Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Adventures On My Lunch Break

You may recall that I'm eccentric and still use fountain pens when I write. Since my office moved last year and we now work in downtownn Washington D.C., I've been meaning to wander over to visit Fahrney's Pen Store. Fahrney's has been in business since 1929, located within a block or two of where they're at now. I needed a few doo-dads for my pens, and since I was making the walk a nice bottle of ink was well deserved, and today was the day.

Fahrney's is located on the other side of the Ellipse from where I work, so I found myself braving crowds of tourons seeing the sights. Walking past the White House, there was excitement in the air, and I saw the First Dog out for his noon constitutional. Handsome animal, and very calm considering the ravening hoard barely contained by the tall iron fence between them. Of course, Bo was attended by a staff of two, one of which looked to be in a tux (White House staff perhaps?) and the other looked - honest to God - like a Secret Service agent. One of the gentlemen carried an umbrella, for himself or the dog is unknown. I saw no canine bodily functions on display, but like I said, I was on my way and just passing through.

Not long after, rain drops started to fall and I walked into the store just in time. Imagine a long, narrow space about the size of a single-wide trailer, immaculately maintained and elegantly appointed (the high ceiling had carved wooden moulding), and that's the interior of the store. I expected it to be much larger than that. Even so, no less than three people were behind the counters, and a fourth was in a small workshop/office in a back corner, the clutter hidden away from casual view.

I made a quick tour of the place, but because I had a list of exactly what I wanted and because I was on my lunch break, I dawdled just long enough to let the brief rain pass outside. I did note that the most expensive pen I saw there went for just shy of $3,000.00.

With my modest purchases in my happy little hands (simple pleasures), I headed back to work. Past the White House again and spotted the Presidential Vegetable Garden, meticulously maintained (by the riff-raff no doubt.) I was pleasantly surprised to hear conversations in Chinese, Korean, French, German and a few others I couldn't identify. It's kind of neat when you think of it, that so many people from around the world would come to America to see D.C.

Probably not one in ten knew what it was, but there was a huge plot of bright red tulips in full bloom. Standing at the base of the bed, you'd realize that it was a tribute to the First Infantry Division - The "Big Red One".

According to Google Maps, it was a two mile walk. Very pleasant, very touristy. I can't imagine going to Fahrney's again for a year or two, so y'all are probably spared another post like this for the forseeable future. *insert sigh-of-relief here*


Joan of Argghh! said...

I love fountain pens and had no idea there was a fix-it place for them.

Interesting to think you work at some exotic banking enterprise or architectural museum!

sheri said...

I *love* DC and finding little holes in the wall like the pen store in among the power-corruption-wankery-tourist fragrances. I'm sure they have an agent assigned to protect the First Dog's poops. Because they would be collectibles. eBay.

You? Eccentric? Pfft.