Thursday, August 6, 2009

they used to call it georgian towers (part one)

part ONE in a series about growing up in an apartment building in Downtown Silver Spring.

Sushi Model

I knew this wasn't an ordinary party when they brought out the sushi girl. She lay across a table, palm leaves laid across her flesh-colored bikini, rolls of raw fish arrayed on top. Men chuckle as they pick the sushi from her legs, from her hips, from her breasts. As the invitation promised, we are sixteen stories above Downtown Silver Spring, a thin glass barrier separating us from the street below and from the sky above. The sun is setting. A DJ is playing a remix of a Coldplay song. There are two open bars; the special is vodka with lemonade. Men carry trays of ceviche and chicken satay and wear shirts with the names of the food printed on them.

There are more models in black dresses than there are actual people here. One took my name at the door and another brought me up in the elevator, complaining that it was very hot in there. What I didn't tell her is that when I was eight, my mother let me ride alone in that elevator for the first time, and once I knew I was in there by myself, I screamed all the way to the fourteenth floor.

This is Georgian, once called Georgian Towers, on Georgia Avenue. I spent the formative years of my life here, when Downtown Silver Spring was a neighborhood half abandoned and you were more likely to find homeless people than models walking around. My mother says the only reason she moved us here in 1991 was because it was "quiet," but I credit this building with making me who I am today, right here on the roof in a little pool too small to even do laps in. The people I spoke to at last night's party insisted what I saw was in fact a new pool, but I can see myself at age nine dangling my feet off the edge.

Today: pictures of Georgian's rooftop party, featuring appearances by local movers-and-shakers. Over the next few days: I remember what it was like here "back in the day," take a tour of the gentrifying building, and with fellow former resident Chip Py, try to find some relic of a time when we could still afford to live there.

Sunset Over The Georgian
Sunset over the Georgian's rooftop deck.

More Of Ike, Steve And Seyhan
County Executive Ike Leggett and Steve Silverman, director of the Department of Economic Development, say a few words as DJ Seyhan Duru plays.

Another Picture Of The Covered Bar Thing
A new deck is only part of the multi-million dollar renovations Georgian has done over the past few years.


Terry in Silver Spring said...

Sushi girl? You are kidding. That is skeevy on a whole bunch of levels.

Sligo said...

Wearing a bathing suit is cheating.

Tom A. said...

I woke up in a good mood, so I don't know why this event makes me so cranky. I guess it was sushi girl.

I'm waiting for the trailer park I grew up in to become "hip" and hold swanky parties where over- privelidged people eat food off naked people willing to do degrade themselves for a pay check.

SS_Samurai said...

check out for the REAL scoop on the georgian