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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum December 4, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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I have a love for music that cannot be expressed into words. My boyfriend also shares this same love for music, but lucky for him he plays guitar and can play just about any other instrument he can get his talented hands on. So we both decided, what better way to spend our four year anniversary than going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum?!

The best place Cleveland, Ohio has to offer.

When I told people we booked tickets on the Greyhound to Cleveland, Ohio everyone thought it was a joke or asked why in the world would we want to go to Cleveland of all places. A few people even tried to talk us out of going to Cleveland, describing how dangerous it is, reminding us to be safe, or suggesting a nice bed and breakfast getaway instead. We thought hopping on a bus to Cleveland was more our style. The bus ride up there was ridiculous and long but a good experience, but that’s a different story.

Posing with slightly large guitars.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum is amazing, point blank. There are seven levels jam (pun intended) packed with music memorabilia. Unfortunately, the museum only allows visitors to take pictures outside of the museum and inside the lobby since most of the memorabilia is on loan from the artists. I’m serious, they really enforce this rule – they yelled at a few visitors! That being said, this post will not have many pictures, but I will describe the excitement in what I saw as best as I can.

My favorite exhibits included:

Jimi Hendrix: his father donated so much to the museum, which was very selfless and very thoughtful on his part. There’s the old couch Jimi used to practice and lounge on. It’s split pea green with short wooden legs, a little tattered but in fairly good condition. I really wanted to dive in and lay on it, but that would’ve gotten me kicked out of the museum (not worth it). The threads he wore on stage were amazing, still in great condition with vibrant colors and wild patterns. They were a bigger size than I’d imagined since he was so skinny. The exhibit also included some childhood artwork. I thought the best part of the exhibit were his lyrics on paper. The paper is now old, thin, and frayed… but once was new, with fresh ideas from a genius musician. I envisioned him sitting on that split pea green couch, emptying his soul in a hurry to release the overflow of thoughts to capture them on paper. Thoughts captured to last for generations to come.

John Lennon: this exhibit included a few outfits, especially Beatles attire, a lot of childhood artwork, he was born a creative powerhouse, some grade reports – academics wasn’t really his “gig”, and other random memorabilia. I wish I remembered more, I just remember being pretty mesmerized.

Elvis Presley: I have been obsessed with Elvis and his story since childhood. I think I’ve done at least three school reports on this musical man. Like Jimi’s exhibit, his exhibit was full of cool things I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be interested in like the budget for him and his crew during their tours or how he asked a woman he didn’t even know if she liked a car she was checking out and bought it for her on the spot.

The Rolling Stone Magazine Covers: I’ve never been too interested in the magazines, not for lack of love of writing and music, but recently their magazines have been going away from those two things for reasons unbeknown to me. But their covers have definitely made musical history for decades. And now that I think about it, I just love old magazines in general, so much so… that every time I’m in a thrift store I sift through whatever old magazines they have in the store and the older, the better! It’s almost like going back in time… almost.

The Hall of Fame Gallery is great, too. It’s basically the best soundtrack ever. You can check out the inductees here.

I really wish I could remember more about the museum itself, but places like these you definitely have to see and experience it for yourself! It’s really the only place in Ohio, beside Cedar Point, worth going to (unless you like the Cleveland Cavaliers or Browns). So the next time you’re in Ohio, and are bored to death (which you will be), go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum! Two things to remember: don’t take the Greyhound up there and don’t eat the food at the museum (it’s overpriced and microwavable).

Yoko Status, Fits the Setting

Happy Travels!

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Leticia’s Recent Favorites November 20, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard, Places, Things.
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Recently Oprah has done her Favorite Things episode. So I finally decided to my Favorites Thing post, but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. Unfortunately for you I’m not giving anything away, I’m just going to talk about things I’ve discovered and enjoyed these past few weeks.

