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Sunday, September 16, 2012

A little taste of 美洲

There's certainly a lot to see and do in Washington, D.C., but our little corner of suburbia, Falls Church, occasionally has its little attractions. Today was one of those things to do, an event called "A Taste of Falls Church", held in front of the small community center (where my little one will start a weekly ballet class next 星期四 adjacent to City Hall. It was one of those small-town bits of Americana (food stands selling items from local restaurants, Led Zeppelin cover bands performing on a small stage next to the tennis court, booths manned by local businesses ranging from bath fitters to realtors) ideally suited to a warm and sunny mid-September Saturday. We stuffed ourselves silly for a grand total of only $25 for the three of us; Amber had a lot of fun on some inflatable kid magnets set up in the park next to City Hall; and my wife and I supported local artisans by purchasing a tie-dyed T-shirt (me) and a ceramic bowl (Pamela). It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours on a pleasant afternoon, and all just a few minutes' drive from our apartment complex.

My wife and daughter walk along Broad Street toward the festival site. There are a lot of nice shops and restaurants along Falls Church's downtown drag. My favorite place is The Local Market, which carries a good range of tasty sodas and organic foodstuffs. I've been trying to persuade Pamela to do our fruit and vegetable shopping there and thus help support local farmers, but she seems to have a thing for large, impersonal supermarket chains.

The local emergency services all had displays set up. My daughter was able to sit inside both a fire engine and an ambulance, and got to pet a police dog named Fany. 

Food was the theme of the festival. Buying ten tickets for the three of us for a total of $25 allowed us to sample a variety of offerings from about a dozen local restaurateurs, with most dishes costing only a single ticket. Pamela is holding a plate of shrimp in the above photo, but we also had Indian food, salmon, corn on the cob, oysters and chili. Multicultural cuisine in a multicultural community located in a multicultural country - the United States has its issues, mainly caused by those who can't face no longer being at the top of the food chain, but the future looks very bright.

For my daughter, the best thing about today were the various air-inflated playthings that she could jump on, crawl through and slide down. Why didn't I get to do any of these things when I was her age?

On the walk back to the parking lot, we passed a wall outside a CVS Pharmacy with photographs of old Falls Church. The caption on the one above reads:

The Columbia Baptist Church located at 160 E. Broad Street also served as a high school and a hospital, during the Civil War. This 1862 view shows photographer Mathew Brady in the foreground.

One thing I like about this area is the small signs posted at various spots around the city explaining local connections to the American Revolution and the Civil War.

I'm looking forward to more of these local events as they serve as great ways to introduce what is essentially a new country to the both my wife and my daughter.

My own taste of fall

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