From the Forum – does anyone know the source and/or reason for complaints about this new Farmers’ Market?

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does anyone know the source and/or reason for complaints about this new Farmers’ Market?

“Farmers’ Market at 14th and Kennedy

I live just a half block from 14th and Kennedy, and am delighted by the addition of this Farmers’ Market to our neighborhood. Yesterday I was surprised to have a Farmers’ Market representative knock on our door asking for signatures in support of the new Farmers’ Market–apparently there have been complaints (I do not know the reason) from neighbors, including a call to Muriel Bowser. The Market has minimal impact on neighborhood parking, the street closure is easy to navigate around on Saturday mornings, and as far as I can tell the Market itself generates nothing but positives (family-friendly pedestrian traffic, an incredibly convenient source for fresh produce, an opportunity to meet neighbors, etc.). I do not subscribe to any neighborhood blogs or forums–does anyone know the source and/or reason for complaints about this new Farmers’ Market? And beyond signing a petition (and buying things from the vendors) is there any way to demonstrate support for the Market?”

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120 Comment

  • I also live a block away. I am so excited to have a Farmers Market so close. I agree, the impact is so minimal (cars/parking etc) I can’t imagine why there are complaints

  • My guess? A homeowner is peeved because the market means that for a few hours a week they cannot park in the EXACT spot right outside their door. And they have no use for farmers market produce, so that means nobody else does and why should they suffer such insurmountable parking woes? This is the exact reason the Bloomingdale market has to circulate a petition every year to support their renewal, because of literally a handful of people who can’t stand that a half block of R St is blocked on Sunday mornings.

  • I live in Brightwood and am a member of that Listserv and have heard no types of complaints. I did not know there was a farmer’s market at 14th and Kennedy until I drove past it Saturday afternoon when it was being cleaned up.

  • WHAT?! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this market! It’s small and has everything you could want at a farmers market! Eggs, meat, dairy, veggies, flowers and baked goods. and coffee. I was so excited when I heard about a market close to my new home. I fully support this market and would love the link/info to sign for support!

  • NIMBYs gonna NIMBY.

  • I’ve seen some push back from one blowhard ANC commissioner (I think in ANC4A) ranting about injustices to black farmers or something like that. I don’t mean any disrespect to past or current injustices, but the person complaining is out there.

    • But don’t you know that this farmer’s market can finally make the United States an equitable and just society?

  • I went on Saturday. It was lovely… but I did notice a couple cars that were in the market area that I’m guessing didn’t realize they needed to move until it was too late. Perhaps that’s the issue?

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a disgruntled car owner who parked in the market area and either got towed or had their vehicle trapped for 5+ hours. This happens at least every other week at the Bloomingdales market at 1st & R Street NW. It also happens outside the Reeves Center at 14th & U, but more often than not it’s DDOT vehicles that are the violators.

      And yes, there are signs put up at least the day before (maybe earlier?) saying there will be restricted parking.

      Unfortunately, folks either don’t see a nearby sign, don’t read the signage (whether immediately at the spot or nearby), or have become use to ignoring said signs.

      I’m sure we’ve all know instances where a full block is deemed restricted so that a moving van can come in or so that street construction can occur, only to learn/observe that nobody every used the restricted spots/block for the intended ‘restricted’ use.

  • I live very near the farmer’s market and have heard nothing but rave reviews and excitement about the market. I’m on the lists and haven’t seen anything, although it’s possible I missed something.

  • Neighbors – Would you mind making an extra effort to visit the farmers market over the next few weeks, and to spread the word among others? The number of visitors fell off a bit after the grand opening, and a few of the vendors mentioned that traffic has been lower than they hoped. I think it has been difficult to get the word out, but agree that this is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and hope to see it succeed.

  • Here in Mt. Pleasant, a few new members of our notoriously unhelpful ANC bullied our farmers market around for weeks before supporting its permit this year. It’s fair to say that for the ANC members, the farmers market has become a gentrification thing. Yes, really.

    It was discussed here:

    • I’ll second the claim that “it’s a gentrification thing”
      I have overheard similar complaints

    • Because only white people eat vegetables? What’s wrong with these people? This is why DC can’t have nice things.

      • “These people” le sigh Is that supposed to mean black people?

        • I believe “these” people refers to the NIMBY anti-market person who, at that time, was of indeterminate race. But I bet it sure feels good to call someone racist. You’re practically a hero.

  • Most of the surrounding neighbors, businesses and ANC Commissioners support it but there’s been one ANC who has been very actively and vocally against the market and complaining to city agencies about it before it opened and since it opened.

    • What is the name of that Commissioner?

      • Not comfortable naming someone on a public forum like this. If you’re tapped into local issues, it’s the guy who’s got a reputation for being difficult and impossible to work with.

      • ANC 4C 01

        • HaileUnlikely

          Hilarious. If true, this is as literal of a case of NIMBY as you can imagine. The market is in his back yard.

          • That is what I thought/feared.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Please note that I have no factual knowledge as to whether the ANC commissioner who resides at the property whose back yard is adjacent to the farmer’s market in question is the one who is protesting the farmers market. I am just saying that if it is the individual who “ohwhattheheck” noted above, that is funny, as the farmers market is in his back yard.

          • Yeah, that’s the guy who was quoted in the email below. I don’t know if he’s the source of it this time, but you can see how he feels about it in the email.

