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Old 01-27-2006, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Anne Arundel County MD
262 posts, read 1,972,987 times
Reputation: 523

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Silver Spring is a difficult area to describe, as it is made up of various unincorporated communities that all fall under the Silver Spring mailing address. Zip codes beginning with the 209-prefix are usually considered Silver Spring addresses, with the exception of 20912 Takoma Park. There is the downtown area of Silver Spring that is the most well known and developed, along with a wide range of suburban communities including Colesville, Forest Glen, Norbeck, Aspen Hill, White Oak, Hillandale, Cloverly, and various others. Even Wheaton & Glenmont, having their own Metro stations and located several miles away from the downtown area, fall under the Silver Spring postal designation. For the sake of simplicity, I'll MAINLY focus on the downtown area and toss in a bit of information about some of the surrounding areas (except Wheaton, which may get its own thread later!)

Silver Spring is located directly north of Washington DC and would be the size of a small city if it were not termed a suburb. It is often championed for fostering "smart growth" around public transit lines and mixed zoning. The Silver Spring metro station is the first stop in Maryland located on the red line, and also makes MARC commuter train services available as well. The station was built in 1978 and is located at Colesville Rd and East-West Highway. Streetcars used to connect Silver Spring and DC before the days of Metro. Just north of the major transit area, around the intersection of Colesville Rd and Georgia Ave (Rt 97), the downtown area is home to a multitude of shops, restaurants, high-rise condos, and office buildings. Other major routes serving the Silver Spring area are 16th Street (sometimes referred to as MD Route 396, leading directly into Washington DC), Connecticut Avenue (Rt 185 in the Aspen Hill area), New Hampshire Avenue (Rt 650 in the Cloverly/White Oak areas). Randolph Rd and Norbeck Rd provide commuters with easy East/West routes between Laurel/Beltsville & Rockville through Silver Spring.

Silver Spring has a long history that many residents remain unaware of. The area really was home to a "mica-flecked" spring, discovered by the ancestor of 19th Century Postmaster Montgomery Blair. Francis Blair discovered the springs and built a large mansion there as a summer home back when the area was undeveloped. It is amazing to think of Silver Spring today as a summer vacation spot... Anyway, I won't delve into too much detail but a good site to check out Silver Spring history can be found at http://www.homestead.com/silverspringhistory/.

The city is home to a wide variety of cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds - located in Montgomery County, there is a considerable degree of wealth but also concern due to crime and low-income housing. Neighborhoods outside of the downtown area such as Layhill Village, Springbrook, and the newer Heil Estates can command $1M+ for a large suburban home 15 miles from DC, and often located on over an acre of land. Hampshire Greens is a country-club community that was formerly home to NBA player Juan Dixon. Mixed with that, however, you also find middle to low-priced apartment complexes that are in varying degrees of decay. Crime is higher than most areas in Montgomery County. My sister was born at Holy Cross Hospital on Georgia Avenue, like many suburbanites in the DC area. The area is also home to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church headquarters.

The revitalization of the downtown area of Silver Spring (launched by current gubernatorial candidate Doug Duncan, of who I am not a supporter but I do credit for this revival) has provided Silver Spring with some truly great landmarks, including the headquarters of Discovery Communications, the American Film Institute Theater (and the Majestic and AMC theaters), and a wealth of great places to eat. My parents love Mrs. K's Toll House on Colesville Rd, though I've never been, it seems like a very cute and enjoyable frilly French-style restaurant. Jackie's is a great contemporary American place with emphasis on kitsch, and the area is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Ray's The Classics seafood/steakhouse, but Silver Spring may best be known for it's wealth of ethnic restaurants.

Negril has great jerk chicken and Jamaican specialties, Ceviche is the place to hit for Latin specilaties, Samantha's (closer to Langley Park) is Salvadorean at it's best. Addis Ababa supposedly has decent Ethiopian food as well. Silver Spring, due to Montgomery County's unusual liquor laws, doesn't really have any truly great bars or pubs, but then again not many places in Montgomery County do. I'd stick with the happening restaurants like Red Dog Cafe to grab a brew, or I'd head to the Cloverly area to BWB's (Buffalo Wings & Beer) for a cheap night out and live tunes.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Anne Arundel County MD
262 posts, read 1,972,987 times
Reputation: 523
For anyone who is interested, I did a Google search for Ray's the Classics to get their phone number and it brought up my old post It's finally here!

Anybody living in Silver Spring owes it to themselves to check out this awesome restaurant. One of my new favorites. Great fine dining at very reasonable prices.
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Maryland outside DC
2,171 posts, read 3,155,664 times
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Good info pkoons, thanks.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:48 AM
 
8 posts, read 82,667 times
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VERY informative. Thank you. You should do one of these for Rockville and Gaithersburg, too.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:55 PM
 
154 posts, read 482,204 times
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Wow! Thank you for this information. I was able to learn more about an area I am thinking of moving to. Where do you think the more dangerous are? Or do you know where the great public schools are in the area? Thanks again for the post. Even if you never respond, I learned so much!
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:51 PM
 
Location: DC/Brooklyn, NY/Miami, FL
1,178 posts, read 2,799,055 times
Reputation: 391
Good Thread
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:32 PM
 
3 posts, read 12,644 times
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question? I recently visited silver springs to help settle in my daughter and son in law due to their employment required relocation and since we are originaly from Miami, Fl, we went looking around for a decent grocery like publix supermarkets. Well all I found was a safeway which is not bad if it were in beirut, but does any one here that lives there know of a place other than safeway?
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:55 AM
 
14 posts, read 50,458 times
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Default Grocery stores

The Safeway you went to has probably not yet been remodeled--there are several in the area that look like hell (including the one I'm closest to in the 20901 zip, near where 193 and Colesville intersect). The Safeways that have been renovated are beautiful, so don't give up on Safeway completely. Giant is also worth looking into (although again, I know of one in Aspen Hill that leaves a lot to be desired, whereas others are very nice).
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