A lost gem

Dec. 4, 2009, midnight | By Julia Wynn | 14 years, 6 months ago

Four years ago Downtown Silver Spring was a completely different place. It was a bustling center of activity for Blazers who frequented the many restaurants, the Majestic and - am I showing my age? - the Astroturf green. All we had to do was approach the intersection of Fenton and Ellsworth and we would spot someone we knew. Now, with the exception of a few loyal skateboarders, the average age of Downtown Silver Spring visitors has increased noticeably.

Restaurants in Downtown Silver Spring that have been around for years, like Tastee Diner, have lost their appeal to high school students. Photo courtesy of Alex Joseph.

After several years, the novelty of DTSS wore off. There are few options besides eating and seeing a movie. Borders presents an opportunity for intellectual stimulation and, for some of us, DSW and Ulta are fun stores to peruse, but after years of going into these stores we're ready for some more choices. The problem is that most other options in Downtown Silver Spring cost money. Especially with the ridiculous price of movie tickets these days - people in the 1930s could see 40 movies for the amount we pay for one today - people are looking for less expensive alternatives.

Enter The Fractured Prune, the newest business in Downtown Silver Spring. The fare is unique, as there aren't any other donut shops in the area, and the donuts are crisp and flavorful. However, the store's potential as a savior for Downtown Silver Spring is low since it does not address the main cost issue. With a radius of about an inch and a half, Fractured Prune donuts are hardly worth the $2 the store charges. After the rush to try the new shop has ended, Downtown Silver Spring will be right where it left off before the renovation.

The only reason adults have not lost faith in Downtown is Whole Foods. There, they can enjoy some peace and quiet without rambunctious teenagers. Young middle schoolers also seem to find enjoyment in all that Downtown Silver Spring has to offer, but perhaps they have not exhausted all the options yet. If only the turf were still alive and well, more people might be drawn to the free, convenient hang-out spot. Unfortunately, the new civic center currently under construction will use that all-purpose green space, leaving us with nothing more than a conglomeration of expensive buildings.

Julia Wynn. Hello, my name is Julia Wynn and I am looking forward to my senior year as a member of the Silver Chips Online staff. I love to dance (especially poms), listen to music and play piano. My two main food necessities are any kind of … More »

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