Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Silver Spring: A Hater's Poll


Ok, let's settle this once and for all. What is the worst thing about Silver Spring? Responses are a selection of gripes from commenters over the years. No doubt I forgot some important complaints, so feel free to select "other" and note it in the comments. The poll will remain open through Sunday.

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78 comments:

ES said...

Oh man, it was a tough decision between City Place and the Transit Center, but I had to go with City Place because it's been there and sucking much longer, and it could be great if someone tried to do something with it.

Sligo said...

I voted for City Place.

aims said...

Where's the "all the above" option? :o)

Nacho said...

Predictably, I went for all changes after 1950! Thanks for that option...

Anonymous said...

I was torn between City Place and the lack of nightlife, but you can always go to DC for nightlife, though you can never avoid the splotch of yuckiness that is City Place.

Amy said...

Ha! How about "too many whining haters"?

Anonymous said...

Awesome poll.

"Ha! How about "too many whining haters"?"

haha, awesome comment.

I voted for Shitty Place. How it has remained so shitty in the face of DTSS's mind-boggling growth makes no sense. I understand it has a poor layout, but seriously. It can't take that much imagination to turn it into something decent.

Anonymous said...

For the love of all that is good and holy, can we please put the "too many chain restaurants" trope to rest once and for all?

The only place with a high concentration of chain restaurants in DTSS is in the central plaza area, and even there you have some independent options available if youre rabidly anti-chain. Dare to step foot out of the developer-controlled area, and you'll find a wealth of non-chain options.

Anonymous said...

I had a tough time choosing between the lack of nightlife and the transit center. One affects what I want, the other what I need...

Anonymous said...

Sorry--if "you're" anti-chain. [slaps self on wrist for not proofreading more carefully]

Pershing Drive said...

Most of the above.

Clancy said...

Not sure how City Place doesn't win this poll, but it's been on such a long losing streak, it could probably find a way.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who voted for the Whole Foods Parking lot! :)

Lindemann said...

If it had been available, I would have chosen "too many whining haters" as well. But I picked the transit center instead.

Olya said...

I like Silver Spring, it's not perfect, but it welcomed me when I moved to DC/MD and became our new home. I like that it's "transitioning", that it's not polished and settled, it makes me feel like I belong here better. I am excited to see so many changes, and I think it has great future!

Anonymous said...

I picked the Transit Center. I have, on occasion, actually used Shitty Place which is more than I can say for the Transit Center.

Anonymous said...

You should have had an option for all of the noise, rowdy crowds, gang violence, urine and vomit on the streets, dogs and cats living together...caused by the Fillmore.

Cause that prediction sure did pan out.

Anonymous said...

How is "too many Ethiopian restaurants" a problem? If you don't like Ethiopian food, don't eat it! It's not like SS has a derth of other options.

Sligo said...

re: "How is 'too many Ethiopian restaurants' a problem?"

Clearly you didn't read the comments section a couple posts back.

Anonymous said...

City Place has some chep clothing stores. Lots of room for the little ones to run around while it is cold outside. It is also relaxing walking around there as there is a dearth of people.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Olya!

Gull said...

I guess i'm the lone vote for the downtown McDonalds, for me it was a toss up between that and the unruly teens on Ellsworth.

I guess I believe that part of what may be holding Silver Spring back is the perceived image problem. Whether the surrounding demographic supports a certain type of business is different than whether the local market actually would shop locally, and passing by that McDonalds daily, and listening to the foul language, walking around the spit on the sidewalks, smelling the smoke in the air - that site, and the entire block above and below there along Colesville is an extremely unpleasant "welcome" to Silver Spring, in my opinion worse than the Transit Center.

TJ said...

City Place.

Anonymous said...

Come on guys, give credit where credit is due. The traffic cameras thread went 18 whole comments and there wasn't a single complaint about nightlife OR Ethiopians!

Tracy said...

Lack of anything even closely resembling decent NY-style pizza (though the once-a-week pizza at Da Marco isn't bad).

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Whole Foods parking lot: waaaaay back in the mid 90's when the "Downtown Silver Spring" development was being planned (and Shitty Place was still shitty), it must have been inconceivable to the planners that the dead center of Silver Spring would be so wildly successful that their parking lot would be so overtaxed. They probably projected out 25 years and instead it happened in 7. They say hindsight is 20-20 because surely today they are wishing they'd attatched the WF to a parking deck (building one now would cost zillions in construction and lost business due to the disruption).

Sligo said...

The Whole Foods lot WAS attached to a parking deck and parking was a lot easier back then. Then they demolished it and eventually replaced it with the Civic Center.

Unknown said...

I voted for shitty place (though the WF parking lot is the bane of my existence). At the end of the day, having a packed WF parking lot is a high-class problem because it indicates how much demand there is for shopping there. Shitty place is the exatc opposite--nobody goes there. Such a massive waste of prime location real estate.

I also don't get the "what's holding SS back" comments. By what measure would somebody argue that SS is being held back? Housing prices? Foot traffic downtown? I have to think that SS (especially DTSS) has been a pretty big success by most measures.

