Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Photo of the Day: Hurston-Inspired Eatery, Washington DC

Between one thing and another these past several weeks, I had forgotten I took the image accompanying this post back in late November while on vacation in Washington, DC. Then a radio item this morning reminded me that today marked the birthday of Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God.

We don’t know exactly how old she would have been today, however. Most references date the year of her birth as 1891, though no absolute certainty exists as to when, since the writer used other dates extending as far forward as 1901.

We do know, however, that this luminary of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance called Eatonville, FL her hometown. And so, when a particular restaurant was opened in the spring of 2009, the owner decided to name it in tribute to the author.

Since then, Eatonville has become a mainstay of the U Street Corridor in our nation’s capital, along with the nearby Busboys and Poets (a nod to another Harlem Renaissance pillar, Langston Hughes). I ate at both while in my all-too-brief time in DC, and enjoyed the atmosphere—and food—in each establishment. (In Eatonville, I especially loved the po’ boy sandwich.)

This shot I took near the entrance to Eatonville is just one of several murals inside the restaurant depicting either Hurston (shown here) or scenes from her work.

Since this is still, at this point, a relatively new year, a quote from Their Eyes Were Watching God seems appropriate right now: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

Hmmm…The second part of that, especially, sounds like a potential category on Jeopardy.

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