Monday, June 25, 2007

Maybe We Don’t Deserve “The Turf”

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the planned conversion of the area presently covered by “The Turf” into a paved pavilion was made official last Thursday by the Montgomery County Planning Board. While I used to think that it would be a shame if all this area were to be sans grass (or at least high-quality fake grass), my recent observations of turf-goers' behavior have led to change my perspective on the subject. Each night, particularly on weekends, the green carpet becomes a dumping ground for packaging from Chick-fil-A, zPizza, Baja Fresh and other fast food establishments in DTSS.

This garbage is frequently in ringed formations, evidence of entire groups which just got up and moved on, leaving their waste lying on the ground. This is just evidence of lazy and selfish people who can’t be bothered to walk ten meters to a garbage can and chuck their empty boxes and cups. I don’t think it would be a stretch to imagine that a good portion of these people walk across the street to see a movie and proceeded to disturb everyone in the theater. Garbage-strewn public areas are something I expect in Langley Park, not Silver Spring. It’s not very pleasant to look at. As much as people disparage Bethesda, you don’t expect to see garbage piled up at the fountain outside the Barnes & Noble.

Maybe this is just a case of “a few bad apples”, but there are enough apples out there to ruin it for a lot of other people, and it doesn’t seem like any authorities are out there doing something about it. If the same people who use the “Turf” trash it, then they have no right to complain when it’s gone. Of course, we could just end up with concrete plaza covered with garbage, but I hope that isn’t the case.



23 comments:

Gretchen said...

I couldn't agree more (with the post - not Dusty's totally off topic and therefore annoying discourse). I had friends over to DTSS on Saturday night, and I was embarrassed to have them see our filthy turf. They already think my neighborhood is unsavory - this didn't help improve our image.

Anonymous said...

Here's my little rant 'cause I hate the crowd the turf brings. Not a fan of the ice rink - I'd do with more shops and eateries - but it's still a better alternative than seeing all the thugs and whored out little teenagers that just sit, cat call, and hang out at all freakin hours. Parent's get your brats home.

In any case, I'm all for making SS into Arlington or Bethesda. No idea why people in SS seem to mind that conversion. Don't have that crap going on there.

Anonymous said...

Amen Amen Amen. The turf has been disgusting ever since they put it out there and the people who hang out there should go back to whatever holes they came from. How can people throw crap all over the ground, or get up from their ChickFilA picnic and walk away from their trash?? I'm going to keep going to Bethesda till DTSS patrons clean up their acts.

thecourtyard said...

You act anyone who frequents Bethesda Row is collecting Social Security. I'm sure there are as many "whored-out" teenagers (whatever that means) in Bethesda. And having worked in a store in Bethesda Row, I can tell you that people there can be just as unkempt.

It's very easy to jump on the bully pulpit and complain about teenagers and messy people in Silver Spring, but harder to make it sound like it's not race- and class-based.

I don't care if you spend your weekends in Bethesda or Silver Spring - but there's a reason you don't have a Bethesda address, and maybe an opportunity to reconsider turning your nose up at your neighbors who hang out in Silver Spring.

Sligo said...

Dan-

You're right, it is class-based, because if you throw your garbage all over the ground you have no goddamn class.

Sligo said...

Dan,

It is also interesting to note that you are the only one to introduce the topic of class or race into the discussion. Prior to your post, the only thing that was mentioned was location (Silver Spring vs. Bethesda). It would appear that you are the one who associates this type of behavior with particular races and/or classes, but then you accuse others of basing their opinions on a stereotype. Class, for one, certainly shouldn’t have any bearing on whether you throw trash on the ground – it doesn’t cost a cent to walk over and deposit your garbage in a receptacle. The fact remains that parks in Bethesda don’t look like the inside of a dumpster on Friday and Saturday nights. People like me that live in Silver Spring don’t want our public areas to be treated like that, so it is certainly our right to complain (“turn up our noses”) and go elsewhere if we don’t like how people are behaving in downtown Silver Spring. In Bethesda, I don’t constantly hear teenage kids screaming profanities around small children. They also don't need to park the paddywagon outside the Landmark Theatre for security. (I apologize if the phrase "paddywagon" was racially insensitive.) Some scruffy people that might have come into your store in Bethesda do not equate to the whole “Turf” area becoming a garbage-coated shithole every weekend. Are you denying that this happens?

b said...

