Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The spirit of a community in shambles

DC was hit with tragedy yesterday, twice. In case you haven’t heard, one of the most popular areas of the entire city, especially on a beautiful weekend morning was burned in a three alarm blaze that took out fourteen of the businesses and caused $20 million in damage. About 12 hours later another historic building was hit causing what is being called extensive structural damage on top of the documents of books lost flames and likely water used to extinguish those flames.

Both are tremendous losses for the DC community and while both will be rebuilt not all will ever be returned to the full glory and they once were and the items lost may never be found. While I can’t say I’ve ever been to the Georgetown Branch of the public library the loss still resonates in my heart. My mother being a librarian, I have always known the importance of books and information that the public libraries offer at no charge. In the days of the internet we often forget about the importance and the simple joys of visiting these public spaces and picking up a real honest to goodness book.

The same and more can be said for the Eastern Market; it was truly one of the cities greatest treasures. I’ve only been there a few times but the sense of community and simplicity found there could hardly be rivaled by anything even near to DC. Once again the act of getting off the internet and shopping in a market surrounded by strangers, friends and neighbors is something that is often lost in the hectic world we live in and the Eastern Market provided one of the most inviting and exciting areas to slow down and enjoy the experience.

Thankfully this weekend the outdoor portion of the market WILL be open and the Mayor has pronounced things will be rebuilt as quickly and consistently as possible. I hope that Mayor Fenty being basically a lifelong DC resident will understand the importance of these locations to the cities residents and will follow through on these strong words of support.

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