Tuesday, October 13, 2015

new video screens are a sign of silver spring's evolution

After twenty years, the dying City Place Mall is finally coming back to life. New video screens on the building's historic exterior are another sign of how downtown Silver Spring is evolving into an urban place.

Ellsworth Place Screens
The new screens. All photos by the author.

The new screens went up outside the five-story shopping center, located on Fenton Street between Colesville Road and Ellsworth Drive, a few weeks ago. They show a mix of ads for the mall, inspirational quotes, and "This Day in History" features.

While the rest of downtown Silver Spring is thriving, City Place has struggled since it opened in 1992. Developer Petrie Ross is renovating the mall, now called Ellsworth Place, opening it up to surrounding streets while adding new shops and restaurants.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

it's national coming out day, or why october 13 is a personal holiday

Ten years ago today, I was sitting on my best friend's bed hanging out with a bunch of people from our dorm at Maryland. Someone mentioned that it was National Coming Out Day. How does that even work? They asked.

Like this, I said. I got up, went in her closet, and shut the door behind me. I opened the door and stepped out. "I'm gay," I said.

There was a beat of silence. I don't think anyone had expected it. "Dan, does this mean you wish to sleep with men!?" she exclaimed.

"It does," I replied quietly, and the conversation eventually went back to classes or weekend plans or something.

As they say, coming out isn't one moment so much as something you do over and over again: to friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and so on. But before that, you come out to yourself, and that's a gradual process too.