Friday, September 25, 2009

Sweep That Creek

Bust out your Wellies - this weekend is the Friends of Sligo Creek's bi-annual Sweep the Creek event.

It's unfortunate, but someone needs to clean up after the subhuman garbage that deems it acceptable to dispose of their waste by tossing it out their car window on Sligo Creek Parkway. Garbage washed down Sligo Creek ends up in the Northwest Branch, which leads to the Anacostia, etc, etc, until it ends up in the ocean where it kills cute baby dolphins or something.

Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

As I discovered on a recent river cruise, the Anacostia is little more than a liquid conveyor belt of trash. While our little watershed can't be blamed for all of that, the garbage that washes down Sligo Creek certainly contributes.

In addition to the warm feeling you get from single-handedly saving the earth, I've found that collecting trash in the park can be surprisingly fun. You can look at it as a treasure hunt or make it a competition to see who can collect the most litter. You might even find actual treasure. Last year someone discovered old farm equipment and the year before they removed an old Coca-Cola cooler. People pay good money for those things.

Unfortunately, the last time I participated, the biggest "treasure" I found was a tire I fished out of the creek, but maybe I'll have better luck this time around.

So, find the meeting place nearest to you on this map and be there Saturday (or Sunday for some sections) to lend a hand.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Takoma Park Picks up Siver Spring's Pizza Slack (For Now)

The sad fact is that downtown Silver Spring doesn't really have a standout pizzeria. When it first opened, I would have Mama Lucia's on occasion, though I quickly tired of it. Lately I've been getting Z Pizza fairly regularly, but really that's only because it delivers and it's a hell of a lot better than Domino's. When I'm really craving a great pie, I regrettably have to look outside of Silver Spring.

Some of you may recall the Alberto's Pizza debacle of last year, a false start which went as far to tease us with signage on a Georgia Avenue storefront. There is hope on the horizon for Silver Spring pizza aficionados, however. We are slated to receive a proper brick oven pizzeria in the form of Pacci's, which will be opening (soon, I hope) on Georgia Avenue near the World Building. Pacci's is a venture of Spiro Gioldasis, the general manager of Mrs. K's Toll House. Apparently Gioldasis specialized in Pizza back in the old country (Greece), so that's a good sign. And yes, I am aware of the imminent arrival of Flippin' Pizza, but I don't really think that one is going to move the needle a whole lot.

In the meantime, I decided to venture into the borderlands and try Roscoe's, a Neapolitan pizzeria on Carroll Street in Takoma Park. Neopolitan is my favorite style of pizza and while I love 2 Amys, it's too inconvenient on weekdays and too crowded on weekends. When I recently discovered that we had a Neapolitan pizzeria in our own back yard, I was delighted. Roscoe's opened way back in May, and I'm not really sure how I had never been aware of it until fairly recently. The storefront has fairly subtle signage, and I probably drove by at least a dozen times before I even noticed it was there.

The dining experience began inauspiciously, as they mixed up our appetizer order of arugula and spinach with Parmesan crostini, instead bringing us the olive tapenade one. I decided to just roll with it, and the inadvertent substitution still proved appetizing.

The pizza itself was great. I ordered the quattro formaggi pizza (pictured), and you could really taste the Gorgonzola. I tried and failed to not eat the entire pizza in a single sitting. I had read on some Yelp! reviews that their crust was unevenly cooked, but that wasn't the case with my pie. I tried my wife's Totto pizza, and that tasted great too, though I had to pick off the anchovies.

Bottom line: if you like this style of pizza and don't want to bother with 2 Amy's, I highly recommend Roscoe's. I hope that Pacci's pizzas will be just as tasty, but if not, at least an excellent alternative exists just outside the borders of Silver Spring.

(Side note: This place is totally Takoma Park. Their drink menu includes organic juice boxes.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

Is it just me, or is very little of interest going on around Silver Spring lately? I'm going to incite another big brawl on Ellsworth just to have something to write about. Well, news is generally slower in the summer, and for better or worse that particular season concludes this week.

