Life in the Fast Lane: 2011 Old Town Art Fest

The black chick tippy-tapping down Pitt Street on four-inch heels was at least six feet tall with endless curves and legs that reached all the way from the sidewalk to heaven. She was wearing an elastic body covering that ended at least and inch or so below the juncture of her thighs. It tended to ride up as she walked and she pulled down on the hems every few steps. Her full red lips parted in a big bright smile, her big brown eyes flashed, her nose wrinkled and she said, “Hi, is this the way to the art fest?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I nodded in the direction of King Street. Then I realized that it was not decorative panties that were peeking out under her hemline.

Question: Would it be possible to sneak a photo of that vision? It would make a great opening photo for the online photo album I was shooting of the Art Festival.

Answer: “Don’t even try it, pervert.”

She pulled her hem down with both hands, stopped smiling and tippy-tapped past without looking at me again. Even though she was no longer smiling, she was still beautiful.

Her friend, tippy-tapping hurriedly but cautiously over the same uneven brick paved sidewalk was not smiling either. “Pervert.”

“Well,” I thought, “so much for documenting the artistic merit of Brazilian Bikini Waxing.”

In spite of the fact that my aspirations for fine art photography were frustrated, this was a fun Art Fest. There were many well qualified participants with professionally presented art works. The displays include oil paintings, acrylics, watercolors, wood and metal sculptures, and even music. The music included steel drums.

This year there was the added treat of a 12-year-old (estimated age) bagpiper. He was not actually part of the Art Fest, and he was actually outside the Art Fest area, but his music was a high light of the day. His mother was with him keeping a watchful eye. They had collection bucket for the bagpipe team at one of the local high schools and passersby seemed intent on filling it with dollar bills.

The festival is attended by lots of good humored well heeled locals and less privileged visitors perambulating up and down King Street and in and out of the Torpedo Factory and along the Riverwalk. They look a the displays and buy the ice cold water and eat in the sidewalk cafés and circulate in and out of the local shops and ice cream parlors and generally seem to have a good time.

There are two Starbucks on King Street in Old Town. There are at least 2 more within a mile of King Street. In many ways, Starbucks is metaphor for Old Town Alexandria. It has tantalizing appeal, but it sells overpriced stale sandwiches with odd tasting ingredients and may be patronized by folks with more money than taste. One of its redeeming features is that it sponsors a number of fashionable, conscience soothing “green” projects around the world that it reaps great profits from. Here in Old Town, the patrons show up and tie their dogs to the trash cans outside or park their baby carriages with babies in out of the way corners while they enjoy their fizzy iced coffee drinks with soy substitute. The downtown Starbucks may be the only one in the region where male patrons don’t think the smiling personable young Ethiopian girls who wait on them secretly want to run away with them or care. Still, it is a nice place to visit.

Not all of the Old Town places are overpriced. The ice cream parlors charge about $5 for a large ice cream cone. A couple of the “Irish” pubs actually serve some Irish and English meals and those old Irish treats we have come to know as “tequila shots” and “buffalo wings.” These places tend to be reasonably priced.

I recommend Bugsy’s Sports Bar for top of the line pizza at a reasonable price and I hope you enjoy the photographs.

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