Saturday, February 15, 2020

Still Life with Robin: AOC and the BEC

Image by Wikiwand

by Peggy Robin

The dominating thread on local DC Twitter chat for the past week has been all about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comment that you can’t get a good bacon egg & cheese sandwich in DC. Of course, offended DC natives and BEC lovers are pushing their favorite breakfast sandwiches to defend DC’s honor. Everyone needs to calm down, and recognize that it’s every congressperson’s prerogative to moan and groan about that fill-in-the-blank thing that they just can’t find DC – at least not up to the standards of their own home district. It starts the minute they get elected and suddenly realize they’re on the hook for a second home, and there’s just no way it’s ever going to feel as homey to them as their actual home back in good ol’ wherever.

AOC (as she now is universally known in the media, because it takes so much less time to type than her actual name with its 23 characters, including the hyphen) has taken up residence in Navy Yard – and that’s really the root of the problem. She’s found herself an apartment in a new, luxury building in a heavy gentrified neighborhood, predominantly populated with young transplants without deep roots in the neighborhood. Still, that does not translate to a place where you can’t find a decent BEC.

I decided to do a little statistical analysis, using the admittedly not-so-scientific method of counting up what’s listed on Yelp DC: Navy Yard, in the way of breakfast places and sandwich shops. The answer is 17. That’s the number you get when you add up all the establishments listed under any of the  following labels: “bagel shop; bakery; coffee shop; deli; sandwich shop.” I can’t say for sure that all 17 of these places will have a BEC on their menu – but I’m willing to bet you $3.50 (that’s the price of a bacon egg & cheese sandwich at the Subway in Navy Yard) that the version they make is pretty much indistinguishable from the version AOC has available to her in the 14th Congressional District of New York (Bronx/Queens/Brooklyn).

While I was in counting mode, I went ahead and totted up the number of eating places Yelp showed on the Navy Yard neighborhood map, and came up with this total: 82. And here’s how they break down by category:

Afghan 1
American (trad. or modern) 4
Asian fusion 3
Bagel shop/pastry shop/bakery 3
Brewpub/Beer Garden/Wine bar 4
Buffet 1
Burgers & fries/Shake Shack, etc 4
Chicken 1
Chinese/fast food Chinese 2
Coffee shop 5
Deli 3
Food truck 4
Indian 1
Italian 2
Korean 1
Mediterranean 2
Mexican & fast-food Mexican (Chipotle) 3
Modern European 1
Nats Ball Park restaurants 9
Pizza 5
Ramen noodle shop 2
Salad bar 3
Salvadorean 1
Sandwich shop (includes Potbelly, Subway) 6
Seafood 3
Southern/BBQ 2
Tapas 1
Taqueria 3
Thai 1
Vietnamese 1

There are twelve different countries represented here, and four different regions. Looks to me like AOC can get just about any type of food she wants within a few blocks of her apartment – and walk to work, too. But, as I stated at the outset, an elected representative charged with voicing her constituents’ views in the Nation’s Capital has every right to complain! Double the right for being a New Yorker (who are born with the belief that NYC is number one in everything in the world)!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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