Silver Spring (a Washington, D.C. suburb) is an unofficial city with an unofficial mascot.

In the late 80s the Silver Spring Metro station was decorated with the supposed to be temporary, 100 foot mural, "Penguin Rush Hour". It depicts hundreds of penguins rushing about a metro station, reading newspapers featuring penguins, sitting on the train, etc..

The metro authorities eventually purchased the mural and have never removed it. It is a bit worse for the wear of the last 12 years but considering it was painted on plywood still looks pretty good.

Over the intervening years more and more penguins have shown up in Silver Spring locations. There is the inflated penguin in the library and the pedestrian crossing sign penguin. There are the stuffed penguins in store windows and the wooden penguin yard decoration. There is even a penguin wearing shorts featured on the outdoor exercise trail signs.

for some cute pictures, go to: