Old Town Alexandria
Nov 20, 2009Public
Photo: My Alexandria base of operations, where I work. This is the headquarters building of the United States Patent and Trademark Office on the west side of the city. (Old Town is towards the river.)  My office is on the fourth floor, where the "X" is. That's my window. A geodesic dome fountain is at right.
Photo: Reverse view, from my window to where I was shooting (see white "X"). Note the distortion of the cell phone lens; the building at left appears slanted. I assure you that it isn't. The City Council would never allow that.
Photo: This is actually a water fountain, but a rather poorly thought out one. At first the water just sort of spilled over the side into a pool. That was boring, so they arranged it to squirt upwards, which was better. It's off for the winter. That metal structure is a geodesic dome, but if you look at it carefully the struts don't always align well.
Photo: Plaque.
Photo: This is a proud Carlyle Lion just up the street from the Patent and Trademark Office. Clearly he's a male because he has a mane. But something is missing. Can you see what it is?
Photo: Viewed from the front he appears to be laughing. What he has to laugh about is unclear. (See prior image.)
Photo: His friend, on the other side of the street, rests (hiding any deformity) and sniffs at the Motley Fool's sign.
Photo: This is a view inside the ten story glass atrium. That Christmas tree (it is *not* a "holiday tree") is forty feet high. The atrium is open to the public; there's a small museum inside.
Photo: I like standing at the front doors and looking up at the infrastructure.
Photo: Within the USPTO's glassy atrium is the NIHOFAM. Let's go inside.
Photo: A real Les Paul guitar!
Photo: Plaque.
Photo: In the olden days, inventors had to submit models with their patents. Any railroad fans out there? This is the 1869 patent model for George Westinghouse's revolutionary air brake.
Photo: Plaque.
Photo: This is a 1872 model of a gun carriage improvement.
Photo: Plaque.
Photo: The Patent Office "shoes."
Photo: Plaque. The shoes are long gone, replaced by digital images of patents, which can be examined more quickly.
Photo: Not far from the Patent Office is a Federal Courthouse. Here Blind Justice thrusts herself forward dramatically.
Photo: The base of the Justice statue is curious. "Justice Delayed Justice Denied": Is it calling for hare-like rapidity in process? Yeah, right... good luck with the backlog...
Photo: Ah, the nearby Robeks. I like the Acai Energizer.
Photo: Not a far walk from the Patent Office is the Wilkes Street cemetery complex... this poor young fellow died during the assault at Fort Stedman. When I take a walk during lunch I pass by this and ponder. How much less rich my life would be if I died at age 21.
Photo: Everyone knows about Arlington National Cemetery, but did you know there's one in Alexandria? It's next to the Wilkes Street cemetery complex.
Photo: A better shot on a nicer day with a better cell phone camera...