        • You’re telling me that an ANC commissioner is publicly against the farmers market and yet you won’t disclose his name? If that’s his position, it’s his position, and if he’s spoken about it publicly, what are you protecting? Furthermore, the fact that he may be representing his own interests more than those of his constituency (e.g. he has a conflict of interest) is all the more reason to name him.
          Who is it?

          • Above, “ohwhattheheck” identified this person as the rep for ANC 4C01.

          • Taalib-din Uqdah is the name of the ANC commissioner who is actively fighting this market.

          • You have enough information to look up the name yourself. As much as I dislike the person’s opinions, they’re an unpaid volunteer, and I take no pleasure in publicly shaming them.

          • If you and most of your neighbors do not believe Talib-din Uqdah is representing your viewpoints, run someone against him. Vote him out. If enough agree with you, he won’t win re-election.
            How someone can be against fresh, healthy produce in the community and a chance to meet neighbors on Saturday is against me.

          • Emmaleigh504

            You aren’t shaming him by sharing his opinion on the market. What if he really really loved the market and wanted to expand it? Who you not name names in that scenario?

          • Has he been actively hiding this from neighbors? He’s pretty active on several of the neighborhood listservs I read and I don’t recall anything from him on the farmers market.

          • To Anonymous, yes, but the next election is 1.5 years away. In the meantime he will continue contacting city agencies to try to shut it down/revoke the permits. And the permit renewal process will be miserable for everyone involved all over again next Spring. Dealing with him is why people become jaded and give up on being involved in their community.

          • He did express reservations publicly to some listservs maybe in March, but his efforts have been mostly behind closed doors over the last few months. I haven’t heard anything public since.

  • I wonder if this is a ploy by the vendors to draw attention to the market. It’s one thing to advertise that the market exists, it’s an entirely different thing to tell people that something that they may not have known of is being taken away (or threatened to be taken away) by “people”.

    • Hah! It’s obvious as to who and why. See all the comments (above AND below) for detail. The market was started at the initiative of the neighborhood itself and the vendors have very little, if any, direct involvement in such bureaucratic nonsense. If not Kennedy St, they’ll just go elsewhere. SAD.

      • This is not a ploy by the farmer’s market organizers. There really is an ANC rep who is actively campaigning against the market. This representative may also happen to own property nearby, and if there is a conspiracy, it might relate to his plans for this property. Maybe some intrepid local journalist needs to look into this issue.

    • This is the kind of baseless paranoia our neighbors have to deal with whenever something new is attempted in this neighborhood. Egads.

  • This is so unfortunate. I’m sure there are a few people who don’t like the farmers market – just like there are always a few people that don’t like something. But urban growth does not require 100% consensus. People who don’t want to see or experience anything that their neighbors might want or benefit from should consider living in the suburbs or the country – believe me, that’s where I grew up, and it’s a place where you don’t have to be bogged down by living in a *community* where there might be people who want all sorts of different things!

    For any one resident, or small group of residents, to insist that they own the rights to how a place is developed is silly. If the farmers market is truly not favored by the majority of residents in the area – if, really, no one wants to have access to fresh, local food that they can walk to, in a festive community setting – it will fail all on its own (doesn’t seem likely, based on my last few weeks frequenting it). But, instead, it sounds like a few people are trying to make sure that the majority doesn’t get it’s opportunity to judge whether or not they want a market because…well, who knows. Because of parking. Because it’s new and different. Because change.

    It’s unfortunate that that corner has had such a hard time in general, with some NIMBY residents previously protesting the new restaurant going in, because it wanted to have patio seating. I don’t see how having a blighted, empty dry cleaners building on the corner is better than having a functioning business. Yes, people may have to see others sitting on the (public property sidewalk) patio seating. They may have to hear people laughing and talking; they may have to even see a bunch of different *kinds* of people – different ages, races, backgrounds, family structures. And it may not be the way things have ‘always’ been. Oh, the horror.


  • I came across this on the Shepherd Park listserv in a discussion about the Confederate Flag of all places. Odd, because its not even close to SP. Talk about off topic:

    Thank you XXX for sharing the article in ‘The Daily Beast’. Discussing race in the District of Columbia makes most people feel uncomfortable, especially politicians. In my opinion, race relations in the U.S. and in the District of Columbia have worsen. Add gentrification into the mix, and race relations will continue to not improve. Look at what’s happening in some District neighborhoods in regards to bringing a Farmers Market to 14th & Kennedy Streets, NW and closing Colorado Avenue, NW, regardless of the impact on black and Latino residents. Residents in Shepherd Park, North Portal, Colonial Village, Takoma, and Crestwood wouldn’t want their streets closed to traffic to host a Farmers Market. How many of the Farmers Market owners are African American or Latino? From what I’ve witnessed, most of their customers aren’t minorities or live near 14th & Kennedy Streets, NW. Those residents should have had a voice in regards to closing down their street for a Farmers Market, not outsiders. Churches are the most segregated places on Sunday mornings. I read a recent study, Washington, D.C. is one of the most segregated cities in America. Martin O’Malley alleged, Congress have fallen under the sway of “white racism” and the political force of the National Rifle Assn. in refusing to respond with new laws to a cascade of shooting incidents in recent years. Politicians will say anything to get elected into office. Read the article below in the L. A. Times.

