Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One Particular Harbor

February 20, 2008. A date that will live in … OK, not infamy, but still, it sucked. It’s the day the Giant at Hains Point was torn from the ground after 27 years and moved, MOVED!! to PG County.

I know you, like me, all shed a small tear on this day last year.

Despite this tragic and thoughtless theft of public art (OK, if you insist, sale), The Awakening’s giant appears to enjoy his new home on the beach at National Harbor. Children still play on him, climbing in his mouth (now filled with sand instead of leaves and bark chips), sitting in his hand staring skyward at his outstretched arm.


Wait a minute. Who took my watch?
Fall off the wagon and go on one little bender and look where you end up
Damn, my mouth is dry


The Awakening meets the Creation of Adam

Despite the Giant’s apparent well-being in his new beach-front locale, there’s just something off about National Harbor. I mean, it’s nice and all, but it’s just so … I dunno, in PG County. It’s easy to get to, just a quick jog off I-295 or the Beltway. It’s new, pretty and clean. The faux beach is a little iffy though: there’s broken glass and other trash strewn about You really wouldn’t want to walk barefoot there. Trust. But the jetties jut nicely into the river and it’s a pleasant place to sit and watch the world float by.

But, still, it’s just kinda plopped down there in what seems like the middle of nowhere. There’s a Fossil, a J.A. Banks, a Godiva and South Moon Under. But there’s also a Swarovski Crystal, Segway dealer and a Harley store, all things I’m sure any conventioneer needs while on a business trip.

The restaurants look nice, but I hope my lunch experience is not indicative of the rest of them. After being seated in the National Pastime Bar & Grill, my friend and I waited at least 10 minutes before I buttonholed a hostess and mentioned the wait. When our server showed, finally, the best way I can describe her is “indifferent.” For ex: She made the point of asking me “Sweet or unsweet?” and then got it wrong by bringing me unsweet tea. There was another loooooong delay between our drinks showing up and her return to take our lunch orders (not to mention the long delay between the drink order and their actual arrival at our table. I mean, seriously, how long does it actually take to pour a glass of sweet tea and pull two drafts?).

I could maybe understand the delays if the place was slammed during a ‘Skins game, but it was a Saturday afternoon and the place was only about half-full. No. Excuses.

The good news is this: my hickory bacon burger was pretty good, but not $15 good (and the service definitely wasn’t $15-burger good). Cooked just the way I like it (a way that would make Lemmonex cry) and served with a decent-sized handful of tasty steak fries. My friend’s chili-cheese dog was also pretty good looking, although the bun was a bit small for such a generous-sized dog. It got a bit messy.

After the food was finished, there was another interminable delay before our check arrived.
All-in-all, an interesting journey south of the Anacostia and the Beltway, but not one I’m planning to replicate any time soon. My advice: Go, look around, but avoid the restaurants. There’s better food and value across the river in Old Towne or back in the District.


lacochran said...

I gave National Harbor a whirl a few months back and was singularly unimpressed. I can only hope things improve with more stores opening (which in this economy may or may not come to pass.)

Deutlich said...

my camera died the other day just as I tried to take a picture of this monstrosity

i know it's art

but it wigs me out

Lemmonex said...

Oh baby I like it RAWWW.... is now running through my head. MMM, rare burgers.

FoggyDew said...

lacochran - You described in two words what took me a couple hundred. Singularly unimpressed. Perfect.

Deutlich - He is not a monster. He is a partially buried, oversized metal man. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings, especially about being forcefully relocated from the District to PGC.

Lemmy - Well, I can now cross one person off my list of potential life mates. I don't think it's possible for a rare and a mid-well person to ever see eye-to-eye.

Sebastian said...

That giant is totally awesome. I thought the face was pretty cool, but the arm? That's going up... 10 feet or something? Pretty damn cool.

Especially digged the Creation of Adam gag after my visit to the Sistine Chapel in October.

Words can't begin to describe how beautiful Michelangelo's works are...

Even the thought of his David brings tears to my eyes. Blah!