Monday, November 3, 2008

what's up the pike: killdozer edition

- Last week's column about the ICC (which received more comments on a single post than this blog's gotten in a good long time) inspired me to take a few pictures of ICC construction (see above) throughout East County. They're in a photo set that I'll be adding to over time, so we can track the highway's progress and its effects on the surrounding neighborhoods. I'll tell you: it must be hurting to live in Tanglewood right now, where many of their fabled trees have given way to the eventual toll road.

- Excuse Me While I Put My Foot In My Mouth's Ginger has had it with Silver Spring, and lists a few reasons why she intends to get the hell out as soon as possible. We're hoping she doesn't pull a Down By The River and go back to Rockville, though her desire to find a place "where home ownership is not as distant a goal as walking on Mars" probably precludes everything within fifty miles of here. Hello, Pennsylvania!

- Traditionally a numbers-oriented game designed for policy wonks like our friend Adam Pagnucco, the County's Annual Growth Policy is getting an overhaul for 2009, taking into consideration not just how many houses we build each year but the kind of communities we build. "Growing Smarter Montgomery," as the new initiative's been dubbed by Park and Planning, emphasizes pedestrian and transit connections, higher building design standards, and more diverse communities. They're kicking it off with a series of public forums throughout the county, the first of which takes place at the Praisner Library tonight from 7 to 9. An additional forum will be held in Downtown Silver Spring in December.

- The Silver Spring Zombie Walk was a huge success, says Thayer Avenue and Silver Spring, Singular, which spearheaded the event on Saturday night. Eric from Thayer Avenue estimates that over a hundred people came out for the walk, in which people dressed up as zombies and terrorized the Downtown area. My brother was a zombie for Halloween (the night before, I realize), and he did terrorize a part of Silver Spring during trick-or-treating, albeit not Downtown. His costume was so realistic I refused to come near him.


S. said...

I bought a house in NoVA. MoCo is just way to pricey. and I have lots of land on a mountain not in danger of the ICC. So I concur with Ginger. So much so that I'm getting outa here.

Thomas Hardman said...

Could be worse, you know.

The house I live in has been free of mortgage for above 30 years, and the other house is also mortgage-free. The rents of the one pay the taxes and fees on both properties and provide a small but slowly growing income.

Yet I find myself in a very sad position. Aspen Hill seems to be going through the same cycle we see so often around the country.

A neighborhood is built brand-new, it ages, about the time that the original owners retire and then move on to retirement communities (or age in place until the next generation supersedes), the neighborhood falls into disrepair and can't again be shiny until and unless it first hits bottom. Has Aspen Hill hit bottom? Well, I have been fighting a thankless battle to see that it doesn't, and that may be the problem here. It hasn't gotten so bad that nobody will move here, but in the meanwhile, I'm loath to contemplate sacrificing a paid-for house in good repair to move out to some McMansioned outer 'burb where both the house and lawn are too large and the environmental impact on the world is insupportable.

No, I guess I'm stuck living in Aspen Hell. But let's just say, I don't shop or dine around here.

Ginger said...

You read my mind...we're thinking Pittsburgh would be a great place to live. Last time I was there, I bought a beer AND a pack of cigarettes with a five dollar bill. That's a beautiful thing. (Even as a now non-smoker, it's nice to know that there are still places in this country where cigarettes are cheap.)