birthday. Anita and I don’t look like.

Ali and Julie both looked extrodinarily birthday-esque that night, especially with the sashes I made for them. They also have some magnificent sparkly pins that sya “21” but you can’t see that in this picture. Don’t they look radiant!? I especially like Stephanie photobombing like a pro. If you’re wondering where Ali got her dress, it’s from Value World on W. 105th and Lorain. She told me I couldn’t borrow it L I didn’t even ask!!

clip_image002

Here is a picture of all of the girls. Don’t we all look so glamorous and young? The answer is no, we look kind of tipsy and young. I don’t know who that girl on the right side in the blue is. Also, apparently it has become Tiffany’s birthday also, as she is wearing a Happy Birthday crown. We may or may not have forced that on her.

clip_image004

Look at how cute Julie and her sisters are! They all look almost related! And very good at accessorizing

clip_image006

And Friday was the night that I discovered that I had boobs. At age 25. Go me. Boys don’t talk to you because of your awesome personality. They talk to you because of your awesome rack. FEMINISM.

clip_image008

My mother saw this picture on facebook and told me I forgot to wear a dress over my lingerie. FML.