Christmastime at Eastern Market


December 29, 2013,  Washington, DC: My neighborhood wears this season well, from head to toe, beginning to end. It starts dressing up for the occasion the moment we down the pumpkin pie and return to Capitol Hill after Thanksgiving and doesn't change out of its party clothes until now, in preparation for a low-key New Year's Eve. For weeks, large decorative icicles dazzled the streetlamps on 7th. Neighbors gathered to light the community's Charlie Brown tree on the plaza at 8th and Santa came to Barracks Row. A smattering of snow decorated our shared red bicycles, and men from Maryland and Virginia farms hauled in Christmas trees for sale at Eastern Market. In the leadup to Christmas, we watched from the window of our new home as families dragged wreaths and trees of all sizes down the cobblestone street. From the window, we saw partygoers in sparkling dresses enter the market's illuminated event space late at night.

And then we observed the parking spots open up, the city empty and the quiet descend. When we woke up the day after Christmas, the men with their trees had disappeared overnight, leaving pine needles wedged in the market streets.

Just yesterday, the neighborhood began to stir back to life. Today, people and cars again fill wet city streets, and with a magnificent and dizzying season behind us, the rest of the regulars are returning home.

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