Friday, May 30, 2008

Theater 4 Sale

While it's already been on the market for a few months, I just found out today that the Flower Theatre is no longer a church and is up for sale. Since I doubt they would open up another movie theater, and the church idea didn't seem to work, I wonder what they could do with this space I miss that theater. Sure, it was pretty dumpy by the time it closed, but I saw a lot of great movies there in my youth. Ghostbusters, for example. Perhaps AFI needs an annex. That neighborhood could use something like that, although the necessary parking isn't really available right now.

The theater was designed by John J. Zink, a competitor of John Eberson, who was the architect of the Silver Theatre. Zink was also responsible for the Uptown, which is actually smaller than the Flower was in the latter's original configuration. Since it's heyday, it's been segmented into a lot of smaller theaters, but I'm sure with work it could be restored to its original setup. That's probably just a pipe dream, and it will sadly end up being a CVS like some other area theaters.

Photo by Flickr user Zzzzt!Zzzzt!

Speaking of movies, looking for one that's a little more masculine than The-Film-That-Must-Not-Be-Named which opens this weekend? The AFI continues to not disappoint: starting today you'll be able to catch Pulp Fiction in all its large screen glory, albeit only for a single week. Instead of watching some annoying chick try on Jimmy Choos for 2 1/2 hours, you can see Marvin's brains get splattered across the back windshield of a '74 Nova. ("Chill out, man, I told you it was an accident. We probably went over a bump or something.")

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

I was hoping something interesting would happen in Silver Spring to shake us out of these news doldrums, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind.

This afternoon there was an armed robbery of a variety store on University that was followed by the carjacking of a Comcast Cable van (!) near the intersection of University Blvd. and Piney Branch Road. I know people hate the cable company, but this is insane. It sounds like a mission from Grand Theft Auto.

I've said it before - that is the worst part of Silver Spring. Whenever there is a really violent crime like this one (like, say, a machete rape), it usually occurs within a couple blocks of the intersection of Piney Branch and University. How much do we have to pay PG county to take that area? Can we at least change the name of the neighborhood so "Silver Spring" is not always in the crime headlines? It's bringing the whole town down.

That area wasn't always such a wretched hive of scum and villainy. When I was a kid there was a duckpin bowling alley, Baskin-Robbins, a movie theater and other fun stuff, but now I wouldn't venture there at night. Hell, even the Long Branch library is a gang battleground these days.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bastards Announced

The Washington City Paper website just published a list of the bastards, uh, I mean vendors, that will be at Silver Spring's first ever Crafty Bastards festival on June 28th. Here's a few samples of work by some of the participants:

I don't know if I'd ever actually buy anything, but at minimum it's something interesting to go to on the weekend. Besides, you know who doesn't have a Crafty Bastards fair? Those muppets over in Virginia.

UPDATE: I like this one - Tofo for Obama by ChrisCreatures.

(Apparently there isn't much bean curd in Kentucky.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday News 'N Notes

"Bored now."

There doesn't seem to be a lot going on around town these days. Just more rain, it would appear. Anyhoo, here's some miscellaneous stuff I had lying around:

- I am annoyed that I have to be out of town tomorrow and will miss the St. Luke's Tent Troupe Yard Sale that was so good to me last year. Maybe it will get rained out and postponed...

- Riiiiiiiiiiiicoooooolaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Flikr user punkwalrus captured this WTF photo outside the Silver Spring Metro station. For some reason, I like how the alpenhorn is (inadvertently) parallel to the drainage pipe inside the station.

- There's lots of good stuff showing at the AFI these days. Blade Runner: Final Cut -which I still haven't seen- has been extended through this Sunday. Also, they'll be showing classic United Artists movies through July. You can bet I'll be there for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (I would appreciate it, however, if one of those AFI people would come out before the show and explain how Lee Van Cleaf could play two different characters in the same trilogy.)

I'd also like it if they'd screen Lawrence of Arabia again this summer. I still haven't been able to catch that one at the AFI.

