Thirsty for Happy Hours

For our concluding week of blog posts, I decided to give you guys a look at the locations I have been to for Happy Hour. I enjoyed each location but there are a slew of other bars and restaurants that deserve to be on this list as well. So, I implore you all to explore the various watering holes in DC and let us know in the comments section of other places we should mention in this list. Bottoms up!

Jazz in the Garden @ the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall

Entrance is FREE! It’s held every Friday during the summer. The jazz music is awesome! The downside is that the garden gets so packed with people. I saw people literally crawling under bushes and squeezing into every nook and cranny for a spot to park themselves. However, I think it is worthwhile to go at least once for the experience. Drinks are also quite expensive and the lines for drinks can get really long.

201 Bar

201 Bar is one of the nicer bars that I have frequented. It’s a bit more on the expensive side, but it wasn’t too crowded and the noise level was manageable. It was nice to just sit around with colleagues and friends with a beer and talk without yelling every word. It is also right by Union Station so if you work around there, it’s a pretty convenient walk.

The Park at 14th

So this place is supposed to be a night club and really hoppin’. They also have pretty good deals for happy hour! The prices alone are enough to attract me to go again. However, it can get really crowded and super loud! This is the place to be if want cheap drinks and to pretend to be able to hear other people talking.

Dirty Martini

It’s in Dupont Circle (close to Foggy Bottom) and the happy hour drinks here were even cheaper than The Park at 14th. Although the happy hour menu is very limited, you can still get beer for $3 and wine for $5. But other than these prices, there really isn’t anything special about this place. Although, they did have a live jazz band come in and play/sing.

Other locations?

There are plenty of other places out there that I still have not tried yet. There are places that have ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS on certain day(s) of the week! I will update the name of this place when I figure out the name. I only listed the ones I have been to in case you need some help choosing a place. The point is that this is DC and there is plenty of variety and choices when it comes to socializing and drinking!

If you’re interested in the DC Nightlife, I’ve been told that U Street, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan areas are the places the go. Check out these places while you’re in DC and ENJOY YOUR FREE TIME!

Raise your glasses!



Overview of Depression and Suicide in the APA Community (Part 1)

I’d like to start off today by sharing a personal experience.  I spent one summer in China a couple years back.  I was staying at one of dorms at a university.  Thankfully, most of the students I befriended were able to speak English.  I definitely would not have been able to survive the summer because my Mandarin was terrible!  While some of the girls I met and I were walking through campus to go shopping, we passed by a large crowd of people.  It was by a laboratory building I often frequented to visit a friend.  It turns out that a student had jumped not too long ago.  The police/ambulance hadn’t even arrived yet.  A professor at the school told me that this kind of thing occurs frequently each year.

Depression and suicide is common among all races and genders and it is a serious problem.  However, I would like to observe why it is a prevalent problem among Asian-Americans.  This post is purely based on my experiences and thoughts and I am not an expert of any of this.

From the National Alliance of Mental Illness’s (NAMI) Fact Sheet on Asian American Women and Depression:

“In many Asian cultures, the stigma surrounding mental illness is so extreme that it is thought to reflect poorly on family lineage. It limits the education, prevention and treatment within the community and is further exacerbated by the stereotype of the ‘model minority.’ The stereotype of the highly successful, well-educated and upwardly mobile person can sometimes make it difficult for Asian women to accept their ‘flaws.’ They feel they must live up to high standards and succeed in all areas (e.g., doing well in school, helping to support the family; taking care of elderly family members and maintaining a job).” (emphasis added).

Mental illness and depression are frowned upon and viewed as a sign of weakness.  I believe that in some countries in Asia, there is no word for “depression” as well.  Cultural pressures create these types of problems.  The unwillingness to accept the existence of these types of problems exacerbate the problem.

  • Being the perfect daughter/son is almost expected in many families.  Parents battle others to win as the parent who has the better child.
  • While this might apply to many other countries as well, the Korean culture still has a “males are superior” type mentality and remains predominantly patriarchal. The women are expected to be submissive, domestic housewives, who constantly cook and clean, while the men “bring home to bacon”. This type of mentality creates pressure on both sexes.  This is also the reason why many Korean men are violent against women.
  • The girl who jumped from the building in China did so because she grew up being told that everything will always work out.  She was researching in the laboratory, working days and nights–even sleeping overnight in the lab. She was told that hard work will always lead to success. And when she didn’t get any success, she felt that she was doing something wrong. She felt like her life in the lab was pointless. She lost direction.

Whether it’s in Asia, the States, or anywhere else, one of the biggest reason young people commit suicide is due to the cultural pressure.

All Asians and Asian Americans need to be aware that this is a very common problem. Seeking help and treatment has proven to reduce the risk of suicide. There is no reason to be bound by cultural pressures.  The “model minority” stereotype, which also serves as a type of pressure, needs to be broken as well. There needs to be change one by one in order for a wave of change to occur. Moreover, the more information that is available, the less ignorant people will be about this issue.

