Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Takoma Park is the 8th most liberal city in the country based on political contributions, just behind Berkeley and ahead of Albany (aka "North Berkeley) and El Cerrito (aka "North, North Berkeley," aka "The Town that Produced Creedence Clearwater Revival and Where Metallica Crashed for a While After Hooking Up with Kirk Hammett in the Early 80s," aka "The Place Where I Got My Hair Cut When I Lived in Berkeley"). Interestingly, whereas Takoma Park has essentially nothing in common with Berkeley (among other things, Berkeley is an actual city), Wheaton always reminded me a lot of El Cerrito. Both are neither close-in nor far-removed suburbs that were their area's version of an all All-American town in the '50s and '60s, complete with signs welcoming people with emblems of all of the local civic clubs (Elks! Moose! Kiwanis!) and centered around a shopping center (Wheaton and El Cerrito Plazas) instead of a downtown. Both eventually got stops on subway systems that were developed around the same time (although I'm surprised that they didn't extend the Red Line past Silver Spring until 1990) and are now quite diverse and have a good selection of ethnic restaurants.