Wednesday, February 05, 2014

We're Number 13/ Number 1!

While "best of" lists on the internet are generally nothing more than clickbait, it is still satisfying to note that the Movato Real Estate Blog recently rated Silver Spring the thirteenth "Most Exciting Suburb" in America. This ranking was higher than that of any other DC suburb, with Alexandria (#16) the only other one making the list. Bethesda, which failed to crack the top 50, was all like, "my mom says I'm cool!".

"Exciting" could mean a lot of things, but these were the criteria used to determine the rankings:

  • Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
  • Live music venues per capita
  • Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
  • Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
  • Percentage of restaurants that are fast food (the lower the better)
No doubt a number of frequent commenters will have have plenty to contribute regarding the quality of nightlife and restaurants in Silver Spring, but whatever. Sure, these rankings may be meaningless, but let's just enjoy it for today.


Via Curbed DC, which doesn't often acknowledge the existence of Silver Spring.



41 comments:

Anonymous said...

A real estate blog? Kind of a reach.

Anonymous said...

I think your second hyperlink was meant to go to the Bethesda Now article.

I agree that Silver Spring making various "best of" lists doesn't mean much, but it's still better to make the lists then not. I do think DTSS being repped on lists like this is indicative of what I've experienced, personally (as well as what the DCcurbed unscientific poll suggests): DTSS is much more highly regarded by most city folk than other 1st ring suburbs like Bethesda or Arlington.

DTSS is considered "real" and an authentic (other than Peterson's development), diverse place with tons of interesting, unique options thanks to that diversity. Saying "I live in dTSS" used to garner Millennial responses like "Really? How is it all the way out there?" (as if we aren't a 20 min metro from Metro Center) to "oh, I've heard nice things" or "oh, I really like ______ restaurant/bar."

Yes, dTSS can still improve and yes, it's going to continue improving. But we have come far enough at this point where I'm not surprised at all we're the highest ranked DC suburb, according to the real estate site and according to DCcurbed.

Sligo said...

Yes, it was. Fixed.

Gull said...

I think we also get lost in the DC region because, frankly, the DC region is unique in having SO MANY transit accessible, urban, 'hip', edge cities. Most cities maybe have one or two, often in the same corridor (Baltimore -> Towson, Atlanta -> Buckhead, Richmond -> Short Pump, Philadelphia -> Norrisville/King of Prushia). We have at least 2 primary corridors and a couple other edge cities that are not even in corridors worthy of mention. My roommate is from PA and gets so annoyed when his friends rip on him for living up here, thinking to himself he's never lived in such a vibrant accessible place before, and finds it even more ironic that most of the people doing the ripping also grew up in the middle of nowhere, or stale suburbia, and seem to forget their humble upbringings.

Anonymous said...

Really? 13th best suburb in the country? First of all the concept of "Per Capita" is a useless irrelevant term, meant to showcase something better than it actually is. By that logic you can have town of 25 and 1 bar and all of a sudden its the town with the most bars per capita in the country. so anything that says its ratings are based on "Per Capita" means...."we hyped something to be better than it actually is"

2nd.....have they even been to silver spring? do they not know what a dump it is?

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaand so it begins.

If you think Silver Spring is a dump, move out of Mommy's basement and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Anonymous said...

"If you think Silver Spring is a dump, move out of Mommy's basement and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. "

Already have....Thanks for the advice! but I do enjoy bashing DTSS from the wonderful suburb of Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

So what you are saying is either that there is nothing better to do in Bethesda than come on a blog for a place you no longer live, waiting furtively for the perfect opportunity to bash a place you no longer live or that YOU have nothing better to do in Bethesda than come on to a blog for a place you no longer live, waiting furtively for the perfect opportunity to bash a place you no longer live.

So either Bethesda sucks or you do. Which is it?

Anonymous said...

"Already have....Thanks for the advice! but I do enjoy bashing DTSS from the wonderful suburb of Bethesda."

lol, what a freakin loser. At least the troll finally moved out of his parents basement. I'm happy for him. I'm also happy the douchebag is Bethesda's problem now.

Anonymous said...

"the troll". The defend Silver Spring loser still thinks any critique of Silver Spring is the same person. And still talks like a tough guy. Online.

Anonymous said...

""the troll". The defend Silver Spring loser still thinks any critique of Silver Spring is the same person. And still talks like a tough guy. Online."

Please STFU already. Thanks.

"but I do enjoy bashing DTSS from the wonderful suburb of Bethesda."

See above.

Anonymous said...

Fillmore. Advantage: SS.

Sligo said...

Bethesda would probably claim the Strathmore as theirs, but it's technically located in the ever-expanding area of "North Bethesda".

Gull said...

Will I be cannibalized alive on this blog for suggesting both Silver Spring and Bethesda are great suburbs, that offer different things! Which is why living in either one is so great, you can experience both in just a 10 minute bus ride?!

