The Other Wheaton sounds like a lovely place. Not only is it actually a city but is actually described on Wikipedia as "affluent," home to lots of scientists who work at Fermilab a few miles away. (It's worth noting that 90%-white Wheaton, Illinois is actually less diverse than 85%-white Bethesda.) Its quaint old downtown even has a library, though its walkways are also under siege by
"I have always felt that Wheaton was like Grover's Corners in "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. People grow up here, work here, raise their children and grow old here. It is a very special place to me."Sounds just like Wheaton, Maryland, right? But with more people of color, like when I saw Seneca Valley High School's production of Our Town back in 2002. (In their version, New Hampshire sounds more like New Hampshire Avenue in Langley Park.)
Wheaton, Illinois. Photo by Joe Orban, www.flickr.com/vidular.
"I am a walker, so I get around and look at houses and stores and get to know the shop keepers, the city workers and my neighbors. We have a very friendly and nice downtown with some lovely shops run by some very special people who are there to offer you their wares and their friendship and their comfortable surroundings to make you happy and feel good."Walking is good. I don't walk as much as I could, but I should now that that nifty walkway is completed. The people are friendly, though. The lady at El Pollo Rico chased me to my car after I left my plantains behind, but apparently American customers find Wheaton's ethnic restaurants threatening.
"They also are trying to make a living at the same time. They need us to shop in their stores, to support their events, and to look to them first when needing a purchase. These are hard times; we all know that. But our neighborhood shops won't make it without our help. We want a viable downtown, and we will have that if we support our local business people. Shop Wheaton."Hey, this sounds like something Local First Wheaton might say. Perhaps they should outsource their operations to Illinois. The cost of living is far cheaper there, though that thirty-mile commute to Chicago sounds kind of miserable.
I've been told that Wheaton, Illinois actually pronounces their "T," as in "WHEE-ton," which makes any kind of secret Maryland-Illinois Wheaton exchange program very difficult. The traditional Maryland pronunciation of Wheaton is "wee-UNN." If you're from Maryland, you replace the letter "T" with a sound called a "glottal stop," which to non-linguists can be described as putting an apostrophe where the "T" is supposed to go. My friend from the Virgin Islands (who now lives in Virginia) calls it "WEE-den." I suppose that's a compromise.
How do you say "Wheaton" where you're from?