News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, May 8, 2015

Scenes From a Mall: A Stroll Through 'America's Next Great City,' Or At Least Some Jetsons-Like Elevated Platform

TysonsNow that Tysons Corner has rebranded itself "America's Next Great City" (tm), we thought it was high time to discard our tired jibes about its decidedly unurbane, strip-mall and Crystal Koons car lot past. That was so 2014! Sprawl is out, dense, urban living is in, silly rabbits, and Tysons is poised to become the next Paris, or Emerald City, or whatever we're branding calling it now.

So we got a day pass to leave Reston and decided to check out America's Next Great City (tm). Of course, to do so, we had to go to the mall. And then walk past a bunch of desperate kiosk retailers selling aftermarket cellphone cases and up three levels to discover the Jetsons-like grassy elevated knoll that is the central gathering place where the Tysons elite will meet and greet on their way from Lord and Taylors to the Metro... and back again, earning and consuming over and over, for the REST OF THEIR LIVES.

Grassy knoll
HELLO, NATURE. Unlike smelly old first-generation cities with their gridlocked surface streets, America's Next Great City (tm) will have grassy spaces adorned by futuristic metal flanges elevated 100 feet above the gridlocked surface streets. And birds!

The birds
Or at least statues of birds. Next best thing.

America's Next Great City (tm) will also have myriad opportunities for entertainment. BEHOLD!

Cornhole OR table tennis. Our cup runneth over.

Cornhole 3
When we rewrite the Constitution after the revolution, "Where the Stores Are" will be a great preamble.

Art maybe
We weren't sure if this was art or not-quite-finished art. If the goal of public art is to confound, then this definitely works. But hey -- Shake Shack!

And finally, as we prepared to leave, we saw this next to our car:

Why yes, that's a discarded, half-eaten pancake. Apparently in America's Next Great City (tm), the appetites don't quite meet the ambitions just yet. There's probably a metaphor there, but we've got a newly purchased aftermarket cellphone case to try out, the end.


  1. Reston's soulless concrete plaza next to a Metro stop has a bacon food truck, and Tysons' soulless concrete plaza next to a Metro stop has... shakes? We win!

  2. Those blocks are for life-size Jenga...which you should definitely play.

  3. That waffle is a metaphor for all the half-baked promises of developers touting mixed-use, faux-urban living.

    Or maybe someone just wasn't as hungry as they thought.

  4. Sometimes they shut down the plaza for a teeny bopper concert, forcing Metro commuters to hack their way through Lord & Taylor. There was no signage on the alternate path.

  5. Hey ! that bacon food truck is GOOD ! (Pancake was mine , sorry...)

  6. Why does this remind me of the movie "They Live?"

    I half expect to walk through Tysons Corner and hear Roudy Roddy Piper going postal on some space aliens.


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