Friday, September 05, 2008

Welcome Harris Teeter!

Despite the best efforts of some to preserve the "historic" apartments located in the northern section of Falkland Chase, the county planning board has OK'd the planned construction of new housing and retail in that space. The majority of the Falkland Chase complex will remain as-is and retain its historical designation, which I think is a perfectly reasonable outcome.

The best part of this, of course, is that new development will include a Harris Teeter supermarket. No more dumpy Giants or Safeways for me.

Now the plan goes to the county council for a vote on final approval before it can move ahead. Unlike certain other developers, I imagine that Home Properties is anxious to get started after finally getting over the thousand hurdles that the Montgomery County government and "The Community" always throw up in front of any potential growth.


- While many Steve & Barry's around the country are closing, the City Place store will remain open. For now.

- Wow, Georgetown University really hearts Silver Spring. A week after the Georgetown Voice named Silver Spring one of "D.C.'s Best Hoods", The Hoya lauds the AFI Silver Theatre. The best part is that the author (presumably an out-of-town student) describes Silver Spring as "an affluent suburb". Can't say I've heard that adjective used before when referring to Silver Spring.

- The final plans for the Inaugural Silver Spring Zombie Walk are still in the works, but expect an announcement soon. In the meantime, I encourage you to join the Facebook group if you haven't already.

UPDATE @ 4:55:

So Matthew Lesko is presently outside the New York & Co. on The Promenade unloading giant bags of ice. WTF?? Are these free bags of government ice?

Also, the Halloween costume shop that displaced the short-lived Pyramid Atlantic store on Ellsworth opens tomorrow. That would be a convenient spot for zombie costume shopping, should you be inclined to purchase something of that nature.


Anonymous said...


Tentatively, that is. Because the economy is tight and lots of things ARE being slowed or shelved. And because it's getting harder to work up enthusiasm for redevelopment. Arlington has gone from outhouse to penthouse in the time it's taken SS to get a couple of blocks grudgingly redone. Nothing seems to be happening across much of the downtown, and even Ellsworth is getting overrun by punks and n'er-do-wells during the prime evening hours.

But let's hope this is truly a sign of better things.

Anonymous said...

I hope Harris Teeter kicks Giant and Safeway into reality finally. To say the Safeway at 4 Corners (The Safeway That Time Forgot)is a joke would be an understatement. The only thing you can buy there is freezer burned ice cream and frozen pizza.

Thayer Avenue said...

Teet! Teet! Teet! w00t!

Skywalker said...

I actually think the Giant has improved recently... but look forward to having another option.

Anonymous said...

First, great news about the ruling, I just hope the council doesn't mess it up.

Second, I just want to throw something out there that always catches my eye reading about downtown Silver Spring in the news: referring to it as a suburb. I'm orginially from the NYC area, 25 miles outside of Manhattan, definitely in a suburb. However places such as Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken, the borough of Brooklyn, Bronx etc are not referred to as "suburbs" though they technically are. Is Silver Spring really a suburb if my apartment is 3 blocks from the border? Now Gaithersburg, Frederick, Bowie, Rockville sure , they're suburbs. Maybe I have a different view of what an actual suburb is. Anyway, I just always wondered what others thought.

Sligo said...

Maybe Silver Spring is a suburb with suburbs.

Thomas Hardman said...

Anonymous @ 2:01:

Gaithersburg, Frederick, Bowie, and Rockville are no longer suburbs. They are "Edge Cities", although Frederick was a city in its own right, with a library system, police force, hospital, and city government with tax authority. Bowie might fall into the same category, not familiar enough with it to say for sure.

Aspen Hill, definitely a suburb. Olney? Edge City, or close to it.

Probably this is all semantics and variant definitions. All of the places mentioned on Anonymous@2:01's original posting may or may not be 'suburbs', however they are definitely properly placed "in Suburbia", or perhaps more appropriately, "in the Sprawl".

Possibly the best definition of whether or not a place is a suburb or an Edge City depends on the answer to the question "can you say of it, that there's no there there. Most of "Silver Spring" outside of DTSS is a place where you can definitely say "there's no there, there".

