There are a few types of people currently on my not-so-great list. Among them:
- People who tell me I have a job then later tell me I am no longer needed
- People who tell me I have a job and then never reply when I ask about a start date
- People who tell me I am one of two candidates for a job and then never respond when I follow up with them
- People who hire me to do hours of work for them and then don’t show up at our designated meeting time to exchange work for money
- People who tell me my resume is very impressive but that they only hire students
- People (mostly metro bus drivers) who don’t use their turn signals
But do you know with whom I do not have a bone to pick , though they probably wish I did? Fire dogs! And lo and behold, there’s a National Fire Dog Memorial! So last Friday, Shawn and I visited this glorious memorial to the four-legged heroes among us.
The original intent of our evening was actually to attend the free jazz concert in the Sculpture Garden, but does any plan ever go as intended? First, Shawn wanted to get coffee and discovered there is a Saxby’s inside the Reagan International Trade Center, so we went through some security and wandered the halls of a mostly-empty building in a quest for his thrice(or more)-daily dose of caffeine.
Anyway, Jazz in the Garden is a weekly event, but neither of us had ever been, so we did not know just how much it was the place to be on Friday evenings. The garden was hopping with big groups of friends of all ages cavorting and drinking over-priced sangria. I’d recommend it, but I’d also recommend arriving early, inviting your squad, and packing a picnic dinner. We couldn’t really find anywhere nice to sit, so we listened for a little while and then decided it was a good night to get ice cream…
Unfortunately, getting ice cream is no simple task in this city. To begin with, there aren’t all that many places selling real ice cream. Once you find them, there is a very wide quality spectrum – from crap to super fancy gelato – BUT all of it (even the crap) is SO EXPENSIVE. You’ll easily spend $5-7 for a relatively small serving. This is a complete rip-off for someone who grew up in New Hampshire. I’ll accept a variety of theories as to which part of the world has the highest quality ice cream, but I don’t think there is any debate as to which has the best value ice cream: New England. Where else can you get decent ice cream that comes in servings bigger than your head for less than $3? And I’m not talking soft serve places or chains (*cringe*). I want to buy my ice cream from a local business with a cheesy name, and I want to eat my ice cream while inspecting the cows it came from to make sure they are happy. Is that too much to ask??? Anyway, we went to a gelato place that was charging $6.99 for a pathetically small serving, so we said “fudge it” (the most ice cream-related of curses) and walked right back out the door… This is why we have taken to bringing a couple spoons to the grocery/convenient store and buying a quart of ice cream to eat on the way back…
Since we couldn’t fill our tummies with ice cream, we decided to fill our souls with a visit to the Fire Dog Memorial, which is definitely among the cutest memorials in the city. I mean, look at the loyalty in that puppy’s eyes as he gazes up at the man who will lead him into a burning building!
(Note: I have no idea what duties are actually assigned to fire dogs.)
Cuteness aside, it is not too much of a surprise that this memorial is on neither Google Maps nor TripAdvisor. The fire dog and fire man are staring at each other so intently they obviously don’t have eyes for anyone else. Also, there isn’t exactly anything to do in the immediate vicinity of the memorial. Since we really only visited this to write about it afterwards, we spent the entire time taking pictures in an attempt to capture the statue from the vantage point of each subject.
While Shawn continued to master the dog’s eye portraits, I went over to investigate the state of signage on a building which I can only assume was created solely as a backdrop for the fire dog memorial.
Speaking of signs, the plague on the Fire Dog Memorial is quite long-winded and somewhat grammatically-questionable. I won’t bother transcribing it, but you should know that it honors fire dogs “for their service to the communities where they serve” as well as the “unparallel [sic] bond between the working dog and their partner” Also, this project was made possible by K-9 Sadie (among many others), so I really want to know if Sadie’s contribution was financial.
We really could’t get more than 5 minutes out of the Fire Dog Memorial. After admiring the literary genius of its plaque, we wandered through Chinatown wondering what to do next with our evening. Eventually, after trying to go to a restaurant that had an hour and a half wait, we decided to head back to Arlington for dinner, and settled on District Taco (which I’d never been to). For fast-casual chain restaurant dining, I’d give them a solid A-. They had by far the best quality meat I’ve had at this kind of place. (Unpopular opinion: Chipotle meat can be rather sketchy.) They also had corn tortillas (key) and a decent selection of salsas. But the most exciting thing at District Taco was the art-o-mat!
Apparently someone has had the genius idea of turning the types of machines that used to sell cigarettes into dispensers for art. Artists paint on little wood blocks or use boxes of the same size to hold some other form of art. They cost $5, which seems like a lot for something from a vending machine but is pretty cheap for original artwork! Shawn had bought chips and salsa for us, so I bought art instead of paying him back. We are now feeling quite cultured. All-in-all, it was an enriching evening.