One evening I decided to attend a networking event on the emerging Creative Class that was held at the large makerspace known as TechShop in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia. While I was riding the Metro to the Crystal City stop, I noticed these dramatic clouds forming over the Potomac River so I took this next shot. The window was dirty, which I couldn’t do anything about, but this next photo shows the 14th Street Bridge along with the Washington Monument located at the far right. The dome structure next to the Washington Monument is the Jefferson Memorial.

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There was a reason for al those storm clouds: It started to rain after sunset. Between being on the Metro and being in Crystal City, I was underground through most of it so I didn’t have to use my umbrella until after I arrived in the parking lot of the Greenbelt Metro station as I was returning home.

I got off at the Crystal City Metro station and I immediately went inside the adjacent shopping mall known as the Crystal City Underground, which is named because of its subterranean location. The Crystal City area was once envisioned as a place where one could live, work, and shop without ever having to go above ground. The theory was that anyone living in one of the nearby apartments could just take the elevator to one of the underground tunnels and walk to one of the other buildings to work then walk to the underground to eat at a restaurant or shop either after work or on the weekends. I haven’t been in this area since the 2012 Artomatic, which was held in one of the nearby buildings. There are a few nice stores but most of the merchandise is pretty expensive, which is why I normally don’t shop there. The underground architecture is pretty interesting.

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The next photo shows one of the many mall entrances that leads to a set of steps for the visitor to walk down.

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I focused mostly on this chocolate shop I don’t recall seeing before known as Schakolad Chocolate Factory. This stores sells all kinds of handcrafted chocolates in a variety of shapes.

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I purchased this chocolate five dollar bill there. It was made from dark chocolate and it tasted very good. I ate it along with a light dinner I purchased from one of the fast food places. (The event I went to served food so I didn’t eat a large dinner that night.)

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The one other place I found interesting was this bar and restaurant known as King Street Blues, which seems to have a New Orleans-themed decor. I didn’t have much time to take too many pictures because of the event I was going to plus the place was crowded with people who stopped by after work. If I’m ever in the area again I’m definitely going to make this place one of my destinations.

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I finally arrived at TechShop. I had heard about this place from people who’ve been there for the last few years and I have to admit that it’s very impressive and very big with some nice decorative touches.

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The event itself was held in a side room. There were a series of three panel discussions plus there were networking opportunities between the panel discussions. The next photo shows one of them.

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There were also opportunities to tour the facility between panels, which I took advantage of. TechShop is a makerspace that’s filled with the latest equipment for anyone who wants to make anything as long as he/she pays a monthly fee to use the facilities. There are all kinds of machines for all kinds of making ranging from welding to fashion design to woodworking to making musical instruments.

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Someone is currently working on his own personal airplane to fly in and the body of the plane (sans wings) was on display as a work in progress.

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If I ever have an idea for something that needs to be mass-produced, I definitely will go to TechShop to work on the prototype for my idea after I use Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to raise the needed funds for both the monthly fee and any needed supplies.

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