    Ward 4

    • Yeah, that guy has a lot to say with little relation to reality. When I know something about the topic at hand, he’s about 90% not grounded in facts. But he sure does like to talk a lot.

    • This makes no sense. Is he arguing that black residents would rather have an abandoned building and an open air drug market than a restaurant and a farmers market? What bs.
      First of all, tons of wealthy mostly white neighborhoods have markets. If anything it’s a huge benefit. Second, this inconveniences virtually nobody. Parking is not that tight around there and it’s easy enough to drive around on a weekend morning. What a terrible, selfish, misguided man.

    • UGH. What is this person talking about? This market WAS organized by people who live right there in the neighborhood. The market is patronized by people of all shapes and sizes. How does closing a road one morning a week disproportionately impact non-white individuals? This is such a flimsy argument. How is creating an amenity that literally allows you to meet and talk to your neighborhood a bad thing if you are worried about racial issues.

      • HaileUnlikely

        The neighborhood is at most 10% white, and most of the white residents in the neighborhood live in single-family homes with off-street parking. The people who are impacted by the road closing are predominantly non-white. That is how it predominantly impacts non-white residents. (I love farmer’s markets, I happen to be white, and I live about 3 miles away – I have no horse in this race. But I hope that the supporters of the farmer’s market can engage with the ANC rep a more intelligently than I’ve seen here so far.)

        • “I hope that the supporters of the farmer’s market can engage with the ANC rep a more intelligently than I’ve seen here so far”
          What an asinine thing to say. His argument is completely unreasonable and ignores reality and logic? How can you accuse others of failing to engage intelligently without even explaining why? There are markets all over the city in mostly white and mostly minority neighborhoods (including anscostia). Nobody buy this whiny commissioner sees it as a race issue.
          I certainly hope he makes clear to agencies these complaints are as a private citizen and not as s commissioner.

        • Racial demographics has absolutely no bearing on parking during the Saturday 9a-1p Farmers Market. The Farmers Market results in a loss of all of maybe 10 parking spots for 5 hours in a neighborhood with PLENTY of parking. The stretch of road closed has minimal impact on traffic flow. I live at the end of the block on Colorado and find this brouha utterly ridiculous. At least 2 of the approximately 7 or 8 vendors would appear to be non-white. Apparently I need to become more involved in my neighborhood and attend the dang ANC meetings! This is maddening! Shame on me for not being more involved and speaking up when such absurdities come up!

        • Haile,

          You know not of what you speak. As someone who worked very closely on this market, I can tell you very definitively that the volunteers engaged extensively with the ANC Comissioner from the very beginning of the process and offered to meet him half way at every turn. Unfortunately, he was just dead set against it. He was completely unwilling to compromise.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I’m not commenting on other aspects of the process at all, but I am quite confident that other than being off by a percentage point or two on the number, my statement regarding parking is factually correct. I’m not saying that it should (or should not) carry much weight, but in any event, your opponent has a point on this one. Thus, I believe it would be wiser to try to promote the other merits of the market than to dig in your heels and deny the patently obvious fact that those who visit the market are mostly white and those who have to move their cars are mostly not. Again, I’m not saying that argument should or should not be influential, but I believe that he is so obviously correct on this one point that you may as well concede it and move on.

          • When I said that you know not of what you speak, I was referring explicitly to this statement from your post: “But I hope that the supporters of the farmer’s market can engage with the ANC rep a more intelligently than I’ve seen here so far.” I was not speaking directly to the parking issue, but rather to the blanket statement that neighbors have not made an effort to engage effectively (or intelligently) with the ANC, which is simply not true.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Fair enough. I do not know how neighbors have engaged with the ANC so far. I just meant that I’d hope their engagement with the ANC would contain more clear thought than most of the comments so far on this forum have.

          • Haile,
            Fortunately/unfortunately, this blog is a public forum and anyone who wishes is allowed to comment. If you would like to know what the volunteers who worked on the market have done to attempt to accommodate as many of the neighbors as possible, I suggest that you contact us directly. You’ve done a lot of assuming about what we have and have not done in terms of outreach, communication, and planning.

          • HaileUnlikely

            You are interpreting my comments much more broadly than I intended them. I was replying to “WTF?” and “neighbor,” and was commenting on what they said. I didn’t mean to imply anything about what anybody else said or did or didn’t say or didn’t do.

        • I’m white, live right there in an apartment and have no off-street parking for my car. And I’m not feeling burdened by this.

  • It’s about time something good happened at this corner. It was just a year ago that there was an armed robbery at the Gold Corner Store across the street from the market. It was terrible. I’d much rather see some positive life here than vacant storefronts. The market has brought neighbors from all walks of life together. It is much more than a place to buy food, it’s a gathering spot for our community!

  • The farmers’ market is a fantastic neighborhood asset. I’ve met more of my neighbors there in the last three Saturdays than I have in four years. It is a great mix of long time residents and newcomers like myself. The vendors are great. The food is terrific. What is there not to like?

    The issue, as many have already guessed, appears to be one of parking. The farmers’ market means the loss of approximately 10-12 parking spots on Saturday mornings for six hours. If a few of the people in the immediate neighborhood park on the parking pads behind their homes on Saturday mornings, that will more than compensate for the loss of parking spots on Colorado. It’s a win-win!

  • The best thing you can do to show your support is to go there on Saturday mornings and spend some time and money at the market. Get all of your friends to do the same.

