Art Festival in Old Town Alexandria VA

At the 2009 Alexandria Art Festival

This weekend Julie and I went to Old Town with the Alexandria Fun with Friends Group to enjoy the Alexandria Art Festival. The Art Festival occurs every year around this time and features artists and craftsmen from around the area.

2009 Art Festival in Old Town Alexandria

King Street closes to vehicular traffic and artists set-up stalls in the street. It’s an easy way to enjoy lots of art from lots of folks. The weather was very co-operative, neither too hot nor too cold.

2009 Old Town Alexandria

This 12 foot tall image of a koi caught my eye, as did many smaller pieces.

Arts Festival in Old Town Alexandria

I found that my camera was drawn to the larger pieces, but this is probably because I knew they would photograph well. There were many smaller items for sale too. However, many of us felt that this year’s festival seemed to offer more pieces that would be welcomed in a restaurant or hotel lobby than usual and a few number of the smaller pieces that look nice in a home.


There were several musicians playing up and down the street. This harpist sang like an angel, but I have to admit that my favorite was the steel drum player.

People walking King Street during Art Festival

We walked all the way up to Washington Street before turning around and making way back to the Potomac. After some discussion the group voted to eat at the Charthouse. At the Charthouse, the ladies had a little wine and we enjoyed some relaxed conversation and then dinner. For my part, I think the food at the Charthouse is good, but not great. Even though it’s a little pricey, it’s worth it because of the pleasant views of the Potomac that are offered.


About the AuthorWill Nesbitt is the principal broker of Condo Alexandria and Nesbitt Realty. Will specializes in condos, townhouses and single family residences in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Crystal City, and Kingstowne. Will resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Alexandria VA in Fairfax County.

The Many Musicians of Old Town

If you like street music, then you’ll find no better spot to wander than Old Town Alexandria. Through-out the week, especially on weekends, musicians gather in Old Town at street corners and near the waterfront to play music for tips and applause. Most are highly talented professionals, some are learning to play their instrument in front of a crowd. I enjoy them both in different ways.

Here in Old Town Alexandria, you’ll find everything from a lonely saxophone, to steel drums to an entire band. Below I’ve collected a few photos to give you a taste of Old Town’s many musicians.


This foursome was phenomenal singing and playing old time mountain music. It was a great throwback to the Carters because the gal in the front on the guitar was a great singer. The banjo player and bass were on point, and I love the texture that the mandolin (seated behind guitar) provided.

Glass Harp

The glass harp as played by Jamie Turner is an old town treat one simply must hear in person to appreciate.


This miss not only strummed the harp to perfection but also sang beautifully.

waterfront musicans

At the waterfront behind the Torpedo Factory there are often a few soloists serving up music for passers-by.

banjo and guitar

I heard some fine picking and strumming from this pair.

Properties in Old Town Alexandria

922 Washington St S #310


1335 Chetworth Ct

*OPEN SAT 1/20, 1-3 PM & SUN 1/21, 2-4 PM* Rarely avail, sun-filled End Unit (largest model) in boutique community near Old Town, Del Ray & Nat Airport. SPACIOUS LR w/FPL & big DR, Updated Eat-In KIT, ML Powder Rm. 3BR/3.5 Updated BA's include MBR w/Loads of Closets + 2 big BR's. Fin LL w/Rec Rm, 2nd FPL & Loads of Stor! Reserved PKG, Replaced Wndws, BIG Priv Patio. 2 lights to DC & walk to METRO! [Bashford Lane Cluster - $679,000]

525 Fayette St #408

OPEN SUNDAY 1/21 1-4pm. Luxury living condo with HW floors, SS appliances, granite, huge balcony, washer & dryer in unit. Den/guest room. Two full bathrooms. Pet friendly. Community entertainment room w/ kitchen, billiard and theater rooms. Fitness room. Rooftop lounges w/ grills, courtyards. Views! Garage Parking. Walk to Old Town, Del Ray, Braddock Metro. Minutes to Reagan national airport. [The Monarch - $524,900]

508 Oronoco St

Beautiful updated 1870s townhome in OT; 2-story ceilings, custom built-ins, hardwoods & light throughout. Gourmet eat-in kit w/radiant heat, custom pull-outs, & island. 2nd floor incls huge guest room, newly reno'd 2nd bath, brand-new master suite w/his & hers walk-in closet & spa bath. Bonus: laundry space w/storage + all new: utilities, gas fire, windows, & more. Landscaped yard & 94 WalkScore! [Old Town - $779,000]

813 Green St

Amazing Renovation! Great Location in Downtown Historical Alexandria! GLEAMING Hardwood Floors, New Custom Interior & Exterior Paint, CROWN Molding, SS Appliances, QUARTZ Counters, New Cabinets. Bathroom Renovations include Granite Master Bathroom & New Tile. New HVAC, New Lighting, Freshly Painted Deck Overlooks Fenced in Backyard. Close to Commuter Routes, Schools, Shopping and Much More!! [Hunting Creek - $629,900]

