Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Despite the electrical fire that prompted the closing of Washington, DCís Eastern Market earlier this year, its outdoor vendors and produce sellers are still reaping the benefits of summertime crowds and novelty shoppers. Beyond the closing of the indoor market, not much has changed.
What has changed, though, silently signifies the loss of dozens of businesses that couldnít survive at that location without the structure of a building surrounding them. Both Eastern Marketís bakery and its vendors selling perishable goods like meat and cheese are seemingly out of a home. Yet, those vendors have not given up entirely. One meat seller now does transactions from a refrigerated truck. Whether business is still profitable for the seller is questionable.
Yet, Eastern Market is not just a place of commerce. It is an extension of a neighborhood. It is a communal area for residents, tourists, entrepreneurs, and musicians. These days, in addition to the local farmers from Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia selling their goods, youíll find singers and musicians on the side of the roadway entertaining passersby. For the best seat, visit the Ben & Jerryís ice cream shop just on the outskirts of the Market area. Here you can sit outside and listen to free, live music as you relax with a bowl of one of your favorites.
Though the Market may still be in a period of transition, it continues to offer visitors great options for shopping. Conveniently located just two blocks from the DC metro orange line Eastern Market stop, the Market is easy enough to find without a map. On your next trip to the Washington, DC area, be sure to include Eastern Market on your list.