The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts tagged “DC

Toki Underground

Posted on July 7, 2013

If you’re in DC, you have a penchant for off-the-beaten-path dives, you’re obsessed with flavor & kicked-up Asian soup, and you’ve got some time on your hands, head to Toki Underground in the H St. Corridor. This restaurant embodies that cartoonish alt/punk tradition of East Asia while serving up the most satisfying bowl of ramen I’ve ever had the pleasure of inhaling. The broth, the star, is opaque, textured and complex, as if infused with smoke, and it is complemented with a range of team players: fragrant pickled ginger that surprises the palate, a sizable chunk of pulled pork that holds on to that broth like it’s the last thing it’s got, and a slow-poached egg that is so delicate and gelatinous, you could…

Fire Drops

Posted on July 5, 2013


The denizens of DC became especially lawless and reckless on Independence Day. They bought full-fledged pyrotechnics and then set the streets on fire. The city scurried to the roofs to observe the spectacle, and so buildings that were previously bald now had buzz cuts. There was the old grand show on the Mall, of course. But with a good vantage point, you could scan the District’s horizon and see burning flowers in the distance. All across, east to west, the sky was exploding and whistling and booming with muffled pops. Then the fire drops fell, and their pieces floated back  to the very keepers who set them free.

Run Fingers Through Hair; Weigh Choices

Posted on May 6, 2013

I graduate university in less than two weeks. Here in DC, there’s a looming terror in the town and talk. It’s talk of hiring freezes, job competition, overworking, underpaying, and chronic unfulfillment. Words like “temporary” and “settling” permeate the conversations of employable sturdy youth, youth that should have its head in the clouds but instead indulges talk of 401(k)s. Any serious career advice sought inevitably begins with a condescending look and a “Oh, it’s really hard to get into,” prompting one of my very attractive snorts: No shit. Every career worth having is hard to get into. Articles regurgitating information about bleak job prospects circulate social media, along with prescriptive captions like, “Everything is terrible” and “The new child labor!!” Indeed, times are tough.…

Holi Smokes

Posted on April 15, 2013

Another year, another Holi. In 2011, I framed the event as a much needed means of relieving tension and inhibitions. In 2012, it was a way of finding solace in constants. Now, I cannot happily joke about color bombs in light of Boston’s actual bombs. But I know this: for every terrible thing in this world, I can name one thousand awesome or beautiful or good things, and Holi is one of them.

Inauguration Day

Posted on January 21, 2013

There were only happy faces today because the sad folks stayed home. This is not, and will never be, a political blog. My opinions regarding American politics/politicians will never be featured on here, as they don’t really matter. What does matter is that that smiling little boy have ample school supplies and unlimited access to cheap, if not free, books. That his grandmother have a good insurance plan should something happen. That job acquisition in this country become less of an off-chance occurrence. And these things are not impossibilities. Obama’s speech did what every political speech should do: inspire at least a thimble-full of hope in even the most uncompromising cynics.

On Food, Pho, and Ends

Posted on May 11, 2012

I celebrate everything with food. Food is the natural follow-up, the obvious supplement to all of life’s joys, sorrows, and monotomy. When I’m feeling particularly nostalgic for someplace different and far away, which is every single minute of every single day, I escape to DC’s various ethnic hole-in-the-walls. No english, no white people, hearty meals, gargantuan portions, and tiny out-of-pocket prices. Cash only.  Indeed, such a craving made itself known just before I exited the District for a long time. I quit my job, my work there is done, and I won’t be back until January after I return from my Petersburgian winter epoch, presumably alive. So to celebrate such an occasion, the occasion of seeing something to its end (in this case, another…

Gratuitous Photo Dump//Nikon FM

Posted on May 4, 2012

After a month-long nerve-wracking misadventure with my Nikon FM, I finally see a finished product. Film photography is dying medium, but I’m still thrilled to use it. This camera has shaved years off my life just from sheer stress, but the feeling of seeing these photos materialized feels too good; the weight on my shoulders is alleviated, I breathe easier. I think I have a problem. Cherry Blossom Festival, 2012. Ten minutes before I took this, the painter said that someone stole one of his paintings that was leaning against a nearby tree. He was fuming, and the last thing he probably wanted was for someone to steal another one of his images with a camera. A photo of the paints will have to…