You may have been tipped off by the increasingly blustery afternoons, or the quickly darkening skies at 4 in the afternoon. Or maybe it’s the slow reemergence of scarves and closed-toed shoes on the fashion-forward DC workforce that made you take note. And what better urban harbinger of seasonal change than your neighborhood Starbucks? The Chinatown store on 7th and H St. has already brought back the pumpkin spice latte, and in this neck of the swamp, that’s a dead giveaway: it’s fall.
Even sitting in our small Chinatown office, I can spot more seasonal signifiers. My old navy blue hoodie (now officially a “Brainfood” shirt) has acquired a new constellation of bleach spatters around the waist, most likely the result of an overzealous student wiping down tables. A quick sift through the recycling pile reads like The Brief History of Sugar and Butter: Sugar Cookies, Muffins, Banana Cake, makes 25 small cookies, makes 2 9-inch round cakes. Scroll through my camera, and there’s a new batch of faces, shy smiles, and floury hands holding trays of pillowy sweet potato biscuits. And, waiting ever-so-patiently at my side, sits a faithful, silent, and rather pungent work colleague, my bag of dirty kitchen towels. It eyes me beseechingly, as if to say, “Didn’t you miss me? Isn’t it time to spend some quality time with your laundry this weekend?”