- I realize it's last minute, but if you happen to be in Rockville this afternoon at 1:30, you may wish to attend the county council hearing regarding the appropriation of funds to keep Sligo Creek Golf Course open for an additional year. The meeting will be held in a a disused basement lavatory of the council building with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard". If you are fortunate enough not to be in Rockville, you have the option of watching the council meeting live online, should you be so inclined. In a related story, the Gazette recently had an article on the disabled veterans who make use of the Sligo course.

- Tickets are now on sale for the October 24th showing of Shaun of the Dead at the AFI. If you plan to attend the Zombie Walk, I highly recommend you purchase your tickets in advance. It may not sell out, but you never know. Also, If you have your ticket in advance you will be able to bypass the inevitable queue.

- Want to participate in the grassroots effort to promote the Zombie Walk? Print out multitudinous copies of this poster (PDF) and plaster it over bulletin boards at your work, school, apartment, coffee shop, halfway house, etc. If the poster is not omnipresent by the end of this week, I am going to hold you personally responsible.

- Silver Spring is one of the most generous small cities (sic) in the country on a per capita basis, at least according to one measure. (Not as generous as Bethesda, though.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fenton Street Market: A Good Start

I hit up the inaugural Fenton Street Market this morning, and while I didn't end up finding anything myself, it was definitely a decent start for what will hopefully become a regular event.

The parking lot that serves as the market's home was mostly filled up with tents, though a few of the spaces designated for vendors remained empty. There was certainly nowhere near the 80-odd vendors listed on the market's website, but perhaps that list included those who will be at the next scheduled market on October 3rd. I don't even know how you'd fit 80 tents in that parking lot. I was particularly disappointed in the absence of the architecture book vendor listed on the website, but perhaps they'll be there next time (though I can't make it myself.)

The word definitely got out about the market, as there was a steady flow of people (all with strollers) headed south down Fenton Street, presumably coming from the farmers market. Scheduling these two events concurrently was a wise idea. There was plenty of signage posted on telephone poles up and down the street, and discarded flyers lead me to believe that it was also being promoted in the DTSS area.

The things offered for sale included antiques, handmade jewelry, t-shirts, vintage clothing and more. Though what I saw wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, I'm sure some these things were of interest to others.

Some of the other things for sale included "vintage" bicycles...

original artwork...

miscellaneous furniture...

and handmade wooden toys.

I didn't find anything for myself today, but these things are always like a box of chocolates. Maybe next time. Hell, I'd even set up a stand myself if I could think of anything I could hock.

The Fenton Street Market has a ways to go before it rivals Eastern Market or the Georgetown Flea Market, but let's hope that these first couple events prove successful enough to keep the market running into next year. Maybe if demand is high enough from vendors, it can even spread out into some of the surrounding public lots, which probably don't get much use on Saturday mornings.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fenton Street Market Bigger and More Interesting Than Anticipated

While I was delighted that Silver Spring was finally getting its own flea market, I had been approaching this Saturday's debut of the Fenton Street Market with a bit of skepticism. Could they sign up enough vendors to make it work? Would their wares be of any interest to me?

However, through a review of a list of vendors I was pleased to discover there will be far more participants (80!) than I had expected, and that there are indeed a number whose descriptions I find intriguing.

For example:

  • Community Forklift--architectural salvage
  • Riverdale Model Train Club--demonstrating vintage model trains
  • Vintage 5--German imports and vintage ephemera
  • Melissa Avery--vintage records and Hawaiian shirts
  • Antiquariat--architecture & urban planning books
The Market will be held from 9-2 on Saturday at the corner of Fenton St. and Silver Spring Ave. As of now the forecast is for isolated thunderstorms. Let's hope that the storms hold off until after the market closes, though the website does say "rain or shine".

Friday, September 04, 2009

Zombie Walk Propaganda, Redux

As much as like our first poster, I decided to supplement it with a work of my own. I went for a more classic propaganda look...

Here's the original poster on which this was based. I decided to keep the Zeppelins. What do Zeppelins have to do with Zombies and/or Silver Spring? They are all awesome.

(I promise not every post between now and October 24th will be about the Zombie Walk.)