Patrick Thornton said...

Does anyone know why a developer hasn't just purchases Shitty Place and thought of demolishing it or completely redoing it? Land is becoming scarce in DTSS and here is this gem of a location waiting to actually be used.

Anonymous said...

1. nightlife.
2. city place (nearly tied for 1)
3-6= city place
7. mcdonalds= as in the idiots who loiter and drug deal there.
8. teenagers
9. whole foods parking lot (truly horrible but how many people does this truly affect?)
10. city place

Anonymous said...

I think it's only fair to also have a "What do you like most about Silver Spring" poll.

Sligo said...

I'm just wondering where Skater Mom is. I put one in there just for her.

Ellen said...

Hey, you forgot to include something to hate....NIMBYs and BANANAs. Silver Spring is full of them!

Ileana said...

It is a toss up between City Place and the outdoor section on Ellsworth filled with crappy chain restaurants - horribly planned. The mega movie theater only adds to the elements- teens loitering and loud, obnoxious people.
Last place I want to go to.

Anonymous said...

Everyone be sure to stay off Ileana's lawn! You darn teens with your rock and roll. :P

Anonymous said...

people are actually complaining about teenagers?

Elysian said...

Other - Housing. I think there is a lack of affordable housing options within walking distance of stuff. My choices are all either small condos or large single family homes further out. SS needs more townhouse-like options that are close to the action. After 5 years I've been priced out of my apartment (which is apparently being demolished soon anyway) and can't afford to buy anything more than a 1 br condo, which just isn't going to work. Now I have to move away, which kind of sucks.

Gull said...

@Patrick Thorton,

Someone did purchase City Place, Petrie Ross Ventures, and on their website, they show a completely re-branded facility with new signage, lights and outside decorations. Why they have not actually followed through with it is another question. They also have approval for an 8 story office building to be built on top of the existing building, but with the current state of the office market, that won't happen for a long while.

Anonymous said...

looks like rays in arlington just closed, is SS next?

Anonymous said...

Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington closed due to a landlord dispute. Ray's the Steaks, the main restaurant did not closed and is flourishing. So this closing has absolutely nothing to do with Silver Spring's Ray's the Classics.

Anonymous said...

"So this closing has absolutely nothing to do with Silver Spring's Ray's the Classics."

Well it does make the Hell Burger a much rarer item and will help the Silver Spring location, if anything. Maybe Obama can swing by next time he's in the mood for one!

Danielle Meitiv said...

Other - people who keep whining about Silver Spring. I don't get why they just don't leave and find somewhere they'll be happy...

dccampfin said...

I voted "other" for missing retail in Silver Spring that requires us to drive elsewhere rather than walk into DTSS for all our shopping needs. Sorry for being a grownup

Anonymous said...

I think some posters here are missing the true spirit of the poll.

Of course there are real grown up issues with SS. However, this is about the whiny, overblown, problems of Silver Spring that exist less in real every day life as they do in the overwrought musings of the posters here.

So drop the real issues and let your faux-emo flag fly.

Anonymous said...

I voted for the obnoxious teenagers because they are really the only thing that keeps me from going downtown more often (well,that and the F-ed up asphalt on Colesville Rd and EW Hwy).

Anonymous said...

nightlife

Patrick Thornton said...

Ellsworth is pretty enjoyable during the day. You should check it out then. I suggest hitting up the farmer's market and/or the Fenton Street Market. They have a lot of really good stuff at the farmer's market that you can't get at normal stores -- incredible bread in particular, but the cheese and fresh fruits and vegetables are very good too.

The FSM is not open right now, but I always enjoy going to it. I often pick up a crepe, grab some coffee and walk around and see the vendors. I got a really nice painting there last summer.

Ellsworth is also good for breakfast and brunch. The crowds are much different than Friday and Saturday nights, and in general it's much more relaxed. In particular, it's nice to eat and sit outside during the warmer months. After eating, you can walk around, hit up a store like H&M or go see a movie.

On Friday and Saturday nights, I'm much more likely to be on Georgia, but during the mornings and days on the weekends, I really enjoy Ellsworth. I don't mind Ellsworth at night either, but you should check it out earlier on.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that some people think there are too many Ethiopian restaurants while others think there are too many chains. In the grand scheme, there really aren't that many chains as evidenced by the 10 Ethiopian restaurants.

Also I would add the overzealous East Silver Spring Civic Association to the poll. They are wackadoo.

Anonymous said...

People who say SSINO.

Anonymous said...

For everyone who complains about chain restaurants and Ethiopian joints - why doesn't anyone go to Stage Burger? I was just there for lunch and the place was completely empty. They have great burgers and a full bar now.

Craig said...

Transit Center is by far the biggest embarrassment for Silver Spring, Montgomery County and the State of Maryland.

If I am Sen. Paul Sarbanes, I would want my name removed from this disaster of a building project. Put Ike Leggett's name on the bus terminal instead. It would be a fitting tribute.

Justafed said...

