News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Meanwhile, in the other Anti-Reston...

When people talk about new urbanism and awesome, earth tone-intensive planned communities, they usually mention Reston and Columbia, Maryland, in the same breath. Like Reston, Columbia is a product of the 1960s, a planned community which features much of the same persistent earth tones and questionable contemporary architecture. Unlike Reston and its awesome fake downtown, though, Columbia opted to plop a generic shopping mall right in the center of town.

Well, maybe not so generic. For the first time, the Columbia Mall has ditched its Poinsettia Christmas Tree, this metal-framed thing that held up a bunch of potted plants prompting people to open their wallets a little bit wider at the nearby Bon-Ton or Orange Julius or whatever.

"The Tree was a symbol of how Columbia was different," said Dennis Lane, who grew up in the town, blogs about it and writes a column for the Business Monthly, a local paper. "It's a non-political statement, a thing of beauty. I live in Ellicott City now, and it has a definable center and a long history. Columbia yearns for that. It's a suburb on steroids that holds tight to any tradition it has."
So while Reston Town Center may hate America, Columbia apparently hates Christmas. Somebody notify this guy, pronto!

For all you doubters out there, just click this link on Google Maps, which takes you to Satan Wood Drive, right in the middle of... Columbia. Apparently, even pure evil has to abide by Design Review Board regulations.

Update: Columbia Mall management folded like a cheap pack of mauve-colored playing cards. The flower pot tree will be back next Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. The best part of living on Reston is that Merriweather Post Pavilion is just across the street from the mall-- easy to get to, lots of parking, reasonable (though certainly not the best) sound quality. I shudder to think of all the music I would have missed had this place not been just down the road a short distance from where I live...


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