Thursday, March 19, 2009

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- I hate to be the bad guy here, but I am wondering when they will clean up the Ellsworth Drive lamppost that serves as a makeshift memorial to murdered teenager Tai Lam. It was a compassionate, spontaneous gesture, but it has been nearly five months since he was killed. Perhaps they could plant a tree nearby in his honor (in Veteran's Plaza?) with a plaque memorializing him as a more permanent replacement for the collection of notes and stuffed animals surrounded by traffic cones and police tape. I'm guessing no one wants to be the one to do it, but it can't stay there forever.

- I hadn't realized it before, but The Big Greek Cafe is brought to you by the same people who have been running the Golden Flame Restaurant on Fenton for ages. Good stuff, but for the love of God, never show me the nutritional information.

- Oh man, for some reason the racket made by the Silver Spring Metro's escalator makes the 12-year-old in me laugh and laugh and laugh, especially after it is described as sounding like an "elephant with down heat". Also from the iMetro blog: S.S. Metro employee parks his conversion van directly in front of the station entrance.

- Not that you care, but I'm now on The Twitter.

And for your reading list:

- The fight over Falkland Chase continues (Gazette)

- Planning Board Praises, Approves Silver Spring Residential Project (Washington Post)

- Youths push for nonviolence (Gazette)

- Clark sticks to the classics at The General Store (DC Examiner)


Springvale Roader said...

Sligo, believe it or not I've been thinking the same thing about that memorial. Call it harmonic convergence or just an innate shared sense that its time has past. Besides, it is looking quite raggedy and more like rubbish than a memorial.

Agreed: it is time to take it down.

Anonymous said...

Singular on Twitter? Does that mean we'll be helped to servings of what you had for breakfast? (See Howard Kurtz's article in WaPo about Terry Moran's Twitter site:

Sligo said...

I had an everything bagel from Bethesda Bagel, Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice and a cup of coffee.

Brent said...

Agree that the Lam memorial has done its job. Worried that having it remain -- in its deteriorated state -- is now less a reminder of a young life tragically cut short and more a warning to visitors that "Silver Spring is dangerous" (acknowledging that the murder happened away from Ellsworth).

Perhaps DTSS management could just quietly remove it -- and, as suggested, plant a tree or do something else more permanent.

Chaz said...

Wait, what was the Hook and Ladder Pipe and Drum party and why was I not invited?!

Sligo said...

Chaz, it was all over the Internets.

Easley Does It said...

Is it just me or is everything better with feta cheese?

Thomas Hardman said...

It's great for getting raccoons out of your chimney. ;)

Anonymous said...

OMG I can't believe that Greek place is the same folk as Golden Flame, because the former is delicious and the latter is one of the worst restaurants I've ever eaten at. Golden Flame is depressingly stuck in the early 80's and the experience is not unlike eating at a Steak-N-Ale, but without the cute fake tudor English pub look. It's just awful.

Thomas Hardman said...

Okay, since you guys know so much, who has the best gyro in DTSS?

No, really! I'm serious.

I used to get gyros at "Manny and Olga" by the police station (next to the 7-11) years ago, and it was Da Bomb. I loved their gyros.

But I was past there the other day, and got a gyro, and it was yet-another all-spanish restaurant and the gyro was, well, it was "okay for fast food". But they evidently steamed the lamb for the gyro to fluff it up. A real gyro, in my opinion, is that thick dry stuff that they carve off of some big hunk of meat that has been cooking under the heat-lamp for days or weeks. It's not a pile of lettuce with some steam-fluffed meat that feels like a sponge.

So who has DTSS's best gyro? Because actually there's a really good gyro up in Norbeck. Plus they have a lot of other Mediterranean food, like good hummus and dolmades, etc. Sure, I'm not Greek and I can't say "oh it's all so incredibly authentic" but it tastes great and WOW is it filling.

So tell me there's a reason for me to drive down to DTSS to get a gyro. Where?

20910 said...