  • I have rediscovered Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula: This makes your skin feel like butter and makes you smell like a chocolate bar. And it’s very light too, I don’t smell like a bakery or a garden of flowers. And it’s cheap, under $4 at most places like Target or Wal-Mart.
  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Soap: I really hate to buy anything with harsh Sulfate detergents, and something in my mind feels like the more cocoa butter products I use the softer I will be… I’m working towards being a silky cloud.
  • Thai Square: I LOVE Thai food and if you have intelligent taste buds you do, too. I love the combination of flavors: sour, salty, sweet and spicy. Most people try Pad Thai first (noodles with eggs, scallions, peanuts, and a choice of meat) but there is SO much more to Thai food than that. This place is all about the food, a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ you could say. It’s not about design and overdressed tables and snooty waiters like other Americanized Thai food restaurants.
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela: Their album 11:11 is amazing. Two guitarists, all acoustics with some use of distortion. They are truly a talented pair, and it’s all about the music, there are no lyrics… so when you listen you can create your own poetry, your own thoughts and design the song for the moment you are living. Plus, they are fantastic live. If you don’t want to dish out $9.99 for the album, check them out on YouTube… and you can start off with my favorite song on the album.
  • V8 Fusion,┬ánow in cans! I always have this vision that I’m going to fill some of my water bottles with juice and I never do… mostly because I’m too lazy, and I don’t want to ruin perfectly good water bottles because I forgot to wash out all the juice. I’m not a filthy person, I’m just trying to avoid the inevitable. I’m kind of sad that they don’t come in my favorite flavors yet… but if you like Strawberry Banana (yuck) or Pomegranate Blueberry (good, but a little strong for me) you should go buy some. It’s much healthier than soda or fake fruit juices, and be sure to recycle the can when you’re done.
  • Modern Family: I saw advertisements for this show a few times on Hulu, but I kept putting it off. If I hadn’t put it off for so long… I would’ve been much happier long ago! This show reminds me a lot of Arrested Development, even down to the black and orange title. If you are a fan of comedy, dysfunctional families, and thoroughly enjoy references to weird things that happen in everyday life… you need to watch this. I’m not very good at catching a series at their scheduled time; I’m one of those Netflix/Hulu people that catch up with episodes later… but if you have the time watch this on ABC, Wednesdays at 9pm.

This isn’t the most thorough of reviews lists… these are just a handful of recent favorites. Maybe I’ll make a products year in review, my favorite things for all of 2010. I can probably do this after I copy Mrs. Simmons’ best brownies in the universe (I dubbed them that name, because they truly are!) recipe and purchasing Pureology shampoo and conditioner. My tired, Saturday afternoon post is over now. Enjoy the leaves!

My Halloweekend 2010 November 1, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places, Things.
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Just when I thought my studies and lack of finances was going to be the end of me… an enchanting weekend saves my social life! On Wednesday night, my heroine clad with beautiful tattoos, Miss Margaret Cho posted a contest on Twitter for two free tickets and meet and greet passes for her show at Warner Theater! I had already gotten over the fact that I couldn’t afford the tickets, and since I’d seen her before in Richmond I knew I’d have to pass this time around. But when I saw the tweet, I knew it would be worth a shot (a blind shot, but a shot nonetheless). There is no strategy to luck, it’s all chance… and I’m the type of person that will fill out surveys for Target or Wal-Mart in hopes of winning $500 gift cards or buy a lottery ticket on a day I’m feeling ‘lucky’… but even though I participate I never actually win! It’s always disappointing. So when I saw my Twitter direct message ‘inbox’ with two new messages telling me that I won the contest I was ecstatic! I couldn’t even believe it. I was worried I would show up to the box office and they’d turn me away… but sure enough I get there and it took the lady a few minutes to find my tickets, but they were there and once they were in my hands nothing could take the smile off my cheesy, half-moon eyes face.

Mendy and I at Margaret Cho's Show

All of Friday, the day of the show, I could barely focus on anything. I felt like I was going on a first date, struggling to pick out the right outfit and accessories without looking like I tried too hard, figuring out the right things to say so that I wouldn’t just spaz out the moment I saw her, and just counting down the hours until I was actually seated in the theater. I decided to just make a card for her and write down exactly how I felt about her and expressed my gratitude for being able to meet her because I knew I would forget half the things I wanted to say in person (which I did!) along with one of my favorite books.

OMG, I'm standing next to the one and only Margaret Cho!

