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Exploring the Eastern Market

16 Oct

Last weekend, I made the trek up to Takoma Park, Maryland with my parents to visit my sister and her husband. They moved there after getting married in May so Dave could start his residency at Walter Reed. I hadn’t been able to visit them in their new place yet and I knew I wouldn’t be able to in the next few months with work, so I took advantage of the free ride with my parents to take a much needed break. This is the first of three posts detailing some of my adventures of the weekend.

 

On Saturday, we ventured to a legendary D.C. establishment, the Eastern Market. Founded in 1873 and located in the Capital Hill neighborhood of the city, it is home to many vendors selling a variety of goods, from fresh produce to prepared food to handmade crafts to antiques. Below are a few photos from our trip there.

I was drooling over these hand spun yarns.

Some of the delicious looking produce for sale.

Inside the South Hall Market

The only bad part about visiting the market was that there were so many things I really wanted to buy! This was especially true inside the South Hall where a lot of the amazing looking meats, produce, seafood, baked goods, pasta, and cheeses were being sold. The most drool worthy were all the different types of handmade pastas, from gnocchi to spaghetti to about ten different types of ravioli. I cursed the 6 hour drive home that prevented me from buying some.

After going through the whole market, I ended up with a nice pair of black pearl studs and one truly amazing find. My sister was talking to this really cool artist who had a booth full of great, unique art. He takes photographs using Polaroid 669 film, which is no longer made, and then transfers the image to water color paper before coloring in the image by hand with pastels. I was flipping through some of his stuff, which was mostly scenery around DC, when I suddenly found an image of the Hatteras lighthouse. When I remarked about how cool it was to find an Outer Banks image among all his other stuff, the artist told me that he spends 2-3 weeks in the OBX every year and loves it down there. When I shared that I had lived and worked there for a couple summers to hang glide, he jumped up and starting rummaging through a stack of his art before pulling one out and handing it to me. My jaw dropped when I realized I was looking at a gorgeous scene of a hang gliding lesson on Jockey’s Ridge around sunset and I quickly bought the piece. Hang gliding art is kind of rare so this is definitely a treasure.

My amazing new piece of art.

Overall, not a bad trip to the market.

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Festival Calories Don’t Count

18 Sep

Or at least that’s what a friend told me after he encouraged me to eat a piece of baklava for him when I mentioned I was on my way to the annual Raleigh Greek Festival.

Whether or not it’s true, I did happily consume quite a few calories at the 30th annual festival hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh. It brought back some very fond memories of the Winston-Salem Greek Festival that I had attended almost every year, but hadn’t been able to make since starting college and I’ve really missed the experience. I only learned about the Raleigh festival on Friday night and was able to quickly recruit a couple of friends to go with me the next night.

Once there, we skipped the more expensive (what do you expect from three poor recent graduates?) though delicious looking dinner options and instead chowed down on the hamburger of Greece, the gyro. I don’t typically enjoy lamb, but the seasoned meat in gyros is simply deletable, and I can never get enough of it and Holy Trinity’s did not disappoint.

My delicious dinner minus a few bites.

After we finished the main course, we had to choice from the vast selection of Greek pastries, most with unpronounceable names such as Loukoumades or Karithopita, and we ended up sharing a bowl of the slightly non-traditional baklava sundae. The treat consisted of superb vanilla ice cream sprinkled with bits of baklava and topped with chocolate syrup.

The mouth-watering dessert.

After we had stuffed ourselves silly, we went for a stroll around the booths selling a variety of “Greek” wares ranging from carved Nativities to Russian nesting dolls to beautiful icons. I fell in love with a beautifully hand painted ceramic tile and I quickly bought it to bring some more color into my kitchen and use a trivet.

My new beautiful trivet.

So it was a great experience with great friends and great food. Can’t wait till next year!