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Takoma Park

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Takoma Park is in Montgomery County, Maryland. It is a suburb of Washington D.C.

Understand[edit]

Takoma Park is bordered by, and often confused with the adjacent Takoma neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The Takoma Metrorail Station is in D.C., near the border of the 2 cities.

The population of Takoma Park is approximately 18,000 people.

Takoma Park is known for its Bohemian atmosphere and progressiveness, and has been called the "Berkeley of the East" and "The People's Republic of Takoma Park." It is home to many known authors, journalists, elected officials, political consultants, academicians, artists, and musicians. Notably, Takoma Park was home to guitarist John Fahey (1939-2001), who founded Takoma Records.

It is governed by an elected mayor and six elected council members, who form the city council, and an appointed city manager, under a council-manager style of government. Residents of Takoma Park can vote in municipal elections when they turn sixteen - the first in the United States.

Densely forested and proud of its abundant flowering foliage, the city is sometimes informally nicknamed "Azalea City" and even hosts an annual azalea contest for its residents. It is a member of Tree City USA and, by law, a nuclear-free zone.

The city is bisected by numerous steep hills, narrow streets at odd angles, and the gorge-like Sligo Creek Park.

With its small-town ambiance and residents determined to preserve its charm, it is one of few areas to successfully discourage chain stores and national franchises in its Old Town commercial district and instead encourages privately owned, unique commercial establishments.

The town boasts a strong environmental ethic that emphasizes recycling, clean energy, and the preservation of open spaces.

Langley Park / International Corridor[edit]

Langley Park / International Corridor is in the easternmost part of Takoma Park, on the border with Hyattsville. It is known for its mostly immigrant population, ethnic restaurants and signs in Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Hindi.

History[edit]

Takoma Park first grew and developed in the 1880s along the Metropolitan Branch near a station of the historic Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad, and was largely surrounded by farmland. Large Victorian homes were built, many of which still stand today. The community quickly became a central commercial hub for people commuting into Washington, D.C. by train and streetcar.

Founded by Benjamin Franklin Gilbert in 1883, Takoma Park was formally incorporated on April 3, 1890. It was one of the first planned Victorian commuter suburbs of Washington, DC and, in the early days, bore aspects of a spa and trolley park. Gilbert purchased several tracts of farmland that would become Takoma Park.

A builder named Fred E. Dudley was hired by Gilbert to design and construct many of the homes in Takoma Park, one of which is the "Cady Lee" still standing today at the corner of Piney Branch Road and Eastern Avenue. Dudley and his wife had a son, Wentworth, who was the first child to be born in Takoma Park. By 1888, there were 75 houses built in the community, which quickly grew to 235 homes by 1889.

The town soon became a haven for Seventh-Day Adventists, who moved their World Headquarters to Takoma Park in 1904 from Battle Creek, Michigan when their main buildings burned to the ground. At the turn of the century, they built several downtown churches, a small Christian liberal arts college, a printing press, a vegetarian health food co-op, elementary schools, and a sanitarium. Since then, many of the area's group houses have been restored into lovely, single family home Victorian mansions. Influenced by the Adventists, the deed of each of the original houses prohibited alcohol from being made or sold on the property, a policy that continued in the city until 1983. The Seventh-Day Adventists moved their headquarters to Silver Spring in 1989.

In 1964, construction of a large freeway was proposed which would have bisected Dupont Circle as well as Takoma Park, and would have displaced nearly 500 houses and split the city in two. Takoma Park's legendary mayor, Sam Abbot (Sammie Abdullah Abbott, 1908-1990), led a campaign to halt freeway construction and replace it with a Washington Metrorail station at the site of the former train station, and worked with other neighborhood groups to halt plans for a wider system of freeways going into and out of DC.

In 1997, after a referendum, the portion of Takoma Park that was in Prince George's County was annexed to Montgomery County.

Because of its proximity to the Silver Spring estate of noted abolitionist Montgomery Blair (after whom the local high school is named, and whose family continues to own part of downtown Silver Spring), Takoma Park is also home to two former Freedmen's Villages from the Civil War era. One of these is now a high-rise apartment district along Maple Avenue, while the other was built on the site of an old Civil War fort and amusement park located on Sligo Creek.

