Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Heart of Our City

There are lots of things to like about D.C., but there are only a few things that make it "our" city, the place we call home. One of those is Eastern Market.

Yesterday, Eastern Market caught fire and burned. Flames from a dumpster climbed up to the roof and gutted the building.

The Cap'n came home late from work the night before last and woke me up saying, "Eastern Market is on fire. It's gone." I couldn't understand what he was saying. Even after taking a jog down there in the morning, I'm having a hard time imagining living here without the market.

We visit the market at least twice a week. I can reel off each one of the stands in order, starting with the lunch counter: seafood, Union Meat, Canales Meats, pasta, deli, The Sweet Shop, veggies, poultry, cheese, Calomiris and Sons veggies, Market Poultry, and flowers. On the weekends, people come from miles around for the outdoor farmers' stands and flea market.

Flora and Tom at Calomiris always give Slim a banana everytime we go by. Mr. Inman at Market Poultry sells awesome duck, which the Cap'n has turned into the most fabulous confit. The Cap'n also has trained Slim into a real taste for the Russian tea cookies at the sweets counter.

And it's gone.

I've sent a letter to Mayor Fenty to encourage him to live up to his promise to rebuild the market. Now is not the time to debate where to find the resources or funding, it's time to restore the history that our community has lost.

It's hard to realize that you most miss something when it's gone. Now I wish I had taken more photos of the inside of the market so you could see what it was like. I don't have any photos of the fire, but there are some online at the Post.

I want to be able to take Little Baby back there for his banana from the Calomiris stand, too.


Rie said...

My prayers are with Flora and Tom and the other folks who will need to rebuild. I really really hope the mayor listens and everything works out.

Love you!

Elspeth said...

I'm sad about Eastern Market too. I used to go there as a kid all the time.