|I took this during that awesome sunset Tuesday night.
Over time, JUTP has been a soapbox, a megaphone, and a sort of confidante. I like to think of it as a member of my family. I'm not even sure if it's a blog anymore: of course there are (infrequent) posts, but we've also got Facebook, Twitter, and as of this week, a newly resurrected Instagram page. JUTP has co-sponsored events in the community from the Flower Theatre Project to PechaKucha Night Silver Spring.
But for me, JUTP is really all of the great friends I've made over the past nine years, and the sense of rootedness and community I feel living here in Silver Spring. Without you, there wouldn't be a Just Up The Pike, but there really wouldn't be a Dan Reed either, because all of your readership and support and love have helped make me who I am today.
This anniversary is particularly special because one of the first blog posts I wrote was about the Purple Line. This is a project that predates my birth, and has been a personal interest of mine since I went to my first community meeting about it in 2003, when I was just fifteen. Governor Hogan's announcement that he's moving forward with the project after months of saying otherwise was bittersweet: after many, many trials and tribulations, we're closer than ever to getting a shovel in the ground.
Last night I joined many Purple Line activists who have been involved since the beginning, and the community leaders and elected officials who have championed it since, for a celebratory drink in downtown Silver Spring. As I walked home down Fenton Street, I passed the new Silver Spring Library, all lit up, with the little plaza that will soon become a Purple Line station.
I thought about what this block looked like just a few years ago. I tried to picture what it will look like on a summer night a couple of years from now, trains running through, people on the streets. It'll be here before we know it, but I'm looking forward to the ride there. And I'm excited to share it with you.