Florida Avenue Market

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending a show at the DC Environmental Film Festival.  The Festival is held over two weeks throughout the city with 6-10 movies playing every night about environmental issues that DC residents care about.  Some are even free, and that’s pretty cool.

The two films we watched were about food transportation and distribution – which combines my love of healthy eating with my professional transportation geekery.  The first short, E2 Transport, was about how even eating organic stuff is still not necessarily good for the environment if it has to travel 1,000s of miles to get to you.  The second one was a bit longer, The Great Food Revolution: 24 Hours, 24 Million Meals.  I’ve never really thought about how 8 million people in NY City get fed three meals a day.  Certainly not by all the community gardens in Central Park!  This movie was a fascinating look at how so many people work around the clock – some with very specific jobs like the Banana Lady who only works with shipment of bananas, and others that start making pastries at midnight so they’ll have tons (quite literally) of fresh pastries by the morning.

Which got me thinking about DC’s food distribution system.  I don’t know much about it and I’d love to learn more.  I know most of our food comes through the Florida Avenue Market, located on – duh – Florida Avenue between NY Avenue and Galludet University.   Saturday, I stopped by on my way to the trash pick up fun (see below) and took some photos, but I need to go back and explore more.  I also need to learn a bunch more about it since I really care where my food is coming from.  Apparently the market used to be as beautiful as Eastern Market, but now it has lots of 18-wheelers and an industrial feel.  (Blog chatter about the market here and here.)

DC’s Office of Planning has been working for awhile to figure out a better way to use this site.  My verdict is still undecided – on the one hand we need to preserve industrial land in the city that provides our food, but on the other, that trash we cleaned by the market on Saturday was nasty so surely there’s a better alternative to that.  It’s somewhat close to the infill Metro Redline stop at New York Avenue, so it has potential to become something great.  I’ll check back in later once I’ve gathered more information.  Thoughts???  Have any of you been there and have something to say about your visit?

I finished off the weekend with a trip Sunday morning to the DuPont Circle Farmer’s Market to re-hip my hipster self and un-guilt any issues I was having.  At least that’s what helped me sleep that night, though the guilt really still lingers.  I miss the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market selections for sure.  For lunch today, I’m eating a green pepper from who knows where and an avocado from Mexico.  The shame…

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