Weekly Top 10 (11/14/11 to 11/18/11)


by Otessa

#1 National Gallery's lower level is pretty (photo: Otessa)

1. the lower level of the National Gallery.

I’ve embedded some pics that I took (along with a couple hipstamatics by Jorge Franzini too) that I think are pretty neat.  They are for you to peruse…and I hope you like them (:

photos: Otessa

The Upper Level of the National Gallery is also lovely…

photo: Jorge Franzini

photo: Otessa

photos by: Otessa Ghadar & Jorge Franzini

and now for #2…


#2 picking pink ladies (photo: Otessa)

2. Apple Picking.

So I just went out of town with my beloved long-time friend, Lauren. And we went apple picking, at the Carter Mountain Apple Orchard and Vineyard. It was the end of the season, so apple-varietal options were somewhat limited (either Fuji or Pink Ladies). Although, Pink Ladies are one of my favorite types– they are such wonderful almost-dessert-like eating-apples. They have hints of (I swear) honeysuckle and rose. And they are both crisp to crunch on, but soft on the palate. Pretty perfect.

{photo: Otessa Ghadar :}

The other great thing about Carter Mountain is that it is not only an orchard, but also a vineyard.  So, after hiking through the apple orchard hills, we were able to do some wine tasting (which they called “Wine Flights”… as in flights of fancy…?)  The sweet wines had the great distinction of “tasting like shower gel,” according to the ever-quotable Lauren.  Super-vintage the wine may not have been… but still, some were quite drinkable and a good time was had by all.

______pink ladies._____________carter mountain.____________Lauren!__________ ( photos: Otessa)

(PS Lauren is an acclaimed food-writer extraordinaire –{I’m so proud of her!!}– She writes a column for NYC’s the Village Voice, and her work has also appeared in the NY Times, Gourmet, Elle, etc… And her 1st book, “Four Kitchens”, was just published… you can check it out HERE and HERE.)  Can you tell by my descriptions in this paragraph that I was spending the weekend with a food writer? I think she inspired me…



#3 Old-school Vanilla Egg Creams at the Soda Fountain Counter (photo: Otessa)

3. Having a vanilla egg cream, at a bona fide 5 & dime drugstore soda-fountain-counter

Doesn’t this just remind you of Jimmy Stewart and make you think: “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  Ahh!!   So amazing.  Also, let’s talk about “New York Egg Creams”.  A)  They are my favorite.   B). They have *neither* eggs, nor cream. The delightful and magical beverage refreshment hails from Brooklyn and was allegedly created in the early 1900s by Jewish candy store owner and emigree, Louis Auster, who came to America and opened a candy store in Brooklyn. Reportedly, 3,000 Egg Creams were sold each day, until the day the store closed.

mmm...yummy (photo: Otessa)

Here is a recipe!!  (recipe courtesy of: What’s Cooking America )


Approximately 1/2 cup cold whole milk*
1 cup bottled seltzer
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup**

* Skim or 1% milk won’t foam as well

** Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup is used in New York.  (NB many purists allege it’s not a “true” egg cream, w/out Fox’s choc. syrup. But, I personally wear the “white robes of the apostle” for VANILLA egg creams. I swear by them. Or try them both and do a taste test.)


Pour 1/2 inch of cold milk into a tall soda glass. Add seltzer or club soda to within 1 inch of the top of the glass; stir vigorously with a long spoon (this will cause it to become white and bubbly with a good head of foam).

Very gently pour 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup slowly down the inside of the glass; briskly stir with a long spoon only at the bottom of the glass where the chocolate sits. The resulting drink should have a dark brown bottom and a 1-inch high pure white foam top (if you mix it too much, the foam disappears).

NOTE: Do not let Egg Cream sit for a long period of time-5 minutes or more; it will go flat. 

Makes 1 serving.



#4 Monticello and Long Weekend Trips (photo: Otessa Ghadar)

4. Taking Long Weekend Trips to Historically-Significant (and significantly-dorky) Locales. 

Lauren & I went to Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s home), which is where we got to do #2 & #3 on this list.

