Friday, January 11, 2008

Silver Spring to Look a Little Less Like Detroit

It appears as if some of Silver Spring's biggest eyesores are finally in the process of being fixed up. There has been quite a bit of work going on inside the building on Colesville across from Discovery. This structure, originally a auto dealership but more recently a collection of small businesses, has been shuttered for nearly four years now after a "suspicious" fire. You can't really tell what they're doing from the outside, but I saw they had a mini bulldozer-y thing driving around inside a week or so ago.

Another eysore, the former armed forces recruiting station on Georgia Avenue that has a tree growing out of it has a "for lease" sign posted on the boarded up windows. It's only been 10+ years or so... Fixing up that block would go a long way toward improving that section of town.

Seriously, I can't believe that these buildings were allowed to remain in their present states for so long. I don't know if it's the owners' faults or some bureaucratic tie-up, but it's embarrassing that this is what people see coming into the center of Silver Spring from the two major arteries. Let's hope they finish up whatever they are planning to do ASAP and make these structures useful again.

Speaking of buildings that need a makeover, I was in Kensington this afternoon and their new Safeway is shaping up really nicely. Why are we stuck with the dumpy Safeways downtown and in Four Corners? I do have to say that the old Kensington Safeway was actually WORSE than either of those, if you can believe that.


Anonymous said...

A Safeway worse than the one in Four Corners??? What a relief to know Silver Spring can keep the crown now for disgusting, awful, slow, disorganized and dimly lit grocery stores. I only go to Snider's, Trader Joes or Whole Foods, or the Giant in Wheaton.

Clancy said...

In the building across from Discovery on Colesville, they've excavated the last section on the south end of the buidling and (possibly) poured a new concrete slab. I believe this was done to bring the shop level down to the sidewalk. Before, one had to climb a 5-6 step stair to get in on that end. Also, they've completely removed the roof on that end, presumably to replace it. I believe that is the end of the building in which the fire took place.

Anonymous said...

I shopped at the Giant in Wheaton for several years but got sick of the unbelievably rude managers and the produce guys yelling obscenities to each other as they restocked the vegetable bins.

I switched to the White Oak Giant -- sure, you have to navigate the cramped parking lot and the people trying to sell you food stamps outside the store, but it seems very well run and friendly, the people who work there are nice to you ... it's a much better experience. Plus they have beer and wine!

WashingtonGardener said...

Have you been to the Adams Morgan Safeway? Our on Thayer is heaven in comparison!

On an unrelated note, have you all seen "Man of the Year" starring Robin Williams - came out in '06. I finally cauht it on cable last night and now have the answer to a long-time question of mine.

I was standing at the bus stop on Georgia Ave facing Discovery on an empty winter's day a couple years ago when a mobile film crew with police escort kept circling the block on Wayne several times with several cars in a row.

If you watch the film, about an hour and 28 minutes in you'll see Laura Linney's car come down Georgia to Wayne to the garage and park there - next scenes she is running around the Pentagon City mall - then a brief garage shot again - then the film jumps to NoVa again. Weird use of locations - but now at least I know what was being filmed repeatedly and in such a weird way that day.

choateward said...

I also was truck by the use of the Wayne garage in "Man of the Year" and wondered why they'd go out of their way to use SS for that shot. Its basically just a shot of a car driving into a didn't have to be location-specific at all. I wondered in there was some proviso in Lewis Black's contract to have at least one location shot in Silver Spring (or Maryland), since that seems to be the only SS shot in the whole film.

Four Corners said...

Although the FC Safeway doesn't have the best selection and the produce is somewhat lackluster, I will continue to shop at my neighborhood Safeway for the following reasons:
1) It's my NEIGHBORHOOD grocery store. I love being able to WALK to the store to pick something up.
2) The management and staff at Safeway are courteous, friendly, and helpful. For working under such conditions they somehow manage to keep their spirits up.
3) It's affordable and they stick to selling real food, not yoga mats and foo foo cheeses.
Although I wouldn't mind an upgrade in the facilities, the last thing FC needs is a mega Giant to cause more traffic jams or a bougie store like Balduccis.

Springvale Roader said...

What about the store next to the Hilton on Colesville & Fenton, the one that used to sell medical supplies and had a big picture of a kid blowing into a tube, and then which later became a storefront for a new health club? That's prime real estate, too.

As for Supermarkets, having been to the local Giants and Ssfeways and Snyders and Trader Joe's, I'm happy to do almost all my shopping at Whole Foods. It's more expensive for sure, but a much better store all around. Still, I wish they (and other supermarkets) were allowed to sell booze. MoCo is far too restrictive that way.

Thayer Avenue said...

Amen to the booze. What's a guy gotta do to to buy food and beer in one trip (other than go to Snyders)? It's a total racket. Maybe we should start referring to Montgomery County Liquor Control as MoCoAlcoNoGo.

Anonymous said...

Hey that was really funny.

BMSTT said...

I've started shopping at the Safeway at Piney Branch and Georgia. Great selection, recently renovated store, and helpful staff.

PLUS, they now sell wine and beer!!