Thursday, February 17, 2011

Silver Spring, Singular: A Glossary

The following is a compilation of Silver Spring-related terms and nicknames frequently used in this blog over the years. This list will of course be more useful for Silver Spring noobs than for those who have been here awhile.

If I missed anything, let me know.

Silver Springs: A. A town in central Florida. B.The name by which Silver Spring is referred by the majority of people who don't live here (and sadly, even some that do). The inspiration for the name of this blog.


Shitty Place: A derogatory yet befitting moniker for City Place Mall. This nickname has been around almost since the mall's opening in 1992. Briefly a beacon of hope for downtown Silver Spring retail when it was first announced, the shopping center has pretty much sucked from the get go. (Side note: read the Yelp! reviews).

The Promenade: The stretch of Ellsworth Drive between Georgia Avenue and Cedar Street. The name was inspired by Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, and while I can’t take credit for creating it, I’ve certainly done my best here to promote its usage.

Hellsworth: A disparaging nickname for The Promenade. Commonly used by commenters who do not like Ellsworth Drive’s chain restaurants, the teenagers who congregate there, or both.

SSINO: Silver Spring in Name Only. These are areas far from downtown Silver Spring which are referred to by their local neighborhood names by those who reside there, but which technically have a Silver Spring mailing address or ZIP code. These areas make up a surprisingly large portion of Montgomery County. What is Silver Spring "proper" and what is SSINO? That’s a contentious discussion that I’m not going to get into right now...

Skid Row: The west side of Colesville Road between Georgia Ave. and Fenton St. More here.

The Turf: The green outdoor carpeting that once covered the area where Veterans Plaza and the Silver Spring Civic Building now sit. While it was only intended to be in place a year or so when it was installed in 2005, the usual Montgomery County bureaucratic delays extended its lifespan until August 2008, when it was finally pulled up to allow construction to proceed. A popular hangout in the warmer months, there was an unsuccessful grassroots effort to preserve The Turf or replace it with something similar.

"The Turf": 2005-2008
Downtown Silver Spring/DTSS: The retail development in central Silver Spring managed by the Peterson Companies. Roughly bounded by Ellsworth, Georgia and Cedar Streets.  Sometimes confused with “downtown Silver Spring” (see below). For many people who don't live here, this represents the totality of Silver Spring in their minds.

Map of Downtown Silver Spring (DTSS)
downtown Silver Spring: Used with a lower-case “d”, this is the central urban Silver Spring area, rather than simply the DTSS development. Also frequently referred to as the Silver Spring Central Business District (CBD). The map that follows is a good representation of this area.


The Community: A small cabal of residents who clearly know what’s best for everyone in downtown Silver Spring. In general, members have lived in one of the close-in neighborhoods of Silver Spring since before the re-development began around 2000 and have despised everything that has happened here in the last ten years. They attend every neighborhood meeting and civic forum and are always the most vocal participants. By default, they will vehemently oppose any new development or construction in Silver Spring (see The Fillmore). The one exception is the library bridge, which they must have despite the financial and aesthetic costs involved. The Community has the power to delay any project indefinitely, and as many members of The Community are Sith Lords, they are able to use their Jedi mind tricks to make local politicians completely reverse their positions.

UPDATES:

Silver Sprung: The nickname for a "revitalized" Silver Spring, used heavily by the county in marketing the area during the early to mid-2000's. Oddly, there are three entries for this on Urban Dictionary.


Added 11/7/2003:

NoVa Troll: Anonymous commenter(s) who takes every opportunity to disparage Silver Spring in comments section of posts. Vitriol is generally focused on Silver Spring's nightlife and the physical appearance of its residents. Makes unfavorable comparisons to other areas in the region, though primary focus is perceived contrast to Northern Virginia. Despite apparent antipathy toward Silver Spring, continues to reside here.



31 comments:

Springvale Roader said...

Nice work. Two things: first, I thought that "The Promenade" came from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." Ah, well. I suppose that won't be true until we have a holodeck and Klingon restaurant.

Second, where is our own local postcard?

Sligo said...

Here's a bunch of Silver Spring postcards.

Anonymous said...

Huh. I never picked up on the "singular" thing as being a jab at the Silver SpringS thing. I always just assumed it chosen because it meant "unique or remarkable" and had the whole alliteration thing going for it.

Really, really clever. Someone mentioned it before, and I agree, that this should be Silver Spring's official slogan.

andy said...

My wife and I have have a favorite for all the areas that count as SSINO - we call them "Silver Spring County."

pagodat said...

Hmm, I don't know about attaching the "DTSS" abbreviation to Downwtown Silver Spring -- I think most people use DTSS to mean downtown Silver Spring. That's certainly how the #dtss hashtag on Twitter works, for example, which I think may be the most common use of the abbreviation online. My friends and I say "DTSS" in real life to mean downtown Silver Spring too.

Anonymous said...

same re DTSS. "The Community" is so true. ugh.

Sligo said...

To my memory, the DTSS acronym was first adapted in reference to the development, but its use may have spread to describe all of downtown Silver Spring. Maybe it should be dTSS & DTSS.

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

One example of Silver Spring's own local postcard, a 1940s version, may be seen on the title verso page of my book, Historic Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

"...may be seen on the title verso page of my book, Historic Silver Spring."
Shameless!

Kris said...

