Friday, April 13, 2007

A Sibling for Silver Spring?

I was recently visiting a European country (hence the no posting) and found it interesting that even the tiniest of towns had signs listing their sister cities, or “twin towns” as they are called over there. The EU promotes this between European towns, but many of the signs I saw listed sister cities in the USA. It got me to thinking… why doesn’t Silver Spring have a sister city?

Rockville been Pinneberg, Germany’s sister city for 50 years. It’s on the signs posted at the city limits. (I wonder if North Bethesda will inherit Pinneberg when Rockville disappears off the map.) It’s not just for show, either: they actually do stuff with them. On the other side of the District, Arlington has three sister cities - Coyoacán, Mexico, Aachen, Germany and Reims, France. Meanwhile, Alexandria has FOUR to our zero - Dundee, Scotland, Caen, France, Gyumri, Armenia, and Helsingborg, Sweden. Not cool.

Of course, with regard to Silver Spring acquiring a sister city, there are three questions that need to be addressed:

1. As Silver Spring is not technically a town or city (rather an “unincorporated area”) is it even eligible to get a sister city?

2. Assuming that it is eligible, what authority in Silver Spring/MoCo can formalize a sister city agreement? Unfortunately, this is not me.

3. What should Silver Spring’s sister city (or cities) be?

Ignoring the first two, lets concentrate on what municipality will earn the distinct honor of becoming Silver Spring's sister city. Ideally, it should share a lot in common with Silver Spring, so we should focus our search on finding a geographically vague, highly populated, locally disrespected suburb of a national capital. I don't happen to know of any offhand, so I am hereby soliciting suggestions for potential twin towns.

Note that there's no limit to how many sister cities we can have, so we can even select more than one. The Sister Cities International site even has a list of cities looking for a twin if we can't come up with our own. Any ideas???



21 comments:

Twoste said...

Amersham, England.

Sligo said...

I don't know a damn thing about this place, but how about Loughton? Just look at its location relative to greater London and imagine that instead London = DC...

silver spring penguin said...

Instead of choosing a sister city that shares Silver Spring's characteristics, perhaps we should look at cities that are very different from our own. It would make for more interesting house swaps during summer vacations.

With that said, I propose South Beach, Miami, Fla. It's got lots of warm sunshine, tan bodies and hot nightclubs.

Sligo said...

Not that Miami isn't close to being another country, but the idea behind sister cities is fostering international cultural exchange, etc.

silver spring penguin said...

Oops, didn't realize that our sister city had to be outside the USA.

So how about the capital of Fiji? As part of our international cultural exchange, the people of Fiji can check out rain-soaked Silver Spring, while I check out sun-drenched Fiji.

elastic|synapse said...

What about a national capital area suburb? Meudon, France? Bruise, Germany? Trnava, Slovakia? Bound to have plenty of things in common, as well as lots to learn from one another.

And if you're stuck on someplace warm, we can find a city near Belmopan, Belize.

ssboricua said...

Without a doubt: Addis Ababa!

Sligo said...

Or a suburb of Addis Ababa.

Borderline said...

Our twin city should be Baghdad's Green Zone, because it too is "disrespected," closely associated with a capital, and it too isn't really an incorporated city.

Anonymous said...

I was gonna say Addis Ababa too! LOL

elastic|synapse said...

I like the idea of an Addis Ababa suburb. Where to start? I'll ask an Ethiopian friend and see what she says. This could have potential.

Josh said...

We should make sure to mention that we already have an Addis Ababa restaurant in the application.

ssboricua said...

Come on Ethiopian-Americans... Make it happen!

Mik said...

My hometown is twinned with Kettering, Ohio due to the name. I think Silver Spring should be twinned with some obscure, sleepy hollow and then sistered with an obscure metropolis.

silver spring penguin said...

I'm voting with my stomach -- It's Addis Ababa or bust!

rtsind said...

How about a city that consists of beggars, and people urinatingg in the parks and doorways, and bus stops.

How about a city that is overrated consists of a majority of overrated restaurants and fast food places and is a danger to pedestrians-hmmm.

elastic|synapse said...

rtsind:
We're talking about Silver Spring, not Bethesda. Or your lovely hometown of Wheaton.

rtsind said...

Obvious elastic you have never been
to the park across from the human Service building on Ga. Ave, or visited the stairwell of the parking lot across from the Tastee Diner, walked under the bridge on Colesville Road(Silver Spring Metro Station) - if so you would see what i have described- .

In Wheaton we only have gangs, and fights breaking out at the 7-11 on Amherst, and women being accosted at Westfield Mall.

Sligo said...

Hey, at least no one has been stabbed in the face at the Silver Spring Target. I think.

elastic|synapse said...

I've been to all those places. I've also thrown the football with perfect strangers on the turf, dined al fresco on the roof at Addis Ababa, danced to salsa music at Mayorga, and sunned myself with others by the fountain in the plaza.

It's a matter of how you interpret your surroundings, and I choose not to take a fatalistic view. Maybe you should try it sometime.

Anonymous said...

uh, how bout the city of Sligo in County Sligo, Ireland?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sligo

badbrad