Image Courtesy of Chanel Cole
By Chanel Cole
This past weekend, 7th Street SE was bustling with shoppers and vendors in celebration of Eastern Market’s 150th anniversary. To commemorate the Market’s founding and rich history, many events were held that attracted tourists and DMV residents.
Eastern Market’s design was created by D.C. architect Adolf Cluss and founded on November 12, 1873, as a fulfillment of urban design plans made by Pierre L’Enfant, a pioneer designer of Washington, D.C. Since then, the market has expanded into a bustling marketplace for small and upcoming businesses to thrive. Now when D.C. thinks of Eastern Market, it is not only of the Market itself but the vendors, neighboring restaurants, bookstores, and niche stores that make the area a must-visit destination in the DMV area.
From November 10-12, the Market hosted several events to commemorate the market’s coming-of-age. On Friday, November 10th was Novemberfest, a $25 fund-raising event catered by Atlas Brew Works featuring live music by Rock Creek Kings, a local rock band. The Saturday and Sunday events carried the bulk of the festivities.
Neighborhood walking tours occurred on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., A “living history” presentation led by someone impersonating Adolf Cluss, the founder of Eastern Market, was followed by a ghost tour at 7 p.m.. There were also activities specifically for kids , such as scavenger hunts and big-life chess and jenga in North Hall, a venue inside the Market that can be rented for special events. Furthermore, in this venue space was a class on how to break down a chicken, appropriate for the holiday season. To top it all off, there were several live performances by local bands.
The next day brought forward several other activities for the public to enjoy. These included a lesson about Victorian plants, a performance by the Washington Commanders Command Force Cheerleaders, flower arrangement lessons, Victorian bicycle information sessions, along with many of Saturday’s events.
Eastern Market has a lot to offer even without its special events that happened over the weekend. Nestled in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Eastern Market is a great place to shop for produce, whether it be for the Thanksgiving dinner table or a good home-cooked meal with friends. It supplies various meats, cheeses, fish, and other basic grocery items, all at DC-affordable prices. Trader Joe’s is also about a 5-minute walk from Eastern Market for even more grocery options.
In addition to being a great place to stop for groceries, 7th Street SE, the street that Eastern Market lies on, is flocked with vendors selling a vast variety of products on the weekends. The products you can typically find include but are certainly not limited to jewelry, artwork, and clothes. With the holiday season in full swing, it’s an ideal place for gift-shopping.
And if the shopping makes you hungry, there are diverse restaurant options in the area. Eastern Market has several prepared food options: kimchi, dumplings, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Restaurants such as Eat Brgrz, Tortilla Cafe (a Salvadorian restaurant), Sanphan Thai Cuisine, and La Collina (an Italian restaurant) are some of the many options in the area.
In the DMV area, getting to Eastern Market is easily accessible on the metro. The market is a short walk from the stop called “Eastern Market,” available on orange, silver, and blue line trains.
Eastern Market is now 150 years old, and its birthday weekend was full of events for kids and adults to enjoy. The Market and the area it resides in have a lot to offer, especially on weekends. Visiting this place should definitely be on every DMV bucket list.