I walk or bus over to Bethesda a couple times a month because they have some bars and restaurants that I like, and don't mind going over there for, that I wish we had in Silver Spring. I also generally stay in Silver Spring to eat out or grab a drink because we have some cool options of our own that are worth visiting.

I really wish we could see ourselves as more of a region and embrace what each part of the region can offer. There's no barrier keeping any of us from enjoying the spring, Bethesda and DC from the same residence!

Sligo said...

Yes, enough of the internecine MoCo struggles! Let's all just focus on the real enemy: Virginia.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to see the advantage of The Fillmore. But then again, I'm not a big Aaron Carter or Switchfoot fan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:18...nah it's funnier to watch your rage out and pretend you're a tough guy online. And yes: there is more than one person laughing at you (I know this fact is hard for you to grasp).

As for Anon 9:52....agreed. It's a good point that will probably be lost on a lot of people.

Both areas have some good stuff worth a visit.

Anonymous said...

Fillmore, AFI, Round House. MD Ballet...yeah, there are some unique things about SS. Good restaurant scene, easy access to transit, some interesting bars and night spots. MoCo even managed to not completely mess up the civic center/ice rink complex. The more I think about it, the more I get on board with it being ranked high.

But although I live here, I do think Bethesda and Clarendon are pretty similar and could probably be at about the same spot.

Anonymous said...

Nice. I moved downtown last year and although there are tons of options around me, I still crave the burger from Scion (haven't bothered to go to the dupont location), pizza from Pacci's and the cocktails and friendly bartenders at 8407.

Anonymous said...

I think restaurant wise Silver Spring should rate high. Also the lack of fast food and interesting things to eat.

Bars and nightlife? Perhaps QHT and Fillmore are helping inflate it in that regard.

Anonymous said...

It's important to give Bethesdians credit when credit's due; over on Bethesda Now they are freely admitting downtown Silver Spring is the more interesting place these days.

It really is a shame that Bethesda has become so bland. Woodmont Triangle used to be a real gem, before they started bulldozing it all for luxury highrises. dTSS really needs to keep Bethesda in mind as a cautionary tale with regards to the ongoing redevelopment of Fenton Village.

There's a fine line between adding residents to support great, new, interesting places (where SS is today) and having only "luxury" buildings w/rents so high only national chains can afford it (which is where downtown Bethesda is now and where Woodmont Triangle is heading).

Anonymous said...

If you think that the diversity of DTSS, including Fenton Village, S. Silver Spring etc, and Ripley District, is worth keeping, then speak up - loudly!!
Fenton Village is not out from under the urban renewal threat yet. Fenton Village can still be bulldozed into a luxury hi rise area.
The only thing that protects Fenton Village is people who think its interesting just the way it is and spend time and dollars there.


Craig said...

Bethesda and Chevy Chase people do frequent downtown Silver Spring more often now. You will see them at:

AFI Silver Theater
8407 Kitchen
Urban Butcher
Jackie's
The Civic Center Bldg.

And when the new library building opens up, I would expect to see more Bethesda/CC residents visiting the location.

Silver Spring will have a cooler Montgomery County public library than the dated and crowded Bethesda library location.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see us embrace our Penguin mascot 'Monty' more.

Anonymous said...

"The only thing that protects Fenton Village is people who think its interesting just the way it is and spend time and dollars there. "

What exactly are we protecting, the empty lots? And how is frequenting the businesses supposed to save it if it makes it look like a better bet to developers?

Anonymous said...

What defines Fenton Village? I've used the google, but can't find anything that is crystal clear.

Anyone been in the Shaw area? Looks like that will development will naturally continue to creep North on Georgia.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone been in the Shaw area? Looks like that will development will naturally continue to creep North on Georgia."

People have been expecting Georgia Ave development since President Clinton visited the corridor in the 90s. Shaw, Petworth, Brightwood, Shepherd Park and Silver Spring development is all mutually exclusive. Nothing is going to "creep North" automatically. If anything, Silver Spring should be worried about Upper Georgia developments like Walter Reed because they'll just provide more amenities to people in Shep Park and Takoma, lowering their reliance on DTSS.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but what is "fenton village"? The old safeway? The empty lots? The "World building"? What are we supposed to be protecting?

And do people REALLY think people from Bethesda will be visiting a Public Library? even a nice one? Really? I though the argument for libraries was they served to a lower income demographic; not the "rich" people (like in Bethesda)

Anonymous said...

Fenton Village is bound by Wayne, Fenton, Georgia and Selim to the south. So places like Jackie's, Lotus, Sidebar, Pacci's, Kaldi's, Lesaac, Big Greek, Zed's, Society, Olazzo, Abyssinia, Negril, Thai Market, Quarry House, Mandalay, Kefa, Thai Derm, Ghar-E-Kabab, Fenton Cafe, among dozens of others.

There are three residential buildings going up in Fenton Village that are breaking ground in the next few months on various underutilized parcels (biggest of which is county parking lot 3/Studio Plaza), which is great. The development would only turn into a problem if we start seeing all the nice, unique offerings of dTSS being bulldozed and replaced with the generic crap found in Peterson's Downtown Silver Spring or along Bethesda Row.

