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The New Urban Suburbanite: September 27, 2001 - February 5, 2005 I started The New Urban Suburbanite on an AOL Hometown page in September 2001 as a way of educating people about New Urbanism, the latest movement in town planning. Over the next two years, it evolved into a community site for my neighborhood, Fairland Green, and surrounding neighborhoods in north Silver Spring, Maryland. By the fall of 2003, I had information on about a half-dozen different neighborhoods, along with a few articles I had written. Earlier that year, I was featured in my high school's newspaper, the Blake Beat. However, at that time I was just beginning my junior year, and school work began to take precedent over this site. But I didn't stop getting involved in community affairs. In 2004, I started attending Homeowner's Association meetings, founded a Yahoo! Group for the neighborhood, and attempted to start a community newsletter, called The Chronicle. I even attended public hearings for a new development of fourteen homes planned for the corner of Musgrove and Marlow roads during the summer.
However, I realized that there are a lot of forces working to maintain the status quo here in East Montgomery County. (In fact, where aren't neighborhood groups working to keep things "just so" in this, one of the top ten wealthiest counties in the country?) I found myself constantly at the mercy of a Homeowner's Association unwilling to do their job, despite having the services of an idealistic sixteen-year-old who would have written them a monthly newsletter. In addition, I found that the ideals of New Urbanism, although they're being practiced five miles down the road in Downtown Silver Spring, don't fly too well when the neighborhood wants to keep a "rural character" that went away decades ago. Then - the last nail in the coffin - Christ United Methodist Church, where my mother had been preaching from 2001 until last summer, closed because the same apathy that exists here existed over there in Landover Hills. So I've decided to stop working on The New Urban Suburbanite. I doubt I'll ever come back to it, but I leave the site as it has been for the past year or so, a testament to the neighborhood where I grew up and perhaps a sign of things to come for this aspiring architect and writer.
So, In The Meantime, I'll leave you with where things are now. I'm still taking pictures, many of which are trapped on my old computer, but they'll hopefully make their way to new photo albums, the first of which can be found at Dan's Picture of the Week. I'm still writing, both on a blog at www.xanga.com/thecourtyard, and for my school newspaper. You can read my latest article at The Blake Beat. And, provided there are still people here in Deer Park willing to rap about the neighborhood and its possiblities in the future, I'll keep a Yahoo! Group open at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairlandGreen-DeerPark. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy.
Daniel Reed, "The New Urban Suburbanite"
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Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Master Plans for East Montgomery County InterCounty Connector Study State Highway Administration Road Improvements along Route 29 Dept. of Transportation Public Works - Projects Coalition for Smarter Growth Local Listings, Courtesy of Realtor.com Montgomery County Public Schools Prince George's County Public Schools Accessing the State Archives for Property Maps and Information Save Glenmont
E-Mail Me with any suggestions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Christ United Methodist Church. Last Updated: February 5, 2005 All Pictures, with the exception of those for Cross Creek Club and Calverton, are the property of Daniel Reed. However, they were not taken with permission from the owners of the properties represented.