Monday, November 13, 2006

what was the name of that Lebanese restaurant?

okay, now imagine this is in Virginiapictured: storefront in Downtown Silver Spring, but imagine it's in Arlington, Virginia.

If there's any neighborhood in Greater Washington I'd compare to Silver Spring, it'd be Clarendon, whose revitalization is the subject of a Post write-up today. In Clarendon, you'll find everything from used record stores to Lebanese restaurants to trendy condos - all with a local character that is slowly dying off in the wake of gentrification.

But can this upheaval continue in the Clarendons and Silver Springs of the D.C. area forever? The Post also remarks on the growing popularity of so-called "urban villages," with one analyst estimating that the demand for these kind of neighborhoods is five to ten times the current supply.

What this suggests is that little future Clarendons will continue to pop up around D.C. for years to come - but what it might mean is, if we encourage the development of enough "urban villages," not just in the typical yuppie strongholds of Arlington County or Northwest but in Prince George's County, this demand could be spread out enough to spare a few local establishments from becoming Cheesecake Factories.

I think gentrification is a good thing, if we can share the wealth. Rosslyn spawned Clarendon; Bethesda (one could argue) spawned Silver Spring; Silver Spring and Clarendon could spawn the revitalization of many other small towns and urban neighborhoods.


Silver Springer said...

"Urban village" is a terrible term for places like Silver Spring and Bethesda.

Only WaPo would use such language. I've never heard it used anywhere else.

Urban District, CBD or even downtowns are more common terms that sound better too.

Debbie Cook said...

I agree with Silver Springer, I like the name "Downtowns" the best. I think it best describes Silver Spring in it's heyday.