I spent a few hours on Memorial Day in downtown Silver Spring but it wasn’t all for fun and pleasure. I was meeting with a person at a Panera Bread regarding a potential art-related opportunity that ultimately went nowhere. (I never heard back from the guy I met with on Memorial Day.) As part of the preparations for that meeting I updated my Doll Dreams journal that I started last year but temporarily abandoned because I was following a free online tutorial that was supposed to be a total of ten lessons in this series but the instructor, for whatever reason, gave up on her own tutorial after posting the third lesson online. (I wrote all about that update in my last post.)
Over a week before this meeting my car had suffered a flat tire so it had one of those temporary tires that I really couldn’t do too much driving on. I had to wait until I received the next alimony check because I didn’t have enough money to get that car looked at by a mechanic. By the time I got that alimony check it was the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend so I decided to take the Metro instead of risking driving on that temporary tire to Silver Spring. I didn’t mind taking Metro because I had long wanted to walk around downtown Silver Spring, which I used to drive past on a regular basis when I used to see a therapist in Chevy Chase following the implosion of my marriage. (I decided to discontinue the therapy sessions back in January because of money issues. Besides, in recent months I didn’t have as much to talk about to the therapist as I used to in the first year after my husband literally ran away from home without even telling me that he was unhappy in the marriage. Over time my therapy sessions had gone from how I missed my husband to how I refuse to have anything to do with my husband ever again to how I need to find a day job because people aren’t buying my handcrafted items like they used to before the economy really imploded in 2008 and it still hasn’t fully recovered enough for people to feel that they could afford such handcrafted luxuries. I basically got tired of spending $40 an hour for the privilege of talking to someone about my struggle to find a decent paying job when I could easily commiserate with my friends on that same topic for free.)
So I arrived in Silver Spring a few hours before my scheduled meeting so I could check out the downtown area, which has undergone a lot of renovations over the past 20 years. I can remember a time back in the late 1980’s when the downtown area had a lot of empty storefronts along with plenty of aggressive panhandlers. I once had a guy with a Caribbean accent follow me from the Silver Spring Metro parking garage on a Saturday afternoon until I reached this record store that I wanted to check out. This guy kept on following me while asking me to go out with him and I kept on telling him that I was married and I had a husband but he didn’t take “I’m married with a husband” for an answer. He was persistent as all hell. He even waited for me outside that record store until I was done shopping. I ended up walking really quick back to my car while he kept on talking about himself and asking me to go out with him. As I drove off he just stood there totally stunned that I had driven away from him. I couldn’t understand why he was so surprised since I kept on telling him repeatedly that I was married to my husband. After that incident it would be several years before I could even work up the nerve to return to that area on my own and it was only after the first of the new stores opened when first of the renovations were done.
I took a few pictures of the area. There weren’t a lot of people in that area on Memorial Day so everything was pretty laid back. As I walked from the Metro Station, I passed the Discovery Channel building where I finally got the chance to see this large mural that I had noticed every time I drove past that building on Colesville Road. Seeing it up close while walking on foot is really amazing. I attempted to take a photo of it but I ended up taking a series of panoramic shots because this mural is so long that it’s impossible to get it all in just one photograph.
I eventually arrived at the revitalized downtown area.
Georgia Avenue was lined with American flags for Memorial Day.
One highlight of the revitalized area is the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Silver Theater, which frequently hosts various different film festivals as well as a repertoire of older films. It has an interesting art deco architecture. I’ll admit that I have never seen a film at that theater but I should make an effort to do so at least once before I die sometime in the (hopefully) far distant future.
Right across from the AFI Silver Theater is the Fillmore, which is a concert hall that opened in recent years. I have never attended a single concert there. I remember my then-husband went there one night in late 2011 when some Grateful Dead tribute band played there. (Or at least that is what I remembered he told me when he said that he was going to the Fillmore.) I didn’t go with him at that time because I was struggling with hip problems. (This concert may have even occurred after my hip surgery, I don’t remember for sure. All I remember is that I really felt too immobile to even attempt attending a concert.) I remember he said that he went with a group of friends we knew from this coffeehouse where we were regulars at. He told me that this barmaid friend of ours who struggled with mental health problems were among the group of friends he said he went to the show with. I believed him at the time because I thought he was telling the truth when he said he was going out with a group of friends and I honestly thought that he had too much integrity to ever contemplate leaving me for a barmaid who was struggling with severe mental health problems that had impacted much of her adult life. That’s why I was so shocked when he really left me for that mentally ill friend. Now I question whether he really was telling the truth when he said that he went to that concert at the Fillmore with a group of friends that night or if it was really a secret couples date with the other woman. I’ll never know the real truth so I really can’t dwell too much on it.
Here are some more photos of the downtown area, which is now filled with shops and all kinds of interesting eye candy.
There were also a few street performers that day as well.