Friday, October 10, 2008

Silver Spring and the New Great Depression

So the stock market has completely collapsed, unemployment is growing, the number of foreclosures is increasing rapidly... what does this all mean for Silver Spring?

Will the Fillmore project continue as planned? (Has it ever?) I don't care what zoning hurdles it recently cleared or if the Sarah-Palin-loving Lees are ready to proceed - I could easily see Live Nation pulling out now, citing deteriorating economic conditions (who wants to pay $100 to see Jay-Z anymore?). I sincerely doubt IMP would rush in to take their place, despite what they may have claimed in the past.

The only live music you are going to be enjoying in downtown Silver Spring for the foreseeable future is a raggedy guy on the corner of Fenton and Ellsworth repeatedly playing "Three Blind Mice" on a recorder while collecting nickles in an old Orioles hat.


Once the county puts the brakes on the civic center, the area that was once "The Turf" will become become the site of Silver Spring's main "Bushville". Folks driven from their foreclosed Burtonsville McMansions will establish a tent city rife with dysentery and consumption. It will not be dissimilar in atmosphere to the parking lot of the old Silver Spring "Typhoid" McDonald's. Some of you may recall what I'm talking about.

We can suspend the endless arguments over the configuration of the Purple Line - who's going to pay for the thing anyway? County tax receipts aren't going anywhere but down. Hey, there won't be any jobs to commute to, so would we really need it anyway? If it does get built, it may end up looking something like this:



I guess we shoulda built it while we had the chance.

The one project the county should proceed with is the new downtown library, but without limiting its size as some fear they are doing. If there's one group whose ranks will be swelling in the coming months it will be the homeless, a core public library demographic.

Perhaps this economic crisis will prove to be the catalyst for the long-awaited City Place Renaissance. Marshall's should see a big spike in the sale of crap clothes, and Steve & Barry's will sell $5 pieces of clothing like hotcakes. What's with their "going out of business" sale, anyway? Are they having a sale because that store is going out of business or because other stores are? Their picket signs are somewhat vague.

So what's my personal plan for weathering the economic apocalypse? By living off the land. Don't think this can be accomplished in an edge city? Oh, I assure you it can.

For starters, I will take to hunting game in Sligo Creek Park. There's certainly plenty of deer, and while I'll feel guilty about taking their lives, it's them or me. If you live near the park and a stray bullet from a Bushmaster rifle flies through your bedroom window, my bad. Inevitably, however, the deer population will become decimated at the hands of starving suburbanites. At that point I will have to switch to smaller prey. The thought of it isn't particularly appetizing, but Silver Spring has a boundless population of squirrels that can be used for subsistence if necessary. Every time I walk out my front door these days, half a dozen or more go scattering for the trees. I'll also enjoy "seafood"on occasion - crayfish collected from under rocks in Sligo Creek.

Along with my neighbors, I will also establish a collective farm located in Sligo Creek Park where we'll grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Of course, we'll need to take shifts standing guard in order to protect our harvest from those thieving hobos. I'll also need to be vigilant and remember to not leave hot pies cooling unattended on my windowsill.

You might think that this is all completely absurd, but you haven't seen my 3rd quarter 401K statement.



21 comments:

Mortis Olaf said...

Don't be such a pessimist, even if you are being sarcastic. Then again, it's not my place to tell you how to be. Carry on...

Sligo said...

What can I say? I'm prone to hyperbole.

jerry'sdaughter said...

Thanks for helping us laugh about what are admittedly scary events.



By the way if you like to fix typos, it's "brakes" rather than "breaks"

Cheeky said...

You know, I'm not a math genius. But even I can figure out that 8 million dollars in subsidies benefits the Lees and LiveNation but not MCPS. I say bring back the Birchmere. I don't think DTSS will be able handle the increased traffic anyway.

Cheeky said...

MCPS--that's Montgomery County Public Schools, for which there is a $50 million shortfall.

Anonymous said...

An Open Letter to the African-Americans of Silver Spring:

STOP BEHAVING LIKE FERAL WOLVES.

Half the Salvadorans and Guatemalans here survived a brutal civil war. They know suffering that you will never know. Many of the Ethiopians and other African-born people here have lived through famine, persecution, violence, you name it. Yet they behave themselves properly in public and don't cause trouble for innocent people walking the streets of Silver Spring.

Why do you American-born blacks feel the need to behave savagely so often? The rest of us are sick of it.

