Shiny happy produce
Turns out the new Adams Morgan Harris Teeter did indeed open on time this week. Things were pretty low-key there yesterday when I dropped by around 5pm. There were a bunch of folks signing up to get their VIC (Very Important Customer, aka how the supermarkets track our tastes) cards, but otherwise most folks were just going about their business.
The place is pretty swanky, with sushi, lots of happy produce, and a million brands of everything—toothpaste, cereal, canned goods. It’s all regular supermarket stuff, but still in the just-stacked stage and therefore looking extra sparkly. Otherwise I’m not sure it’s that impressive. Yes, there are more produce options and some items are cheaper even than at the old dingy Safeway around the corner, but the selection (of items I buy, that is) didn’t seem enormously better. But I guess people will vote with their feet.
There was a guy picketing outside, a Mr. L. Napoleon Cooper, Jr. (“Coop”), who was willing to take a moment to discuss his gripes, though I had to walk with him in order to comply with DC laws governing demonstrations. It seems that, according to zoning laws, having a 50,000 square foot supermarket that sells beer and alcohol undermines the neighborhood corner shops, but the city provided HT with a license anyway. He was incensed, though I’m not fully convinced he was just doing this out of pure civic duty.
Anyway, the charge didn’t seem too egregious to me. I wandered over to the Dorchester Market, one of the small markets Mr. Cooper had referred to, and chatted a bit with the Ethiopian employees. They weren’t particularly angry about the new HT.