I used to live in the Washington DC metro area in my previous life. One thing I would do on a regular basis was go to Eastern Market. Listening to NPR this morning was a feature on the re-opening of Eastern Market. I've been sadly out of touch with local DC happenings. Most of my friends who lived and worked in Washington have either moved away or we have lost touch.
While it was sad to hear the Market had a devastating fire a few years ago, I'm not surprised. The building was old, very old and while the merchants,vendors and folks worked hard to keep it up, it did have it's issues.
One thing my friends and I used to love to do was to meet in the Market area. We would take the Metro, ride our bikes, some would drive to the area. We'd meet for coffee, go for a beer at Tunnicliffs Tavern (is it still in exsistence?), wander around the vendors, look at the art work, grab a bite to eat (I remember this great stand that sold homemade empanada-yum). One thing I did each time I was at the Market was to get a large bouquet of flowers. There was a flower vendor that was always out on the sidewalk on the 7th St side and sold these great bouquets of flowers. You could get the small bunch for $6 or $7 or the large bunch for $10 or $12. I honestly don't remember the exact price, but what I do remember is that each boquet had a nice variety of flowers, always had a star gazer lilly, some lovely greens and lasted at least a week and the cost was not much more than a cup of coffee and a pastry at one of the local coffee shops. I would bring the flowers home and put them in a vase on a table in my apartment. I would get a great sense of satisfaction looking at the flowers.
Saving Veronica has a post here where she says that when she gets out of debt she is going to buy herself flowers. My advice to her, buy them now! Even when I was at my lowest point in my finances, I would scrape up a buck or two at maybe get even one stem of a flower. Just having something lovely to look at would lift my spirits. I'm not advocating large bunches of rare orchids, but if you feel the need for a flower or two, treat yourself!