- Has anyone else noticed that the "penguin" statue at the intersection of Spring St. & Ellsworth isn't a penguin at all, rather a finch or something painted like a penguin. Who do they think they're fooling?

- Apparently J.K. Rowling will be signing copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the new Silver Spring library ten years after the book was released:

Who am I kidding? We all know the new Silver Spring library will never actually be built.

- Today's Washington Times (it's still around?) has a writeup of Mrs. K's. I hadn't realized that the restaurant was no longer referred to as "Toll House". I always like that name as a kid because it conjured up images of chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let's Home The Fillmore Experience is Smoother Than The One at Nissan Pavilion

For the sake of the people who live and work in Silver Spring, and for the people who plan to go to concerts here, I can only hope that the experience at The Fillmore is absolutely nothing like the one I had Sunday night at Nissan Pavilion, a venue run by our friends at Live Nation. First of all, it took me THREE AND A HALF hours to get there, by which time the main act’s set was nearly complete. (Thank you, Radiohead for doing two encores.)

Photo by Flickr user Smile Regardless

An hour and the half of the drive was spent after I got off 66, a road which inexplicably goes from four lanes to two immediately before the exit. When I finally reached the parking lot (note that all concertgoers are charged $7 for parking, regardless of how they get there) I had to trudge through a muddy, flooded mess. It wasn’t much better inside, as the concourse was flooded as well. When I finally left, I had to walk through three inches of cold water. Then I waited an hour and a half to get out of the lot, which amazingly is less then I have in the past. The experience was so bad for everyone, it even made the Post.

The last time I was at Nissan I had to wait over two hours to get out of the parking lot. After awhile I had to use bathroom so badly I wandered off to find a private place and ended up falling down a hill into a brier patch, where I was stuck for some time. I still have bloody clothes to prove it. I swore that was my last time there, but I made the mistake of giving it another chance. How the construction of this place got greenlit, I'll never know. Typical Virginia crap - keep building and don't support growth with any infrastructure.

I can't even begin to imagine how much it sucked for people on the lawn. The big screens weren't turned on and there was a mass of umbrellas blocking their view. However, the people with perhaps the biggest beef are the ones who never even made it after they were told to drive around in circles outside the pavilion due to flooded road. Why Live Nation didn't cancel the show when there were flood warnings, I don't know. I could live with that - it's happened to me before when I tried to go to a Radiohead show in Virginia back in '01. I would have missed the show but would have been spared six hours of driving, much of which was in dangerous conditions.

Admittedly this post is only tangentially related to Silver Spring, and Bristow, Virginia is a lot different place than our downtown, but it still concerns me that the same management will be running our new venue. Maybe I'm just bitter after missing half of a show I had really been looking forward to.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Episode of Crime Drama Takes Place in Silver Spring

Okay, I realize there are some problems with crime in Silver Spring, but has it gotten to the point where network crime shows are now set here?

Last night's episode of the CBS show Criminal Minds was set entirely partially in Silver Spring. This show joins X-Files as the only shows with episodes (to my knowledge) that take place here. (Unsurprisingly, in The X-Files it was "Silver Springs".) Of course, there was also the Beltway Sniper TV movie where Silver Spring looked suspiciously like British Columbia.

I didn't learn of this until after the fact, and since CBS is lame and doesn't stream their shows online like NBC and Fox, I will have to find an alternative means by which to view it. Did anyone see it? Apparently the FBI worked alongside the "Silver Spring Police".

Knowing that no one would choose Silver Spring as a setting unless they were from around here, I did a little digging. Not surprisingly, the writers of the show, Erica Messer and Debra Fisher are both locals and Maryland grads.

Thanks to MC for the heads up.

Sticking with the Hollywood theme today, here's some other miscellaneous stuff:

- Sylvester Stallone's childhood home in Silver Spring is up for sale. I was always curious where his house was. I also still question the veracity of the movie theater scalping story.

- Uma Thurman's recently-convicted stalker is a graduate of the Blair magnet.