Sarah said...

i grew up in white oak and it would never occur to me to NOT refer to ss as a suburb. an 'urban' suburb, sure, but a suburb nonetheless. i also don't think it's crazy to refer to ss as 'affluent.' i mean there are definitely lower and middle class parts, but the further up new hampshire you go, the bigger the houses see more neighborhood with 'estates' in the's obviously an upper class area, but that's what's great about ss, is that it's quite economically diverse. so yeah, using affluent as a blanket term might be overstating it a little.

jerry'sdaughter said...

Whoa, wait a minute! What happened to the Pyramid Atlantic Store?

Anonymous said...

A propos of absolutely nothing....

Is it my imagination, or has the number of dysfunctional ghetto trash roaming through DTSS declined noticeably since the turf got bulldozed? In the past couple of weeks I've come back from the Metro at all hours of the weekend - midnight, 2am on Saturday - and found it much more comfortable to walk back home. I don't know if that's just the result of random data sampling, or if anyone else has noticed an improvement.


Anonymous said...

Pyramid Atlantic is moving their shop to a storefront on Wayne Ave, according to their website anyway.

Anonymous said...

The decrease in the dysfunctional, misbehaving kids may just be due to the start of the school year and the end of summer. It always gets a little quieter and more pleasant around this time.

Tina & Drew said...

The Pyramid Art store is replacing the moto photo I think... Across from Whole Foods?

Anonymous said...

Edge city? That's gotta be some new term for people who are embarassed to actually live in a suburb and need to make themselves feel better by calling it an "Edge City".

Anonymous said...

The term Edge City has been around at least since the mid-80's and has been commonly used by urban planners & architects since.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:27 on 9/05 said: Nothing seems to be happening across much of the downtown...

Nothing going on? There is a ton of development going on. Have you missed the construction and/or cranes for:
*1200 Blair Mill Road
*1200 East-West Highway
*Cameron House Apartments
*United Therapeutics
*1050 Ripley Street
*SS Civic Building & Plaza
*Montgomery College Arts Center
*Veridian Apartments
*The Portico
*Building on Colesville across from Discovery
*Coming very soon: Silver Spring Transit Center (massive)

Anonymous said...

Ooops, and I forgot the Homewood Suites hotel across from the Hilton.

Thomas Hardman said...

> Anonymous of September 06, 2008 11:45:00 PM said:

> Is it my imagination, or has the number of dysfunctional ghetto trash roaming through DTSS
> declined noticeably since the turf got bulldozed?"

Wow, it's funny that I just wrote a massive missive on my own blog blog and then come here to see the thrust of my argument vindicated.

I draw a parallel, between in infamous mouse overpopulation experiments of John B Calhoun, and the Turf as a gathering place for the socially dysfunctional.

Thus, Emo Kids on Ellsworth are a symptom of society spiraling around the drain.

Stop by my blog and leave me nasty remarks or whatever as you feel necessary.

I might add that I felt it necessary to be long-winded, to link to supporting documentation on the web, and to title the article "Densification and Walkability: Inherently Hostile to Sanity?".

Anonymous said...

Wow, hardman. That's some kind of crazy...

And do you even know what emo *is*? Because last I checked the problems in DTSS had nothing to do with ambiguously gay white teenage boys acting all pensive and moody.

Thomas Hardman said...

> An Anonymous Coward (anonymous@September 08, 2008 9:09:00 PM) wrote:
> Wow, hardman. That's some kind of crazy...
> And do you even know what emo *is*? Because last I checked the problems in DTSS
> had nothing to do with ambiguously gay white teenage boys acting all pensive and moody.

Anonymous coward, you're some kind of illiterate. But this doesn't surprise me as you are too much of a blatant coward to let your real name be assigned to such a revolting display of public stupidity and reading incomprehension.

"Emo" is what we Elder Goths used to call "spooky kids", people who were buying their style at "Hot Topic" and had no clue about the subculture that grew out of the harDCcore punk scene bands such as Fugazi or Minor Threat, but which took a direction more into introspection and the arts rather than into nihilism, anarchy, and being indistinguishable from skinheads or S.H.A.R.P.s.

Do you know what "emo" is?

Are you the same Anonymous coward who popped in to troll with a blatantly racist statement about "ghetto trash"? Isn't your attempt to make this a racist debate why you mentioned "ghetto trash" in one posting and then made it clear in your response to me that you can't consider white teenage misfits to be "ghetto trash"?

