TAKOMA PARK, MD – A generational divide has grown between Baby Boomers, who still brag about having saved Takoma Park from destruction in the 1960s, and Millennials, who seem to be blamed for everything that’s changed in the city in the last ten years.
It’s no surprise that Takoma Park is evolving from its so-called “Glory Days,” when Sam Abbott rallied the city against a freeway extension, signature progressive policies like the Nuclear Free Zone were enacted, and the Takoma Historic District was created. Now, the city is increasingly home to young professionals who weren’t even alive for those achievements. And they’re bringing with them a millennial mindset, including a distaste for tie dye, an affection for Starbucks, and a desire to be out on the town later than 7pm.
“These millennials don’t appreciate all that our generation has done for this once great city,” stated retired scrapbooker Doris Miller, 72. “We fought hard for change in the 60s and 70s, and now these kids just want to waltz in here and make changes of their own. Who do they think they are?”
Donald Fallon, a resident since 1965, agrees. “There was nothing wrong with Takoma Park the way we had it. There use to be only two options for eating out. Now I’m paralyzed by having to make a decision on where we’re going for dinner.”
Whether they like it or not, change has come to this small suburb where people escaped DC to have peace and quiet. “When I first moved here, we had to jump in the car and drive into DC for fun and entertainment,” Fallon continued. “Now, these young millennials brought all that excitement here. It’s terrible!”
Nothing divides them more than the latest Takoma Junction development project, where a city-owned parking lot has been leased to a developer to construct new retail in the city. Baby boomers are mostly vehemently opposed to the development, while millenials in general are supportive.
“I dont know why this city feels the need to take a perfectly good piece of asphalt and turn it into something awful, like six shops and restaurants,” stated Maggie Trent, 68. “It’s as if Millennials don’t care about important things to us, like free parking.”
Millenials however, reject the notion that they are ruining Takoma Park. “We play an important role here by fixing the problems of the past for the next generation to come.” said Erin Dyer, 30, as she painstakingly ripped out old carpet in her historic home’s master bathroom. “I wouldn’t want my children growing up in a Takoma Park where they couldn’t have access to gourmet pour-over coffee.”