While out touring this past Veterans Day, we wandered upon an abandoned warehouse while we were walking in the Navy Yard / Capitol Waterfront area.
We were walking to Blue Jacket Brewery, just one of the relatively new restaurant/ pub-like places operated by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, where we have found a bounty of favorite eateries, including Vermillion, right down the street from us in Old Town, and where we had thought about having our son’s rehearsal dinner. You can view all their establishments via the bottom of their main page link, which is oddly still under construction.
We had walked in this area once before, coming from the other direction, and Blue Jacket was packed. We never noticed this warehouse but here is was and calling us to come inside. The only reason we walked over was because the warehouse door was half open, as if someone forgot to shut it. That got our curiosity.
Once inside this abandoned warehouse, we something quite remarkable, a surprising sculpture suspended from the rafters as an art exhibit. This magical light from the clearstory windows appeared to illuminate it.
We didn’t know what to make of it at first.
It looked like a dinosaur spine or something out of Alien but at the same time it was quite beautiful and reminded me of a harp.
It had a huge expanse and filled the entire diagonal span of the space.
Upon closer look we discovered it was made of golden arms.
Come to find out, it was a golden arm and we discovered it was meant to be viewed as an art exhibit. The half-way opened door was probably a ploy to get one to explore, which worked. This is the exhibition sign we noticed right outside — after viewing the exhibit. What a fascinating way to use abandoned buildings, I thought.
You can learn more about the 5×5 Project here and view their well done video below. I’m going to keep my eye out for the other 24 artists’ sites.
There were abandoned lamp posts on the other side of the warehouse. We’re not sure if this had anything to do with the exhibit.
After this discovery we treated ourselves to beers at Blue Jacket.
Sorry to say I wasn’t impressed with any of the beers as they were way too hoppy and IPA-ish for me. All beers that I try to avoid but Peter loves.
I viewed other surprises from our table: sun-washed smoke stacks that made an industrial location look beautiful and the ingenuity of the angled rooftop terraces of the condo units newly built in the area. This design gave everyone privacy plus a view and an architectural design-statement for others to see from below.
But the reward for trying Blue Jacket came in the form of fried chickpeas. Wonderful little crispy bites with a gooey center and simply flavored with lemon zest and pepper.
Who knew!! I’m going to try this for one of our family appetizers during Thanksgiving.
It was getting dark but we went on to continue our walk to the water. We were spellbound with more newly discovered, artistic spaces. The Capitol Waterfront & Yards Park area is a new-found treasure spot from which Alexandria could take a lot of lessons as they plan their waterfront renovation. I would only hope ours could be this good.
I’ve seen pictures of weddings on this bridge. Now I know where it is!
Even the design of the benches are well-conceived, functional art-pieces. What a Zen-like, welcomed resting spot this is. We truly enjoyed soaking it all in.
What a fabulous, serendipitous day of art discovery!
Art truly is everywhere and where you lease expect it sometimes.