Friday, June 12, 2009

Old Town Alexandria

Day two brought us to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, a small colonial town just south of Washington D.C. famous for its quaint shops and scenic harbor on the Potomac. Our only purpose for Alexandria was to eat lunch by the harbor, but we ended up meeting Chris Durkin's (my buddy from seminary) family. They own a restaurant by the river and a small cupcake shop by the town square. If you ever stop by Alexandria, hit up the Lavender Moon Cupcakery (yep, that's a word). These were some of the most delectable little pastries that have ever touched my lips.

Here's Kelly and Sierra on the fountain in the town square. Although it looks like she's walking on water, it's actually only an inch deep. Maybe someday she'll walk on water, but she'll have to quit waking up her parents at 3am before that'll ever happen. We'll work on it.

The three of us ate lunch by the Potomac. Actually, we met some kind travelers from Argentina who took this photo. Speaking espanol away from Denver was a treat.

Here's a random story. The first thing we did when we arrived to Alexandria is get a tour of the Torpedo Factory. Why? Well, it was 11:58 and we passed by a sign that said "Free Tour at 12pm daily." So, we let ourselves get sucked in. We entered this artsy little building on the river and tracked down the tour. As we got cookin', the lady told us the story of the building. Back in WWII, the building was used as a torpedo factory, producing well over 6,000 torpedoes over several years. After the war was over, the factory was shut down and boarded up. Pigeons and mothballs moved in for decades...

But early in the 1970's a woman saw the factory and got an idea. Why not turn the building into an art gallery? She got permission, rounded up support and recruited other artists, from painters to sculptors, to open up studios there. In the early days there was no AC (unbearable in the summer) and only one heater in the winter. But the artists persevered and turned the Torpedo Factory in one of the east coast's premier home to aspiring and accomplished artists. From making torpedoes to inspiring beauty. Quite a story. It made me think. History doesn't just happen to people; it is shaped by those with visions of a better future who act on their ideals. May we all turn society's torpedoes into works of art--and may we do so boldly.

1 comment:

Bev said...

Looks like you are having a great time! I love the pics!