My point is that if you don't leave an attractive nuisance to attract nuisances who are nuisances mostly because their society is failing all around them and the symptom of the failure is the nuisance population themselves, then you won't see the nuisance population populating the attractive nuisance.

but since English isn't a language at which you are even slightly adept, and as logic isn't a field with which you're acquainted (much less adept) I don't expect you to comprehend nuance. And as you are as incomprehending as you are incomprehensible, I don't expect you'll understand this message, which is both a rebuttal to your trash trolling for racist reactions, and a condemnation of whatever school system let you get out of middle school being as incompetent as you are.

And yes, I realize I am wasting a truly talent-riddled deprecation of your cowardice and useless anonymity. You can't read this at a level that has the impact that should knock you right off of the InterNet. Frankly, you're wasting my time, like it would be a waste of my time trying to explain physics to a dog. You're just too stupid to educate.

Go away, Stupid Boy. *yawn* Hint: You are dismissed.

Springvale Roader said...

"Emo" is what we Elder Goths used to call "spooky kids", people who were buying their style at "Hot Topic" and had no clue about the subculture that grew out of the harDCcore punk scene bands such as Fugazi or Minor Threat, but which took a direction more into introspection and the arts rather than into nihilism, anarchy, and being indistinguishable from skinheads or S.H.A.R.P.s.?"

C'mon Thomas, cut the kids a break. Do you really want to play "I was a punk before you were a punk?" Every generation of hipsters thinks that the new generation of hipsters are just clueless posers; the new generation views the older generation as stubborn old farts who need to blow away.

Emo kids are mostly harmless, and if they have negative qualities, rarely do those include the kind of aggressive and anti-social behavior that has plagued DTSS.

Anyway, we shall see in the coming months whether the big bad turf was the cause or effect of our troubles. Brings to mind the hoary cliche, "You dang kids get off my lawn!. Hmmm, maybe old man Wilson had a point...

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that the emo kids are the least of our problems when it comes to teenagers in DTSS. Despite appearances, they are mostly from stable middle-class homes and were at least taught the basics of social decorum. The kids who come from the more disadvantaged areas of D.C. do not have that luxury, and tend to act out in more antisocial ways (from my observations).

Thomas Hardman said...

Springvale Roader said...

more-or-less, that I should chill out with the "my cred is older than your cred". And whoever it was that suggested that the Emo kids were allright -- whether or not compared to anyone else -- is entitled to their opinion, especially since I agree with it. It's just that after years of UseNet, few things give me easier cheap thrills than trashing a lame troll in blogspace.

But I suppose everyone is missing my point: Look at Calhoun's mouse population studies and then look for the similarities between his mad mice pooling in the open spaces, and the way that you see the mad people doing the same thing.

Calhoun's studies had two classes of mice, once it got into the final stages of overpopulation. One group was effectively withdrawn, basically Mopeys, whether they call themselves Goths or are called Emos. The other group seemed normal enough until you noticed that for any (or for no particular) reason they occasionally launched into excessive aggression, the mouse equivalent of "wilding" or riotous melee.

Of course, in Calhoun's studies, before the population crisis became severe, mice still hung out in the open areas, as part of mouse society's functional efforts to secure territory, status, and mates. The indicator isn't the hanging out, the indicator is the increasing division into Mopeys and Violents, with almost all of the other mice moving their business elsewhere.

Okay, "people aren't mice". We can change the environment, installing Turf or removing it, bringing in new retailers to replace the ones that fail. But the fact that people seem to be willing to take mass transit to some urbanized zone to either Mope or be Violent, that's got to be symptomatic of something other than "if you build it they will come", dontcha think?

And yes, coming months will give more evidence to the debate over whether or not it's the Turf that drew in some annoyance populations, or if they were destined to come simply because it's a public space where other people were.

I hope it doesn't go the same way as the debate in some cities, where they came to the conclusion that open spaces were always inherently gathering spots from thugs and rascals as well as bums and winos. That side of the debate were the people who took "crime prevention through environmental design" to the ultimate extreme of making every building front come as close as possible to the street, and either doing away with landscaping features or festooning all potential seating features with painful pokey surfaces to prevent loitering. These were the people who decided that streets were for exactly one thing and that was going from one place to another. It turns out that you get a tiny bit less crime that way... but you get even less crime by turning the streets into something that attracts a constant crowd of law-abiding citizens hanging out and socializing in between their travels or window-shopping.

Whichever way the debate will go, only time will tell, I guess.

Springvale Roader said...