Signed,
Your Neighbors

not buying it, yet said...

Come on dude you are making me really DEPRESSED...

If the economy is so bad, how come I'm still getting junk mail from credit card companies offering me 4.5% APR to transfer my balances etc. etc.?

I think all this stuff that is planned for Silver Spring is still going to happen. And I want to party hard at the Fillmore as soon as possible.

Carrespondent said...

Fantastic original post. I'm laughing, crying and planning -- all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
An Open Letter to the African-Americans of Silver Spring:

STOP BEHAVING LIKE FERAL WOLVES.

Half the Salvadorans and Guatemalans here survived a brutal civil war. They know suffering that you will never know. Many of the Ethiopians and other African-born people here have lived through famine, persecution, violence, you name it. Yet they behave themselves properly in public and don't cause trouble for innocent people walking the streets of Silver Spring.

Why do you American-born blacks feel the need to behave savagely so often? The rest of us are sick of it.

Signed,
Your Neighbors

Saturday, October 11, 2008 8:19:00 PM

RE: Why do these Closet Racist Maryland Hating Southerner(probably from the Coloniel State of Virginia or NASCAR Tobaco State of North Carolina) feel the need to express their Outragious Stereotypical views towards African Americans??????

Its bad enough that there aren't any Businesses in Silver Spring(if not Montgomery County) that are Owned by African Americans but yet there are MULTIPLE Businesses owned by Irish, Italian, El Salvadorians, Mexicans, Africans, Ethiopians, Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. Talk about supporting any race/culture other than African American...

There is a Very Serious Issue where Fairfax County, Virginia which is 10% African American have the Largest African American Owned Federal Contracting Organization Outside of Washington, DC but yet Montgomery County has more(15%) African Americans than Fairfax County and Arlington and there aren't any Major African American Owned Businesses and its So Strange that the County Won't allow an African American AME Zion Church to Expand in Germantown and I still remember back in 1996 when someone tried to Burn Down an African American Church in Northern Montgomery County.........

Dave Murphy said...

First of all, NO ONE behaves properly in public in Silver Spring. That's one of its charms: Eccentricity.

I for one am in favor of a tent city but I think we should instead put it in the parking lot behind the Lee building. That way we won't have to climb a fence. And we'll have a better view when people start jumping out of the Lee Building.

woodsideparker said...

I can tell you right now that the parking lot attendant in the lot behind the Lee parking lot behind the Lee building is going to want to see your receipt before one tent pole is raised!

Anonymous said...

Inarticulate Troll, I'm confused, are you pro-Virginia because they support black businesses, or anti-Virginia becasuse they are all a bunch of rednecks?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Inarticulate Troll, I'm confused, are you pro-Virginia because they support black businesses, or anti-Virginia becasuse they are all a bunch of rednecks?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 3:19:00 PM

RE: I'm Confused are you calling yourself a Worthless Troll because you know don't like the fact that someone has the guts to admit that Virginia is attracting more businesses than Maryland(due to a Gang of anti-Progressive Politicians that serve Montgomery County) and/or are you uncomfortable that someone admits that there are hidden issues about race and anti-Upscale Growth in Montgomery County....

BTW- Just in case if you are the idiot that made that racist post earlier: 9 x out of 10 the people who have issues with PG County and Montgomery County(if not All of Maryland) with attracting Big Businesses and Increase Economic/Revenue Growth(at the same level as Virginia) are Very Likely not from the State of Maryland(more than likely are from Virginia, North Carolina, or some other Southern State) and more than likely have Extreme Negative Views towards African Americans....

Sad part is that there are idiots who creates Blags exposing their Vicious Hate Towards Maryland and there are Message Board Websites that have Trolls Creating Anti-Maryland Threads with the intentions to entice people to move out of Maryland or CON New Comers to the DC area to not Consider Maryland(In hopes that they will consider Northern Virginia) as a Suburb to reside in.

Thomas Hardman said...

The Inarticulate Over-Capitalizing Troll has exactly one point: go downtown and you will find a lot of very fine mom-and-pop businesses owned by American-born blacks from the District. Let's talk "Ben's Chili Bowl" and countless others.

Other than that he needs to STFU, okay?