Heartened to see that my first choice (City Place Mall) is almost the majority choice. If fixing that does not have some positive effect on many other items in the list, I would be very surprised. That said, I had to place a lot of possibly misplaced faith into the proposition that one of these years the transit center will be functional, or wise it would be the clear number one.

Anonymous said...

the transit center is a long standing embarrassment but it is a temporary issue.

The parking garage will eventually get built. People should be angry about the money wasted but that's par for the course.

Issues like City Place, teenagers, no high end retail, high rents, crappy groceries, nightlife seem eternal.

JW said...

I avoid downtown SS like the plague. Considering the shitty, shitty traffic, the low-class chuckleheads, the poor selection of stores, *zero* green space and you have a recipe for me going elsewhere.

I haven't really been back to Elsworth since Borders closed and I only live a couple miles away from downtown. Hell, I even drive around it on Spring St to 16th, into DC, to avoid the traffic/pedestrian hell of Colesville Rd.

Instead, I drive up 29 to Columbia. The customer base is vastly improved, the stores are better and more plentiful and the traffic, while not perfect, is much better.

I liked to hang out on the astroturf in nice weather, but the County Council saw to that. We can't have unplanned or spontaneous activity taking place down there. That would be untidy.

Anonymous said...

Here's your chance to do something about the alcoholic beverage laws in MoCo. The Alcoholic Beverage Advisory Board has a vacancy to be filled. Any MoCo resident can apply, applications are due March 6. This is a real chance to have an impact. And if you don't want to join, then form a task force of concerned citizens to lobby for change. Nothing will change if you don't speak up.

Anonymous said...

Following up on Anon 11:47, per the Wapo, looks like MoCo may actually be receptive to reform of the liquor control laws. So as he says, if you are unhappy with the lack of night life and thin it stems at least partially from burdensome regulations, now is the time to speak up, get involved.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/montgomery-county-looks-to-get-hip/2013/02/16/2d477284-7577-11e2-95e4-6148e45d7adb_story.html?hpid=z4

Elysian said...

Re: State Burger (Anon Feb 15 @ 2:21) - I went there for lunch on a Saturday maybe 2 months ago. Even though their signage said they would be open, they were closed. We even called beforehand and someone had answered the phone, so we have no clue what was going on. No sign, no nothing. With all the other (healthier) things we can eat in town, we haven't really been back since. Maybe we'll get there eventually, but since we can't count on them to be open, its hard to make plans to go there.

Pete said...

Re: transit center, I think we need to rename it. If not officially then at least popularly. My first suggestion: Leggett's Folly.

Vagrarian said...

I've eaten at Stage Burger a number of times, lunch and dinner, and never, ever had a problem with it being closed when I expected it to be open. I guess you have a one-time-only experience; please don't think that happens all the time. Try it again.

Elysian said...

The time they were closed was probably my third time there, so its not like I've never been there. I just haven't been back since. I also heard that they changed from counter service to table service (so now I have to wait for my burger, get my own sauces, AND tip?), and the prices have gone up. We'll probably go back at some point, but there's nothing that really makes me want to go back soon.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to like Stage Burger. But after trying it no fewer than 5 times I gave up. Rather go to RAys.

Everybody who has an issue with the Liquor laws should do two things today: 1. write to your councilmember and demand that they change and cite the Washington Post article as an embarrassment to our "city." 2. Either put your name forward or work to identify someone for that slot on the liquor board/task force whatever.

What the heck does SSINO mean?

Anonymous said...

Which councilmember would you suggest we write?

Leggit?

Anonymous said...

Seriously dude, you're a dick for hating on silver spring so much. So much negativity, clearly you should move out to some asshole yuppy place like bethesda because that is what you want now. I hate that you are such a hater.

Anonymous said...

"What the heck does SSINO mean? "

Silver Spring in name only, e.g. Glenmont.

Simon Burke said...

THis made me laugh. Downtown McDonalds and Piratz tavern are perfectly placed on this list but City Place is an abomination and has to win. THe transit centre looks awful from the metro train - an absolute mess.

Anonymous said...

Don't think the parking lot belongs to Whole Foods. Isn't it DTSS ?

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Anonymous said...

Oh man I've been here two months from Los Angeles and THIS PLACE SUCKS. What's with all the OLD craggily white frumpy people. No retail. No style. Roads that MAKE NO SENSE. Grocery stores that are disgusting and crowded cluster fu*cks. Starbucks that smell with greasy windows. A downtown with absolutely NOTHING in it. A creepy movie theater and some ice cream...that if you can find a parking space anywhere in this boring town. Let me just say everyone gripes on LA traffic - compared to this place it's a breeze. Oh and don't think there's any jobs unless you have like top secret CIA clearance and a degree in Farsi Interpolitical PolySci Techno bullshit. Everyone here is sucking on the government teet in cushy tax payers footing the bill federal jobs where A. They don't work very hard. B. They can never get fired. C. Fabulous all inclusive health insurance, pensions, retirement, school loans paid off. Where do I sign..oh wait I can't. And people are ugly and unfriendly. They don't even look at you or speak to you. I hate this place. I would avoid at all costs. and save your comment I will be leaving as soon as possible.

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