The grad school I went to in Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo, was designed by then-Governor Rockefeller to be riot-proof. The result was little in any open space to gather in, which made the campus feel like a prison. Nobody stayed there longer than necessary for classes. (The only selling point was the state tuition, which is why I sacrificed three years of my life there).

Accordingly, it is my hope that DTSS maximize and beautify its public spaces. Amok gangbangers and dreary emos can be handled by police and assertive citizens. I've said it before and I'll say it again: DTSS should build the equivalent of a European public square, with statutes and fountains and trees AND BENCHES. If the poor and homeless take advantage of this free beauty, then good for them.

Thayer Ave., too said...

Wow-- this is getting quite testy. I think there's frequently some disconnect in the way the term "emo" is used.

According to my very thorough research, "emo" originally was a mid-80's offshoot of hardcore punk that probably began right here in the DC area. (Hence, I gather, Thomas Hardman's rather vehement diatribe on the subject.) As the term was originally used, it seems to refer to a less violent, less "macho," more emotionally thoughtful alternative to hardcore punk music. I guess the fashion became kind of "goth lite," and the music gradually evolved as well. I never knew this about the DC punk scene-- pretty cool to have yet another genre of music that evolved here first.

However, it seems that the term is now generally used to describe pop-punk or indie-pop music (and the associated fashion and lifestyle) created by skinny, emotionally overwrought middle-class white kids. Here's what Entertainment Weekly says about emo in a recent review of Panic! At the Disco's album:
"Boys in emo bands have it pretty good these days, don't they? The chords are easy, the girls adoring, and the Facebook friends bountiful. Plus, for all the specificity of their tribal markings — the guyliner, the geometric swoops of hair, the exquisitely tight jeans — today's scene makers cut an increasingly large swath demographically: Last year alone, Fall Out Boy dabbled in hip-hop by nabbing a Jay-Z cameo (''Thriller''); Gym Class Heroes repurposed a decades-old Supertramp hook for a top 10 pop hit (''Cupid's Chokehold''); and the Plain White T's pleased tweens and moms alike with a sweet acoustic ballad (''Hey There Delilah'')."

That ain't Fugazi, kids. So, I'm beginning to see why some people are puzzled-- and occasionally angered, I see-- by some of the "emo" comments on the SS blogs.

Either way, though, I think the general consensus is that these "emo"/"goth"/whatever kids congregating on Ellsworth aren't the ones responsible for mugging unsuspecting pedestrians in parking lots (or the bathroom of the Baja Fresh). Personally, I think they're kinda cute and cuddly.

Yeesh-- no need for the angry diatribes, people-- it's all just semantics. And I don't know about you folks, but I learned a little something today.

Thomas Hardman said...

Most awesome analysis of the scenesters in black, Thayer Ave.

Basically, the difference between Morissey and The Smiths and other bands that sing about their Girlfriends in A Coma is that Morissey only made a career out of singing mopey ballads about almost anything tearjerking, but a lot of the modern bands seem to be a lot less ballad style and way more pop. For example, according to Wikipedia, it was Weezer that brought "emocore" into the mainstream (more or less) as "emo". The record companies snapped up the term because it sold.

But why the hostility or disdain for people displaying the fashion? I think that for some reason the greater DC metro area and particularly the urbanied 'burbs are incredibly image conscious, which to me is bizarre since generally speaking the town has no fashion sense outside of instantly seizing on the cost of a plain grey suit for men or plain "professional" office outfit for the ladies. I once had a job that required me to hang out on "K" Street NW and my observation was that you could be the biggest jerk in town and wear a passable suit and people would at least pretend to respect you. And you could be freakin' Albert Schweitzer passing out hundred dollar bills to homeless terminal AIDS victims, and if you weren't wearing a suit people would call you a worthless bum and defame your character. Thus, the Emos aren't bad, it's just that they represent corrosion of conformity (now in his 3rd of 4th generation, locally) and the conformists just hate it.

Other people get annoyed because all of these non-conformists seem to all dress the same... ;)

Easily amused people should put this on an iPod and then take an amp down to Ellsworth and blast it at the hangers on and as them if it's not sad enough for them.

Or, heck, just read this and you'll understand why I must mock them, it's my artform.

Springvale Roader said...

Thomas, the kids are alright. Leave 'em alone.

You're a fucking Repuglican???!!!

Thomas Hardman said...