Sligo: awesome apocalyptic vision. The thing is, as an urbanite, one the one hand you are lucky because there are a lot of squirrels, bunnies, and bambis in the local greenspace. The bad point? You are not the only one thinking "let's go to the park and blast the rabbits for dinner". Those poor innocent squirrels will be poor innocent and alive for about five minutes after everything goes to heck. Every last person who isn't thinking ahead is going to get that idea the second the need becomes apparent. All you can hope to do is to clear the park of wildlife, and escape the park with your full creel of game as everyone else is heading into the park with guns a-blazing.

Yup, I think the same way, but maybe one step or three ahead of you. Hey, I got my own park, we're not competitors. ;)

Seriously -- big picture: life could sorta suck for a lot of folks for a while. Take a look at what some idiot had to say back in the District 4 Special Elections about what to spend on the Fillmore. It's all about the money we don't have.

That being said... Outdoor Concerts are something we need to make happen. Bands and musicians shouldn't be crammed into basements when their music can either make people feel happy for a while, or make them think their way out of their problems.

Over the long term, we might look forward to the Federal government taking a 5-percent interest in preferred-stock in the biggest financial institutions, with that stock paying dividends back to the taxpayer. Okay, we're Techno-Socialists now. That might turn out to be a good thing.

But about the squirrels in the park... I dunno, no acorns at all in my yard, and usually by now I should have raked up a trash-can full. Something to do with the bees... there aren't any to pollinate the oaks. The squirrels might all starve this winter.. and the deer also subsist on acorns. Better stock up soon, before the fall starvation leads to winter kill.

Springvale Roader said...

Thomas Hardman, I can tell you exactly where the bees are: my bird fountain. It seems that every bee in the nation has decided to get its water from my backyard fountain. Cleaning it out is an exercise in fear and t'ai chi slow motion moves.

We are in for hard times, and while it's fun to imagine zombie apocalypses and Mad Max futures, people really ought to stock up on dried foods (rice, beans, etc.), as well as batteries and medicine and toilet paper (imagine life without that) and all the other necessities. It is highly conceivable we can be facing periodic shortages of the things we rely on and take for granted.

Although I suppose that if you run out of toilet paper, you can always use those free copies of The Examiner.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hardman, with all due respect, Ben's Chili Bowl was founded by a West Indian immigrant, Ben Ali.
I sincerely doubt that Silver Spring is deliberately preventing African-Americans from opening businesses. Bring on the good ideas and the work ethic, and success will likely follow.

Thomas Hardman said...

> Anonymous said...
>
> Mr. Hardman, with all due respect,
> Ben's Chili Bowl was founded by a West
> Indian immigrant, Ben Ali.
> I sincerely doubt that Silver Spring
> is deliberately preventing African-Americans
> from opening businesses. Bring on the good ideas and
> the work ethic, and success will likely follow.

If I'm reading this right, you've just imputed that if African-Americans were capable of good ideas and work-ethic, they'd be successful all over Silver Spring... and since they're not successful all over Silver Spring, they've got nobody to blame but themselves.

Nicely done. I don't blame you for posting as Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

"who wants to pay $100 to see Jay-Z anymore?"

Not me, when I can pay $15 and see Girl Talk do it better, while pwning JZ's beats. At the 9:30 club...

Anonymous said...

Thomas, are you sure your not John McCain in disguise? BTW, "Anonymous" is more than one person. We are everywhere!

Thomas Hardman said...

Anonymous:

Yes yes yes, we all know that Anonymous is everywhere. Now why don't you go bother the $cientologists or something. Maybe they can help you turn your life around!

From the Encyclopedia Dramatica, in part:

Anonymous is not a person, nor is it a group, movement or cause: Anonymous is a collective, a commune of human thought and useless imagery. A gathering of sheep and fools, assholes and trolls, and normal everyday netizens. An anonymous collective, left to its own devices, quickly builds its own society out of rage and hate.

Anonymous can be anyone from well-meaning college kids with highly idiosyncratic senses of humor trying to save people from Scientology, to devious nihilist hackers, to thirteen year old boys who speak entirely in injokes on an endless quest for porn.


Inquiring minds, of course, all want to know where you fit in. All of the lurkers support me in e-mail, of course, in our shared opinion leaning towards the notion that thinking of you as a 13-year-old on an endless search for pr0n is a reasonable conception. If that wasn't utterly true, you'd have researched Thomas Hardman well enough to not accuse me of being John McCain in disguise. Now why don't you go back to plastering the lawn of the NORML house with "Nader for President" signs.

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