For samples of local original art, jewelry, vases, mugs, glass bears, cashmere and hand-painted silk scarves, books, paintings (all sizes), cards, sculpture, calendars, tapestries, or pottery about cats (really, it's there), what better place than the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria where reasonable prices abound, and artists are ready to talk, Merry Christmas!
It's a winter wonderland of art. So much to see! So much to choose! And so much fun.
What a totally delightful experience to visit galleries and discuss the creations while strolling from piece to piece and sipping champagne. What? You missed this year's open house? There is next year, dearie, and besides, the art remains.
(Breaking news from a Torpedo Factory tweet: Decadent December Art Night 12/13 6-9pm w/ chocolate, shopping, exhibit receptions +
Have you ever been? It's the home of 160 artists, 82 studios, 2,000 students, six galleries, Bread and Chocolate (!), and a museum, all which occupy three floors in a facility built after the end of World War I for torpedo construction. (Only in D.C.)
Still on display in the main hall is a (dormant) green torpedo constructed on-site in 1945. Yes, the building definitively suggests the military, if you've ever been inside a submarine or on an aircraft carrier: The environment is similar which is part of the charm.
The Torpedo Factory's third floor is also the home of the Alexandria Archaeology Museum where the main exhibit, the Lee Street Site, features one city block and what's been found there. The museum is an excellent introduction to archaeology for children of all ages. Hands-on demonstrations are part of the learning experience at the museum.
What: Torpedo Factory Art Center
When: Open daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (until 9 p.m. on Thursdays)
Where: On the waterfront at 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
For more information: 703-838-4565
Metro station: King Street. From the Metro you have two choices (excluding a taxi): Walk a pleasant (flat) 30 minutes down King Street, past beautifully decorated shops on your way, or hop on the free trolley, coming and going, which also takes you past beautifully decorated shops.