News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flashback Monday: Reston's Once and Future Sister Cities

Not to be confused with its doppelgangers in England, Scotland, Ireland, Maryland, and Canada, or even the Anti-Reston, our beloved earth-toned community once had a "sister city" in Kenya.

Reston's Sister City was Nyeri, Kenya. Nyeri is a town of about 120,000 people that resides in the shadow of Mount Kenya. It's a former provincial capital, and as a result is home to a lot of government employees. (Just like us!) Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, is buried in Nyeri. They grow a lot of coffee and tea in Nyeri, some of which we may well drink right here. And Nyeri is noted for the lively entertainment of its pubs. (How the scene in a Nyerian pub compares to, say, Jackson's on a warm night is undetermined.)
Please to be enjoying this postcard from Nyeri:

The similarity to our own Sheraton -- arguably the Second Most Famous Hotel in the World -- is uncanny, isn't it?

Kenya fake downtown.jpeg
And here's our sister city's fake downtown vibrant urban core. We're assuming the vacant storefront on the left will soon be occupied by a frozen yogurt store.

Reston and Nyeri became sister cities in 1984, thanks to RCA and a now-defunct group called Reston Black Focus. Along with several education-themed exchanges, RCA raised $50,000 to build a special education facility in Nyeri (no word on whether it included indoor tennis courts). The sister city affiliation was discontinued in the early 1990s, but in the "web log" post we linked to above, RCA president Colin Mills asked if there were any thoughts on where our next sister city might be. Happy to help!

How about Milton Keynes, England? We can't let our neighbors in Herndon have all the fun with British sister cities, after all, and it's another fancy "new city in a forest," or something like that.

Or maybe Fordlândia, Brazil? Sure it wasn't the most successful planned community, especially after the riots, but like us, it has some picturesque ruins to enjoy.

This one might be a bit controversial, but how about Pyongyang, North Korea? Sister city partnerships are all about exchanging information, and we could learn a thing or two from them as we plan to build our own awesome mauvescraper.

You're welcome.


  1. Thanks for the plug of my blog! Glad you enjoyed it. And thanks also for your helpful suggestions of possible future sister cities. I read on Wikipedia that, as of 2004, Milton Keynes no longer has control of its own planning and zoning, and that the British government wants to double MK's population over the next 15-20 years, so perhaps they have more in common than we realize.

    Pyongyang would be a fun sister city, but I think that "information exchange" might be an issue there. Same with Fordlandia, although for different reasons.

  2. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 5, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Question: What do Pyongyang and Reston have in common?

    Answer: Dear Leader

    On a less snarky note, why not think about establishing a Sister City relationship with one of the other cities in the world named Reston, whether in Canada, England, or Scotland?

    1. Cool thought, Peasant! That would be a nice hook for a Sister City partnership. If we can come up with a worthwhile cultural exchange between the Restons, I'd be all for it.


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