I’m pretty sure that everyone will agree with me: waking up at 6:00 AM on a Saturday sucks, especially if you had a long day the day before.
Since I’m approaching the tail-end of my current graduate class, it’s starting to become a non-stop cadence of projects until the end of June. This is a normal, albeit very fast paced, occurrence…but since our final project require me to work with a group of strangers, it’s trickier than you think.
Needless to say, I finished my portion of the project early, therefore affording me the time to enjoy this long Memorial Day weekend with my camera (Amy is out of town with her girlfriends in New York City).
One of my friends and mentor asked if I was interested in coming out to Cars and Coffee in Great Falls, VA since this might be one of his last visits to Virginia for a long time since he had taken up a CFO position in Boston.
So I reluctantly threw some clothes on, grabbed my camera and headed out the door.
Photos taken with the Leica M9 + Summicron 50mm f/2
It was a typical Sunday for me, which consisted of the following:
..but in the morning, Amy suggested we go into the city for brunch after my gym session (brunch turned into late lunch) at this ramen shop called Daikaya in Northwest DC, close to Chinatown.
Intrigued and in serious mood for hot soup filled with umami, I grabbed the Leica and took a day trip into the DC, which turned out to be a photo-centric day.
We parked inside the garage in the heart of City Center off of 11th street (my personal favorite parking garage) and took a short walk into Chinatown where Daikaya was close by.
What surprised (or shouldn’t surprise me as this was a legit ramen shop) was how small the restaurant was.
The entrance to the restaurant was packed with people waiting for their seat, which averaged between 20-30 minutes.
From what the ravings I’ve heard from Amy, the wait was worth it.
And spoiler alert: the food was amazing.
When it was our turn to sit down, the waitress sat us on the bar where we could catch all the action shots in the kitchen.
The ramen was probably one of the best ramen I’ve ever had. The mix of the flavors that hit your tongue (and feels) turned what was supposed to be a simple late lunch, into an experience.
The day didn’t end just there.
Amy’s sister Jennifer recently stopped by an ice cream shop close to Adam’s Morgan and since we were already out here in the city, why not stop by there for some dessert?
But first…the walk back to the car.
Jeni’s Ice Creams
We nearly missed the ice cream shop since it was located on a corner of a busy street in NW DC, but you definitely couldn’t miss it if you walked there on 14th Street.
I recommend stopping by this place if you’re in the area because there is more to this place than just ice cream; there is a sitting lounge on the loft above on the second floor where you can unwind like a trendy coffee shop.
Hope you enjoyed the update and some inspiration to go out and eat.
It’s no surprise that December is the busiest month of the year and it goes without saying that Christmas has something to do with it; not just for travelers, but for holiday events with families and loved ones.
As far as holiday festivities go, this one was a new experience for me. On top of the typical holiday shopping, family events, and parties – I’ve attended a Bangladesh wedding for the first time.
The invitation was extended out to me since it was one of Amy’s childhood friends, Nazia, was having a wedding reception at the Marriott hotel in Chantilly, VA. Apparently they had their wedding prior to the reception, so I’m not sure if I can count this as Number 20 since this wasn’t a wedding per say.
However, the wedding reception: and I had to describe this evening in one word:
I’m no stranger to weddings as you know (number 20), but if I had to rank the top 10 best wedding receptions of all time, this would be one of them.
Armed with my revered Leica Q, I thought it was an important day to do some documentary photography of this life changing event..
Amy’s friend Katie eventually joined the team and it was a good thing that I reserved a room with two beds.
The number of people in attendance were easily in the hundreds and people visiting from all over the world.
The groomsmen put on quite a dance show.
Amy’s moment in the spotlight finally came as she gave her speech
Everybody had their smartphones out to record the performance by the wedding party.
“…if I had to rank the top 10 best wedding receptions of all time, this would be one of them.”
As the lights were dimmed for the dance floor, the Leica Q had finally met its match: auto-focus in low light.
Any digital photographer will tell you that nailing focus in low light is very difficult without a flash, but the Leica was able to nail focus most of the time. For those other times where the camera had trouble, I switched to manual focus, aperture wide open and dialed in the shutter speeds between 1/15 – 1/30.
Unfortunately, there will be some grain from the spike in ISO but camera performed beautifully.
Right when things were going crazy, it got even crazier when a dancer on stilts showed up in what looked like a walking neon version of the Predator. I have to admit, he really stirred up the crowd with his moves.
“Right when things were going crazy, it got even crazier”
The Leica Q was not unstoppable, however, as the camera chewed through 3 batteries since 3:00pm with over 300 shots.
It goes without saying: bring extra batteries.
“It goes without saying: bring extra batteries.”
As Amy was on the dance floor doing her own thing, I went out to the lobby to check on the others.
As the party drew to a close (around midnight), the reception party moved outside to watch the bride and groom leave the hotel.
The Following Morning….
The next morning, Amy, Katie and I walked upstairs and treated ourselves to breakfast that was included with the room package…
…and the dining hall was MASSIVE(and empty).
Their breakfast buffet was possibly the best I’ve ever had (most of the reason was due to presentation and the service we were given) and the attention to detail that the staff showed to us. Albeit, we were the only people eating at the time, but impressive nonetheless.
Side note: if you have not had breakfast at the Marriott in Chantilly, do yourself a favor and grab some food because the food is fantastic.
As we both left the hotel, tired and weary about the next holiday obligation we had to attend, this wedding made me reflect on the beauty behind the commitment of love between two people that love each other very much. I wish Nazia and Siraj the best and congratulations to the both of you.
The weather was very nice today (as nice as it could be in late December) and since I’m done with my Fall semester class, I felt the urge to go outside and take some photos.
The Leica Q is now my primary camera for general and street photography since I’ve sold my beloved PEN-F to a member on Fred-Miranda.com. I felt that the PEN-F’s purpose and use crossed over to the Leica too often, therefore if I’ve decided to thin my collection.
That doesn’t mean I’ve left the beautiful world of Micro Four-Thirds. Not at all. I still have my workhorse E-M5 Mark II with its PRO lenses and Amy’s E-PL8 with Leica primes, therefore my attachment to the PEN-F was more emotional rather than practical.
With that update out of the way, here are some pictures from today.
I didn’t include from my previous post that I originally took a trip to Pittsburgh to visit my favorite friends and family.
The weekend was pretty much what you would expect if you lived locally next to your friends and hanging out for the weekend: boozing, grilling, help with stuff around the house, go to the gym. It was awesome to see Anna’s brothers and Mr. Ladesic again.
On Sunday, we took a drive up to Chris’ parent house and hung out by the pool with the kids. It was so good to see everyone again.
Since people on this blog tend to like pictures, here are some snapshots from that weekend.