Wednesday, June 13, 2012

save the flea market


when i decided to move to dc, matt, knowing i would fall instantly in love, took me to eastern market, and as predicted, i fell 
head-over-heels in love with the market and all it has to offer. on a random sunday, camera in hand, 
we strolled past vendor after vendor, and i am sure i drooled over the fresh 
seafood, poultry, produce, and pastries. we headed 
to the flea market. the flea is special to dc residents and visitors alike 
and now, in 2012, 29 years after opening, the flea market is in 
jeopardy of being shut down.

Michael Berman, Director of the Flea Market at Eastern Market, hands out information to market visitors


"Most of The Flea Market at Eastern Market will be eliminated under a development proposal for the site of Hine Junior High School that will go before the DC Zoning Board on June 14.

Developers Stanton-EastBanc and the DC Zoning Board have to find a home for The Flea Market at Eastern Market that will work for the exhibitors and their legions of customers.

The market provides up to 150 spaces for vendors and approximately 15,000 people visit the flea market on a typical weekend. Everything from antique furniture to maps, art, photography, clothing and textiles are sold. The Flea Market at Eastern Market has been a vibrant incubator space for small businesses as well as a treasured neighborhood meeting place. When the original Eastern Market building was gutted by fire in 2006 The Flea Market at Eastern Market carried on. It’s a neighborhood institution and a landmark in its own right.

 
Despite pledges of the developers to preserve the market, albeit at half the current size, the proposal actually cuts by two-thirds the space for vendors and customers, eliminating 38,000 square feet of market space from the current configuration. Water features, street furniture and plantings are continually being added to the design that will further reduce usable space.

A reconfigured design could accommodate the Flea Market. It is the responsibility of the developers and the DC Zoning Board to resolve these issues and secure a viable home for the market before the project is allowed to proceed."- from http://www.change.org/petitions/save-the-flea-market-at-eastern-market

 unfortunately i was late to learn about the 'save the flea market' campaign 
and missed my chance to sign the petition to maintain the outdoor flea market. 
there is still much to do. tomorrow, thursday, june 14, there is a 6:30 p.m. hearing 
regarding the property and petition to maintain the flea market.
 make sure to keep up with the campaign at http://www.easternmarket.net/ 

the end of the flea market would be a huge loss for all of dc, its arts and
culinary community, and residents alike.

for me, losing the flea market would mean losing my favorite place
to take photos, buy jewelry, meet up with friends, eat food,
and be a part of a dc tradition.

fingers crossed for the best outcome!





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