"Good friends are like the stars. You may not always see them, but you know they're always there."
After months of schedule rearranging, my friend Jasmine and I finally, had a chance to catch up and spill a pot full of tea. We have our regular food spots, but we thought it would be nice to switch things up a bit. We ventured out and went to Marcus in the beautiful MGM down at the National Harbor. Chef Marcus Samuelson is someone that I have admired for years. He, along with a few other Chefs have served as my inspirations for the recipes that whip up in my own kitchen. When I found out that he was going to have a restaurant in the National Harbor, I knew that I had to go and experience his menu for myself; but breaking bread is SO much better with friends! When we walked in, we were greeted almost simultaneously by the hostess and our two servers. The interior design of the restaurant was a harmonious balance of minimalism and rustic accents. The high ceilings, light fixtures, gold, rose gold, and black accents and matte finished, wooden floors worked so well together. Once Jasmine and I were seated, our water glasses were quickly filled and our orders were brought out piping hot and were delicious. We started with complimentary Aunt Maybel's Cornbread paired with honey butter and "Wild Go-Go Wings" which were drumettes coated with Marcus' "Uptown Sauce" and was paired with a light bleu cheese dressing. The star of this appetizer really is the sauce which gives a nod to the Washington DC staple Mambo Sauce that is loved by true Washingtonians everywhere! Our beverage of choice was a Shirley Temple, and what I appreciated in particular was that they gave us extra Maraschino cherries (no Shirley Temple is complete with out them). Then we placed our entrée orders. Jasmine selected the Sammy's Chicken and Waffles and I chose the Catfish Sandwich on Rye. The menu is on the pricy side, but the food is very good,
The flavors shine in each dish, and are for an adventurous, more sophisticated palate; don't let that scare you! Though the flavor combinations are unique, Chef Marcus does a beautiful job of complimenting each ingredient with another. Jasmine and I left Marcus with to-go containers, full and pleasantly satisfied with our experience there.
We ended our afternoon, stopping in to Sarah Jessica Parker's exclusive shoe store, SJP. The shoe boutique has walls of vibrant colored pumps and heels for literally every occasion. It was like walking through Carrie Bradshaw's closet on Sex in the City. The saleswomen told us that every shoe in the store was hand selected and designed by SJP herself and that she has been in the store three (3) times since opening! Good customer service makes all the difference; from start the start of our outing to the end of it, we were treated with kindness and courtesy.
Be sure to stop into the MGM to see all of the exciting stores and restaurants that it has to offer and please tell them that Simply Ari sent you!
101 MGM National Avenue,
Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745
SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker
7200 MGM National Ave,
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Fact: Adulting can be difficult at times. I'd like to think however, that as we try to navigate through adulthood, the mistakes that we may make, the lessons that we are bound to learn, and the adventures along the way, make up a more scenic route to the destinies that we are all called to fulfill.
Sometimes I feel like I am still getting my footing and other days, I reflect on how far I've come in just a few short years. This week for instance, I had meetings in the District. On Wednesday (2/22/17),I drove in with my dad early in the morning, and got a Lyft from his office to Georgetown, where I happened upon the most adorable coffee shop on Grace St., Grace Street Coffee. The minimalistic look of the space was enticing. White walls, polished wood counters, ceiling to floor windows, matted black ceiling fixtures, a great music selection in the shop's rotation, kind baristas, and a bold, flavorful cup of coffee; what more could you possibly ask for? There's a little something for everyone there. I very much look forward to going back. I then prepared for my first of two meetings for the week, at The Washington Post. I got an exclusive tour of the new office space and then sat down with one in the newspaper's business department, Ms. Rizzo. She took the time to assist me in revising my resume, and after conversing with her about what I ultimately wanted to do, she arranged a meeting with two gentlemen from another department (which turned into an interview for a position at the Post!!! #OnlyGod!)
Now, I had been to the Post twice before this visit a few years ago, but so much has changed since then. The well acclaimed publication was purchased by Jeff Bezos whose background is in technology (Bezos is also the owner and founder of Amazon!). Some say that "print is dead", well, if that's the case, Mr. Bezos and his staff breathed life back into the Post! The technological advances that have been made are exciting and innovative, the climate of the newsroom is a bit more relaxed, but it is clear that the Post employees are about their business. I so enjoyed getting a chance to speak with people from the publication's various departments. I learned a lot and made some good connections, for which I am grateful.
On Thursday (2/23/17), I had a meeting up town at The Ford Agency. I had the privilege of speaking with the founder of the agency during the early part of last week, and she invited me to stop in and sit down with either her or someone from her team. When I arrived, I was greeted with a smile by the receptionist, I filled out some paperwork and waited for my meeting to start. Eventually, I had the opportunity to share with the person with whom I was meeting about what type of work I was looking for and she pulled up a position on her computer within a matter of minutes that she said, "I think you'd be perfect for" [based on my resume, our conversation, and skill set].
For the first time in a long time, I finally felt like the work that I've been putting in, was not in vain. I don't know where these opportunities will lead, but I am glad that I had them!
Grace Street Coffee
3210 Grace St. NW
Washington, DC 20007
When Ari isn't out covering events, she's working on bettering herself as a journalist, attending writer-related events, or enjoying spontaneous excursions in and around the Washington DC Metropolitan area.
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