In the spring we moved to a townhouse in Fairfax City, VA after selling our long time home in Reston. Scroll back a few posts and you can read all the gory details. With the summer season firmly among us, we have been having the opportunity to get familiar with Fairfax City, and it’s becoming a very comfortable place for us. We wound here by shear happenstance, but I’ll take serendipity whenever I can get it.
Fairfax City has proven, to me at least, to be a small town jammed into a large metropolitan area. In doing so, it’s managed to keep it’s character and the feel is very warm. Both Melanie and I like it a lot. Reston has a lot of things, but character was not one of those. Fairfax City has it in droves. It’s amazing how two communities, separated by a scant few miles, can be so different.
What this is telling us, is we would eventually like to wind up in Fairfax City, or someplace similar for our final destination. It’s highly unlikely that Fairfax City will be that place as property wasn’t inexpensive before the recent run-up, and is absurdly expensive now. We have our eyes fully open, but this townhouse on School Street has been a delight on a myriad of levels.
With all that, Fairfax City typically puts on a pretty big 4th of July Celebration. Like virtually everywhere, last years celebration was cancelled via the pandemic, but this year, with the virtual disappearance of the Coronavirus, at least in Fairfax, it was decided to hold the event. Typically it’s all on one day, but this year it was divided up, with a parade on the morning of July 3rd, and a fireworks display the evening of July 4th. Here is the parade route:
As we live literally down the street from the parade route, I got up Saturday morning, did the usual morning rituals, and then headed out, cameras in tow to see the parade. Leaving the house, it was clear that Fairfax had been blessed with amazing weather. Typically in July, it can be hot and muggy, but today the morning was cool and dry and it was simply spectacular. This was the forbearer of wonderful day to come.
It was a bit of a quandary what cameras to stick in my ThinkTank Retrospectives 7 messenger bag. Typically this bag holds the XT-2 with the XF18-55 zoom mounted, with the XF10-24 and XF55-300 zooms in separate bags. This morning, I wasn’t certain what style of shooting this was going to be, so the XF55-200 came out and the X-Pro2 with the XF35 inserted in it’s place in the bag.
The parade route is about 2 blocks down, so it took no time to get to the south edge of the route. As it was close proximity shooting with the people, and attractions, the X-Pro2 came out first to begin working the scene. The organizers of the parade were getting ready and one of the large balloons was being filled up:
After just a few shots it was clear, that the X-Pro2 wasn’t the horse for this course, so it was delegated to the bag and the XT-2 was the tool of choice for the remainder of the day.
As it was early, there was time to walk completely around the parade route just taking in the ambiance. There were a myriad of families and folks just getting ready, all very happy at being able to get out and do something. That became somewhat of the theme for the day, just general happiness now that the Coronavirus tide has turned.
So, my walk began on Chain Bridge at Justice Avenue and I walked all around the circuit. It’s not too long and only took me about 20 minutes. But it was a delight all around.
Walking northbound on Chain Bridge, folks were getting ready for the big event:
Turning the corner onto Main Street, this gentleman was sitting here alone looking rather forlorn when I walked up and asked if I could take his picture. He immediately responded with a big smile! Talking with his daughter-in-law, this was the first time he had been outside since March of 2020 thanks to the virus. Needless to say he was very happy to get out.
Turning the corner onto University Drive and toward City Hall:
This family was sitting here on the curb kibitzing, so I asked if I could take their photo:
Onto Armstrong Street and toward the viewing stands:
These two ladies were sitting here keeping to themselves and I was taken with their presence and grace. I asked if I could grab a portrait and was rewarded with this:
Finally rounding back onto Chain Bridge, the Shriners were doing a warm up exercise in their go-karts. There were very practiced at this and you could see they were very enthusiastic. It looks like fun.
Immediately prior to the start of the parade, we had a flyover.
Now it was a scramble to find a good vantage point to view the parade. The optimum spot at that juncture was over on University Drive, so I cut through the buildings and wound up in the parking lot of the SunTrust Back almost opposite the Fire Station to catch the beginning of the parade.
And that was the end. Walking home, I was taken at how wonderful the parade was, with the almost universal sense of community being felt from all corners. To be honest, I was quite taken with this. The Coronavirus, the recent hysteria, all being set aside for one day of community. One wonderful day.
I’ll take one day, you have to start somewhere.