Get in[edit]

By Metrorail[edit]

Takoma Park is served by the Red Line of the Washington D.C. Metrorail. For more information on riding the Metrorail, see Washington DC#Get_In.

Most of the "Old Town" is within a 6-block walk of the Metrorail Station.

By bus[edit]

Metrobus and Ride-on-Bus operate service to Takoma Park from either D.C. or Silver Spring.

By car[edit]

Route 410 (East-West Highway) tuns through Takoma Park. It connects Takoma Park with I-495 (Capital Beltway), the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, and Bethesda.

From Silver Spring or D.C., take Blair Road, (another 2-lane cow path and the former driveway for the Blair estate). From the East End, follow North Capitol Street which becomes Blair Road. After passing the Takoma Metrorail Station, Blair Road runs into Georgia Avenue at the D.C. line, just south of the railroad underpass in downtown Silver Spring. From Blair Road, turn under the Takoma Metro station on Cedar St. NW, which becomes Carroll Avenue.

Alternately, take 13th St. NW all the way to Fort Stevens where it turns into Piney Branch Rd. Turn right on Cedar St. and go under the Metrorail Station. This is also the bike route.

By foot or bike[edit]

Sligo Creek Trail is a 10.6 mile asphalt trail that runs between Hyattsville and Wheaton, through Takoma Park.

If biking from Washington D.C., follow the 13th Street (Takoma) signed bike lane north of Downtown D.C. to Piney Branch Road and turn left on Cedar.

For information on bike sharing programs in the Washington D.C. area, see Washington D.C.#Get_around.

Get around[edit]

By foot[edit]

The old town is best explored by walking. In general, Takoma Park is extremely hilly. Some side streets go up a 50-ft incline in the space of a block.

By car[edit]

Langley Park / International Corridor and its ethnic restaurants are best explored by car. Parking is available both off-street and on-street.

By bus[edit]

Metrobus and Ride-on-Bus operate service around Takoma Park.

See[edit][add listing]

The Takoma Park Historic District, near the Metrorail Station is full of houses from the early 1900s and is nice to walk around.

  • Fort Stevens Park and Battlefield National Cemetery, [1]. Commemorates the battle between Union troops and Confederate Gen. Jubal Early, who snuck into the city in 1862 by driving straight down Georgia Ave, stopping off at the Blair Mansion inn in Silver Spring (now a dinner theater) for a bite to eat. Abraham Lincoln's hat was allegedly shot off here as he observed the action. Oliver Wendell Holmes is alleged to have said, "get down, you fool!". A burger is named Jubal Early at the Woodside Deli in Silver Spring and Rockville. The dead from the battle were buried in the tiny National Cemetery on Georgia Ave at the end of Whittier St.  edit
  • Statue of Roscoe the Rooster, [2]. A free-range rooster who lived behind the small apartments in Old Town, along with several hens said to be kept in a chicken coop. Roscoe died in 1999 and 30 people attended his funeral. Often confused with a separate rooster who lived on Flower Avenue, also run over by a hapless motorist. Roscoe woke up neighborhood residents for about 10 years.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Dance classes[edit]

  • Roda Movements, 7003 Carroll Ave (Downtown/Old Takoma Park), +1 301 920-0913, [3]. Roda Movements is the D.C. area's premiere studio dedicated to Brazilian-Latino Movements, offering classes in Capoeira, Zumba, Salsa, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Samba, Flamenco and more! Drop in, Sessioned classes & memberships available. Roda Movements also hosts RODAplayspace - and indoor playspace for children 4months- 3 1/2 years. [4]  edit
  • Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, 7117 Maple Ave (off Carroll St), +1 301 270-6700 (), [5]. Internationally renowned dance artist Liz Lerman opened this dance studio to benefit novice dancers and drummers. Regular programs and workshops.  edit

Festivals and events[edit]

  • Takoma Park Folk Festival, Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd, (), [6]. September. Possibly the area's premier folk music festival. Started by Sammie Abbott in 1977 to raise money for the community for theatrical causes. The first festival featured Pete Seeger.  edit
  • Takoma Park Street Festival, Carroll Ave (Old Town), (), [7]. October. Annual street fair, attracting a diverse crowd of bohemians and locals. Three stages with 19 bands. Fire station open house.  edit
  • Takoma Park Jazz Fest, Carroll Ave (Old Town), [8]. June. A free all-day jazz festival with 2 stages.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are many small shops in Takoma Old Town, centered around the clock tower.

