Set the controls of the Earth-Toned Wayback Machine to ca. 1991, when Reston Town Center first opened to the unsuspecting masses, with the four original buildings, one parking garage, some sweeeet midscale retail, and surface parking. Lots and lots of surface parking, which contributed to RTC's original Disney-esque feel, where you'd park in the
Goofy surface lot and take a monorail walk to Main Street USA the fountain, wondering if everything had been built at 7/8 scale. Little did we naive Restonites know back then that it could have been worse. Much, much worse.
Of course, today all those surface lots (except one, for now) have been replaced by high-rise offices and condos, and as it's grown, RTC has become a real downtown, with all the authentic urban grit that goes with that. So it's through mauve-colored glasses that we look back at this simpler era, where we could just park under the sky and the stars, as God intended, before walking to the multiplex to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and wrap up a magical evening over Zimas at Clyde's, the end.