I was shaving when Hedda asked me: “What is the Eastern Market Building?” Is this a trick question? “Um, the building that, uh, houses Eastern Market?” I reply.
She reads to me off her Blueberry. “Fire destroys most of Eastern Market Building.” Three alarms, reported at 1:00 AM, streets closed, school across the street to open. I don’t really hear those last parts, though, because I’m desperately trying not to cut my face while I stem the tide of tears and shaving creme dripping from it.
Okay, not really. I mean about the tears, though; Eastern Market really did burn last night. And I really am quite sad, because Eastern Market is a wonderful place, drawing both neighbors and outsiders (like me) to its selection of fresh food. In the summertime, browsing the antique vendors and artists set up outside hawking their wares - after a delicious Market Lunch brunch - is one of our favorite hobbies.
I really hope the City responds to this this as the serious event that it is: This isn’t just the loss of an antiquated grocery store, Eastern Market defines that entire neighborhood - and I’m not just talking about the Metro stop. The market employees need to be given assistance to help them through this time, and the building needs to be rebuilt as quickly as possible to forestall any declines in a neighborhood that has become, in recent years, one of DC’s finest.