Our second outing to blog Rockville Pike finds us at 2323 Wisconsin Ave., 1.39 miles from K Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, where our journey began. Naturally, because it is in our own self-interest to weave in a bit of grocery shopping with our blogging, we find ourselves standing in the produce aisle at Whole Foods, attracting unwanted attention by wearing sweaty gym clothes and taking flash photography of the fruit.
With the vague plan to observe incremental shifts in neighborhood demographics as we blog our way north, already we can see the many variables that will need to be taken into account before our study is picked up by any of the major sociological journals. For example, one cannot draw any sweeping conclusions about a neighborhood, or a neighborhood grocery story, unless one were to conduct this study at the same time and day each week, and also account for variables such as weather conditions, and, perhaps more importantly, football playoff schedules. Nor ought one draw any sweeping conclusions about a neighborhood based on the number of letters that fail to illuminate on the local grocery store’s neon sign, rendering it: WHOLE F DS.
Nevertheless, here are a few anecdotal observations. Only .43 miles up the Pike from where we began our investigation, the demographics of Sunday evening grocery shoppers do seem ever so slightly different, even at this equally upscale market. It may be simply that the Social Safeway is an anomaly, the only grocery store in the D.C. area that is considered a destination, rather than a dreaded errand. And perhaps in keeping with the slightly funkier nature of this neighborhood, where housing prices are marginally more affordable than in Georgetown and the residents less likely to appear on an episode of The Real Housewives of DC, there is a more down to earth feel to the clusters of people congregated around the (slightly wilted with end-of-day remains) salad bar. Fewer couples consulting their lists, more people dressed like Sunday evening grocery shoppers as opposed to, say, J. Crew catalogue models, and—admittedly here we go out on a scientifically uncorroborated limb—more men shopping than we are generally accustomed to seeing, even in 21st century, progressive, Washington, D.C.
A bit more about Glover Park. The multi-space parking meter along Wisconsin Avenue just north of Whole Foods (meant to offer better performance and reliability than its old-fashioned coin-eating cousin!) is broken, or so we learned after watching a series of frustrated motorists load it with coins only to have it refuse to print receipts. The consulate office of El Salvador sits on this strip, the entirety of which needs a fresh coat of paint, although it may simply be that everything looks in need of a facelift on this dreary winter day. And for those on the eternal quest for edible bagels in the area, put Brueggers, next to the embassy, on your list. Best reason to drive to Glover Park? The wonderful Glover Park Hardware Store. Right up there with Strosniders on the they-have-everything-you need/friendly-and-helpful index.
Your two-second history lesson: The neighborhood is named for banker and philanthropist Charles Carroll Glover, who, according to Wikipedia, is the father of Rock Creek Parkway and the National Zoo. And apparently we are all mispronouncing the name, which is meant to rhyme with “cover,” and not “clover.” Oh well. Perhaps we’ll reconsider once they fix the meters.