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From the editor: This issue is all about you

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Posted on: January 12, 2023

by Mark Goodson

My wife and I have lived all over the DMV: Arlington, Columbia Heights, Takoma Park. We moved to Hyattsville to start a family, and around the time we were expecting our third child, we started our search for a permanent home in the area.

Given that I lived so close to Berwyn for so long, you’d think I would have known the neighborhood that’s nestled just two miles north from my home in Hyattsville. And if you knew more about my  life, you’d expect me to know Berwyn because I spent so much time on the University of Maryland campus and in town, taking advantage of College Park’s amenities. 

But if you’d asked me, back when I still lived in Hyattsville, if I knew Berwyn, I would have said, “Sure, I know Berwyn Heights.” With that, I would have been on board with a running joke in the neighborhood. Even the most famous Berwyner, baseball player Billy Werber, is listed in Wikipedia as hailing from Berwyn Heights. 

But really, I didn’t know that this neighborhood I now call home even existed. 

We only discovered Berwyn because my son began taking karate classes at Kim Studio. In 2018, we bought our house a block west of that studio; we live in a 1903 Victorian which was home to renowned professor Arthur Gahan’s family for 100 years.

We love living here. Things are low key and very community-oriented. Our kids bike to the park. We hand-deliver our Christmas cards and exchange cookies with neighbors over the holidays. The best communities, I’ve found, are sometimes those that are hardest to discover.

I chanced on the opportunity to launch the Here & Now just 18 months after moving to Berwyn. I agreed to take on the challenge because Berwyn was such a great place to live, filled with so many great stories, and I wagered that the rest of College Park would have its own hidden gems, too. 

I was right. 

As it turns out, the city we live in — a city with twice as many civic organizations as municipal districts — is, indeed, teeming with a thriving and diverse culture all of its own. Reporting about the city for two and a half years has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my almost 40 years on the planet. 

This paper has a lot to boast about. My partner in this endeavor, Nancy Welch, and I have received national recognition for our work. Streetcar Suburbs Publishing partnered with NewsMatch again this year to raise funds for our operating budget; the organization matches donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000. Thanks to you, our readers, Streetcar will receive every penny of NewsMatch’s $10,000 promise. Three College Park residents — Maxine Gross, Stephanie Stullich and Nora Eidelman — now sit on our publisher’s board, ensuring that the city’s stake in this paper is sturdy and strong. 

But what I want to make most clear is that for all the hard work we do to bring the Here & Now to you, our success belongs not to me or Nancy, or even to Streetcar. Our success is all about you; you make College Park a newsworthy city. And for all we’ve been able to crow about since we launched, I am proudest of the issue you are holding in your hands. This issue is filled entirely with your stories — a first for us. Yes: This is an issue for the people, about the people, and entirely by the people.  Nancy and I are so grateful to be part of your community! 



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