1111 Oronoco St #231

Unique residence at one of Old Town's most sought after addresses... Lives like a single family home and is flooded with natural light. Every top-of-the-line feature offered by developer is found along with many more updates & designer touches current owners have added to create an oasis of luxury living all in the heart of Old Town North... and just two blocks to the metro. SHOWS LIKE A MODEL! [The Monarch - $569,900]

117 Prince St

Recently renovated, circa 1780 townhouse on historic Captain's Row. Parking for 2 cars. Restorations include newly restored brick facade, new and restored windows, new roof, new ceilings revealing the original beams in the walk-out basement. Restored plaster, moldings, and fascia, new gas heating system, and many more quality renovations. 5,100 square feet, rare walk-out basement, large patio and [Old Town - $2,395,000]



About the AuthorWill Nesbitt is the principal broker of Condo Alexandria and Nesbitt Realty. Will specializes in condos, townhouses and single family residences in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Crystal City, and Kingstowne. Will resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Alexandria VA in Fairfax County.

Nando’s Peri Peri at National Harbor

Nando’s Peri Peri is located at 191 American Way inside National Harbor. Nando’s sells Portuguese flame-grilled chicken at affordable prices. National Harbor is undergoing construction and several new shops and dining facilities are being created. Nando’s Peri Peri meals have optional sauces with different flavors.

Farmers Market of Alexandria

Oranges And LemonsThe Nation’s oldest farmers market has been said to be the Farmer’s Market at 301 King Street, City Hall in Alexandria VA 22314. It was established in 1753.

The Farmers Market feature local produce vendors, art, handicrafts, wearable art and fresh baked goods that are offered every Saturday from 5:30 am till 10:30 am all through the year. Other vendors sell homemade ice cream, freshly made orange juice, honey comb, beeswax hand cream, scones, aromatics, quilts, dairy products, edible nasturtium blossoms, figs and so much more. Vendors are accommodating as well and offer samples of their goods.

Alexandria’s Farmers Market is situated 3 blocks away from the Potomac River.

Properties in Alexandria

Live near the The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria

The Torpedo Factory is one of the largest Art Centers in The United States

The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town Alexandria

Featuring 6 grand galleries, more than 80 studios, 2 workshops and the Alexandria Archeology Museum, The Torpedo Factory Art Center can be found in Old Town Alexandria, near Union and kings Street and the Potomac River.

Over 160 artists produce and showcase their original work in the Art Canter. One can also shop excellent quality and unique artworks, such as Paintings, Print Making, Jewelry, Ceramics, Stained Glass, Sculpture and Photography. The Art League School teaches children ages 5 years and above, as well as those at least 18 years of age for adult classes.

6 Grand Galleries of the The Torpedo Factory Art Center are are made up of :

  1. The Art League Gallery
  2. The Target Gallery
  3. Enamelists Gallery
  4. Potomac Craftsmen Fiber Gallery
  5. Multiple Exposures Gallery for photographs
  6. Scope Gallery for ceramics

Residents of Old Town Alexandria in North Virginia (which is the most sought after real estate) have access to The Torpedo Factory Art Center, The Lyceum and other shops and restaurants, all connected by King St. Trolley to the Washington Metro. Luxury condos surrounded by a central courtyard can be found at the Torpedo Factory Condominium Complex just right across the The Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Old Town Alexandria’s Waterfront

Old Town waterfront









Alexandria’s history as a colonial seaport is well-known in the area, and is one of the reasons that this city to calls to visitors from around the country and around the world. Alexandria’s seaport was once a bustling place of industry and commerce, but the cargo ships and packets from foreign seas are long gone now. Today, Alexandria’s waterfront is geared more toward the pleasant than the practical.

Where the Water Meets the the Road

At the end of King St. where the road meets the water, there are brick walkways and wooden decks. Plenty of benches and gazebos are there and in the evenings this is a place to find street musicians and other performers practicing their craft before wandering walkers .

In the left side of this picture is the Torpedo Factory, an Alexandria landmark. The Torpedo Factory was what the name implies: an edifice dedicated to the construction of naval weapons of war. But as the industry’s needs grew beyond the space here on the Alexandria waterfront, the building was repurposed as an art and crafts center. The building now houses a good many artists is is a wonderful place for tourists and residents alike to visit.

The Torpedo Factory

The Torpedo Factory and the waterfront are very close to the Torpedo Factory condos—high end condos in Old Town. For a list of prices and to check the availability of condos click the Torpedo Factory Condos. If you’re interested in searching condos, townhouses and houses around Old Town you might find this post useful.

King Street Trolley

Metro Access

Among other things, the waterfront at Alexandria is nice because it’s metro accessible. Simply take the Metro to King St. Station and then ride the free trolley to the Waterfront. The trolley is a service of the City of Alexandria for visitors and residents. It’s a fun and easy way to make your way across Old Town.

Nearby Parks and Trails


Waterfront Park on the Potomac in Old Town

Parks and paths line the waterfront these days. It’s the perfect place for a walk on a Spring day.

