News & Politics

Al Pacino Once Ate a Burrito at the Iwo Jima Memorial (and Other Fun Arlington Facts You Should Know)

Photograph via Flickr.

High School to the Stars


● Shirley MacLaine, class of 1952

● Warren Beatty, class of 1955

● Sandra Bullock, class of 1982

Resident Chattering Class

● Peter Alexander, NBC News

● Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

● Chuck Todd, Meet the Press

Historical Notes

● In 1791, the land that includes Arlington was part of DC—at the time a diamond shape. Congress gave that land back to Virginia in 1846 so the state could pay for a canal project along the Potomac.

● During Watergate, the source known as Deep Throat met with Bob Woodward in a parking garage on Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn. The county board voted to tear the garage down in 2014.

Screen Time

● In 2003’s The Recruit, Al Pacino eats a burrito at the Marine Corps War Memorial (a.k.a. the Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington Ridge Park.

● In the season-one finale of The West Wing, President Jed Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen, gets shot in a scene filmed at the former Newseum site in Rosslyn.

Urban Legend

● Pets around Four Mile Run began disappearing in 1974, giving rise to the tale of the so-called Beast of Barcroft (the inspiration for a 2015 e-book of the same name by Arlingtonian Bill Schweigart). The National Zoo eventually captured the culprit, a cat-like carnivore called a civet…or did it?

By the numbers

● At 25.8 square miles, Arlington County is the nation’s smallest.

● 81 languages are spoken by public-school students, who come from 96 countries.

● Arlington has 86 miles of biking and jogging trails, 8 libraries, and 652 restaurants.

● At 2.8 percent, Arlington County has the Washington area’s lowest unemployment rate.

● 207,627 people live in the county.

● 22207 (North Arlington) is the county’s most expensive Zip code, with a median home price of $890,000.

● 22206 (Shirlington) is the least expensive, with a median home price of $399,000.


Sources: Arlington County government; US Bureau of Labor Statistics; RealEstate Business Intelligence; US Census Bureau.

This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Jackson Knapp
Assistant Editor