Saturday, June 9, 2012

Food-minded Washingtonians Find Two Excuses to Ditch Work Friday

A tale of two queues unfolded Friday as food-minded Washingtonians lined the sidewalks for a pair of events.

Earlybirds gathered at sunrise for a chance to attend the one and only booksigning First Lady Michelle Obama is doing for her newly released “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.”

Bobby Campbell is smiling because he was first in line. 

Campbell and the front of the line in context.

The signing is taking place on June 12 at Barnes&Noble in downtown Washington. As reported on Obama Foodorama, attendees were required to buy the book in advance and submit to a Secret Service background check beginning at 9 a.m. on June 8.

The queue formed when Bobby Campbell assumed the first spot at 5:45 a.m., by his own report. No telling how many worker bees mysteriously had doctors’ appointments first thing Friday morning.

The next opportunity to skip work began at 10 a.m. across town, when Georgetown Cupcake opened for the day. The renowned bakery offered free cupcakes to promote Friday’s episode of DC Cupcakes, The Learning Channel reality show about the energetic sisters who own the cupcakery.

The promise of a free cupcake created a fine excuse to take a very long lunch or get stuck in, ahem, massive traffic.

Washingtonians vote with their feet to endorse the Georgetown Cupcake giveaway.

In fact, the traffic jams occurred on the sidewalk, where a midday line snaked out the door. The weekday after-lunch slot is usually an off-peak time when a customer can practically walk right up to the counter. The lure of free cupcakes changed the equation and left cubicles emptier than normal as the city’s cupcake enthusiasts queued up for a TGIF treat.

The political and pop culture circles actually overlap at this top-of-the-ticket bakery, which hosted First Daughter Sasha Obama’s 10th birthday party last year.

This year, the bakery has expanded beyond the Washington metropolitan area. Following openings in New York and Boston, it will set up shop on Los Angeles’ westside this fall.