Pop-Up: Silver Spring

August 4: Whimsical Penguins Meet Ethnic Delights

Our fantastic MCEDC summer interns are by now metro experts, hopping on the train to explore the different parts of our fascinating county. They report back with first impressions, anecdotes and photos to help us tell the great story of Montgomery County.

Anna Wright is grad student studying Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Claudia Elzey is a grad student at the University of Pennsylvania, studying City & Regional Planning. They join us through the Montgomery County Council’s 10-week Summer Associates program, a collaboration among the Council, the Council’s Office of Legislative Oversight, and MCEDC. 

On August 4, they make their way to Silver Spring.

Pop-Up #6: Silver Spring, August 4, 2017

Penguins, Cows and Communal Tables: Welcome to a colorful, cultural melting pot

Five quick takes: 

  • Playful Urbanism. Stepping out of the metro station into Friday afternoon sunshine, Anna and I are already smiling. On the station wall hangs Sallie Callmer’s whimsical mural, Penguin Rush Hour, which shows penguins reading the newspaper, carrying briefcases, and adding value to their metro cards. As we walk around, more delights emerge: a green roof curved like a ski jump, a small plaza with louvers that swing in the wind, and a giant acorn marking the source of the spring for which this town is named.

  • Get to Know NOAA. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a campus as well as a visitor center in Silver Spring. Anna, being from Wisconsin, scoffs at the exhibit about Snowmageddon, which dumped around 30 inches of snow in this area five years ago (really? 30 inches?) For my part, I'm fascinated by the radar images of 2012's Derecho, a solid line of thunderstorms that pummeled the region and uprooted hundreds of trees.

  • Ethnic Eats. Georgia Avenue is a cozy corridor of restaurants and mom-and-pop shops. There are dining options to suit every palette, including Abyssinian (Ethiopian), Jamaican, and Mexican fare. Even the waste bins here are multicultural; they have the label "trash" written in at least eight different languages. Silver Spring is no doubt the place to go for a taste of Montgomery County's increasingly colorful cultural melting pot.

  • Sorbet and Scrabble. Anna and I duck out of the sun into Moorenko's, a hip little ice cream joint with cow-themed collages decorating the walls. This is the only place I know that serves chocolate sorbet along with the usual fruit flavors, and I'm digging in with gusto when Anna suggests a round of scrabble. Sure enough, there's a case loaded with board games nearby.

  • Communal Table. Still glowing from my scrabble victory, I suggest we head for Denizens, a women-owned brewery with a lively biergarten south of downtown. The atmosphere is convivial, with everyone squeezed onto long benches and kids and dogs running around between the tables. I've got a 'Born Bohemian' Pilsner and Anna is enjoying a 'Big Red Norm' American Red Ale.


Where will they pop up next? Stay tuned to the next newsletter to find out.