    • There is nothing to support if the quality and selection is poor.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Serious question: what proportion of the customers at this Farmer’s Market would you estimate are non-white? I ask for two reasons:

      1. The ANC’s beef, at it’s core, seems to be basically that longtime black and Latino residents, who in his view do not benefit from the Farmer’s Market because they’re just not into that sort of thing, are inconvenienced when the white people make them move their cars so they can have their white little farmer’s market. If you can get a significant number of longtime neighborhood residents (>90% of whom are non-white) to shop there, you can rebut his arguments in a much more satisfying way than by the ad hominem attacks above.

      2 If there are not significant numbers of non-white residents shopping there, why not, and what can you do to change that? The surrounding neighborhood is at most 10% white (probably less), your customer base is a tiny fraction of what it could be. If you can’t draw enough neighborhood residents to the farmer’s market to support the farmer’s market without pleas to the blogosphere, then as much as it sucks to say this, the ANC guy, however inarticulately and offensively he put it, appears to actually have a little kernel of a point.

      • HaileUnlikely

        p.s. The reference to the ad hominem attacks above was not directed at you, David, just observing that most here are dismissing this ANC rep, who I’ll grant can be kind of ornery and caustic at times, without addressing his arguments, and I fear that that strategy might not be optimal.

        • Mr. Uqdah does not have any rational arguments that can be answered with sensible, reasonable discussion. The organizers met with him time and time again, and it was apparent that any support he offered was mere lip service, and that his primary motivation was to derail the market because the DOA treated Black farmers unfairly in the 19th century.

      • 2010 census says the neighborhood is 57% black, 26% latino, 15% white (or switch the white and latino percents depending on which area you use). Though that has changed since 2010. Apparently over 500 people came last weekend. Don’t know the demographic percentages of attendees but that’s a lot of support. Do you really think half a dozen disgruntled people (one of whom is known for complaining unless all of his demands are met) should be able to shut down something that hundreds of people enjoy?

      • +1 to what HaileUnlikely said. If the farmers’ market is perceived as being a “white thing,” sounds like there’s work to be done to counter that perception.

        • It sound like you and hu are the ones with the problem. Why would you assume black people do t like vegetables? That’s insanely racist. This is about NIMBYism plain and simple. Don’t let some bizarre white guilt complex trick you into thinking you need to get up on your high horse and convince minorities to eat vegetables. That’s so insanely condescending.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Negative to that. I don’t live in the relevant ANC and I’m pretty sure textdoc doesn’t either, and fwiw, I’m an almost-weekly shopper at the Silver Spring farmer’s market, which is much closer to my home than this one. I’m just playing devil’s advocate here because sometimes at least pretending to comprehend the basis for your opponent’s viewpoint leads to useful insights. You seem to be taking for granted that it is self-evident that your values are more important than your opponent’s values because, well, of course, obviously, it is self-evident. I have never found that to be an effective way of getting what I want. Here, I don’t want anything in particular, but I like farmer’s markets, so I’m trying to help the allies of this particular farmer’s market to argue more intelligently, so that you don’t present yourselves as being even dumber and denser than the ANC rep in question, which, quite frankly, I think you are doing right now.

          • HaileUnlikely

            If you don’t understand the difference between “people who eat vegetables” and “people who like to shop at farmer’s markets,” I can’t help you.

          • Wait. So you support the farmer’s market, but you’re arguing against it here arguing in favor of racial vegetable quotas (without even knowing the actual composition of market shoppers, or demonstrating any negative imapact), and you claim everyone else lacks a cogent argument?

          • I don’t live in the ANC district in question. I think farmers’ markets are good things that far outweigh the minor inconvenience of road closures. But it sounds like it would be productive for the farmers’ market supporters/organizers to try to address the concerns that ANC rep has raised.
            I agree with HaileUnlikely that “[S]ometimes at least pretending to comprehend the basis for your opponent’s viewpoint leads to useful insights.” The idea that farmers’ markets are a “white people” thing seems distorted, but I also think there’s a kernel of truth/substance in what the ANC rep is saying. It would be good to address that kernel rather than dismiss him completely.

          • Not sure if “Another neighbor” was speaking to me or to HaileUnlikely, but I was summarizing the ANC rep’s argument — not espousing it.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Another neighbor: Neither textdoc nor I are arguing against it. I’m just trying to help those of you who are for it to prepare to argue more intelligently against your actual opponents (e.g., the ANC rep) by encouraging you to flesh out your arguments a little better in the face of a little friendly inquisition. If you can’t handle that, you’re not ready to go argue with elected officials yet.
            n.b. 436 residents of the ANC in which the farmer’s market lies voted for that guy in the last election.

          • Responding to the “436 residents voted for him.” No one else ran. I (mistakenly) voted for him when there were no other options. Has he been responsive to what I had to say about the market as his constituent? No. Has he reached out to his constituents asking what they want? No. He’s decided how things will work in his ANC and constituents’ opinions don’t count unless they happen to support what he already wants.

