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although the city paper has come under fire recently for its perhaps unjustified vitriol toward Adams Morgan, I must regretfully admit that David Morton’s treatment of College Park was dead-on. The one point Morton missed is that we students living in College Park aren’t really savages, we’re just poor misunderstood cretins.
As a senior at the University of Maryland, I have been mulling over the state of College Park a lot lately and have come to the conclusion that it is an amalgamation, for the most part, of rigidly average people reveling in the absolute shittiness of our town. We plug ourselves in to the necessary parts and desecrate the rest. After a big game, the masses will spill forth onto Route 1 to smash storefront windows and burn mattresses on the street regardless of who won or lost. The College Park police force hates us. They hate us. Perhaps not individually, as I can say I have had a less-than-hostile run-in. But the rotting air of malaise is apparent. The townies hate us. Our next-door neighbor, who papers his window panes with opaque aluminum foil, enjoys nothing more than spying on guests of ours who accidentally park in front of his house so he can open the door, unhinge his jaw, and vomit angry epithets about parking in front of his house.
Sports Illustrated has voted Maryland among the top ten “Most Unrootable” teams in college athletics, meaning people hate cheering for us. The restaurants here don’t care about us—there are fewer and fewer places to just be in this town. You can’t get a raspberry-cream-cheese Danish anywhere in College Park. The stores just want to sell you stuff, which is why Route 1 is a festering haven of fast-casual sandwich joints. And the bars. Oh, the bars. Where the writhing Hellenistic hordes drink to dash their brains out through their throats. And it confounds me—I want to think that with tens of thousands of captive consumers a place would make some kind of investment toward future growth.
In College Park’s weak defense there is a committee being set up for the development of a residential and commercial district that would be called East Campus. What worries me is that my friend has been attending the planning meetings, and he says the residences wouldn’t even be marketed to students. So I don’t really understand. I suppose it doesn’t matter because I’ll be outta here in May anyhow. Though as much as I will certainly distance myself from it as time marches on, I would like to see my alma mater prosper. In some ways my time here has been disastrous, but it’s the kind of experimental disaster that educates. I’ve plugged in to what I needed here. And, like the Green line that passes through the College Park-UMD metro stop and converges at the genteel Red line on through the District of Columbia, I too will move on from this place into higher and more respectable endeavors.
College Park, Md.