The Quietest Spot in Downtown Washington
A reader writes:
If Watergate were happening today, Mark Felt and Bob Woodward wouldn't meet in a Rosslyn parking lot in the middle of the night. They'd meet in the Orioles store in Farragut Square at lunchtime. I just started a new job in Dupont Circle and thought I'd wander down to the O's store on my lunch break. It was completely empty for the whole 5 minutes I was there, and the cashier never looked up from reading her book. How much longer do you think they'll keep it open?
The reader, Miles Grant of Ballston, got me curious. So every day last week, I popped over to the Orioles Official Team Store on 17th Street NW during lunch hour, the peak of the downtown shopping day. The park outside the store was teeming with office workers dining on the lawn and the restaurants and other shops were all busy, but every single time I entered the O's store, I was the only person in there other than the two employees.
So why does Orioles owner Peter Angelos keep his Washington store open? Because, as he told me during an interview on Washington Post Radio, "It's our territory." The store is just one way in which Angelos stakes his claim to Washington even as the Washington Nationals try to establish themselves as the home team.
Memo to the Lerner family: Wouldn't it be exquisitely cool if you opened a Nats team store in downtown Baltimore?
Of course, that's assuming that you're already working on setting up such a shop in, um, Washington. And while you're at it, it'd be nice to have them in a couple of your suburban malls, too. You wouldn't even have to pay rent, right?
Meantime, Miles Grant and I are going to start hanging out at the O's Store, not to buy the $18 toy trucks or the $99 warm-up jackets, but to enjoy some very fine air-conditioning on a summer lunch break. Thank you, Mr. Angelos!
One more note to the Lerners: Check out this email from reader William F. Yurasko--
This month marks the 51st anniversary of 'Damn Yankees.' The show's "Broadway debut has got the song 'Heart' stuck in my head again. For the last two years, I have been going on about how 'Heart' needs to be played at RFK following 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame.' Now that ownership has been announced, the time for more direct lobbying can begin. Think about it--30,000 people singing this rousing number during the 7th inning stretch. It sure beats Boston's 'Sweet Caroline' or Balmer's inexplicable 'Country Boy.' It would be a uniquely Washington experience! Best of all, it is an improvement that can start right away and does not cost a thing.
"Also, why stop at Heart? Maybe we could let Screech fly away and bring in a mascot we can really get excited about -- Lola!"
Fabulous idea. Mr. Lerner?
By Marc Fisher |
May 8, 2006; 7:33 AM ET
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