          • HaileUnlikely

            The more votes a candidate gets, the more it feels like they have a mandate to impose their will on the neighborhood. If nobody else ran but you didn’t want the guy, just leave that box blank, or write in Donald Duck or something. I’m sure a few of your neighbors also didn’t think it through and just voted for the guy without having any idea whatsoever who he was and what he stood for, but I do suspect that a non-negligible fraction of the 436 voted for him on purpose and meant it. In any event, nobody else stepped up, a bunch of people voted for him, virtually nobody voted against him, and now you’re stuck dealing with the aftermath. That blows, but that’s life. Perhaps this ridiculous little flap will be the catalyst for somebody to step up, run against him, get more votes, and win next time.

      • The couple disgruntled people speak for themselves, not for the local black or Latino community, the vast majority of which has been supportive.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Ok, Census, sorry, it’s 15%, not 10. I’m not looking for several decimal places of precision or anything; can you tell me your estimate of the demographics of the farmers market shoppers to, say, the nearest quarter? Were 3/4 of shoppers non-white? Half? 1/4?

        • haile — I agree with the general principle that it’s always good to engage your opponents rather than dismiss them, but that assumes the opponents’ arguments are in good faith. If this gentleman was truly interested in attracting a more diverse crowd to the market, then he could get involved and work to make that happen. That is not his goal, and the diversity BS is just frankly white-guilt bait that you are falling for.

          Honestly, if we are dealing with an unequivocal good like fresh vegetables, children, and community, why the hell is it incumbent on the organizers to flagellate themselves because the first few weeks weren’t a UN like melting pot? Why are you or anyone else threatened because the crowd was mostly Caucasian? I am not white, and I don’t give a s–t what the racial make-up was.

          To the organizers: bravo and keep up the good work.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I don’t feel the least bit threatened. I’m just pointing out that that however offensively he puts it, the ANC here sort of has a little kernel of a point, and thus, that I think it would be more effective to acknowledge that and market the benefits of the market, rather than to dismiss his point. If you want to dismiss his point, tread carefully – 436 residents of this ANC did vote for him.

  • I am THRILLED to have this market (essentially) in my backyard and will continue going every week. In my opinion the traffic pattern makes more sense on market days than normal days – that little intersection is weird. There are a lot of great things happening on that corner, I really hope this continues to be one of them.

  • There are a small set of neighbors who have problems with the market. Their biggest issue is that they were not directly notified, which is partly true. However, they don’t want to move past that issue and instead want to close the market. There will be a meeting for the neighbors along the 5500 block soon to address their concerns. We remain hopeful that a solution can be reached.

    The organizers are listening and are trying to address some of the concerns. With regards to adding diversity – market is still growing. – it is a small market – only 6 farmers- of which one is a minority. An effort is underway to include more farmers with a focus on diversity and more offerings.

    If you love the market, please continue to come out. DDOT is watching to see if the market has community support and the market has to be worth the farmers time and effort. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, please stop by.

    • There must be something deeper than just ‘we weren’t directly notified’. I’d like to understand what the true underlying issue is.

      We live in Bloomingdale and although we don’t frequent the markets much, it appears to be good for the community. But if we live on the direct block of R St, where the market is, I’d be singing a different tune (move it to another block and i’d be a happy home owner). So if the complaint is of the handful of homes directly impacted, I think it’s worth discussing a compromise. Again, I think the various markets are a wonderful idea.

    • So it sounds like there may be something to the complaints but there isn’t an effort to move toward compromise. Do you have a list of what’s currently offered there now? I’d be happy to support if it has something different than the 3 markets I already visit.

  • As a resident of Kennedy St., I am happy to have a farmers market so close to where I live. I have heard complaints about parking but there is ample parking in this area. The benefits to the whole community outweigh an inconvenience to the few.

  • I live in the area and am so excited about the Farmers Market!! Will never understand why anyone would be opposed to something so positive. Less parking for a few hours??? Come on folks, let’s continue to move forward in making this neighborhood and the very best that it can be…. sorry that I have to share it with a few unhappy, negative disgruntled folks.

  • I’ll just add that I live right there next to the market and I am thrilled to have this in the neighborhood! I’ve met so many neighbors that I didn’t know and gotten to eat healthier the last few weeks. Can’t wait for peaches, corn, more tomatoes. If nay-sayers are unhappy with the market, let’s figure out some things it can offer that they will love.

    • HaileUnlikely

      “If nay-sayers are unhappy with the market, let’s figure out some things it can offer that they will love.”
      Yes. This. Exactly.

      • Because vegetables aren’t enough? It’s a farmers market. That’s what they sell.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I also buy wine and meat at the Silver Spring one.

          • The market also has vendors who sell meat, cheese, eggs, bread, pastries, coffee, and fruits. Over time, it will expand to include vendors who sell hot foods, including, potentially, crepes. I invite you to check it out, Haile.
            To your question, I would estimate that one-quarter to one-third of the patrons are non-white. This is a matter of socio-economics, not one of race. Hopefully, the farmers market will attract a greater number of lower income people once the SNAP benefits system is up, which should happen any week now.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Thank you for the serious response. Getting the system to process SNAP benefits up and running would be most excellent indeed. The Silver Spring farmer’s market has the SNAP system, and I always see a few people lined up at the tent where they do that. When that is up and running, it should be promoted heavily. Hopefully lots of people will use it, and then the supporters of the farmers market can tell the ANC (not just the 01 rep, the whole ANC, which also includes a few reasonable people) how many neighbors are using their SNAP benefits to buy healthy food at this farmer’s market.
            I’d be happy to check it out sometime. As I said numerous times above – I’m delighted to see a farmer’s market here. I lived on 14th just north of Military for my first 10 years in DC, and wish it was there back then. I just get worried, for the neighborhood and for the farmer’s market, when I see neighbors hanging their hats on the “it’s just so obviously good that anybody who doesn’t agree must just be a meanie” types of arguments.

