You expect the windows of the Veridian apartments on East-West Highway to be invitations into a world you'll never know, one where the countertops are granite and the furnishings modern and uncomfortable. In fact, the last thing I expected to see walking by was a giant cardboard cut-out of Miley Cyrus staring back at me from the Veridian's second floor. Not Miley, whose alter ego Hannah Montana stares back from T-shirts and backpacks at elementary schools far, far away from the self-consciously hip towers of South Silver Spring.
Keep walking, and you'll see Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley staring out from another window. You wonder if it's an inside joke between the residents, who are having a "best cardboard cut-out" contest. Or it's the management, trying their damnedest to make the building look fully occupied in the throes of a Great Recession.
If Miley, Marilyn and Elvis were to live in Downtown Silver Spring, would they have chosen the Veridian? Would they make good roommates? Would Miley and Marilyn get frustrated that Elvis never cleans up after himself in the bathroom?