Oh the anticipation of the first day of school - even now - and I'm pretty old.  Seeing familiar faces, meeting new ones, living at Starbucks, and oh yeah, the actual school part.  Here's to my second year of architecture school - how time flies.

Image via Flickr


Back in DC

After a summer spent traipsing through Scandinavia, and a brief stint in SoCal, I'm back in DC.  After having dinner with my aunt Cheryl on Thursday night, I drove back into the city and man, did it feel weird.  I still don't feel like DC is "home" (which I'm sure would make my parents ecstatic), which is probably aided by my still total reliance on using my GPS whenever I wander roughly outside the 3 mile range of Eddie's house.  But rumor has it that 2nd year M.Arch students don't have it quite as rough as first year, so maybe I'll finally have some time to really start living here.

It is nice having a weekend to ease back into being here before starting school.  Yesterday Eddie and I went to Monroe Elementary where they were having the 3rd (?) annual Columbia Heights Day Festival.  I had a delicious peach and ginger popsicle from Petworth Pops, pet a camel, saw some great performances, and found out DC has its own Shorts Film Festival starting mid-September at the E Street threatres, which I'm really excited about.  Should be a good start to another fall in Washington.


Soaking up some sun

Apparently it was an unusually cold, overcast summer in California.  Well, I evidently brought the heat back with me from Finland, because it's been gorgeous (if not a tad bit too hot) here my first week here in SoCal.  I'm easing back into Pacific Standard Time (I really hope this going to bed at 9:30 and waking up at 6 am is a jet-lag thing, not an I'm-getting-old thing), and enjoying what's left of the summer.  Thursday I went to Newport Beach with almost all of the Casciari girls - it definitely reminded me of our annual summer beach house rentals on 64th Street.  By the time I got there, they of course had already befriended half the population, so we ended up playing a few games of volleyball, which was really fun as I haven't played in ages (and oh was I paying for it the next day).

Sara drove down to 12805 today, and we spent the afternoon lounging by the pool, catching up and eating guacamole (which at this point is becoming our ritual).  It was so great to see her, even if for not long enough.  Although, we're already scheming a potential trip for me to visit her in New York, her come to DC in the spring, and (my favorite:) where I should plan to throw a huge party for my BIG 3 - 0.  We're thinking weekend destination, maybe somewhere tropical...

So now, the final chapter to my beaching, I'm headed down to Encinitas with my Dad, to see the beach shack, now complete after months of renovation.  I haven't seen it at all but for pictures my family emailed me while abroad, so I have to admit, I'm pretty excited.  And, of course it will really be great to spend time with my family, and even, gasp, my younger brother, whom I definitely do not see enough.  I'm hoping he'll give me a photography lesson while I'm down there, or maybe even take me out on a board.
Beach house almost finished - so glad I talked my parents into the pop of teal!


An end to Finland

I've experienced so much this summer, and looking back on my blog, I feel I have captured so little.  I guess that's what happens when you squeeze an entire semester into 3 months, a 6-credit studio course into 3 weeks.  But the experience did not feel compressed.  What I have failed to do is write about the places I have seen.  We did a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia - some of the craziest pairings I've seen of old and contemporary architecture.  I squeezed in a weekend trip to Stockholm - a city I know I have to return to someday, as I feel I just glimpsed its potential.  I could have spent the weekend alone at Woodland Cemetery.  As the Finland Summer Architecture Institute came to an end, the 3 Catholic guys and I stopped in London for a few days to end our summer trip.  I started the summer having no interest in staying in London, thinking I'd take the Chunnel to Paris, or fly to Ireland.  With finances ridiculously low, I decided to stay, and what I discovered was a city I could be tempted to live in - even after just three days there.  

I realize I will never be able to "catch up" here with what Finland was about, and since I'm no Austen, I'm sure I would never be able to really do it justice either.  But I have definitely taken a part of Finland home with me.  The culture, the landscape, the architecture, the spirit of place.  Surprisingly, I am feeling rejuvenated and even inspired to start my next semester of grad school.  I am looking forward to the challenge and discovery this new year holds for me.

So, I'm going to try to make a resolution.  I want to write more often on this blog.  It is probably just for me, because I swear even my family doesn't read this any more.  But I hope to continue to write here.  Document what inspires me, what I am thinking - whether design-related or not.  I think our summer studio left that impression on me.  Maybe this is my version of a scriptorium - my way of committing pen to paper - well, you know what I mean...

And since I'm referencing my final project, below are my final boards.