          • I think the issue here is that, this is a very small market just starting out. Likely, options other than vegetables will come as the demand grows. I know the Bloomingdale market has added new vendors and expanded the items that are offered as time has gone on. It just takes time – and that seems not to be what the complaints actually are with this market.

  • I live in the same block as the Farmers’ Market, and I LOVE having it there. It’s amazing to walk out of my front door and have the opportunity to buy fresh, local produce as well as coffee, tea, etc. I also love the opportunity to interact with my neighbors, both human and canine. The idea that anyone would be against the Market is absurd. This is exactly what our neighborhood needs.

  • We finally have something positive happening where we can all meet and get to know our neighbors and this is something that should be celebrated. For those of you opposing this market, GET A LIFE AND FIND SOME JOY IN LIFE or move the F… away. This is about community not about your parking space.

    • Fabioesteban, so you and others are telling residents that have lived here for over 30 years to up and move? We too pay taxes, vote, and are law abiding residents. My question to the Farmers Market supporters, how many of you would support your block being closed every Saturday for 6 hours for 6 months? Why to we need so many Farmers Markets? If I want fresh vegetables, I can shop at Whole Foods, Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter. Madison Street resident would you want your block closed to host a Farmers Market. They should have closed the 1300 block of Kennedy Street, NW to host the Farmers Market. I bet those residents along that block wouldn’t support their street block closed. As for the ANC 4C01 Commissioner, he’s representing his constituents in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue, NW impacted the most by the closure of our block. We need to have a serious discussion on race and class in our city. HaileUnlikely, thank you for your intelligent dialogue.

      • @Colorado AVenue, NW Resident
        The ANC Commissioner has whole heartedly supported the 14th Street small area plan, published by the DC Office of Planning. This plan calls for the permanent closure of the northbound lane between 14th Street and Colorado, which would result in the loss of a nearly equal number of parking spots. You can see the plan here. The schematic is on page 44 of the document.

      • Colorado Ave Resident…. I invite you to consider that there are those of us in lower socio-economic classes who indeed benefit from Farmer’s Markets. You may not be aware of this, but most Farmer’s Markets in the city offer a benefit to SNAP users where we can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at a discount. As a mom of three kids, this is of great benefit to me especially since Giant and Safeway do not offer this. Also, a Farmer’s Market in my neighborhood that I can easily get to by bus or walking is much more beneficial to me. I understand the inconvenience of having to move your car for a few hours each week, but please don’t make this an issue of class. It’s not just rich white people who shop at Farmer’s Markets, and just because I’m poor doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have access to seasonal, local produce.

        • Thank you! This x 1000.

        • Parking is already tight in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue, NW consisting of large apartment/Condo buildings, barber shop, and a Laundromat. The new Gold Corner Café and the Swampoodle Restaurant & Bar will be opening soon in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue, NW, and parking spaces will become less available to residents impacted the most. There isn’t plentiful of parking in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue, NW and surrounding streets as someone suggested. Believe me when I tell you, neighbors living on other blocks don’t prefer that Colorado Avenue neighbors parking in their blocks. Parking is a problem every July in this area during the tennis tournament at the Carter Barron, and you can’t park on certain streets without a special parking permit. Why not have the Farmers Market across 16th & Colorado Avenue, NW near the Carter Barron? No one answered my question, how many people would support the closure of their block for 6 hours Saturdays for 6 months? Who’s decision was it to close this particular block without the consideration of the impact to residents living in that block? Most of the visitors to the Farmers Market have been white and most don’t live in this immediate area. Can you imagine talking about closing a block in Shepherd Park, Crestwood, or Takoma to host a Farmers Market? Those residents would support their blocks or streets being closed. Ask any of the residents living between 14th & 16th Streets, NW on Kennedy, Madison, Montigue, Oglethorpe, and Nicholson Streets to close their blocks to host a Farmers Market? I bet a majority will say no way. We the residents living in the 5500 block of Colorado Avenue, NW impacted the most should have had a say in this matter, not those living outside this block or neighborhood. I thought we lived in a democracy, not a dictatorship. 13th & Emerson, 16th & Webster, 16th & Military, 14th & Farragut isn’t in this neighborhood. Those areas are nearby and aren’t impacted with the closure of their streets. HaileUnlikely, thank you for your intelligent dialogue.

          • You don’t get to pick and chose who gets a say and who doesn’t based on what you agree with. You can’t thank Haile for his input because you happen to agree with it and then discount other voices based on them not living in your neighborhood when Haile lives even farther away that residents on 16th & Military.
            You made this about race and class by purporting that a discussion on those issues needs to happen. So let’s have that discussion. Let’s look at the very real issues that people in your vicinity don’t care about parking because their main mode of transportation is buses. Let’s talk about the people in that immediate vicinity who want access to the SNAP benefits for farmer’s markets in their neighborhood. Let’s talk about the fact that the reason Takoma does not have a farmer’s market is because there is already a thriving farmers market just across the Maryland line that is full of Takoma and Brighwood residents every Sunday and that also closes down the center of Takoma Park with no complaints.
            Let’s talk about your perceptions of race in this city and the fact that NIMBYism is not exclusive to the rich white folk who live West of the Park. You want to talk about Democracy? Why don’t you try listening to your neighbors who want this instead of putting your own needs before everyone else’s needs. Stop confusing the issue of an event that happens once a year and benefits no one with a market that has the potential to benefit many.

