Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Where one mile will get you in Silver Spring

NOTE: When I say “Silver Spring” in this post, I mean the “Silver Spring Regional Center” geography. That is the area mostly* south of the beltway, north of the DC line, west of the Prince George County, and east of Rock Creek Park. (*We do include Four Corners north of the Beltway.)

One mile. Twenty minutes walking. Five minutes bike ride.

Amazing where you can walk to in Silver Spring in less time than it takes to watch a sitcom… Or bike to in less time than it takes to listen to two iTunes… And, if drive you must, it is quite something that – most of the time – you’ll find available parking. (But, why drive unless you must?)

Regardless of were you live in Silver Spring, you live less than one mile from one of the following gems:
- Downtown Silver Spring
- Montgomery Hills
- Blair High School
- Flower/Piney Branch eateries
- Sligo Ave. car repair shops

Many of us live less than 2 miles from at least ½ of these spots. Indeed, all of them are less than 2.5 miles from each other!

When you look at it from this perspective, it is not unthinkable at all to walk from Montgomery Hills to Montgomery College for an event, stopping halfway on Bonifant for a culinary experience… Or to bike from Four Corners to Takoma Park, with a pit stop at Long Branch... The distance from one extreme of Silver Spring to the other – say Avery Park to Rock Creek Park – is no more than 5 miles.

So, how do we ferment the culture of “enjoy what is local”? How do we invite others to explore “our own backyard”?... If we must venture beyond our own Silver Spring, why not visit our neighbors in Langley Park, Wheaton, or NW DC?... So much to do; so much to explore; so little time! (Did you know that in the last year there's been over 100 events & celebrations in Downtown Silver Spring alone?)

Get lost in your own ‘hood! Go home a different way. Eat at a spot that you just routinely‘pass by’. Walk a different path. Bike a different trail… You might be surprised what you find!

[If you do find one of those hidden - or not so hidden - gems, please share as a comment on this blog – and don’t forget to become a ‘follower’ so you get future postings.]


WashingtonGardener said...

I walk everywhere in/around downtown Silver Spring - but the northern barrier I encounter and do not cross is 16th Street past Spring St. When the Purple Line is built and the trail is complete, maybe, but until then - it is a 4+ lane highway that people treat like the Indy 500 and I'll stay away.

Anonymous said...

Also within one mile of the SS Regional Center are over 200 independently owned businesses - including computer and leather repair, jewelers, clothing, car repair,fine hats, coffee shops, restaurants, beauty spas, art organizations and more! Explore! You will be surprised at what you can find in your own backyard.

J. Bernstein said...

Thanks for this post! I can't overstate how much more pedestrian friendly Silver Spring is than when we first moved here 20 years ago. Then, whenever we walked anywhere (having moved from Capitol Hill), we felt like extra terrestrials from the looks drivers gave us. Now, we still have to teach drivers what crosswalks mean but walkers abound and I'm pleased at the continuing efforts by the County to make intersections safer for walkers. When we went to first concert at the new Montg College Performing Arts Center, we had a wonderful dinner at Taste of Jerusalem on Georgia and were delighted by how short the walk was from there to the venue.

Hannah said...

Starting next Saturday, April 17, we'll be encouraging more people to venture "off the beaten path" from Ellsworth Drive down Fenton Street four blocks to the Fenton Street Market--happening every Saturday, 9-3! Look for sidewalks filled with your neighbors!

Anonymous said...

Love this!! It inspires me to do more walking -- in/to Silver Spring. What a great way to combine fun, exercise, get to know your neighborhood, save gas and cut air/noise pollution AND run my errands!


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