Indian Food! Chinese Acrobats! Torpedo Factory!

by Jenny, a Patriot Blogger

As a gourmand, one of my long term goals is to taste all downtown Fairfax’s easily accessible restaurants.  On Friday night, I finally checked the Indian restaurant, Bollywood Bistro, off of my list.  My friend and I ordered samosas (crisp turnovers with potatoes and green peas) and the Suanifia Calamari (pan friend and fennel infused) for our appetizers.  Though the samosas there were delicious, I found that the GMU food court’s Sangam samosas are actually comparable!  The waiter also convinced us to try the Dates Naan, which provided a sweet contrast to the spicy Malabari Chicken with coconut milk and curry leaves that I ordered.  The chicken itself was too tough for my liking, but the pleasantly spicy sauce complimented the dish well.

After dinner, I attended a mind-blowing performance by the National Acrobats of The People’s Republic of China: Direct from Beijing.  When approached with the idea of watching an acrobatic show, I imagined a 10 foot wave of drowsiness surging towards me.  Soon into the performance I realized that I was actually enjoying myself, laughing during the silly knife-throwing act and gasping at the act featuring impossibly strong men standing on top of one another.

To make this all possible, a friend had snagged free student tickets the first day, landing us front row seats, where I could see the intricate stitching of the colorful costumes and hear the lead acrobats cue each formation and perfectly coordinated placement of the body.  The acts featured singing and dancing acrobats balancing 10 plates in the air while contorting their bodies in impossible positions as well as tumblers jumping through 10 foot hoops and 24 acrobats balancing and directing a single bike around and around the stage.

When wind has shooing everyone away for Thanksgiving break, a friend and I ventured into downtown Alexandria.  Despite the dementor skies and schizophrenic rain, we braved the abandoned streets and set out for the Torpedo Factory, an three-story art center located on the Potomac waterfront. In the 1920’s, the Torpedo factory served as a building that manufactured torpedoes.  Today, each floor houses artists ranging from painters and sculptors to photographers and print makers, who can often be found working on their latest creation.  Below, a friendly sculptor is found in his corner studio working on his latest piece.