          • Anon, answer my question, would you want your block closed to host a Farmers Market for 6 months every Saturday? It is about race and class. There are many people living on fixed incomes that don’t qualify for the so called SNAP program. I had never heard of SNAP before, until someone mentioned it on here. Why not host the Farmers Market across 16th & Colorado Avenue, NW near the Carter Barron? Someone from Bloomingdale stated, they support Farmers Market, however, if their block was closed, they too would be upset. Ask residents in the 1400 blocks of Kennedy, Madison, Montague, Oglethorpe, & Nicholson Streets, NW would they be willing to have their blocks closed to host a Farmers Market? I bet the majority of those residents would say no.

          • Colorado Avenue, NW Resident — SNAP is what used to be known as food stamps.

          • Accountering

            Yes, I would support closing my street for 6 hours each saturday to host a farmers market. Full Stop.
            Your pathetic attempt to bring race into this is simply that, pathetic. Who cares who goes to it? The fact of the matter is, residents of the neighborhood want this.
            Also, parking in your area is not tight. Not in the least. You brought up the tennis tournament, and yes, perhaps there are parking difficulties during it, that are abated by the special permits for residents.
            You don’t own the street or the parking spots in front of your house.

          • I absolutely would support my block being closed to traffic for 6 hours a day once per week for six month, hell, even all year, for a farmer’s market. I love taking my kids to farmers markets where they get to interact not only with their neighbors, but also with farmers. My youngest is absolutely enthralled with growing things, and he likes to talk to people about growing tomatoes. Just because he is a city kid doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.
            Since you have not heard of SNAP, let me educate you. SNAP stand for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It is designed to assist families in supplementing their nutritional needs. People on real fixed incomes do indeed qualify for this program. Considering that you are unaware of it and it’s uses in the community (including the $1 SNAP = $1.50-2 regular money) that most farmers markets in this area offer, shows me how pout of touch you really are with the shifting demographics of our neighborhoods. Be upset and angry all you want with your neighbors who are selling out or who’s children are selling out, but please don’t pretend that you are speaking for those of us who truly are economically disenfranchised in this city. And please, do not make this a race issue. You are making yourself and your cause look foolish and you sound like my neighbors who care more about closing down the Walmart than putting a middle school back in Ward 4 or making sure the kids at Roosevelt go to school without the presence of rats and in classrooms that aren’t falling apart.

          • I would support the block of Longfellow Street that I live on being blocked off for a farmers market, for what it is worth. That’s not really the point, though. The street is public space. You do not own the street in front of your building, just as I don’t own the street in front of my house. It is public space. People get to park on that public space, which is owned by everyone in the District for all but six hours every week. For the other six hours, that public space is used by other members of the public.
            Last week, there were at least three vacant parking spots on Colorado just north of the farmers market the entire time the farmers market was open. That shows me that parking is not as scarce as some would have us believe. That part of Colorado Avenue is unique in that blocking it off does not impede access to any residential properties, whereas blocking off almost any other street would block access. The street is also easily bypassed by going north one block to Longfellow and then east. This is what makes that part of the public space perfect for a farmers market.

          • Longfellow Resident, you and your supporters don’t own streets either. You should have had it on Longfellow Street, NW. Let’s see what your neighbors would say about closing their block of Longfellow. You don’t live on Colorado Avenue, NW. This issue has divided this immediate area, and race and class has a lot to do with it. Most of the comments here, these people don’t live in this immediate area. I can assure you, there are a lot of longtime residents in this area that don’t support closing our block. Many people oppose to this will not come on a blog to share their thoughts. Your and others are being insensitive to those impacted the most by the closure of our block. There might have be a few spaces last Saturday due to the fact residents moved their vehicles in fear of getting tickets and towed as they did 2 weeks ago. The 16th Street Heights Civic Association doesn’t speak for most of the residents in that area because most residents don’t belong to their membership nor care to belong. ANC 4A06 Commissioner supporting this Farmers Market, this ANC is not in her single member district. Many younger white residents moving into the neighborhood walk pass us walking their dogs, and they don’t even speak or say hello. Several weeks ago, I saw a young couple walking their dog as I came out, and I spoke to them and they didn’t speak. This is one of the negative impacts of gentrification. SMH on how this issue has divided people. I’ve lived here for 45 years, and I don’t plan on going anywhere, until God calls me on to glory. I’m in my late 50’s and hopefully will live to see many more years. I wonder how many of you would use your real names and state where you live in the District on this forums?

          • For the record, no cars have been towed. The people involved in the farmers’ market have made sure of that. Some cars have, though, been ticketed. My name is David Gottfried. Hello, neighbor! I hope to see you at the farmers market.

