Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two Things Challenge: East / West

Newly remodeled Giant Food at Loehmann's Plaza, Arlington, Virginia.
An East Coast-based company.

This week's 2 Things Challenge was East / West. Honestly? Some weeks, I don't know what the hell I'm thinking when I come up with a challenge. I thought this one would be a no-brainer for me. I thought wrong. Of course, the most obvious thing would be to take a picture of the Capitol on the east end of the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial on the west end, but I've done that already. Then I thought about doing a picture of Indian food versus California cuisine, but I didn't eat out this week or do a lot of cooking so that was out. I finally settled on grocery stores.

If you live in the D.C. area, you're familiar with Giant Food. While it isn't a national chain, it is a very big regional supermarket with stores in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Delaware. The company was founded in 1936 by N.M. Cohen and Samuel Lehrman. Hence, East. In 1998, the company was purchased by Netherlands-based Ahold. I have a personal affection for Giant. When I was in student, I worked as a cashier for the company. Basically, it paid for college, and I'm grateful.

Banner inside Safeway on Fenton Ave., Silver Spring, Maryland.
An West Coast-based company.

Another big grocery chain in the area is Safeway. Unlike Giant Food, Safeway is a national chain. The company is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. Hence, West.

Near East Rice Pilaf and the West Coast's Rice-a-Roni:
East and West as a side dish!

Just for fun, I went into Giant and took a couple of pictures of products that represent eastern cuisine--Asia and the Middle East, for example, and western cuisine--North American and European. This was my favorite picture featuring Near East rice dishes next to Rice-a-Roni, "The San Francisco Treat!"

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 10/08


Dusty Lens said...

Eastern rice vs western rice. So, did you buy each to see how they differ, east from west? ;)

Virginia said...

WEll if you can't think of anything and you dreamed it up, what about us poor schmucks!!! Geez. Guess you gave me all your good ideas , but actually you did just fine. More original than mine for sure.

Maya said...

I've definitely heard of Safeway being a Westerner! I like the shot of the two types of rice. Very inventive.

D.C. Confidential said...

Rob: No. I was headed to a Bollywood movie with my sister. That was a pretty eastern experience, let me tell ya! :-)

VJ: It's all part of my evil plan to rule the world! Obviously, it's working. Bwahahahahaha. ;-) Seriously, though, I'm always open to suggestions. I don't want to hog all the fun for myself.

Maya: Yep. Based in Pleasanton, CA--just down the road from where I use to live in fashionable Walnut Creek. In addition to the rice picture, I had pictures of soy sauce and Jell-o (not on the same aisle, mind you), but I went with this one because they were already side-by-side. Besides, it's Rice-a-Roni and San Francisco--the place I most think of as home.

pierre l said...

Rice and pasta in one dish -- that sounds interesting! I'll have to Google and see if anyone brings it to the UK.
I haven't been back to Montreal since 1976; it would be interesting to see what supermarkets (and other shops) are still around.

D.C. Confidential said...

Pierre: Italian cuisine it isn't, but Rice-a-Roni is pretty decent as a side. If you can't find it in the U.K., let me know and I'll send you a box.

Bev said...

I always thought Safeway was a British store. I used to shop at one myself. I saw this on the thumbnails and thought, I wonder who our new British competitor is!

Tash said...

I didn't get a chance to tell you thanks for the excellent collage of all the 2 things. it came out really colorful & you really balance the photos well. Love the rice & roni shot.

D.C. Confidential said...

Bev: Interesting. It's possible your Safeway is a subsidiary of ours. Or, it could be a stand alone. Do they have the same logo?

Tash: Putting the collages together is always fun. I need to get PhotoShop, though, because that way I'd be able to embed a link to each blog participant based on their picture. One more thing on the list of things to do!

pierre l said...

I suspect that our Safeway was a subsidiary of yours; they operated mainly in the South of England. A few years ago, they were taken over by Morrison's (which operated mostly in the North); the stores have been re-branded.
Thank you for the generous offer to send me a sample of Rice-a-Roni, Janet. I haven't started looking for it here yet, but shall probably just admire your pic if I can't find it here.

D.C. Confidential said...

Pierre: The offer stands. If you ever change your mind, just say. And thanks for the information on Safeway. Now that I think back on it, I think Safeway did once have stores overseas.