A summer Sunday in Old Town Alexandria can include sights ranging from tour guides dressed in period garb, to teenage bongo players, and finally to a guy sitting in his car parked on King Street with the windows down and screaming/singing to Puddle of Mud’s “She F#@&ing Hates Me.” You had to appreciate his commitment to his art; and if you were to question his zeal, his “I Love Music” bumper sticker would force his boisterous point home.
Tourists are crawling all over Old Town, despite the fact that it is basically historic for the fact that people lived, worked, and Colonially reveled around wood burning stoves here 250 years ago. There are tons of small museums and historically preserved homes of the lesser known founding father types, but basically it is a baby Williamsburg celebrating all things related to the fact that George Washington could manage to found our country on a farmer’s crazy sleep schedule. The fact that it’s history and monuments are much more subtle than DC’s is probably what kept my very proper 8th grade social studies teacher from even attempting to get us to do more than get pizza at the Seaport food court and indulge in the decadent ice cream shops on the last day of our class trip.
The King Street Chipotle raises the tally of the new signage we have encountered on this
journey. Whereas I have always liked the idea that every single location is supposed to be noticeably a little unique from all the rest; I am troubled by the abandonment of the old logos in favor of something that looks corporately sanitized to me. I have noticed this change making Chipotle apparel less enticing to me as well. Maybe I am just opposed to change, but I love the old logo that looks like the same artist who does all their sculpture work just drew it freehand on a napkin and some young “executive” wearing jeans and t-shirt at the fledgling company headquarters had the genius to embrace it. The original logo can be found at locations such as Rosslyn, Tenleytown, and Friendship Heights. Then there are the middle-of-the-road block lettering logos, which still retain some of that original feel, Georgetown and Woodley Park for example. But I really dislike what is going on with this new sign which makes me feel like I am in Tomorrowland at Disneyworld.
- Today’s Menu: Salad with chicken, black beans, red-tomatillo salsa, corn salsa, cheese, and honey-chipotle vinaigrette.
- Natural light: A (For as crowded a street as it is, its great that Chipotle is on a
corner allowing for tons of windows on two sides and great people watching.)
- Uniformity of meat: C (The clumpiness of the barbacoa gave Phil quite a few overly meaty mouthfuls. Too many of those are bound to exacerbate his recurring meat sweats.)
- Man-made light: B+ (This industrial lamp apparatus certainly lives up to the theme indoors.)
Location tip: The George Washington Masonic Memorial is open for free tours during daytime hours seven days a week, a wonderfully historic precursor to burrito binging. As mentioned and displayed above, for dessert, Pop’s Ice Cream shop is the place to be on King Street, even if you traveled from Tennessee with forty 7th and 8th graders for an educational school trip. The banana split made any way you like it is sure to be the envy of anyone who chose to be conservative and go for one scoop in a cup. For later night entertainment, visit Tiffany Tavern for some tasty brews and well-respected bluegrass every Friday and Saturday nights.