Monday, June 25, 2012


 Headed out this morning with 3 places I was going to visit, time permitting, before the Library Special Collections office opened at 1:00 p.m. (that's where I'm hoping to find some information on my grandparents' house and any other genealogy info they may have).  The first place, the Carlyle House, isn't open on Mondays.  I walked around the grounds and gardens and took some pictures.

On to Gadsby's Tavern  . . . doesn't open until 1:00 p.m. on Mondays . . . okay.  On to Friendship Firehouse (my grandfather was the Chief Mechanic for the Alexandria Fire Department) . . . I remember going here as a child.  They're only open Fri, Sat & Sun.  Strike three!  So . . . I walked "upstreet" as my grandmother used to call it and the memories came flooding back. 

I was about two or so when my mother, grandmother and I went "upstreet" one day.  I wandered off while they were looking at something in one of the stores.  Frantically they searched for me and found me outside the store in the lap of the man who sold toy birds strung on a stick.  I remember the man and those birds that would "fly" and "tweet" when you waved the stick.

We used to pass this statue on Washington Street frequently. My father would always say "If you walk around him three times and ask him what he died for, he will tell you . . .  nothing".  We would beg to stop so we could try it . . . until we got old enough to understand the joke.

On the corner of Washington Street and King Street (the center of "upstreet")  there used to be Lerner's Dress Shop.  It had this grand curving staircase and a big crystal chandelier.  I remember we always talked in hushed voices when we were there.  I thought it was so elegant . . . the saleswomen were always dressed so nicely.  Now it's a Banana Republic and a Gap store . . . the staircase and chandelier are gone . . . of course.

Anyway . . . I stopped for lunch at The Union Street Oyster Bar and had an amazing crab cake!  I gave up on going to the library as it started to sprinkle (briefly) and decided it was not meant to be today.  So . . . "home" now doing laundry.  Got a call from my BFF and we're meeting tomorrow at Meadow Wood Stables to take her granddaughter riding and have a picnic.



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