Amen re the memorial. It's time.

marylandgangs said...

They can take the Tai Lam memorial down...and it won't make a difference. Kids are going to continue to leave notes, flowers, teddy bears.

What some people seem to be missing is the fact that it's as much a protest as it is a remembrance. It's kids protesting the fact that they aren't safe in Silver Spring.

Teens are being robbed, assaulted, and harrassed in Silver Spring (including in and around DTSS) and as far as I can tell, no one is doing a thing about it.

The kids aren't going to let anyone forget that. And they shouldn't.

Brent said...


First -- the Lam Memorial is about to be removed, with the family's permission (may already be out by now).

Fully agree with you. BUT you should contact Richard Jaeggi of the Gandhi Brigade and Frankie Blackburn of IMPACT Silver Spring, and hear their plan for dealing with the "perception" of bad behavior downtown. Rather than police and a crackdown on certain people, they plan to mobilize teens as peace ambassadors to work on each other and convince everybody to behave.

marylandgangs said...

Brent, you and I know each other. Email me if you want to talk. I have things to share.

pete said...

Anonymous, that was a cheap shot you took at the Golden Flame. Why so bitter, the place has been around since 1972. The prime rib they serve there is incredible. The crabcakes are to die for, We work at NOAA, and we go there at least 3-4 times a week. A person that likes steak and ale should not be commenting on other restaurants, especially restaurants that have been around for 36 years. JUST A THOUGHT

pete said...

By the way anonymous, get a life.

Anonymous said...

let me guess:

pete = owner of Golden Flame

Anonymous said...

I went to Borders last night in DTSS and there were lots of people buying things.

I still hate Tyrones.

Brent said...

Marylandgangs -- not sure of your ID or how to reach you. But you apparently know how to find me, and I'd LOVE to hear more, so....

pete said...


Let me guess:

You can't read.

I work at NOAA. Come visit I would Love to meet you. I have a better idea go down to the flame and talk to Nikos, and print out what you had to say about the Flame. I think you guys would get along great. Hint: he's the guy at the door with the slicked back hair. Tell him Pete sent you.
OOPS I forgot you would like to remain anonymous. BY THE WAY I STILL THINK YOU NEED TO GET A LIFE. I think the steak and ale is having a special, run baby run

Thomas Hardman said...

marylandgangs: I expect things may start to get really interesting here as Federal forces start to focus major attention on Mexican organized crime. Successful interdiction efforts -- perhaps even an effective blockade -- at the border will have a lot of the locals scrambling for resupply of contraband. And there goes the last possible source of income for a lot of folks living around here, since the construction industry dried up.

We're all living in the old Chinese curse, "may you live in times and places which will be of interest to historians".

marylandgangs said...

Brent, it's been a while since you and I talked, and I don't know how to reach you. I'm at marylandgangs at

I'd love to talk to you too.

marylandgangs said...

Thomas Hardman, I despise much of what you say and some of your innuendo, but I must admit you're quite knowledgable about gangs.

And yes, it is all about the Mexicans. And in Greenbelt, a bunch were recently arrested in a 3-state federal bust.

Thomas Hardman said...

Marylandgangs, feel free to call me out point-by-point on the innuendo, don't be shy as it is widely believed that I have no feelings to hurt. Maybe it's not innuendo as generally I prefer to come right out and say what I believe to be true. If I'm wrong, tell me I'm wrong. I'd do the same for anyone. "It's a german thing. Try to understand."

I've lived in Texas for extended periods, years at a time on some occasions. One thing that always struck me was what I kept hearing from Tejanos, sometimes called (but not usually to their face) "Texas Chicanos". A lot of them despised Mexicans, and this was also true of a lot of New Mexicans from the north of that State, where I was born.

Ask them why they despise Mexicans and often you'd get some remark akin to: "we come from a country that rewards the honest individual and promotes law and orderliness. They don't."

