Andrew Pazdon: Support thy neighbor

I have often subscribed to the mantra of “I live to eat” and not “I eat to live.” Put plainly, I very much enjoy food and eating. While I also enjoy preparing my own food on a regular basis, there are many times when I would rather pay someone else to do it for me. Unfortunately, these times usually come in the wee hours of the morning when my coordination isn’t stellar and when most people don’t really want to prepare my food.

Naturally, I was quite excited to learn about the new, soon-to-be-opened FoBoGro. But our new snacking and grocery procurement option is in danger of being shut down, before it even opens its doors, by the West End Citizen’s Association, who appear to hate our community and our food. All things I rather happen to enjoy.

Honestly, I really can’t fathom how anyone could be in opposition to the store. Let us explore a few of the positives: new (late-night) food option, renovation of a previously rundown building, and a new small business opening in a recession. I’m sure that there are other positives, but the aforementioned are what matter to me. I think a new food option for an area that is devoid of choices after midnight is pretty self-explanatory.

I suppose if one doesn’t like eating or like seeing other people eating, they might take issue, but the renovation of a previously rundown building seems like a pretty awesome plus for me. I can say I never set foot in the old Foggy Bottom Grocery for fear of catching an unknown disease. How can a citizen’s association be in opposition to a nice, new building? And opposed to a new small business? Last I heard, small businesses were one of the keys to economic recovery. After all, the stimulus bill provided around $700 million directly to small businesses to spur economic growth.

Yes, implying WECA is against economic recovery may be slightly absurd. But so is, in my mind, opposition to FoBoGro. Critics argue the store is smack dab in the middle of a residential area and their quality of life will tumble. Ridiculous, on numerous counts. Where are all these residents near the building? Last I checked, the closest neighbors are mostly GW students. And taking first-hand experiences and personal feelings into account, I think I can safely say that students out late at night are louder when they are hungry and do not have food in their mouths. Their quality of life is severely lacking when they are hungry at 1 a.m., and they are usually pretty vocal about it.

This is a column I really shouldn’t have had fodder to write about. If these community activists really care about the community, they should be happy that a new, honest business is coming to town. This is not a strip club or some red light district business. This is a genuine community store wanting to sell food and drink (yes, even beer) to the community. With such a benign mission, why put up such a fight?

The writer, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

Readers can visit the Forum to comment on this column.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.