While the recent spate of snowstorms may be over, Silver Spring is still dealing with the fallout in the form of giant piles of nasty, blackened, compressed snow. The roads are for the most part clear, but the same can definitely not be said for sidewalks. A lot of sidewalks and bus stops on major streets haven't been cleaned out particularly well (if at all) leading to a lot of pedestrians standing and walking in driving lanes of major thoroughfares. This morning I had to avoid a group walking against traffic in the merge lane at the 29 Beltway exit. This already dangerous situation was exacerbated last night when the rain further restricted drivers' ability to see pedestrians walking in front of their vehicles.
Hopefully the county hasn't decided to let the warmer weather shoulder the burden of snow removal, otherwise some of these piles could be there indefinitely. As of last week, at least, they were still doing a lot of work near me, including removing snow from my neighborhood with a Bobcat at 3AM Friday morning, (Pepco was out there with chainsaws removing rouge branches at about the same time the preceding morning.) Last Saturday I was even able to persuade the operator of a county front loader to relocate the six-foot snow mountain in front of my house to a more convenient spot across the street. He was tentative at first, stating that he wasn't sure if he was supposed to do that, but fortunately he was magnanimous/rebellious enough to do it anyway. Had he not, I imagine it could have been there until June.
While the streets may be clear, drivers still need to deal with the menace of potholes, which are pretty ugly on some of the bigger streets around here right now. At night they can be nearly impossible to see and I've experienced a few unpleasant bumps. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren't going to be filled in the immediate future.
At my house, the final tally of snow damage has yet to be accounted for. Some of my gutters on the shady side of the house are still sporting those cursed ice dams. My usual gutter cleaner emailed me with an offer to clean them out for $300/hr., but I decided to pass, resulting in at least one of my gutters pulling away from the roof. Occasionally, glacier-sized chunks of Death Ice will break off from these dams, shattering things beneath them, such as window well covers (and potentially, skulls.)
- The Silver Spring Fillmore has set a target opening date of September 2011, giving nearby residents over a year to sell their homes at a huge loss and flee before the entire neighborhood goes to hell in a handbasket. Conceptual plans for the Fillmore will be shown to the community tonight at 7 p.m. at Lee Plaza prior to officially being presented to the county on March 1st. There will be a no doubt eventful public hearing on the project this summer. Yeah, maybe the Lees and/or Live Nation got a sweetheart deal, but sometimes things needs to be done to break the gridlock that goes along with doing anything in this county. Skid Row really needs a makeover after all these years of neglect. If this was Virginia, they'd already be having shows.
- I continue to make my weekly pilgrimage to Bethesda for my bagels, as Golberg's Bagels disappointingly remains unopened. Also not open yet: Joe's Record Paradise. I'm hoping that work on these stores was simply delayed by the recent snowstorms and they will both be opened in the coming weeks.
- If you're hearing strange horns blaring downtown, they are meant as warnings that blasting is about to commence at the Silver Spring Transit Center construction site:
Five minutes before a blast occurs, a 30-second air horn. Five seconds before the blast occurs, three short horn tones. And within a minute of the blast itself, a 15-second all clear horn will blow to let you know the blast is completed.- The Roger Miller Restaurant on Bonifant has recently closed after operating in that spot for many years. According to the SoCo Eats blog, it will be replaced by a Peruvian chicken place. A bit of trivia, in case you were curious: Roger Miller was a Cameroonian soccer player (or "footballer", if you will) who had the distinction of being the oldest player ever to score a goal in the World Cup. I somehow doubt he was earning royalties from the restaurant named in his honor.
- Desperate enough to wait in line for pancakes? You can do so today at the Tech Road IHOP, which will be giving away free pancakes until 10 PM this evening.