We need a YIMBY campain. Maybe AFI could get Samuel L Jackson to kick it off. We could bring him down to the green, and he could shout at rutting teens, post pubecent sluts, and anyone who thinks that underwear is a public statement.
"Hey, Your In My Back Yard" "Motherf....."

Sligo said...

Sam Jackson knows how to handle slutty girls... just see Black Snake Moan

Anonymous said...

You come to my turf, cause war, rape the women and leave your trash. You don't deserve my turf.

-Geronimo

Anonymous said...

Sligo - I think I'm in love. Dan I didn't bring race into my posting way to be an ass

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I was initially in favor of keeping the turf but it does look really bad lately. And you're right about teens (or whoever) shrieking obscenities. The reason I stopped going to downtown Silver Spring prior to redevelopment was because of all the people hanging out in front of City Place and yelling swear words at each other.

Anonymous said...

and why does "the courtyard" have that nasty graphic of a hand with a machine gun in it, anyway?

Sligo said...

I don't think it's meant to be a gun. I always assumed it was a square ruler, but it is so small it's hard to tell. Dan?

rd said...

Aren't there fines for littering?

Sligo said...

I think there's a $1000 maximum fine for littering, but I don't know what it is for an individual leaving trash on the ground. I'd be happy with a cop embarrassing them by making them go back and pick it up. That would probably be more effective than fining a kid who might never bother to pay. Of course, this would require cops to be vigilant about littering.

rd said...

I think most cops are scared to fine people for littering b/c it could be perceived as "abuse" of their police powers.

Does anyone want to contact the local police commander?

Sligo said...

The more people contact them the better.

Montgomery County Police Department
3rd District - Silver Spring
801 Sligo Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
(301) 565-7740

Or email the commander:

donald.johnson@montgomerycountymd.gov

Anonymous said...

Well,

Courtyard..It is what it is. I hate to break it to you, but Bethesda is not only cleaner, but it attracts a much better class of people. No thugs hanging out, the streets are not strewn with trash and people aren't out looking for fights. This ruins it for those who just want to come out and have an enjoyable, hassle free evening.

No, Bethesda is not perfect, and I won't deny that there are a few unkempt people there, but I definitely have a much better time in Bethesda than DTSS.

Sadly, I live within a stone's throw of DTSS and rarely go there on weekends anymore. Don't get me wrong..It's impressive how the area has developed and re-grown in the last 6 years. Unfortunately, it has attracted an element that does not appreciate or respect the positive aspects and I and others don't have to subject ourselvs to it.

Judge Smails said...

Harrumph! People in DTSS are not [i]clean[/i] enough for my liking. Plus, they're far too youthful and effervescent. I like my fun buttoned down and sterile, thankyouverymuch, and I know just where to get it: Bethesda!

Sligo said...

Ok, that made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

"Harrumph! People in DTSS are not [i]clean[/i] enough for my liking. Plus, they're far too youthful and effervescent. I like my fun buttoned down and sterile, thankyouverymuch, and I know just where to get it: Bethesda!"



Whatever you say, Judge....

Judge Smails said...

sligo, you'll get nothing and like it!

Debbie Cook said...

I think this might be THE VERY REASON the Citizens Advisory Board have always been for the ICE RINK! I too was in favor of the leaving the turf at first - until I observed the place on a weekend evening and again on a Thursday evening. It was gross! I think the "powers that be" (whoever that may be - public service?) should start running that Indian Crying Commercial Again! NOT BEING A LITTERBUG was drummed into my head for years as a kid by My parents, teachers and TV. It really stayed in my head that it was a Mortal Sin to Litter. I don't think kids today are given any messages about it. You never see any TV commercials or public notices about it any more. Someone needs to come up with a new commercial and blast it over the net and TV again. Maybe something more in line with todays kids, like some celebrity they admire sobbing in front of the turf laden with all the trash. The indian and my parents sure worked for me!