Springvale roader,

I am not disrespecting the kids, and you might want to check the date on that posting I quoted. As for the kids, I might be 50, but the way I keep myself healthy is to stay young at heart and to not take myself -- or anyone else -- too darned seriously unless there's a really good reason. If you can't deal with parody you might want to check the battery on your irony detector. But I'm really serious about the whole thing with society swirling around the drain, like it's been doing since Arestosthenes first declared that the world was headed for Hades in a handcart back in the day when Athens was young.

The kids may be allright now, but will their kids, and their society, be allright in 2060 when an estimated 80-percent of the population of an estimated 500-millions live in the cities of the year 2060?

Or will they be doing the full-fledged human version of John B Calhoun's mouse and rat studies?

And is that something we ought to prevent, do ya think.

Thomas Hardman said...

Oh, and yes, I was the candidate most unpopular with the Councilmanic District 4 Republicans in the recent Special Election party primary. So, they don't seem to think I'm much of a Republican, perhaps you shouldn't think so either. But I'm not about to align myself with the present powers-that-be in MoCo Democrat politics. SO I recently changed my voter registration to "unaffiliated".

Imagine a Radical Center party that's pretty close to being a Green without the naivety, a Republican without denying the rights of women to control their reproductive destiny, or a Democrat who wants to tax everyone into a nanny-state that clamps a pair of velvet pliers onto every part of your life.

Imagine someone who used to catch Trout in Maryland streams and eat those trout because they're damned tasty, and who understands why you can't fish for trout in MoCo and then fry and eat 'em.

Imagine someone who thinks that hunting has nothing whatsoever to do with the Second Amendment, nor thinks that the 2nd has anything to do with hunting.

Imagine someone who thinks we as a nation need to support the veteran, the disabled, the downtrodden, and the honest refugee and who also thinks failure to defend our borders and interior against foreign interlopers is a slap in the face of every last veteran and a kick in the crotch to our working-poor. Imagine someone who thinks it's better to provide job training in useful fields and help people find jobs, rather than piling them up in Welfare Enclaves for generations of hopelessness and self-destruction.

Imagine all of that and you have a slight clue about one-tenth of one percent of me.

Calling me a "Repugnican" as if that actually meant anything to do with me is Simple. Short of Imagination. Try to imagine something Different. Try to imagine Real Change. Try to imagine someone who is probably going to vote for Ralph Nader.

And the first person to call me an inbred yokel fundie southern baptist gets a free invitation to my next monthly session of blatant moonlit tree worshipping.

Free your mind and your @$$ will follow.

It might even follow me.

Anonymous said...

Sligo, your blog is getting hijacked here. Do.. something, please?

Sligo said...

Yeah, I'm not really sure how this became a post about Emo...

chaz said...


Thomas Hardman said...

I came seeking braaaaaaiiiiiinnnassss.

Still hungry.

tldr: EMS.

Drop by my blog and make off-topic comments as a perfectly reasonable and sensible form of revenge.

Tanisha Brown said...

not only is the economy tight - businesses are not exactly treated well in this county or state.
Treat them like you do the Fillmore and you will keep shopping at a miserable safeway and giant.

Anonymous said...


adelphi_sky said...

Is there a difference between the Harris Teeters in the south and the Harris Teeters being built up here? My wife is from NC where they have a lot of Harris Teeters and she doesn't see the reason for excitement. She says they didn't really impress her down south. Do they have a new model like Safeway's new "Lifestyle" prototype store?

Nikki said...

The remodel at the Blair Park Giant is all finished and the store looks great and everything,(Starbucks is nice, place is clean and better organized)but the banner inside the store says something like "Welcome Silver Springs!" Ugh.

Anonymous said...

adelphi_sky said...
Is there a difference between the Harris Teeters in the south and the Harris Teeters being built up here? My wife is from NC where they have a lot of Harris Teeters and she doesn't see the reason for excitement. She says they didn't really impress her down south. Do they have a new model like Safeway's new "Lifestyle" prototype store?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:30:00 AM

RE: Um, have you ever been to the Harris Teeters in Arlington and Fairfax County???????????

Anonymous said...

We went to the new Harris Teeter by the White Flint Metro this weekend; if that's a preview of what's headed for Silver Spring, get me a jackhammer and I'll start working on Falkland Chase TODAY. That place outshines every single store in SS by a mile . . .

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