If you've ever driven down Fairland Road, you've probably seen this homemade sign for John Kerry taped to a telephone pole, still there three years after the election. I don't know if it (or the pole) will survive the construction to widen the road, so I decided to take a photograph of it for posterity.
Here's what's happening in the area, to the best of my knowledge:
IT'S RACHEL CARSON'S BIRTHDAY! Not until May, but when it comes, the State would like it to be a holiday commemorating the life and work of the Silver Spring resident and environmental activist. From her house on Berwick Road in Quaint Acres, Carson spearheaded the environmental movement with her then-controversial book, Silent Spring. She's probably the most influential person to come out of Silver Spring - except for neighbor Lewis Black, of course.
LAUREL MALL ASCENDANT? Three months after first reported by Just Up The Pike, the Post takes a detailed look at the twenty-eight-year-old mall's new lease on life. In less than two years, the center could have a slew of new stores, a movie theatre and a completely different look, creating a huge impact on the city of Laurel and, by proxy, East Montgomery County.
WHITHER GEORGIA AVENUE? The Penguin has been doing a series of sorts on the stretch of Georgia Avenue between Wayne Avenue and the railroad bridge. It's not Downtown Silver Spring and it's not dopey SoPo (short for South Point, which makes no sense, because Silver Spring sits at the very NORTHERN point of D.C.) but rather somewhere in between, and you can bet that none of those people who hang out on "the Turf" Friday nights would think to go there.
While the Hook and Ladder brewpub (a big waste of the old fire house, as I've said before) will bring some foot traffic to the area, it'll take a lot more to make it not only safe but exciting. There is a lot south of Wayne, but the blocks are long, the sidewalks narrow, and the lighting poor, making the area rather uninviting to young people used to the sensory overload of Ellsworth Drive.
And I wonder what changes could encourage people to visit the area, commonly known as "Fenton Village" (though the Penguin has a poll with new name suggestions) short of a tabula rasa redevelopment like what happened on Ellsworth. Thinking about Laurel Mall, I can't help but imagine Downtown Silver Spring as a giant mall, with the Majestic/Borders/City Place as an anchor at one end, and the clubs and galleries of South Point anchoring the other end. What goes in the middle? (Mall logic would dictate some sort of food court, or a giant carousel.)