Farmer's markets and specialty grocers[edit]

  • Takoma Park Farmers Market, Laurel Ave, [9]. Su: 10AM-2PM. One of the D.C. area's premier outdoor farmers markets. Organic, free-range, producer-only.  edit
  • Crossroads Farmers Market, Anne St, between University Blvd & Hammond Ave, [10]. June–November, W: 11AM-3PM. Over 20 vendors and 1,200 visitors each week.  edit
  • Takoma Park-Silver Spring Food Co-op, 201 Ethan Allen Ave, +1 301 891-2667, [11]. 8AM–10PM. Features much locally grown produce and pastries from local bakeries.  edit
  • Red Apple Farmers Market, 7645 New Hampshire Ave, +1 301 434-1810. Not a farmers market - this is a grocery store focused on African and Caribbean food.  edit

Specialty stores[edit]

  • PollySue's Vintage Shop, 6915 Laurel Ave, +1 301 270-5511, [12]. M-F: 11AM-7PM, Sa: 11AM-6PM. There are plenty of very wearable items here, but there are also a good amount of clothes that would be more fun at a party than in public! Prices are reasonable.  edit
  • Amano, 7034 Carroll Ave, +1 301 270-1140, [13]. Fabulous women's shoes and clothing!  edit
  • House of Musical Traditions, 7010 Westmoreland Ave, +1 301 270-9090, [14]. Founded in 1969, this unique store features a wide variety of exotic instruments such as acoustic guitars, djembe drums, squeezeboxes, wooden flutes, erhus, ouds, and 16-string sitars. Also hosts music classes and repairs instruments.  edit
  • S&A Beads Store, 6929 Laurel Ave, +1 301 891-2323, [15]. Beads galore! Make your own necklaces at this bead store, with thousands of different beads and clasps. Also sells ready-to-wear jewelry, purses, funky clothing, and other eclectic items.  edit
  • Takoma Bicycle, 7030 Carroll Ave, +1 301 270-0202, [16]. M-F: 10-8, Sa: 10-4, Su: 10-4. One of the best bike stores in the region; good repair service. In a house.  edit
  • Magic Carpet, 6939 Laurel Ave, +1 301 270-5623, [17]. Turkish fabrics/rugs, pillows, and imported jewelry.  edit
  • The Covered Market, 7000 Carroll Ave, +1 301 270-1219, [18]. M-Sa: 11am-7pm, Su: 10am-6pm. Turkish fabrics, pillows, and imported jewelry, plus some cool pendant lamps and hookahs.  edit
  • India Sari Palace, 1337 University Blvd E, +1 301 434-1350, [19]. 11AM-8PM. This is the place to buy traditional and unique Indian saris.  edit
  • Fair Day's Play, 7050 Carroll Ave, [20]. A unique toy store.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Beijing Delight, 8646 Flower Ave.  edit
  • Capitol City Cheesecake, 7071 Carroll Ave, +1 301 270-7260, [21]. In addition to a cheesecake of various flavors, this little coffee shop also features full breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- and sometimes has open mic night! Outdoor seating is popular in warmer months.  edit
  • Caribbean Palace, 7680 New Hampshire Ave, [22]. West Indian food.  edit
  • Eastern Carry Out, 6900 New Hampshire Ave, [23].  edit
  • Kin Da, 6923 Laurel Ave, [24]. Thai food.  edit
  • La Chiquita Restaurant, 940 East-West Hwy, [25].  edit
  • Los Pollos Restaurant, 6842 New Hampshire Ave, [26].  edit
  • Mark's Kitchen, 7006 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD, +1 301 270-1884, [27]. M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-9PM, Su 8AM-8PM. Mark's is a fixture of the downtown Takoma Park area if there ever was one. It's a little, very unpretentious Korean restaurant with a specialty in vegetarian dishes, and some solid American dishes at that—you can get your breakfast of buckwheat pancakes, or mung bean pancakes! $8-14.  edit
  • Mid Atlantic Seafood, 6500 New Hampshire Ave, http://www.midatlanticseafood.org/.  edit
  • Middle Eastern Cuisine, 7006 Carroll Ave (next door to Mark's Kitchen), +1 301 270-5154. Serves a variety of good meat and vegetarian dishes such as falafel and gyros.  edit
  • Pizza Movers, 6901 Laurel Ave, [28].  edit
  • Pupuseria El Comalito, 1167 University Blvd E, [29]. Salvadoran cuisine.  edit
  • Republic, 6939 Laurel Ave, +1 301 270-3000, [30]. Vintage-style seafood restaurant with oyster bar. Oysters: $2.50 each.  edit
  • Roscoe's Pizzeria, 7040 Carroll Ave, +1 301 920-0804, [31]. Freshly made dough and interesting toppings baked to perfection on a wood-fired stove. Full bar with some great beer and wine selections.  edit
  • Sardi's Pollo A La Brasa, 1159 University Blvd E, [32].  edit
  • Tiffin, 1341 University Blvd E, [33]. Large menu of Indian food.  edit
  • Tom's Chinese Kitchen, 6853 New Hampshire Ave, [34].  edit
  • Tony's Villa Subs & Pizza, 7682 New Hampshire Ave, [35].  edit
  • Tropicana Majahual Restaurant, 8638 Flower Ave. Peruvian food.  edit
  • Wah Lock Chinese Restaurant, 6505 New Hampshire Ave, [36].  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Due to the influence of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, Takoma Park does not have many bars. For more nightlife options, go to Silver Spring.