          • Hi David, it’s nice to chat with you. For the record, I never wanted the Farmers Market closed, and I support having a Farmers Market. Myself and others impacted by the closure of Colorado Avenue didn’t want our block closed losing parking spaces. I welcomed the former Brightwood Bar & Grill last year at 14th & Colorado last year in the email discussions. However, many residents on nearby Kennedy Street, NW, 14th, and Colorado Avenue were concerned about noise, trash, parking, and the establishment staying open late. I thought the Brightwood Grill would come to the area, but I don’t know what happen. I’m excited about the Gold Corner Café and the Swampoodle Restaurant & Bar coming to Colorado Avenue, NW. Unfortunately, there are some neighbors not pleased with the Sampoodle Restaurant due to parking. I’m not a mean spirited person. However, when it comes to parking in certain District neighborhoods, it can create disagreements. I look forward in meeting you someday, David. You sound like a great person and neighbor to get to know. I must admit, I thought you were someone else living on Longfellow Street. LOL Regardless of the outcome, I will not carry a grudge, and I will continue to treat people the way I would want to be treated in life. Have a great weekend David and keep cool out of this hot weather.

          • “Many younger white residents moving into the neighborhood walk pass us walking their dogs, and they don’t even speak or say hello. Several weeks ago, I saw a young couple walking their dog as I came out, and I spoke to them and they didn’t speak. This is one of the negative impacts of gentrification.”
            This is a cultural thing — a lot of newer white residents don’t greet anyone and don’t respond when greeted, even if the greeter is white. I think it’s because they’re used to more bustling settings when you pass lots of people on the street who may or may not be neighbors.
            I’m white and have made a habit of greeting everyone on my street, but it’s the people who look most like me who are least likely to respond.

      • Which constituents are “his constituents”? I am one of those 5500 block residents who parks on the street and this market does not burden me. It is the best thing that’s happened in this immediate intersection in a long time. The 4C01 commissioner does not represent me.

      • So you’d rather have this part of the neighborhood continue to look like a dumpy s*&thole? It’s high time that we had some nice local amenities to improve the neighborhood and increase property values. Move if you don’t like it.

  • I cannot believe there are complaints against this market!!!! It sells produce, provides a place for the community to mix and mingle (I’ve met new neighbors each visit!) and is nice for the children to have playtime. What in the world is wrong with that? The ANC Commissioner needs to realize this community is changing, like it or not, and he’ll likely not be back next time around if he doesn’t support efforts that bring both economic benefits and a nice community forum to the people living in Brightwood. #FighttheBlight

  • Race is a red herring here. Above all, this is about jealousy. Some people jumped to simplify this in racial terms but none of this falls neatly into black and white categories. The quoted email is actually by a man who lives in another neighborhood miles away (that listserv quickly chided him for being offbase). This ANC just gets jealous when other people do things in the neighborhood that weren’t his idea. His methods may be bullying, but I think he gets good things done when he is the center of a project. He just lashes out and becomes destructive when other people do things in his territory. (Of course, no one owns the exclusive right to do nice things in a neighborhood.)

    And then some people are upset about parking.

  • Love, Love the Farmer’s Market! Live in 16th St. Heights and so exited about everything that is happening here., including the Market. Will never understand why some folks are opposed to it…a few hours of not being able to park in a small area on Colorado Ave??? Come on folks! Must be some very disgruntled, unhappy folks with whom, unfortunately, it appears I have to share my neighborhood with….maybe doing se volunteer would keep them busy and they would not have the time to be negative
    and small minded. Just sayin…

  • I live a block or so away and am totally in favor of the Farmers Market on Colorado Ave. Its been a great way to buy coffee, vegetables, eggs, etc. and meet neighbors. Its been a boon to the neighborhood. Now I’m looking forward to the opening of Swampoodle.

  • …clearly the resistance isn’t about the logic of having a farmer’s market on the street. The market is a symbol and bellweather.

    This conflict is about the certain community members wanting to feel and be engaged authentically and enfranchised. Resolving this conflict will also involve considering everyone’s political, social, and emotional needs (even just as a matter of strategy). Those needs are as real and as relevant as appeals to the “logic” of the market’s proportional benefit.

    I have to assume the organizers are already wearing their community organizing pants…

    Anyway, I have no idea why anyone would be surprised that historically marginalized people are pissed off about being “made” to feel marginalized. It’s such an awesome privilege to not know how that experience might feel and how it might affect one’s behavior and decisionmaking.

    • Ugh. How much pious claptrap could you possibly cram into one post?

      What does it even mean to be “authentically engaged and franchised,” and have your “political, social and emotional needs met?” How was anyone shut out of the process or not given a voice? Also, the market accepts SNAP benefits and includes a latino vendor that sells empanadas and what not. What more do you want?

      So you admit that the farmer’s market itself is benign and positive, and that this whole is really a big racist temper tantrum by a few malcontents.

      ps — I am not white, so please don’t condescend to me about not knowing my white privilege. This whole thing is ridiculous.

  • Could the resistance be coming from nearby businesses? I’ve shopped at the Market often, but prior to it opening I always went to Yes Organic Market. Maybe some of the assumptions about complaints are misplaced. I live two blocks away and love the Farmers Market!

  • Not sure why people would not want a farmer’s market that brings fresh food within walking distance to the area, especially a market that help families on food stamps eat healthier (for those of you who have been out of touch since 2008 when it was renamed SNAP). If the location is a problem maybe they could move it to Illinois & Georgia. Then folks driving up Illinois to Georgia Ave would just have to take a slight detour on Kennedy to get around the market. And perhaps that corner would become less druggie & shooty one day a week.

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