Monday, April 30, 2007

Eastern Market Fire

The main hall of beautiful Eastern Market caught on fire, early this morning. The building facade and part of the inside appears to be salvageable -- a testament to its sturdy construction, no doubt -- and thankfully there were no injuries. Still, the news is absolutely devastating.

Eastern Market is like an old friend. Shopping for dinner at Eastern Market is part of almost every weekend I spend here in DC. It is quite possibly my favorite thing about this city. When I first moved here and was feeling homesick for my hometown of Pittsburgh, I would wander around Eastern Market to cheer myself up. The vendors of Eastern Market are Pittsburgh-friendly and that is not a comparison I frequently make.

It's hard enough to get through Mondays without the market (when the vendors take a well-earned day off and the market is closed), so I don't know how I'll survive while the market rebuilds. Fortunately, most of the vendors will be open for business as early as this week, perhaps in makeshift, outdoor stores. But in the long run, I sure do hope our neighbors who depend on the market for their living will be okay.

I'm looking for information about volunteer efforts or donation sites where I can drop off some dollars or even spend some time helping to restore the interior. I'm sure an effort will be organized soon (check back if anyone is interested and doesn't see the information elsewhere -- I will update this post once I find out how to help).

I just hope that the vendors are not overlooked, and that any losses not covered by insurance can at least be mitigated somewhat by a caring community. The vendors at Eastern Market are just as nice as can be. According to the quotes I've seen, the vendors seem very worried. I hope they are treated to the same kindness they've always shown their customers all these years.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Little Girl on My Street

Yesterday a little girl was struck and killed by a car around the corner from my house. Reports suggest she darted out between two parked cars and was struck by a green SUV that kept going. It's hard to get your brain around something this sad.

And then a vampire of the news media named Nancy Grace exploits this tragedy as if her bottom line depended on it.

After depicting the lurid details of the accident several times, shouting down anyone who disagreed (or simply dared to speak in her presence), Grace nearly frightened me into forgetting the tragedy she was pretending to cover.

Grace strikes me, having only had the misfortune to watch her program this one time, as someone who exalts in the misery of others and revels in the profits she can make of it.

Why can't I just watch the news and get an update on what's happening? Does Nancy Grace really feel that she needs to fake cry on teevee to remind me of all the phonies, fakers, liars and charlatans that walk the earth?

In the meantime, this poor little girl left the world on Monday a month shy of 7. Her mom watched it happen. The driver didn't stop. Was it an accident? Was it a driver who panicked and fled? It sounds to me that he or she is a coward. But clearly, the city's placement of stop signs and enforcement of speed laws in our neighborhood has been haphazard as well.

It seems to me this little girl deserves a better eulogy than the post-mortem yellow journalism delivered supposedly on her behalf by a bloodsucking, faking, exploitative, law school squeaker-by like Nancy Grace.

If anyone has any infomation about a vehicle for donation to this kid's family, please let me know.

Thank you.