Thursday, August 20, 2015

What's your Pleasure? (A Year in the City)

Food Trucks as far as the eye can see. Or at least for a block.

During my morning commute on the metro, I'll pass a food truck heading for the DC line. I often wonder if they will end up at Farragut  Square which is right by my usual metro stop.

Even as early as 9:40a.m. they start to file in. The food trucks. All of us in a zombie-like trance riding the escalators up to the square can smell them before they come into view. A strange mixture of aromas assault the senses as we cross over I Street and begin down the walk of multicultural food-stuffs. Every day they are slightly different, but the schedule is the same.

"If only you were open. I would happily give you my money..."

But alas, before 10:00a.m., none of the windows are open. Vendors are hanging signs and unpacking freezers of meat and condiments. They await the masses.

Yet, something amazing always happens. They are their own little community within a community. I've seen on multiple occasions, a food truck owner get out of their truck and help guide another truck to parallel park in a spot. They will also help other trucks unpack and set up. Being that I still stereotype DC sometimes... I would have thought that they would feel the competition to sell their wares and not try to help one another. But I am happily mistaken!

On rare occasion I will leave work early enough to witness the feeding frenzy that becomes Farragut Square during lunch. Seriously, have you seen a bunch of ducks being fed bread at a park pond? It's sort of like that. But the ducks have high heels and briefcases, and the bread is more like a taco-dumpling-empanada-fish sandwich type thing.

The temptation to stay and get in line is great. But then someone undoubtedly will jolt me back to reality with a push or stepping right in my path. Yup. I want to go home. Maybe next time.

But this DC cultural phenomenon is a fleeting thing. If I leave after 3:00p.m. there is no longer a sign of life at the Square aside from those walking to the metro, and the regulars in the park. The food trucks and their delirious aromas of international cuisine have long since gone. And I'm left to trudge back towards Virginia with an empty stomach.

Someday I will stop. Someday the timing will be right and I'll take part in the frenzy. But perhaps it is not today.


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