  • Olive Lounge & Grill, 7006 Carroll Ave, +1 301 270-5154, [37]. Four beers on tap, happy hour.  edit

Just across the border, in Washington DC, there are several bars:

  • Busboys and Poets, 235 Carroll St NW, +1 202 726-0856, [38].  edit
  • Cheerz Sports Grill, 7303 Georgia Ave NW, +1 202 791-0954, [39].  edit
  • Takoma Station Tavern, 6914 4th St NW, +1 202 829-1999, [40]. M-F 4PM-2AM, Sa 6PM-3AM, Su 6PM-2AM. W-Sa nights see nightly jazz/R&B/gogo performances (this is the best bar period to see a gogo performance), and Mondays are stand-up comedy. Music usually starts around 11PM.  edit

Learn[edit]

  • Washington Adventist University, 7600 Flower Ave, [41].  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Econo Lodge, 7411 New Hampshire Ave, +1 301 439-3003, [42]. Next to an IHOP restaurant.  edit
  • Quality Inn, 7411 New Hampshire Ave, [43].  edit

Across the border, in Washington D.C., are:

  • Hilltop Hostel (formerly India House Too), 300 Carroll St NW, +1 202 291-9591, [44]. A converted Victorian house across the street from the Takoma Metrorail station, this is an affordable way to sleep in D.C. without staying somewhere seedy or boring. Private rooms with shared facilities available. $24/bed.  edit
  • Motel 6, 6711 Georgia Ave NW (A 13-minute walk from the Takoma Metorail Station), +1 202 722-1600, [45].  edit

Contact[edit]

Most restaurants and cafes offer free WiFi.

Public libraries[edit]

Computer terminals are available for free use at the public libraries:

  • Takoma Park Library, 416 Cedar St NW, +1 202 576-7252, [46]. M, W, F-Sa: 9:30AM-5:30PM, Tu, Th: 1PM-9PM, Su: 1PM-5PM.  edit

Get out[edit]


Routes through Takoma Park
East EndBrookland  S noframe N  Silver SpringWheaton