A “Post-Hippie” Takoma Park?

By Victor Zapana | The Washington Post

It’s taken four decades, but Takoma Park may have finally started to leave the ’60s.

After years of flagging interest, the city recently killed its Free Burma Committee. Last month, it made a rare exception to its “nuclear-free zone” ordinance. The city’s corn silo still stands, and Takoma Park still refuses to buy bottled water, but the community tool library is gone, and many of the activists who once defined what has long been called the People’s Republic of Takoma Park are getting older.

In many ways, it is no longer the Takoma Park of decades past, when free spirits flocked to the city, opened head shops and stood in front of bulldozers to prevent encroaching development. There’s a growing sense that its countercultural verve is changing into something else — something still progressive but less showy and ideological.

“Takoma is getting older, or at least the activists are getting older and not as engaged,” said Eric Hensal, who moved to the city in 2003 and who is running for a seat on the City Council. “It’s almost like Takoma really is at the post-hippie phase.”

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