News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Flashback: A Tale of Two Town Centers

Our favorite correspondent, the Peasant from Less Sought After South Reston, found a gem from the old-timey Washington Post back from ought-zero, when parents would still gather their children around the glow of incandescent lighting to read thrilling tales of far-away suburbs from the "news-paper."

By 2000, Reston had been around for parts of four decades, and our ersatz gritty urban core had been there for nearly a decade. But the article provides out-of-towners a crash course, informing us that “Reston was intended to be a suburban antidote… Goodbye suburban isolation and cookie-cutter housing.”

The article goes on to compare and contrast RTC with Reston's original town center, Lake Anne Plaza. Of the new hawtness, it says:

The center has been likened to a scaled-down version of Georgetown without the parking hassle (free parking is available at three parking lots and two garages. Locals are less happy about parking these days because of new construction projects, but the situation still beats wrangling with meters or paying to park in a garage.

The article also includes these groovy maps and a key showing what was available to intrepid turn-of-the-century consumers in both places in 2000 (click to enlarge). It's a nice walk down Late Stage Capitalism Memory Lane:

As the Peasant puts it:

This sniffle-inducing (or would that be snort-inducing?) trip down memory lane leads to a rousing Reston rendition of the song “Those Were The Days” as sung by Archie and Edith:

Boy the way parking was free
RTC was the place to be
No worries about a bumblebee
Those were the days

And you knew that in this place
No cost for a parking space
Mister we could use a man like Robert Simon again
Didn’t need no parking app
Nobody bothered with this crap
Gee our free parking was great
Those were the days

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