Remembering Carlos Guardado

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There was a sweet article in the Post today, made the front page. It’s about Carlos Guardado, a food truck vendor who sold burritos at 17th and K for 20 years and then died suddenly of a heart attack. Regular customers wept into their tailored suits and perfect strangers hugged one another in the spot where Guardado’s truck used to sit, the reporter wrote. I found myself sniffling as I read my newspaper on the Metro, but then I folded it up and pretty much forgot about it. Continue reading

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Columbia Heights marketplace opens

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The Columbia Heights Community Marketplace opened Saturday, June 5, with a kickoff that hit more than a few hallmarks of a community event. The market, which debuted its regular time of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in its home at 14th Street and Park Road NW, brought together individuals of different political stripes, shoppers of varied tastes, and members of several generations.

Eight sellers offered everything from strawberries and garlic scapes to bratwurst and blue cheese, with some sunflowers, wine vinegar, garden-ready plants, and French pastries as well. Not only did mayoral race foes Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray stand on the same stage, but nearly the whole City Council (as well as the Ward One representative to the school board, Dotti Wade Love) turned up to make an appearance or sent volunteers to collect signatures get them on the ballot. A gravely-voiced resident who had lived on Kenyon Street for 55 years stood yards away from a pint-sized poet who had barely been walking for five. Dance and music, from performers of every age in between, rounded out the entertainment.

Click over to the full article, including video and a photo slide show.

Feel, sniff, bite

Having traipsed through the tome The True History of Chocolate (Thames & Hudson), you’d think I would understand that chocolate is a complex subject. But all I smelled when I read the book was its plastic-coated cover, and all I heard was turning pages. It took a chocolate tasting class at ACKC to fill in the aromas, textures, sounds, sites, and of course tastes that really bring home the story.

ACKC stands for Artfully Chocolate|Kingsbury Confections, and the establishment has homes at 1529C 14th Street NW, AKA 14th and Q-ish, and on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria. Their main gig is not to let me taste their chocolates, but to serve as a coffee shop/art gallery/edible gift shop that sells a variety of confections, hot drinks (specializing in hot chocolates named after Hollywood divas), and some baked goods. They also give chocolate-making classes.

Here’s a quick pictorial overview of my adventures in a chocolate tasting at the D.C. location (courtesy of my BlackBerry, so not the best quality… sorry):

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Our guiding chocolatier, historian, and scholar was Rob Kingsbury. He’s the KC to artist Eric Nelson’s AC. You’ll see a glimpse of one of Nelson’s handmade tables a few photos from now. Continue reading