On Becoming Local

Alexandria, and Northern Virginia for that matter, is a state within itself and I love it! I came here immediately after college, had no idea where to live, so I plopped down in the City of Alexandria for no reason other than it was close National Airport. Yes, I was flying back to California, my home state, a lot at that time, partially homesick and partially feeling like I was in a foreign country. I had never been back East nor visited the south and Southern California definitely does not count.

Fast forward and I’m happily ensconced in my adopted hometown! Del Ray has no chain stores, restaurants, or exercise studios. All are locally owned and of course Kiskadee will be participating in Small Business Saturday on November 25 with free giveaways!

Alexandria has traditions and history I adore but I’m completely enamored of the people and their zest for life, unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and, well, general quirkiness that makes me smile!

We all have our favorite spots and I’m sure some of mine may well be some of yours. The Little Free Library throughout Alexandria is a gem. These neighborhood pop-ups allow you to choose a book gratis and/or donate a book back. This particular little library is located in Del Ray and it is the first one in Northern Virginia! Of course this time of year is perfect for curling up by a fire, in your cozy cashmere sweater, with a good book.

Around the corner from the Little Free Library is the Poetry Wall. Neighbors will place artwork, photographs, articles, and of course poetry on this Del Ray fence. It is there for ALL to enjoy, learn, and gaze at beautiful thoughts and creations.

On my route to Del Ray I always pass by Wally’s Window. Although Wally is no longer with us, his owners lovingly provided him with a window to see the happenings in his neighborhood. All the local and visiting children and adults loved to visit Wally…and the feeling was mutual.

Yes…food!  The Del Ray Farmers market has grown exponentially since it first started in 1994.  It is year round, every Saturday from 8am-noon. It has seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, cheeses, fresh kimchi, awesome baked goods (yes, I am salivating at those bagels)…the list goes on!

I love the saying “Be the reason someone smiles.” I’m incredibly blessed to live in a town whose citizens, probably unknowingly, make me smile everyday!


  • The latest from Allison

Looking for a killer cocktail number for the latest party? Shoes for running around town? Eye-catching separates for lunch at Cheesetique? Kiskadee has you covered. A favorite destination in the heart of Del Ray, shopping this boutique is akin to browsing your friend's lust-worthy closet. Kiskadee is fun, flirty and full of original designers,a ll presented to you with a focus on personal service. You will always be welcomed by a friendly face, eager to assist!


2205 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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