Kind of a funny story:  I got really hungry while at Monticello.  (*you see I am one of those people who absolutely adores and must feast at breakfast…and if I don’t get enough food in the AM, I am a grumpy-borz. So, I was trying to avoid becoming a crabby toddler, and to alleviate my snackiness…I started feasting on Thomas Jefferson’s garden.

Borage & Purple Cauliflower, Heritage Garden (photo: Otessa)

Monticello has an amazing “Heritage Garden” so it was ideal for snacking.  I definitely ate a shockingly spicy pepper tho’ — and spent the next 15minutes by the nasturtiums and lemon balm, trying to soothe my poor face/tongue/self.




5. Bake Sale, Mercies, and Neutron Bomb @ Velvet Lounge


Bake Sale brings you Unicorns & Rainbows

So,  Bake Sale (an OJBG favorite band, and featured in our show’s ep & sndtrk here) has a Concert coming up on 11/17 at the Velvet Lounge.  Support DC & B’more’s best rising talent. <3


Time/Date: Thursday 11/17, 8:30pm to 11:30pm

Where: The Velvet Lounge    915 U St NW  Washington, DC

more info here



6. Bake Sale REDUX

Bake Sale+Comet=so much yay

So we at OJBG have much much <3 for Bake Sale. And we also have big love for Comet Ping Pong (**we’ve shot at Comet for Season 4 & also Season 5 of our show “Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden”…and we even filmed Bake Sale playing their 1st show at Comet– see HERE)

And so it is so so delightful to know that Bake Sale is playing an upcoming concert at Comet Ping Pong on 11/20.

The re-combination of Bake Sale + Comet Ping Pong = so much yay.

Event Details here

Time/Date:  Sunday, November 20 · 9:00pm – 11:30pm

Where:  Comet Ping Pong   5037 Connecticut Avenue NW Wash DC



7. Comet Ping Pong

I’ve shot there. We love it. ‘Nuff said!



#8 The DC zoo's Inverts House

8. The invertebrate house at the Zoo!

They have a new baby octopus!  RIP to Octavius our former octopus, who was a wonderful octopod…and who, while female, had the deceivingly masculine name of “Octavius”.

Octavius in her prime. So fierce and clever. (photo courtesy of the DC zoo)

(In case you didn’t know, I spend most Thursdays as an “Exhibit Interpreter” at the zoo’s Invertebrate House. So, yeah, I have oodles of admiration for this place. Best in the zoo. True words.



#9 Stevie's Wondrous Bird of Beauty on Fulfillingness' First Finale

9.  Stevie Wonder — Bird of Beauty, on “Fulfillingness’ First Finale”

(This one’s from Ashley!)

Listen here:

Fulfillingness’ First Finale is a landmark album by Stevie Wonder, released on July 22, 1974.  And ASHLEY says it’s been her weekly obsession-in-song-form.



#10 Muppets and Jim Henson-magic


We had a long talk about the Muppets today at OJBG HQ (aka 20/20).  They are awesome. We love them. Sesame Street too.

this picture brings me to the verge of tears. RIP Jim ____________(photo courtesy of http://theredherringmusic.tumblr.com/)

RIP Jim Henson. We miss you.

I’m really & truly looking forward to the new Muppets movie… it looks amazing. (I was a tad worried about the Disney-fication of the Muppets) … but this trailer had me absolutely enchanted!   The silliness, the SHEER JOY, the camaraderie, the pure muppet-ey magic… it’s all here. I can hardly wait (:

Watch the trailer here and see for yourself. What do you think??

Check out the Muppets brand-spanking-new-ish website HERE too


HONORABLE MENTION…. this one is from our wonderful new intern, Cristina Goldchain — “Party Rock” by  LMFAO

a song that you dont want to like but you cant help it. Its the 3rd wk of this song being in her head since she saw a Halloween light-show, that was set to pumpkin faces, and this song. (search Youtube for link)


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