Just Up The Pike has just made plans to meet with another councilmember next month, bringing the grand total to five. We have yet to hear from Duchy Trachtenberg, Marc Elrich, or the increasingly elusive Ike Leggett, only bolstering my opinion that he does not like me.
As for Charlottesville - the town is amazing, and after only a little while it's clear why this is consistently rated one of the best places to live in the country. The gem of the city is the Downtown Mall, a six-block stretch of street closed off to cars and lined with restaurants, shops and theatres.
I was called "crazy" when I said that College Park could look like Charlottesville one day, and maybe I am, but it's inspiring to see what a real college town looks like.
No, you're not crazy. I nearly shed a tear when I heard they're getting a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
College Park has languished for too long, and I mostly blame their elected officials. Hopefully new hotel development on US-1 and the East Campus Initiative will bring new business. I won't hold my breath for a dedicated city police force, though.
Charlottesville has the benefit of being comparatively isolated. It's is a true college town. College Park, by contrast, is embedded in an urban/suburban area with a lot of other industries/influences beyond the University. That said, Route 1 could use a LOT of improvement. Things are certainly better than when I went to UMd (early 80's), when the road was a stretch of beer drenched bars, late night food places, the Book Exchange, and a High's. Ok, there were a few other businesses, but not many and it was certainly not a picturesque series of blocks.
I don't have much room to talk, though, as I was adding to the beer puddles on the floor of the Cellar and Vous, dining at Club LT, enjoying a slice of pizza that was seasoned with a whiff of pepper spray, and buying snacks at the High's and Seven-Eleven. (I still LOVE Marathon Deli, but Bentley's has gone from a place to take visiting parents to drinking place that sells so-so food.)
There are more shops now, but the area could use a bit of sort of the county and state attention that downtown Silver Spring has received. With comparatively modest investments, both College Park and Hyattsville could make a leap forward.
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