For part 2 of our series on depression and suicide in the AAPI community, click over to Laura’s post here.

Snippet Thursday: National Museums

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum @ Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Visited the the Air and Space Museum not too long ago and there were so many different impressive planes (like the Blackbird above), the Discovery shuttle (you can kind of see on the left side of the picture in the back), Wright planes, the Enola Gay (dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima), etc.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re interning in the DC area: visit all the national museums because most of them are free!

Networking Tips for Summer Interns

I had previously mentioned that networking is essential to success. It’s spending a couple of minutes with a professional or mentor in hopes of gaining a contact that will help you achieve advance your career. He/She might be working in an industry you’re interested in or may know others who can help you get your foot into the door. Even if someone may not give you any advantages at the moment, keeping in touch with people and getting to know them is still helpful. You may never know who will end up where, and what kind of positions that they can offer to you.


It’s all about making connections.

To the current interns out there, always keep this in mind! It’s never too early to start. It’s not only about trying totalk to professionals either. Networking with other students and interns is also important. Remember to invest your time with others regardless of position or potential. Don’t look down on anyone or disregard anyone because you think that they won’t be helpful. Everyone is part of this “network.”

I’m not a pro at networking…but here are some tips I learned.


1. Be proactive and don’t be a wallpaper. People will never be able to help you out, inform you of other opportunities, or connect you with a helpful contact if they never get to know you.

2. Be real but professional. While it’s good to show what you’ve accomplished or experienced, you also want to be friendly and make the person you’re talking to comfortable. Speaking to them as if you’re reading off your resume is boring unless you’ve done something amazing and unique that piques their interest. Remain professional as well. Don’t go off tangent and start talking about fighting with cops, binge drinking, etc. You want to maintain a friendly conversation, balance the conversation, and leave a good impression. Be polite!


Smile, shake hands and engage.

3. Exchange business cards. If you are actively networking, a business card might help others remember you. But honestly, this is more for yourself. You want to get a business card to remember exactly who you spoke to and get their contact information. If you want to keep this contact, email them later that night or the next day to ask to meet up for coffee to talk about something that was briefly mentioned when you met this contact. It’s recommended to make a spreadsheet of all your contacts. Email them periodically to update them on how you’ve been doing. I have peers that email their contacts once a semester to keep them in the loop. Not everyone will always reply or exchange emails, but you just might never know.

It even has a watermark….

4. Practice Practice Practice! It’s difficult for everyone to start. You hate those 2 minute awkward silences when your brain is going crazy just trying to think of a question to ask. And then you just look like a creeper that just stares at the other person’s eyes (since you’ve been taught to look at the eyes when speaking)…or maybe just the ceiling or the floor. But it’s going to be difficult for everyone in the beginning. You have to keep practicing to get comfortable with people. You develop techniques over time and practice. You get feedback from a person’s reaction and learn to hone your networking skills.

Where does all this networking happen? Sign up to be on listservs for organizations you’re interested in. In law school, there are several bar associations in the local area that have networking events. Attend these events! But networking doesn’t necessarily occur only in these types of events. It can happen in the classroom, talking to a professor, speaking to the person sitting next to you at the bar. It can happen anywhere! It depends on you to speak up.

Business Insider

(Source: Business Insider)

+++++++A PLUS TO NETWORKING! You might get a mentor! A mentor who is hopefully in the field you’re interested in and will teach you the ins and outs. Maybe edit and proofread your resume/cover letter and connect you to other people.

You might say that networking is terrible because you’re talking advantage of people. But it’s a necessity. All professionals know this. But don’t go around and make it obvious that you want to take advantage of select people. People won’t be willing to help you instantly. It takes time for people to notice that you’re an interesting and smart person who is dedicated. Only then will a person help you in one way or another.

I hope that my tips from my own experiences help! If there are any other tips/suggestions you would like to share, please do! We all need to look out for  each other. Sharing information is beneficial to all.

Until next Tuesday!


Asian Clusters: Break that Pinata

(Image Source: Business Week)

Hi everyone! This is Julie again, continuing the posts for AAPI Issues Week.

I think it’s great that there are a rising number of organizations, groups, and activists out there who are continuously working hard to educate people about AAPI issues. It’s truly commendable. But today I want to talk about something a little different. I want to talk about something that I always try to focus on when working with AAPI organizations. Although this is specifically for AAPIs out there, this post can really apply to any minority out there!

Education is key.

The goal of many AAPI organizations is to teach those who aren’t fully aware of what AAPI’s go through. As Brittney mentioned in her post, there are many stereotypes that make it seem as though AAPI’s don’t really need help. Sure, there are seminars, information booths, and speeches that aim to educate. But this is not good enough. Every single person in the AAPI community needs to accept that they are part of a community that requires attention and help and we all need to start stepping up.

