I quickly decided to experience our visit as if we were first-time visitors to Silver Spring and to see how well this corporate chain hotel acknowledged the community beyond its Dryvit-covered walls. Walking into the hotel's Fenton Street lobby across from Whole Foods we were greeted with three large framed vintage photographs of Silver Spring. "Nice," I thought.
I should know, as the Silver Spring Historical Society provided them to the hotel when it opened in 2005. Three more framed photographs are located up on the third floor, two behind the registration desk and one next to the fake fireplace in the lounge area. All have descriptive labels indicating what the images show.
Other than these photos, that was it for informing a visitor unfamiliar with Silver Spring what local "attractions" were available. The complimentary USA Today and Wall Street Journal newspapers were on the counter. I guess having copies of the Gazette or the Silver Spring Voice would have taken up too much space. I couldn't even find the traditional hotel rack of brochures publicizing local businesses...a perfect venue for copies of the Buy Local Silver Spring Guide.
I didn't even bother to check the postcard rack in the hotel's small gift shop for a "Greetings from Silver Spring, MD" postcard to send the folks back home. Has it really been 70 years since the last one was published?
I decided to make my own postcard and hereby share it with all.
Why, Silver Spring almost looks like a New England village! Wish you were here.