Happy Birthday to Us, Happy Birthday to Us, I Can't Believe it's Been Four Years...Happy Birthday to Us!

That's right, as of today Old Town Home is officially four years old. In internet blogging years, I think that's like 82. I know it's pretty cliche, but I really can't believe how time has flown. I can still vividly remember the night we were officially posting our first blog entry. We were sitting outside in our backyard enjoying the weather and a glass of wine. I clicked publish on our "How To Create Marbled Easter Eggs" post, looked at Wendy, then said "Okay, we're live, now how are people going to find this?"

In the four years that have followed we've shared successes, failures, progress, delays, good times, bad times, adventures, stories, advice, photos, and a whole lot of DIY and randomness, and we've watched as people have found us. Honestly, I can't think of a better place to have shared everything from our Buffet Turned Vanity Before & After, to the arrival of the Colombian Tall Ship Gloria in Old Town Alexandria.

Throughout our journey we've made so many friends and have made so many connections with people we never would have met if not for the (once again very modern day cliche) idea of, "Hey, maybe we should start a blog." Thank you, to everyone who's read and interacted over this journey.

Over the past few weeks I've been feeling a bit nostalgic and started looking back through and reading some of our older posts. One thing I've noticed is that the longer we've blogged, the more detailed and in-depth (and by that I mean long winded) our blog posts have gotten. While this can be good when we have a detailed guide or something that may benefit from a more verbose explanation, a lot of times something a bit lighter weight would do just as well. And at least for me, I find myself comparing blog posts today to blog posts before and constantly trying to make sure I "make it a good post." This ultimately delays the posts I'm writing and makes everything take way longer than it should. Sort of like this paragraph is doing right now.

So as we enter our fifth year of blogging, I think I'm going to focus on writing posts that are shorter and a bit more fun. And that starts today as we introduce a locally famous set of Old Town residents, the Lee Street Rats.

Yes, you read that right, the Lee Street Rats. If you've ever walked down South Lee Street in Old Town Alexandria, along with the beautiful collection of very historic homes, you may have noticed the characters above looking over your shoulder.

Not only do these guys hang out and watch over the 300 block of the sidewalk, but they also put on performance displays in the home's basement window, like this one which appears the rats are watching some sort of a royal court.

While Wendy and I have been watching these Lee Street Rats and all of their shenanigans for years, we're unaware of their root or origins. Perhaps it's related to the storied "wharf rats" that once inhabited the ships and wharf areas in costal colonial shipping towns, including these lower streets in Old Town, or maybe it's just the home's owners' love of elaborate dioramas. 

Much like the Old Town Llamas (who have been sadly M.I.A. for the last few years) celebrate with themed displays and costumes for nearby holidays or current events, such as their celebration of the Lee Street Halloween tradition.

Or in celebration of the easter holiday/arrival of spring just a week ago. The lights are a great touch and make it available day or night. 

Sometimes there are fewer spectator rats, and sometimes there are more, but one thing is for absolute sure, they care for each other. Last year, after some of the rats apparently went missing, they launched a campaign to lobby for their safe return. Their diorama efforts focused on spreading the word that some of their rat compatriots were missing.

I'm hopeful they found their way home as the signs are no longer on the windows. But one thing is for sure, this is just another reason to love Old Town Alexandria. Where else can you find frequently changing creative displays where local rats can watch stage performances?

Have you ever seen these rats in Old Town? Know their story and why they are what they are? On one hand I really want to know, but on the other, the mystery is a big part of the fun. No matter what we'll keep our eyes on the Lee Street Rats and will be sure to share their future performances. I really hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Comments 9

Comments

Holly Laffoon
4/24/2015 at 3:09 PM
Never heard of this! Next time I'm in Alexandria, I'm definitely going to look!
Alex
4/24/2015

Definitely worth a trip.

Wendy Brafman
4/24/2015 at 3:44 PM
This is one of my favorite stops on our Sunday Old Town ramble with our dog.
Alex
4/24/2015

Have any favorite displays so far?

sj
4/24/2015 at 7:04 PM

Happy 4th!

threadbndr
4/28/2015 at 9:27 AM

Hah! so cute! We don't have any rats or even any 'fairy doors'. People here in the midwest seem to have no imagination.

Holly Laffoon
4/30/2015 at 4:19 PM
Never heard of this! Next time I'm in Alexandria, I'm definitely going to look!
Wendy Brafman
4/30/2015 at 4:20 PM
This is one of my favorite stops on our Sunday Old Town ramble with our dog.
5/5/2015 at 3:17 AM

Happy blogiversary! I'm so glad I found you.

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