Park along the Potomac in Alexandria VA

Benches are found at just the right places. These photos were taking on a weekday morning, but in the afternoons and evenings the waterfront wakes up. Tourists, joggers and walkers share this open public space.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Stuart at (703)765-0300.

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association — Old Town’s Atheanaeum

Located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, The Athenaeum is home to the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA). Constructed between 1851-52, the Athenaeum is a Greek revival building with a rich history. The building is named after the Greek Goddess of wisdom, Athena. Over the years The Athenaeum has taken many names and was used for many functions. Together with the Lyceum, the Athenaeum is a foundation of Alexandria’s Greek neo-classic buildings.

The building has a long history of use in Alexandria. Before the Civil War, Robert E. Lee banked here, when the building was known as the Bank of the Old Dominion. During the Civil War it was occupied by Federals and home to the Union Army Commissary Headquarters. In 1905, the bank was converted from commercial to industrial purposes. The building was used by the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop as a place to grind talcum into powder. In 1925, the talcum factory became the Free Methodist Church.

NVFAA purchased the Athenaeum in 1964. Since then, restorations have taken place using the funds from the members of the NVFAA and the National Park Service Save America’s Treasure Grant.

Recent art exhibits include Song For Europe by Mark Cameron Boyd is participatory installation using his signature “text bisection” process on a series of chalkboards to address four different languages from European origin such as Greek, Latin, French, and English. This exhibit is on display from August 16th – September 21st.

Music is another art form featured at The Athenaeum.

Yoga classes are available at The Athenaeum. Instructor Betsy Huffman welcomes drop-ins. Class fees are only $18 per class. Classes are Mondays 11:30am

The Athenaeum is available for rentals for weddings, receptions, parties, business meetings and seminars.

Gallery Hours:
Thursday, Friday, & Sunday: Noon-4pm
Saturday 1pm-4pm

The Athenaeum
201 Prince St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-0035

For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center

Located on the Waterfront of Historic Old Town Alexandria, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is a great place for art lovers and tourists alike. The center is stocked

A Penthouse unit from the Torpedo Factory

with pieces ranging from “The Nest Project” to at “Fiberworks” Gallery. The museum has over 500,000 visitors annually and has over 82 artist studios, six galleries, two workshops, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. The center also houses over 165 visual artists who produce artwork ranging from painting to stained glass. The Torpedo Factory is located at 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. (703) 838-4565.

Across the street from the Torpedo Factory Art Center is the Torpedo Factory Condominiums, a collection of apartment and townhouse-style condos at the heart of Old Town’s most desirable waterfront locations.

Condos for sale at the Torpedo Factory

Properties in Torpedo Factory

No properties found.

The Gunston Community Center

Gunston Community Center
2700 S. Lang Street
Arlington VA 22206
Contact Number: 703 228 6980

The Gunston Community Center offers recreational, educational and social activities for the community users through their well equipped facilities:

  • Multi-purpose Room
  • 3 Meeting Rooms
  • Game Room
  • Art Studios
  • Playgrounds
  • Gymnasium
  • Basketball Courts
  • Outdoor Tennis Courts
  • Fitness Room
  • Baseball and Softball Diamond
  • Soccer Fields
  • Picnic Area

The Gunston Community Center highlights their well furnished fitness room that was included during the 2002 renovation.

Some Programs Offered:

  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Pre School

The Gunston Community Center hours:
Monday to Friday: 2pm to 9pm
Saturday: 9am to 4:30pm
Sunday: Closed

The Arlington Mill Community Center and Senior Center

The Arlington Mill Community Center and Senior Center offers a variety of educational and recreational activities suitable for both young and old while promoting social interaction within the community. While the community center is currently closed for extensive renovations till 2013, the Arlington Mill Community Center and Senior Center is working towards providing its community with better facilities and with a larger program of activities to engage more residents.

Facilities at the Arlington Mill Community Center and Senior Center:

  • Gymnasium
  • Changing Rooms
  • 3 Multi-purpose Rooms
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Game Room
  • Arts Studio
  • Computer Room
  • Children’s Playground
  • Basketball Court
  • Library
  • 2 Classrooms for Programs
  • Public Health Outreach Room
  • Teen Lounge
  • Senior Lounge
  • Work Area
  • Storage

Educational Programs to be offered at the Arlington Mill Community Center and Senior Center:
• Computer Classes
• Language Classes
• Citizenship Classes
• Health Education
• Immunization
• Nutrition Education
• Parenting Classes
• Early Child Development
• Pre-School
• Elementary after School

The renovated Arlington Mill Community Center and Senior Center will also be adding a plaza that will be used as an outdoor classroom or meeting room where community events can also be held such as art shows and farmers markets, pedestrian connections and a loading dock. The new 2 building community center is also expected to house 192 rental units upper floors, with 61 of them as affordable housing units on the at the back, retail stores and a 2 level underground parking for residents and center users.

Arlington Mill Community Center and Senior Center
4975 Columbia Pike
Arlington VA 22204
Contact Number: 703 228 7790