Some people get the idea that I don't like people because they're of ancestry from Spanish-speaking culture, or that I don't like them because they're really Indigenous. Actually, if I don't like someone it's usually because I think they personally are a big jerk, or because their national culture has negative impact on my national culture or restricts my own way of life and ability to exercise my familiar/national culture.

Needless to say, I don't care where they come from. Criminal gangs are the common enemy.

And it is always best to know your enemy.

Anonymous said...

Pete -- Why are you so angry, dude? Seriously. Someone offered a critique of a restaurant, and you respond like a madman. The internets is full of people criticizing different restaurants. But I've never seen anyone take it quite so personally as you.

Anonymous said...


Hardman, our drug enforcement policy makes the problems much worse. The cost of cocaine, meth and marijuana will increase tremendously; the high prices will make rival drug gangs battle to the death for market share. Lots of people will get killed in the United States (many innocents) because of our nonsensical drug control actions.

You have to fight the war on drugs by addressing the demand issue. Instead of putting people in prison for a possessing a tiny bag of heroin, why not put them through a rigorous treatment program? Once they are clean and drug-free, they can return to society; this would mean one less customer for the Mexican drug gangs.

Mexican drug dealers already have the US market under their control anyway. They don't have enough muscle in the USA to cause massive havoc, yet. Most of the killings are related to customers not paying their suppliers or rival drug gangs launching hits against one other.

What could be an issue of concern--the Mexican drug bosses issue orders from south of the border to assassinate law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors and journalists here in America. There's no way in hell that drug kingpins should be allowed to murder US officials on our own soil. There would be huge protests in the streets.


Thomas Hardman said...


Evidently somewhere down around Texas or Arizona, I don't remember which, some guys were gunned down on surveillance video in a convenience store parking lot in broad daylight. Evidently they had offended some Mexican gangsters because they spoke out against drug addiction in an AA meeting.

As to whether Mexican organized crime "doesn't have enough muscle in the USA yet", that all depends where you are. That is not at all true in much of Texas, California, Arizona, etc. Or Chicago for that matter. Try googling for "Mexican Mafia" or "Sur X3" or do some research on Norte~os versus Sure~os (where "~" repredents an N with a tilde). Research where the Aryan Nations originated, and why.

Aside from that, you're right if you are drawing a comparison between the War on Drugs and the Prohibition. By the time Prohibition was repealed, it hadn't stopped many people from drinking, but it had got a lot of people killed, had corrupted a lot of politicians, and made a lot of gang kingpins every very rich and very powerful.

And in the schools, if a student ever asks "so seeing that both efforts produced the same results, how exactly is the Drug War different from Prohibition?" and all the teachers ever say is "that was about alcohol. This is about drugs" as if it were somehow different.

Thomas Hardman said...

Sorryo to follow myself up, but evidently Hillary Clinton agrees with my last post, sorta.

Wow. Sanity sets in.

What next, universal compulsory Family Planning in all US public schools?

Full funding for condoms for Africa?

Is the world going uncrazy or something?

Anonymous said...

Nope, it (the "memorial") is still there. Grungy as ever.

Anonymous said...

Pete: I'm the original "anonymous" who said Golden Flame reminded me of Steak and Ale. The subsequent responses to your posting by anonymous are from someone else but I do agree with him/her. First, I didn't say I liked Steak and Ale...I said it reminded me of one--stuck in the 70's. I ate at the Golden Flame three times last year because I thought the same thing..."they've been thee 30 years so they must be good". All three times I was proven wrong...the food simply sucked. My company had a group luncheon there a few months sucked and everyone agreed. Just because a restauarant has been in business for 30 years doesn't mean that it is good, it only means it's been there 30 years. Look at General Motors, they've been in business forever but for the past 25 years they have been making bland, crappy cars and losing market share as the rest of the auto industry moves ahead of them. That's Golden Flame. I guarantee that if Golden Flame had a better location they would never produce enough revenue to pay the rent that a good location would demand. Golden Flame needs a serious makeover.