Friday, March 2, 2012


A few days ago, my good friend Eleanor suggested that we participate in something called the "March Photo Challenge," as a way we can virtually hang out because an ocean has worked its way between us, and neither of us are able to cross it as much as we'd like. You can find these calendars all over the internet, but the idea is that each day has a different theme, and the only rule is that you have to take the picture on the assigned day.

Yesterday's photo was "Up." Today's keyword is "Fruit."  I don't have much free time on Fridays, so my only chance for fruit was Whole Foods, which you can find in pretty much any town these days. How could I also make it about DC?  Well....DC does have a strange, strange relationship with grocery stores.  There aren't that many of them, for starters.  The Whole Foods, for instance, just opened in September and became the only large grocery store conveniently located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.  There's a Trader Joe's a few blocks away, but it's about the size of a gas station, and the lines stretch down every aisle. Until recently, there was a Safeway--the Social Safeway, it was called--in the Watergate, but the produce was as old and moldy as the senators who live there.

That's the other weird thing about DC and grocery stores: we name the Safeways.  The Watergate store was the Social Safeway because you could run into Condoleezza Rice buying milk or Ben Stein picking up a loaf of bread.  The Dupont Circle branch is Soviet Safeway because the lighting is 40 watt and the shelves are always unstocked.  In my neighborhood we had the Sexy Safeway, because it was sleek and shiny, specialized in gourmet foods, and had an extensive and impressive wine selection.  The economy crushed the local Giant though, and suddenly Safeway was narrowing aisles, is more packed than the Red Line at rush hour, open 24 hours a day, and has security personnel at all the doors.  Now they call it Ghetto Safeway, and I'm wishing I could still pick up produce at the Social Safeway.

But there's a ton of farmer's markets in DC, all through the week, all through the year.  But they deserve a post of their own.

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