Sligo said...

In its defense, Bethesda Row does have Dolcezza. I would take that in a second.

Anonymous said...

True, and Downtown Silver Spring has Adega, which is great. But, in general, the rule of crappy sterilization applies.

Anonymous said...

"And do people REALLY think people from Bethesda will be visiting a Public Library? even a nice one? Really? I though the argument for libraries was they served to a lower income demographic; not the "rich" people (like in Bethesda)"

- We're talking about very comfortable--perhaps even moderately wealthy--people here. Not the "rich." They live in Potomac, not Bethesda. And, yes, people in Bethesda use public libraries, just like us "poors" over here in SS. They love a good kids book reading or puppet show just as much as any pauper or street urchin.

Anonymous said...

Did someone really compare Dolcezza to Adega? Bro, that's gelato vs. a vino cafe.

Thanks for defining Fenton Village. I've been referring to it as "Little Ethiopia" for a while.

Anonymous said...

"Did someone really compare Dolcezza to Adega? Bro, that's gelato vs. a vino cafe."

Clearly the comparison was that they're interesting, high-quality standouts within seas of blandness. Not that gelato and wine are similar.

Gull said...

I think its unlikely that Fenton Village will ever be totally changed. The chain retail like to cluster on places like Bethesda Avenue or Ellsworth Drive because they depend on the foot traffic generated by all the other retail/restaurant offerings. Fenton Village is spread too thin for a business that needs accidental foot traffic to survive - hence why all the abandoned retail in the area by the Scion. The increased housing in Fenton Village increases the chance that there will be further turn over and upgrading of the chain offerings on Ellsworth, and possibly a few new unique bars/restaurants/establishments that fall in line with Urban Butcher, and Kaldi's - both of which are probably open because of the recent population gains in the local area. We may see a few things torn down/replaced, but what replaces it will likely be somewhat unique. Not all the 'new' offerings in Woodmont Triangle are bad gets, they just target a slightly different demographic. I'd also argue most of Fenton Village could use some sprucing up on the outside removing some of the utilities, fixing/bricking the sidewalks and such which will be done in part by the new developments.

The likely area to see a second surge of chains in the future would be on the west side of the Metro with the Blairs which is setting itself up to have an active, possibly expensive chain like scene once its built out, and the Falklands triples its density.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Fenton Village likely will likely continue to grow in a good way. It's just something to keep an eye on as redevelopment continues. For example, Studio Plaza is a great use of dead space behind all the shops along Georgia (yes, SS Historic Society, I know a small storefront was lost along Thayer). If, alternatively, Studio Plaza's plan was to bulldoze that block of Georgia shops just to fit in a few more apartment units and a ground-floor Starbucks and Tara Thai then I'd have a major problem with it.

Gull said...

Well lucky for Fenton Village, almost every different storefront and building is privately owned, rather than managed by a single management company. The end effect - it's nearly impossible for a developer to accumulate enough small parcels together to do anything with it. The 'big' ones are already claimed and have plans on them. Maybe long term, i'm talking 20 years, when Silver Spring is running out of space for large projects, you'll see consolidation deals, but by that point Silver Spring will have matured to a much different place. The situation is different in Ripley District, where the existing lots are larger, and were owned by a smaller number of people, making is easier for pretty much just 2 development companies to buy up all the parcels over there.

Anonymous said...

If I can't go to nightlife, I can't nightlife man. If I'm hurt, I'm hurt. I mean ... simple as that. It ain't about that... I mean it's... It's not about that... . It's easy to sum it up when you're just talking about nightlife. We're sitting in here, and I'm supposed to be the franchise Silver Spring defender, and we in here talking about nightlife....

Not the City, but we're talking about NIGHTLIFE man. I mean, how silly is that? ... And we talking about Nightlife. I know it's important, I do. I honestly do... But we're talking about nightlife man. What are we talking about? Nightlife? We're talking about Nightlife, man...We're talking about Nightlife....

Sligo said...

Nightlife? Don't talk about nightlife. Are you kidding me? Nightlife?

Anonymous said...

The thing to recognize about Fenton Village is that all those small independent businesses serve their clients. Otherwise they wouldn't survive. While you may not need sheet music someone has kept Dale Music in business for 64 years. Weller's Dry cleaners for 55+ years, Quarry House for 40+ years. Spa Mesu Salon 9 years, Kefa Cafe 15 years. The wig shop, the shoe repair, the lock smith, the paint store, the a art supply store, the watch repair, the sports memorabilia store all have their loyal client base.
Additionally, a lot of those Mom & Pop places are owned by minorities or women. The small business profit goes right back into our local economy - not some corporate headquarters in NYC.

Fenton Village may not be much to look at but it is ours. The local residents should support it, because it's there for us.

Let City Place and Ellsworth keep the national chains - I'll spend my dollars in the independent small business district of Fenton Village.



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