Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2023-2024

A photographic record of whatever leapt out at us

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

A visit to Alison in Alexandria, Virginia

23-27 November 2023

Against our expectations, the Volvo GPS has correctly parked us at the front door of the Hilton Garden Inn on Prince Street in Alexandria, Virginia. We're going to case the neighborhood this afternoon and tomorrow morning link up with daughter Alison tomorrow morning, who lives only a few hundred metres from here.

We're on the main drag, King Street, which leads a farther one kilometre down through the Old Town to the Potomac waterfront attractions.

Very charming, and with genuine fall foliage

Doesn't Alexandria Cupcake have a very attractive grey building?

Queen Nails & Spa, too, and ESP Tea & Coffee

The King Street Trolley is, by the way, FREE.
(It looks very like a Hometown Trolley from Crandon, Wisconsin. The industry standard, apparently.)

Very pleasant

Wait -- there, festooned by an American flag, that's apparently an Irish Pub.

And it is -- Murphy's Grand Irish Pub at 713 King St., it's got ambience, excellent food as far as we know from ours, friendly staff, and . . . regular live music (but we've snuck in here at 5 pm and will be getting ourselves out again in good time).

It's getting dark already -- that's winter for you!

There's a rare vintage pickup truck with what appears to be a stuffed horse on it, outside the Hard Times Cafe.

Back to the Hilton Garden Inn . . . the cats will be so pleased.

Next day, we're joining Alison at her flat overlooking the Alexandria National Cemetery, and . . .

. . . getting a good look at the horizon from her building's rooftop terrace. The Washington Monument is just at the extreme left, and the Alexandria National Cemetery is just below on the right. (It must be grand fun picking out familiar buildings, but as a scenic vista is rather a non-starter.)

The Alexandria National Cemetery just across the road

The colorful Shiloh Baptist Church on Jamieson Ave. We're out chasing a late brunch in the Executive Diner just behind that.

The Fibre Space, a yarn store on Prince Street, and . . .

. . . approaching King St on S Fayette, here's Imagine Artwear ('women's clothing store').

Back on King St and past . . .

. . . Murphy's Grand Irish Pub of fond memory

The Pita House ('Lebanese cuisine')

We've just passed the Old Town Farmers' Market, emptied out today but busy the last time we were here.

The waterfront park is just a few blocks farther along.

A discussion of priorities, amicably resolved

The pedestrian Old Town Alexandria Waterfront area

A massive crowd coming right for us!

Here they come

The massive crowd just swept right past us; just a misunderstanding of the traditions here.

Coming up on Pop's Ice Cream Company

Oh doesn't that look good.

Blissfully sparsely populated today -- a clear shot at the Potomac

The Fish Market (one seems to recall that we had brunch there on our last visit)

We're out to the Potomac waterfront park now, but first . . .

. . . a brief visit to the Torpedo Factory Art Center, which indeed . . .

. . . was once a torpedo factory (or a large part of a complex). That green thing's been neutered; it's a Mark XIV, produced in 1945.

The facility was built in 1918 and built Mark III torpedoes until 1923, after which it was converted to a munitions storage depot until 1937, when it was back in business with the Mark XIV. By 1950 the place was being used as a Federal Records Center, but it was purchased by the city in 1969 and leased to the Art League in 1973. It's presently managed by the city's own Office of the Arts, which rents space to artists and arts organizations at subsidized rates.

Enormous, multistory, and filled with art, with happy congregants. In 2023 the Arts Center celebrated its 50th anniversary.

A fun place if you like art. [We do, we do, but we're just passing through.]

With its own guitar player

Outside, round the docks . . .

and marina, and parks, etc., like . . .

. . . the King Street Park just to the south, part of the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront
('Portside boardwalk with dining & music')

We're off for a walk, northward now.

Blackwall Hitch (eh?) -- ('Sophisticated restaurant featuring upscale fare, plus innovative cocktails & an extensive wine list')

And the Chart House ('High-end chain eatery serving seafood & steakhouse fare in a classy setting with views')

And a paddle steamer, imagine

Judging by Google Maps, the Virginia/District of Columbia frontier runs exactly down the middle of that boat.

The fleet in readiness for the call out

There's the paddle wheel . . . but operational or ornamental?

We're trekking on northwards through the Founders Park and the Oronoco Bay Park and then the entire length of the Rivergate City Park, until we finally give it up and . . .

. . . turn back at the Tide Lock of the Alexandria Canal.

(The building on the right houses the International Association of Chiefs of Police.)

Back towards the Old Town Farmers' Market, where . . .

. . . buses congregate, including . . .

. . . the free one.

Another gallop past the Alexandria Cupcake et al

And soon, it's time for dinner.

At the Greek 'Taverna Cretekou'

Scrutinizing the menus (one of the phone, 'tother on paper)


What shall we have for desert?

Oh Jeez!

Next up: First, all-you-can-eat brunch, then the National Gallery of Art

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 20 January 2024.

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