Whether it’s due to culture or a need for familiarity, AAPI’s tend to cluster into groups and form large communities. They take over towns and parts of cities in just years. I grew up in a town that was just one of the many towns taken over by the AAPIs. People were speaking in Korean. Signs were in Korean. You go to a corner on a street, look in any direction (360 degrees), and there will be an Asian American in your view.

File:Asian-census density map.png

Just looking at this 2010 Census Map, you can already see what I mean by the clustering. That means that it’s highly probable that most of the US haven’t even seen an Asian American! How can anyone understand someone/something that they have never seen and their only exposure is through the internet and TV?

While it’s great to form a community that understands each other’s language and culture, others will never be able to learn about AAPI issues if everything stays within the community. Do you think that organizations that advocate for AAPI’s is sufficient to do the job and let our voices be heard? Just think about your classes in school. All those lectures and tests! You learn some important information but you sleep through most lectures. You learn the most basic material to get the gist of the lecture. Compare that with a hands-on experiment/experience! You get to use your 5 senses and not just your mind to experience what you need to learn.

(Image Source: The Cutting Truth)

What am I trying to say here?

A person will learn better from you personally! Everyone needs to get out of their comfort zone/community. It’s as simple as befriending someone who isn’t an Asian American. Letting them know about our own culture and point our differences. Help them understand that while our cultures may be different, we are all people who eat, work, and play. Break down stereotypes one by one and help them understand that AAPIs, and all other minorities, have issues that we are fighting to overcome. We can work to help a community and break down barriers between AAPIs and other groups by doing community service (something that is not AAPI related) and teach others little by little. When I say teach, I don’t mean lecture. Being yourself, becoming a friend (or even acquaintances) will teach slowly but surely. But also be aware that you are representing the AAPI community.

And in case you’re wondering about the name of this post, a piñata is actually a great analogy for AAPI’s who need to spread the word. There are so many candies and goodies in a piñata but no one will be able to see what’s inside the piñata, or even enjoy its yumminess, until someone breaks it open and let all the candy fall for everyone to enjoy. We need to break these clusters and start spreading out, break down barriers, and let others learn about our culture that stayed inside the piñata. Okay, I might be abusing this metaphor, but I think you all get the point. We can’t complain about stereotypes and lack of education on cultural awareness if we don’t even venture out of the AAPI community. Get to know people. Learn about other cultures first hand while teaching others about our own. Be an advocate in your own way.


The Intern Day

Hi everyone! This is Julie and I have the honor of greeting you every Tuesday. I’m a noob blogger so please excuse any sacred blogging rule I break.

The four of us will be discussing different themes every week and each day, we will write about our own personal take on the week’s theme. As Brittney mentioned, this week is “Intern Lyfe”.

How do I explain my day? I work from 8-5. But what happens during those hours?

I’m currently a law school student working as a legal intern. So each day is different. A lot of the work depends on what cases are on the table and their current status. But most days, i’m researching, writing memos, or in a meeting with the other attorneys. At the end of the day, the department tries to make sure that you have a great learning experience. The work is hard but everyone is willing to stop what they’re doing and explain anything to you as long as you ask.


But I’ll be honest. I was not expecting this type of nurturing environment. I’ve heard so many stereotypes about lawyers that I guess I started to believe in them.

Most people in the office understand that this is an opportunity for you to get the most hands-on experience you can get. But there are also many interns who only look for something to put on their resume. The people you work with will only be willing to teach you if you make an effort to get to know them and learn from them. I guess this is pretty much how you differentiate between interns who are resume buffing and interns who genuinely want to learn. As for me, I’ll take on any opportunity for a project. I’m eager to meet someone new and I’ll walk into random offices with open doors. I’ve spoken to people about a wide range of topics from Supreme Court rulings and opinions to the Pinky and the Brain trying to take over the world. I hope that the gap between my age and the current college interns out there aren’t too far removed that you guys wouldn’t know about Pinky and the Brain…

Networking is the not-so-secret to success. Any and every opportunity can lead to something even greater. So interns out there! It’s not worth it to stay in a bubble. Get off your bum and get to know the people in your office.

I wouldn't be able to survive without Westlaw, coffee, and highlighters...

I wouldn’t be able to survive without Westlaw, coffee, and highlighters…

This post turned from talking about a typical day at my internship to an encouragement for other interns to do something more than just wait for work to come to you. But I want you guys to learn from my own experiences. I’m hoping that you guys can share your own experiences here and others. Some of this stuff might seem obvious but being in the workplace can frighten some people and the obvious suddenly seems impossible. I’m writing this to tell you that there is no reason to be nervous or scared and I’m sure that people will be glad to take a mini-break to talk to you.

So I’m glad that I was able to put my 2 cents in for this week (: I hope that this little tip helps at least one or two interns out there. Look forward to Daniel’s and Laura’s post later this week!

Until next Tuesday!