Saturday, June 6, 2009

King Street, bikers, and stars

After visiting George's house on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, Dana and I also got together on Sunday to explore the rather charming King Street in Alexandria, VA. King Street runs through historic Old Town Alexandria down to the Potomac River waterfront (it's still weird living somewhere where there's actually flowing water), and it's lined with cutesy shops, cool restaurants and bars, art galleries, and over-priced yet adorable antique shops. It also has a trolley that runs up and down the street, and I have to say it's a whole lot quieter than a trip on the McKinney Avenue trolley.

We actually did have a purpose to our shopping - a coffee table and stuff for Dana's walls. While we did find some really great stuff, you know where you can also get similar cute, really great stuff for about 1/3 the cost? Target. So while we ultimately didn't buy what we intended, I found a new dress at the Gap outlet (ok, it wasn't all cute local shops - Gap and Starbucks and the like have invaded) and we came oh so close to getting some beaded necklaces made at Potomac Bead Company. We got all excited about the plethora of beads, but when the guy behind the counter suggested we take one of their handy classes and put them together ourselves instead of paying them a slightly silly amount to do it, our enthusiasm waned pretty substantially. Oh well. I'll just find a cute necklace at Target.

There were about a million bikers (of the motorcycle variety) in town over the weekend for Rolling Thunder 2009, a motorcycle rally held in DC over Memorial Day weekend every year to generate awareness and garner support for POWs and soldiers missing in action. It was kinda amusing to stroll through the antique shops and adorable stores and see the burly motorcycle men window-shopping their way down King Street.

Oh, and while this is something I haven't mentioned on the blog, for the last few months I've been fascinated by the stars I see on old brick buildings all over town, just like this one gracing a restaurant in Alexandria:

I've half-heartedly attempted some Google research to figure out what these darn things are but could never get a real answer. Well, I must have sharpened my Google skills or something, because I finally learned that these actually served a structural purpose back in the day as plates for rods that would brace the masonry against bowing. Silly Erin mystery solved! I've been taking pictures of these all over the place, so you can bet that a photo montage of some sort is in the works.

You're adorable, King Street! And as evidenced by your stars...old, too!

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