Friday, March 10, 2006

Downtown Silver Spring

Here's the light pollution bane of my existence, the Courtyard Marriott:

How does it offend me? Let me count the ways.
1. Lights pointing into sky, illuminating top-level bedrooms (!) and architectural nightmare concrete "Stonehenge" thing on top of building.
2. Visible from my bedroom window, while I'm in bed.
3. Disgusting waste of electricity that serves no purpose, not even an aesthetic one.
4. They installed upward-facing lights in the SIDEWALK around the building, so as to blind you as you walk past. I think they've realized these are incredibly obnoxious and have ceased turning them on.

The only creatures who seem to enjoy the light pollution are swallows, who swarm over the hotel in the summer, eating bugs who are attracted to the light.

Exhibit B, downtown Silver Spring:

To be fair, this is a vast improvement in terms of enjoying the neighborhood over what was here before (empty lots, parking lots, an armory, more parking lots).

Major offenses:
1. Brighter than daylight at night.
2. Noise pollution bonus: Outdoor PA playing music 24 hours a day. Even at 4 am, when no-one's around. The worst thing is about this is that two building across the street from each will play DIFFERENT music, at competing volume. And the Baja Fresh on the corner plays it's own, different music. Whoever thought of this should be hamstrung.
3. Macaroni Grill.

The creatures who seem to get the most benefit out of the new downtown are kids on skateboards.


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