Gravelly Point Park in Alexandria, Virginia, USA
I took this photo at Gravelly Point Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where you can watch planes take off and land at Reagan Airport. The park is about halfway between my house and downtown DC, so sometimes I stop to watch the planes as I bicycle into the city to meet friends.
Place you live: Alexandria, VA
Place your photo was taken: Alexandria, Virginia
Can you sum up Alexandria? Living in Alexandria, right across the river from Washington, DC, is the perfect way to enjoy city life without actually being in the city. I like my town because it has a slower pace, fewer 2 a.m. sirens, and more green space, but I can be in DC in a matter of minutes whenever I want. Alexandria is historic, picturesque, and bicycle-friendly.
Preoccupation: photography, running, traveling
A perfect day in Alexandria? Go for a morning run or bike ride on the Mount Vernon Trail, then reward yourself with brunch at The Majestic Cafe on King Street in Alexandria. If it’s a nice day, you can window-shop your way down to the Torpedo Factory Arts Center at the end of King Street, on the Potomac River. The building was converted into a place for artists to work and show their projects, and it’s one of the best places in the DC area to see a large collection of local art all in one place (and meet some of the artists!). When you feel sufficiently cultured, get some sandwiches to go for a dinner picnic outside if it’s a warm night, and watch the boats go by on the Potomac River. If it’s too chilly for that, cozy up to the bar at Bilbo Baggins on Queen Street, where you can work through old Trivial Pursuit questions (and the extensive beer menu) while you wait for dinner: hearty portions of pasta, fish, and lamb chops.
If someone was visiting, what must they do? Look for our “secret” speakeasy. No hints!
A perfect meal? It’s impossible to choose — you should eat at as many of our delicious restaurants as possible! Two of my favorites are Taverna Cretekou (live traditional Greek music on Thursdays) and Columbia Firehouse (classic dishes and great atmosphere).
What is the best thing about your spot? I live right across the street from the Mount Vernon Trail, which is where I run and bike daily. Six miles north of my house (and across a bridge) is the National Mall, with all of its Smithsonian museums, and downtown Washington, DC. Twelve miles south of my house is Mt. Vernon Estate, the plantation home and burial place of George Washington. I love living among so much history and culture, and I appreciate how accommodating the area is to cyclists and runners.
What is the worst? The traffic! And unfortunately, the often less-than-optimal Metro system. This is where the bike comes in handy!
A little known fact about where you live? The Potomac River used to come all the way up to Fairfax Street in Alexandria. Land was added to push the river back, gaining the town two extra blocks to the east.
Where is your favorite place in the world? I love to travel and have seen some incredible cities and landscapes, but if I had to spend the rest of my days in one place, I would have to choose my family’s lake house in rural Kentucky. My father and his brothers built it themselves in the 1970s, and after spending almost every summer there while growing up, it is absolutely my home away from home.