Posts Tagged ‘Franklin Square’

I ran several errands on Day 45.  I ended up near the World Bank then hiked over to Franklin Square, where I found Ryan Z. on Day 42.  On my way over, I passed a lunch stand on the corner of 15th and K Street.  There was a line 25 people deep.  I peered into the stand and I saw a lone man deftly making burritos for the hungry crowd.  This place must be good, I thought.  I continued on another block to my next appointment.  I finished my meeting around 2pm and then crossed Franklin Square to get some paperwork from a friend of my brother’s fiancée.  I picked up the paperwork and then started heading back home.

John hard at work at his burrito stand

It was probably 2:30 and I spotted the lunch stand and thought that I ought to check out the place.  The line no longer there, the “burrito man” was packing up.  I walked up to John and asked him if he would participate in the Year of Giving.  He was very busy and agreed on the condition that I am quick.  I gave him the $10 and got his name and asked a question or two about his burrito stand, Pedro and Vinny’s.  He has been doing this for about 10 years he tells me. 

Although in a hurry, he takes time to tell me about the all- vegan bean product, the fresh ingredients, and that he doesn’t use any lard in his preparation.  He proudly tells me that his Mango Habanero sauce is now commercially available.  Although I had already had lunch, my stomach is screaming at me for a burrito! 

I asked him what he was going to do with the $10 and instead of replying he darted out of from behind his stand and looked around.  He explained that he was looking for one of the homeless guys who tend to hang out near his stand so that he could give the money to them.  I liked his immediate reaction to help someone else out.  He went on to say that he gives away 3 or 4 meals a day to those in need.  That’s awesome!  Good for you John.

“How’s business?” I ask John.  He smiles and says that last year was his best year ever!  On an average day he sells about 150 burritos.  On a good day he sells over 200.  At an average of $5-6 per burrito, his customers appreciate a good product at a reasonable price during these challenging economic times.  You do the math, and it sounds like John is doing ok too.  In fact, his daughter Kristin is opening up her own stand this spring.    

I am interested to taste a burrito.  I will go back and get one some day.  I can almost guarantee you that the food is good though.  You don’t get a line like he had on a cold day if you don’t have something tasty!  

Pedro and Vinny's Menu

I know that John is in a hurry.  He gives me a business card and agrees to follow up with me via email if I have any other questions.  I will definitely update you when I go and get my burrito!  By the way, I was curious as to why he choose “Pedro and Vinny’s” for the name…I have followed up with John via email and will let you know when I write my review of his burrito.

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I have some good news today.  I wrote WordPress and asked them if they would be so kind as to gift me an upgrade so that I would be able to post my videos here instead of forcing people to go to Facebook, and they said absolutely!  WordPress rocks!  Thank you.  So, soon you will have video on here too!

Franklin Square, Washington, DC

Yesterday I was walking near Franklin Square in downtown DC.  It’s a nice park to sit and take in a warm, sun-drenched day like we had yesterday.  

It was ironic to me at first that it is called Franklin Square since the only statue in the park is of John Barry and not of Benjamin Franklin.  Not that Barry is not worthy of it, history portrays him as an honorable Naval Office in the Continental Navy (he might have been the first official officer).  But if the park is called Franklin Square you expect to see something about Benjamin Franklin.  Well, after a little poking around I learned that the park is named after the founding father because of the building that is across the street, the Franklin School.  

Continental Navy Officer, John Barry

The roof of the Franklin School is the location where Alexander Graham Bell sent his first “photophone” transmission (sound transmitted by light waves) in 1880.  Now it seems unused.  It used to be a homeless shelter up until late 2008, but now I don’t believe it is being used for anything.

As I left the park, I saw a young guy crossing the street holding an artist’s large sketch portfolio.  I thought he would make an interesting recipient.  Maybe I would find a real, live starving artist.

Art Institute student, Ryan Z.

Ryan stops to talk to me.  His longish hair protruding some from his hat.  The 18-year-old seemed a bit confused about my mission, but readily agreed to participate.  He lives in Arlington right now and attends the Art Institute in Rosslyn where he studies graphic design.  What he really wants to do is design items for the music industry.  So, merchandising, cd covers, etc.  The Erie, PA native says he plays guitar and would enjoy playing in a band here in DC. 

I asked him what he would do with my $10 and he gave me back the most common response I get: eat.  I don’t think he was truly a starving artist, but it seemed that my $10 would definitely help him out.

So if anyone knows of any good connections or advice for Ryan to help him out in his graphic design pursuits or to get him hooked up with a band, please comment here.

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