Favorite Neighborhood Spot: Eastern Market
written by Sheridan Waters, Teen Council employee.
Eastern Market functions as an open marketplace for vendors and a space where communities can meet and gather. Because of its public building status, it's become a community center to buy and sell and commune. It's a prominent place in the neighborhood.
Eastern Market is an old-looking building covered in brick and resembles an older schoolhouse. It's underwhelming from the outside, where you enter there are two brown double doors, and that’s where the fun starts. Once you enter the double doors your senses are overwhelmed by the scent of spices and meats around and the older building becomes so much more exciting with so much inside to explore.
Because of capacity restrictions, I wasn't able to interview people at Eastern Market but I did ask some of my friends who live in the neighborhood and they were able to tell me that they like going to Eastern Market because they enjoy supporting local businesses. Another one of my friends enjoys being at Eastern Market for all of the dance classes that go on.
So there's definitely a variety of activities that are available for everybody!
Eastern Market is one of the few historic public market buildings left in Washington, D.C. and the only one that has retained its original public market function. The Eastern Market building is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The market has been in continuous operation since 1873. One of my favorite things to do while I'm at Eastern Market is to look at the cars parked outside and just imagine what it looks like a hundred years ago and think about how much the world has changed since then. I find it's a fun historical "mind activity."
Heres' a list of recommended books/resources related to Eastern Market.
If you decide you want to pick up a couple of items to help support local businesses or try to whip something up yourself, you should check out these cookbooks:
- Cooking from the farmers' market foreword by Jennifer Maiser; recipes by Tasha De Serio & Jodi Liano; photographs by Maren Caruso.
- Fresh from the Farmers' Market by Janet Fletcher
- Modern comfort cooking: feel-good favorites made fresh and new by Lauren Grier
If you're more interested in the entrepreneurial side of things visiting Eastern Market, talking to some of the vendors is always a great way to find out more. Also, this book is a starting point on everything you could want to know before venturing out and trying to start a business.
- Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook by Dan Shapiro
And if you find yourself in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood, the Southeast Neighborhood Library Library (as of writing, closed for renovations) is about two blocks from Eastern Market. So is a local bookstore called Capitol Hill Books and the Northeast Neighborhood Library which has a slightly bigger collection is about a 10-minute bus ride away.
Happy exploring the city! (Safely!)