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Today a new Target opens in my neighborhood of Columbia Heights, and everyone is all a-flutter over what this will mean for the future of a neighborhood where commerce was previously dominated by pupuserias, liquor stores and sidewalk mango stands.

But I would like to step away from the neighborhood or city-wide implications for a moment and think about what Target will mean to me. And that is: awesomeness (mostly).

I prefer small neighborhood stores to big box chains just as much as the next yuppie, but there was nowhere within walking distance where I could buy trendy and affordable furniture, housewares, baby shower gifts, cute napkins and craft supplies. To procure such necessary items, I would have to putter out to Virginia or Maryland, leaving a trail of carbon footprints behind me. But no longer: I can walk ten minutes to Target.

My affinity for Target used to be a bit of a family joke. Since I lived in DC without a car, I couldn’t get my trendy bargain shopping fix very easily. So whenever I would return home to South Carolina for Christmas, it was like a purchasing feast day after months of fasting. I would find myself at Target, reveling in the post-Christmas sales and stocking up on holiday plates and napkins or the odd gingerbread-house-making kits for my 12th Night party. I would end up with an extra suitcase full of Target stuff. My family members were always a bit aghast/amused by my hoarding.

Now what will I do with a new Target within 6 blocks of my house? I will find it easier to purchase gifts for betrothed or pregnant friends. I will buy more black dress socks, instead of alternating the same two pairs. I will probably buy some decorative items that I do not need. I do not think I will feel the need to hoard … except maybe a bit after Christmas.

I will marvel at the foot traffic, weep at the car traffic and pray that this provides more good than bad for the community. And I will walk right past the Target pizza stand, and still support my local pupuserias, tacquerias and the beloved fish in the hood — all of which can beat out chain cuisine any day of the week.

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