Just as I thought, I did freak out a little bit… I couldn’t believe she was right there and I was so nervous. I asked her if I could have a hug, I told her “I love you” and graciously thanked her for having us, gave her my gift, stuttered over my explanation a little bit, and bothered her for an autograph… all in what felt like a matter of seconds. But she was very, very sweet about it… very humble and soft spoken, a different side of her stand up persona. I really wanted to just ditch the place and take her to eat some Korean BBQ in Annandale, but alas the meet and greet came to a close, and we were politely sent on our way. I was on a natural high for the rest of the night.

Margaret Cho's Tour Bus

Saturday, the Halloween night for adults, was the cherry on top to a great Friday. I’ll keep this one short in sweet, because Halloween is really just about dressing up, people watching, and a few (or a lot) of drinks in between. I went to Georgetown, and checking out all the different costumes was very interesting, especially behind all my face paint.

La Calavera Leticia

La Calavera means skull in Spanish. I’ve always been fascinated by Mexican Day of the Dead art. This face paint was inspired by La Calavera Catrina (an elegant skeleton woman with formal clothing and intricate face paint). I spent under $14 for my “costume”. I bought a black and white skirt at the thrift store for $3.99, lace gloves and some face paint makeup for under $10. Unfortunately, the face makeup pretty much failed me… what do you expect for makeup under $10? So I ended up just using the white face cream, waiting for this to dry took up the most time. I tried using the face paint sticks to draw on myself, but that does NOT work for those of you who want to try painting your face one day. I ended up using black eyeliner and black eyeshadow for the outlines, red lipstick for the rose on my chin, and all other colors were colored in with powder eye shadow. Eye shadow really came in handy, because powder “sets” the cream makeup and prevents the color from fading/melting. Surprisingly, the makeup stayed put the entire night, even after hours of drinking and dancing. I really enjoyed drawing on my face, it was sort of an out of body experience and it made me feel like a kid again! But taking all that makeup off at 4:30 in the morning was a real pain, it was so thick and cake-y by the end of the night it took about ten minutes to wash off the stuff really well… but it was worth totally worth it.

Old Rag Mountain October 21, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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I have no sense of direction, yet my friend who doesn’t even drive is like a walking compass. I didn’t even print out or look up directions to find this place in the Shenandoah mountains, I just trusted in her and we went. Well, we got lost for over 30 minutes in Manassas of all places. But fast forward to three hours later, an hour past estimated time arrival, and there we are in the Old Rag Mountain parking lot. How exciting, our adventure is about to begin!

Big and Beautiful Cabin on the Drive Up

This website, or the “brown website” as we liked to call it warned us that this hike was challenging. We were ready for the long hike… we ended up exhausted on the “short” hike. The entire way up is at a steep incline, so the only resting period you get is when you’re sitting on a log eating the apple or other non-perishable snack you brought with you. And since we aren’t exactly your everyday Olympian athletes we took nice, long breaks. We brought along plenty of water, but be prepared to sweat it all out of your system because it’s a serious hike. Each time we made it to the clearing I was sure it was the top… but each time we were far from it. Finally we made it to the kind of top, where the trails end and the granite rock begins but I was too chicken to go on the granite. I didn’t have confidence in my shoes, or myself, to climb the rocks. And though I am ashamed to admit it, I’m able to accept it because I do want to reach the top the next time around because we were SO close. So we reach the kind of top, but not quite and eat and take in the breathtaking views (lots of green and a few homes). To our pleasant surprise there were three mountain dogs up there, too! We wondered how they managed to climb the whole way up because one of them looked really old, but I guess he still had it in him and they didn’t look half as tired as I was.

Not Even Close to the Top, but We're Pretty High Up

The views were amazing, the hike up was fun but challenging, and just taking in nature’s beauty was a great experience in itself. On the walk down we were just tired and hungry for real food. We keep walking, we keep walking, we keep walking… feeling closer to the end but it never is. But then finally we get to the bottom, then we get to the car and stretch and then drive off back home… but not before stopping at Chipotle! The best Chipotle of my life.

Proof that I was There!