Well done. Good stuff.

Josh said...

My family still refers to the DTSS development as "Silver Sprung." When, for example, we're deciding where to go to dinner, it'll be something like "Let's go somewhere outside Silver Sprung this time."

Sligo said...

Ah, "Silver Sprung". That may deserve an entry.

Anonymous said...

The interesting thing about the Yelp reviews of Shitty Place Mall is that 1/4 of all the reviews were written in the past month even though it has been reviewed since 2006. I wonder why all the sudden activity (although all of them are universally negative)?
Is there really any hope for that mall?

Anonymous said...

You saved the best one for last...I almost choked on my lunch laughing at your description of The Community". Spot on.

Welcome back and keep up the good work!

Elizabeth | The Natural Capital said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth | The Natural Capital said...

When I was growing up in FL, when someone said Silver Springs they meant the theme park, not the town where it is located. Glass bottom boats and alligators! ( Unlike the silver spring here, their springs actually work.)

Robert said...

Concerning "the community," you forget that the reason we have the revitalized downtown Silver Spring at all is because the community first demanded revitalization and second prevented the "American Dream" mega-mall from being built instead of what we have now. The community is also the reason we are getting a new library in downtown Silver Spring at all. And the community is also the reason the library will be downtown rather than on the current less urban site on Colesville Road or on some other non-downtown site.

Without "the community," which did not abandon Silver Spring when downtown businesses did, downtown Silver Spring would have continued its decline.

Anonymous said...

When I drove a bus for Ride-On in the late 80's & in the 90's, to comply with the Americans w/ Disabilities Act (ADA), you were supposed to announce all transfer points & shopping centers, I would announce the mall as Chitty Place Mall. . as in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Even back then, that mall was an eyesore inside & out.

I remember the 5 floor Hecht Company, that once stood there, with the entranceway to the kressgees? next door. Many a time, my friends & I would campout overnight at the entrance at Colesville & Fenton, to score good seats for an upcomming concert, via ticketmaster, back in the days when if you were 1st in line, you got tickets up front & on the floor.

When my Mom got my cub scout uniform at Hechts, they gave us the patch that said "Silver Springs". My Mom lit into the saleslady, because she knew that the patch, meant a town in Florida.

My wife & I walked on Ellsworth drive on our last visit to DC & as a Silver Spring Native, I was NOT impressed w/ its revitalization.

Damm I miss the DC transit Center that surrounded the old armory & the Montgomery Doughnuts across from it.

Sligo said...

Hey Anonymous 6:34/Former Ride-On Driver:

I have a random question about Ride-On, and specifically older Ride-On buses that you may be able to help me with. If you see this, shoot me an email. Thanks!

Jill said...

I heard the teenage daughters of my co-worker use "Silver Sprung" a few years ago. Guess that's one marketing campaign that actually caught on!

Anonymous said...

haha this is a great post!

Anonymous said...

The post about "The community" could be the single funniest/ most hilariously accurate/witty post that you have ever posted. I still can't stop laughing and it's been 10 minutes. I will re-post that part right here for quick re-reading ability:
"The Community: A small cabal of residents who clearly know what’s best for everyone in downtown Silver Spring. In general, members have lived in one of the close-in neighborhoods of Silver Spring since before the re-development began around 2000 and have despised everything that has happened here in the last ten years. They attend every neighborhood meeting and civic forum and are always the most vocal participants. By default, they will vehemently oppose any new development or construction in Silver Spring (see The Fillmore). The one exception is the library bridge, which they must have despite the financial and aesthetic costs involved. The Community has the power to delay any project indefinitely, and as many members of The Community are Sith Lords, they are able to use their Jedi mind tricks to make local politicians completely reverse their positions."

Anonymous said...

Great post! I can never describe where I live to anyone outside of the area. Sometimes I say "Colesville" sometimes "Silver Spring...outside the beltway" or just "Briggs Chaney". I'm gonna start using Silver Spring County, I love that! People keep trying to tell me I live in Laurel, and that's just not cool.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this. Any insight into the Montgomery Hills area of Silver Spring and the use of the "The Hills" signs. These can be seen on Georgia Ave inside the beltway.

Anonymous said...

Just took a walk around fenton village and notice a couple things:

It looks like Langanos isn't moving, rather giving up half their current space for the Taste of Morocco reincarnation (though I'm not positive on that - the notices they posted weren't entirely clear on the issue).

There's a beer/wine/liquor application on the old Nicaro space. Looks like a new restaurant is moving in.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and CakeLove is moving into the old Fractured Prune space.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:34 -
That old Hecht Co building brings back memories. Most people don't know there was a huge data center up on the 5th floor complete with big hulking IBM mainframes and storage units. There was also a dark, spooky storeroom way in the back where they kept pallett-loads of those perfume scented envelopes for mailing credit card bills. The stench would knock you out.

Brains from my father said...

Don't forget "Ripfant Street" in the new Ripley District.

Aaron said...

Haha! There was a "grassroots" effort to preserve the astroturf. Talk about irony and mixed metaphors! Nonetheless, it was fun to see how popular the Turf was, especially in the summer months. I remember the Jazz Festical being held there.

Great post. Thanks much.

Anonymous said...

The Promenade/Hellsworth is also called "Ellsworth Beach."

indoor outdoor carpet said...

Well done. Good stuff.