Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Welcome to Xanadu - Plenty of Great Condos Still Available!

I've been thinking more about the fabricated names ("Ripley District", "Fenton Village") that have recently been assigned to different areas of downtown Silver Spring as a precursor to their planned redevelopment.

I don't know why it bothers me so much when these names are used in an unironic manner, but it does. Same thing with Penn Quarter, NoMa and SoFlo (!) in the District. I obnoxiously feel the need to educate D.C. noobs that these places don't really exist, much like the fictional "Reagan Airport". Nevertheless, I am pretty much resigned to the fact that neighborhood re-branding has become an undeniable fixture of urban redevelopment.

I've decided what bugs me is not so much the fact that these neighborhoods (term used very loosely) are being branded, but that they are being assigned such lame names as "Fenton Village" and "Ripley District". I mean, come on, Ripley District? Unless this is meant to honor the protagonist of the Alien Quadrilogy, it's a naming fail. And how is this a district? It's like two blocks wide and the existing "streets" really aren't much more than alleys. (At least the current plan will create the fabulously named "Ripifant Street", the evil bastard progeny of Bonifant and Ripley streets.)

What County rule mandates that the name of re-branded areas must incorporate the name of an existing street? I mean, look at Ripley Street today - is this really what you want your neighborhood named after?



This is a tremendous opportunity to name parts of Silver Spring whatever we want. As an alternative to the generic nomenclatures coming out of MNCPPC, we ought to assign fantastical names to these areas, such as Xanadu, Valhalla, or Strawberry Fields, for example. We could even rename Ripley Street "Diagon Alley". Why not? Kids'd eat that up - at least until J.K. Rowling sues our ass. Imaginative names would certainly create a lot more buzz to attract potential residents for all these condos and apartments that are supposedly being built.

What position at Park & Planning has the responsibility for christening these places, and where do I apply for it? And no, it will not be a "community" decision. I would be Naming Czar. Hell, I'll do it for free. Ike - call me.



14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. Ironically, Fenton Village is the prefered moniker for that area by the stridently anti-development ESSCA. They constantly refer to the "cobbler" who would be replaced by the big bad developers to presumably enhance the charm of the village. What about Old Towne Silver Spring or Centro Historico?

The Silver Spring Penguin said...

Blech, you mentioned Xanadu, and now I have that crappy Olivia Newton-John song in my head.

Thayer Avenue said...

I think you would have to say "Olde Towne" if you're going that route ("e"s on both).

What if it was named Fenton Village, but at the Grand Opening, Ike & the Ass Puppets played a punk version of Xanadu? Maybe that would even it all out.

The Silver Spring Penguin said...

I would SO move to Fentone Villagee ('E's on both) if Ike and the Ass Puppets covered "Xanadu" and maybe Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills".

Anonymous said...

This is actually a brilliant idea.

Of course, this being DC, we could go local on the naming.

Douchebag Alley, Crackhead Court, Asshole Lawyer Avenue - the possibilities are endless.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Proselytyze Place: the corner of Georgia Avenue and Colesville Rd where that latino (I think) guy preaches all day every day, non-stop about the only way to survive is to be saved by JC.

Anonymous said...

The area east of Georgia that's now called Fenton Village was originally called Silver Spring Park according to an old platt I looked at 15 years ago. That's the name I use when people ask me where I live and I would advocate its revival.

Kristy said...

The guy at the corner of Colesville & Georgia is probably Ethiopian (def. not Latino). He is there weekdays & weekends, day and evening times. He is super serious about Jesus and wants you to know that the time is coming and you must repent. I have never seen anyone even give that guy the time of day.

Anonymous said...

Don't know that the evangelist's ethnicity matters, but the other comments re: naming of Silver Spring districts are on point!

Anonymous said...

Wow, are we SOOOOOOOOO sensitive that even mentioning a person's ethnicity (i.e. the proselytizer) has to elicit a response like "don't know if his ethnicity matters, but....".

Come on, nothing derogatory was said or implied about him or others in his ethnic group. No one said all latinos or ethiopians are crazy prosyletizers.

It is OK to say someone's ethnicity--it's human nature.

wombat said...

What would Jesus name that neighborhood? Maybe that guy knows.

Anonymous said...

What would Jesus name that neighborhood?

Fellatio Falls.

Anonymous said...

Wow, are we SOOOOOOOOO sensitive that even mentioning a person's ethnicity (i.e. the proselytizer) has to elicit a response like "don't know if his ethnicity matters, but....".


Indeed. Celebrate diversity by never mentioning it.

lilkunta said...

@anon 6/14 6:12pm
HUH? U insinuating that fellation is prevalent in downtwn SS ? Your evidence is what? Or are you writing from experience ?


@ anon 6/22 3:47pm I hope you 're being facetious. I dont think any Hispanic/Latin wants 2 be mistaken for an Ethiopian/Eritrean nor vice versa.