The drive up and the hike up is definitely worth it and I would definitely recommend it. Next time I go, I’m going full force all the way to the top. If you go, you should go all the way up because if you don’t you will regret it. I endured the walk of shame the whole way down the mountain, sorry Dizzle!

Proof that Dizzle was There, Too!

Sunday Strolling in Eastern Market, DC October 13, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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There are few things I love better than beautiful weather, flea markets, and good food. I actually love a lot of things, but that’s beside the point. Because I barely get a weekend off, I decided to really make it count and I wanted to do as much as possible! I haven’t been to Eastern Market in a few years, since before the fire. You can read more about that here.

 

Humans Browsing Vintage Movie Posters

 

I just love the atmosphere there. I enjoy being able to shop and browse outdoors instead of in a stuffy, overcrowded mall. The market is lined with merchants selling random things from leather satchels to stereoviews (I really, really wanted one)! There are so many awesome, kitschy random collectibles and items available… it’s a flea market/thrift shoppers daydream! I craved practically everything there but I decided to look, take my time, and thought I’d just come back with more cash and a more detailed idea of what I wanted rather than purchasing aimlessly.

 

An Artist and his Paintings

 

They’ve also got an outdoors farmer’s market filled with everything you’d expect to find at a farmer’s market: fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. I didn’t buy anything because I was already stuffed to the rafters from eating at the place seen down below, Banana Cafe.

 

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar

 

My boyfriend and I dropped into this place accidentally. After being on the metro for the past 40 minutes we really had to pee and we were starving so practically anything seemed appealing. We walked a few blocks passing Subway (trite), a grill (ooh, that sounds good… oh wait, it’s an Indian grill. I love food, but Indian food isn’t my favorite but that story is for another time), and a seafood bar (awesome! We walk in and the hostess tells us it’s passed brunch so they only serve six items that don’t look appealing, ugh). We were getting exhausted and even more desperate for food. Even Popeye’s started to look good… just kidding, never. Then I saw this bright yellow place… Latin American food, yay! As stated earlier, the place is named Banana Cafe & Piano Bar. But they don’t serve only banana foods (I loathe bananas) and now that I think about it, I didn’t see any pianos but I also wasn’t paying attention and we ate outdoors, anyway. There were many appetizing options available, but I decided on the Cuban Chicken Steak because I haven’t had Cuban food in years, literally six since going to Gloria Estefan’s Bongos Cuban Cafe in Miami, Florida (that place is delicious by the way). They brought up chips and salsa to start, which made our stomachs so happy because like I said a hundred times over, we were hungry!

 

Chips & Salsa (We Crushed These)

 

The chips were thick and had a true corn flavor in every bite, which is hard to find these days. The salsa was pretty good too, definitely not the best I’ve had because it could have used a little more heat but the consistency was good and it was very fresh. Our food came out pretty quickly, brownie points for Banana Cafe. My Cuban Chicken Steak (smothered in onions, mmm…) was huge! The presentation was really nice, but the flavor is most important and it lived up to my expectations, but didn’t exceed them. I had to take it home, so I had to carry the box the entire time we were walking around Eastern Market which made me wish I had just settled for a shrimp quesadilla.

 

Cuban Chicken Steak

 

The waiters were friendly enough, the service was good, the food came out warm and fairly quick. Overall, on a rating between great, good, okay, and bad… I’d give this place a ‘good‘. That being said, I’m still looking for a great Cuban restaurant in the area, so if anyone out there knows of a good place in the DC Metropolitan area, let me know!

Here are a few more pictures I sneaked while strolling around the vendors. I say sneak, because I didn’t want them to think I was taking pictures with the intention of stealing their cool ideas. I really just took pictures for visual notes of what I may want to buy when I come back! Or you, the reader, can just print these pictures and purchase them for me because Christmas will be here soon!

 

Cool Hats for Warm Heads: I Love Hats

 

 

Scrabble Jewelry: Why Didn't I Come Up with This?

 

 

Bright Brocade Jackets

 

 

Hello Future Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So If you’re looking for something different to do in DC, make your next stop Eastern Market! Just make sure to empty your bladder first.