The Washington Post

SCENE & HEARD

The Pride of Georgetown

Monday, July 31, 2006; Page B03

 

Our lives are filled with moments, observations and ponderings that are powerful enough to command our full attention briefly, before we move on to the next experience. Here are two of them.

Yes, we are aware of the magnificent lions on the Taft Bridge on Connecticut Avenue NW. But on the theory that no city can boast too many lions, we wanted to tell you about the huge pair in Georgetown.

 

Ryan Lielgus of Bethesda passes one of the two lion statues outside Gore Dean on M Street in Georgetown. The lions once resided in Connecticut.

Ryan Lielgus of Bethesda passes one of the two lion statues outside Gore Dean on M Street in Georgetown. The lions once resided in Connecticut. (By Mark Gong — The Washington Post)

They face each other crouching on the sidewalk and flanking the door of Gore Dean, a store that deals in artifacts, antiques and furnishings on the western end of M Street.

As large in appearance as any that might prowl in the wild, they sport vast curling manes. Their weathered look bespeaks age.

Passing them one recent afternoon, we found it impossible to resist opening the door of the store and confronting the woman behind the counter.

Without the notebook that would establish our journalistic intentions, and aware that we could not claim the prerogatives of a possible purchaser, we did not belabor her with the normal round of reportorial questions.

So we can supply only recollections of a quick conversation. But it appeared that the lions were the work of a Belgian and that they had long resided in Connecticut — where, we surmised, sun and rain had helped create their weathered look.

We tried to satisfy our concern with the quantitative by asking about their weight. The figure was willingly supplied, and we recall enough zeroes, given in pounds, to convert them into tons: 2 1/2 .

The other figure we did not ask about: what it would take to rescue these mighty beasts and bring them to our garden. Besides a big truck.

But we believe, despite the sense of exotic excitement and urban possibility inspired by every sighting of these sculptured creatures, that the current owner could be persuaded to part with them.

 

— Martin Weil, staff writer

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