Last Sunday I had a very odd shopping list:
- Ironing board
- Birthday present for a 4-year-old boy
- Nail polish remover
- Smudge tool for 5-year-old daughter’s art class
- Valentines’ Day table cloths
One might think that the place to go to for these things would be Target. Problem is: I can’t stand Target. Maybe it is my passion for independently owned businesses–or maybe I just have a snobby aversion to mass marketed schlock. I prefer the nobler side of that coin, but I admit it could be either.
As a mom of two, however, it was hard to avoid places like Target. That is until I found the Hollin Hall Variety Store. It is the greatest store I have ever been in. It has everything. I mean everything.
I actually think there should be a game called “stump the Variety Store.” I’m not sure anyone could win that game. Think of the most random item and you will find it there.
Piñatas? They have them. The plastic underpants you use for potty training? Check. An old school photo album? Of course. Sewing supplies, greeting cards, army men, and foam? All there. Any type of candy you can imagine, sold in bulk? They have it, just like the dime stores I used to visit in Central Kentucky’s small towns with my grandmother in the 1970s.
I could keep going on but I think you get the idea.
So if you live in Alexandria, get to the Variety Store. It’s open 7 days a week and it has a whole lot more than you think–and unlike Target, you won’t have to walk across slurpee-residue floors to pick it out.
Even The Washington Post agrees.