Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday News 'N Notes

While travel and a general dearth of time has limited my posting frequency of late, I did want to provide a quick roundup of Silver Spring news for this past week or so. Apologies for all the recycled stuff - I will try and generate some actual original content in the upcoming weeks.

- The final (?) designs for the Silver Spring library have been released. Note the lack of a bridge over Wayne Avenue - for now.

It looks as if someone took the original design and stepped on it:

You can view a detailed presentation of the new design here (PDF).

- After the requisite Montgomery County bureaucratic delays, Silver Spring's ice rink finally has an operator, and will hopefully open before Christmas, a month late. has more information on the rink. The ice would certainly be in no danger of melting this week.

- The County has finally released more details on the Discovery hostage situation back in August. I had always desired more information on what actually transpired, but the news cycle is so short these days the story disappeared after a day or two. It turns out Lee's explosive device, constructed from propane and oxygen, may have indeed been lethal (unlike his starter pistol). It's hard to empathize with a hostage taker, but the fact that he had his impending death scheduled in his Outlook calendar is pretty sad.

- Apparently there's a beaver operating along Sligo Creek. New Silver Spring mascot? (Though my vote is for albino squirrels. Anything but penguins.)

- The Post's Tom Sietsema has posted a fresh review of Jackie's Restaurant today.

- Should you be tipping at Nando's? Apparently yes. (I had wondered what the protocol was.)

- Someone jacked The Shack on Georgia Ave. for a PS3 Monday evening, delivering a couple left jabs to the face of the clerk in the process. I suppose that's one way to do your Christmas shopping. The good news is that the store's surveillance camera provided clear pictures of the perp, so hopefully it's just a matter of time before he's apprehended.

- Nicaro (or "Newcaro") has reportedly closed. Admittedly, I never tried this second incarnation. This development doesn't surprise me too much - the establishment didn't have much that distinguished it among Silver Spring's dining options.

- Babe's Sports Bar, originally scheduled to open prior to Thanksgiving, has a new target of the week before Christmas. Provided it is operating by the end of the year, would any non-Penguins fans be up for a Winter Classic viewing party there on New Year's Day? Perhaps we can arrange some specials.

- Random Silver Spring Factoid of the Day : Silver Spring used to have a jazz club called the Byrd's Nest, named after guitarist Charlie Byrd, who frequently performed there. It was located in the Villa Rosa Restaurant, which stood in the spot now occupied by the Ellsworth Dr. garage.


Springvale Roader said...

I don't like the new design at all. While I would have preferred a classsical look for the library --the New York Public Library is a great example -- at least the old design conveyed a sense of soaring and transcendence.

But the new design? You're right, Sligo. It looks squashed and somewhat defeated, which maybe is fitting, given the financial and social decline of the nation.

Anonymous said...


The County's budget is bleeding red and they have to scale down design ambitions for the new library. I think cutting the bridge was a budget decision in the end.


Anonymous said...

Don't hate on penguins!

Sligo said...

The "penguin" in photo #4 isn't even a penguin.

Anonymous said...

Looks pretty much the same to me. Quit yapping and start diggin.

Anonymous said...

Me and 5 or 6 hockey friends would definitely be interested in trying out Babe's for the winter classsic! Awesome idea.

Anonymous said...

No pens fans? Afraid you won't be able to handle the smack talk when you lose?

Anonymous said...

Library construction won't start in ernest for another 8 months or so after they finish utility relocation. Then 2 years until opening. Nicaro definitely has been closed for nearly a month. New news: rumor has it Folger-Pratt will start construction soon on the condo (apartment?) project directly behind the new civic building....there appears to be all the parts of a crane on site). Anyone know about it?

WashingtonGardener said...

Babe's sports bar has new signage up as of yesterday. They look very close to opening.

The library building budget was set aside over a decade ago in the capital planning portion - that is separate from the annual operating budget. If anything, with compound interest on those capital $s and recent falling constuction costs, we should be getting MORE bang for our buck not less. The delays and scale backs in the SS library are criminal and cruel. We deserve the community amenity we were promised.

BTW, Anyone know WHY Ben Cardin thinks moving a youth detention facility to practically in our backyards (at Walter Reed) is a good idea? Is that really the best use of that land and resources?

Anonymous said...

"BTW, Anyone know WHY Ben Cardin thinks moving a youth detention facility to practically in our backyards (at Walter Reed) is a good idea? Is that really the best use of that land and resources?"

Because his constituents are tired of DC thug youth running around Laurel and he rightly believes that they should be kept in the District as they are a District problem.

It will never happen, but its the start in a barganing chip war over security at the New Beginings facility/joke

Thayer-D said...

Love the new design (not really) but the original design made my eyes bleed so thankful for small miracles. I too would have loved something more classical (civic) but that would be wishing for large miracles. Even the floor plans look to be more rational. Can't wait to bring the shorties for their short stories!

Gary said...

I think that the beaver is in Takoma Park - on the creek south of Piney Branch. That's where I've seen quite a few chewed trees. I think I remember seeing some damage around Forest Glen once too, but that was a while ago.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there does seem to be some activity go on in the lot behind the civic center - seems that money has been freed up and development can begin anew.
The new library design is sad (as was the old library design). I was hoping for something more like the library of congress Jefferson building but smaller (i.e. beaux-arts style).
Seems like the Silver Spring ice-rink is on target to open in late March/early April 2011.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

"BTW, Anyone know WHY Ben Cardin thinks moving a youth detention facility to practically in our backyards (at Walter Reed) is a good idea? Is that really the best use of that land and resources?"

He put that in the bill to make a point, knowing it wouldn't make it to the final version. The facility in Anne Arundel County is over capacity and has been for a long time. There is also a history of violence there. The local community is not happy with DC's progress at addressing those problems. Basically, Cardin was asking the DC government how they'd like such a facility right in the middle of one of their neighborhoods, particularly a pricey neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Both library designs stink, only the 'current' one stinks more. It has been stripped of the little grace tthe he original one had. Looks like something a 3 year old would make out of Lego.

Thats it!

"The Leggett Lego Memorial Library"

Anonymous said...

I think the library design is good and think haters will be surprised once it's finished - just like the plaza building. Now all we need is the damn purple line to start rockin and rollin!

Anonymous said...

I think 'haters' will be surprised IF IT IS finished.

It is true that I'll just be happy to have something in that space, BUT residents of SS have had to battle mediocrity, and worse, every step of the way. At one point Rockville thought building a mall, just like the one they were in the process of tearing down in Rockville was what we deserved.

And don't presume that the plaza building is something I like, or is above average.

Anonymous said...

Can't we get back to talking about Shitty Place Mall.

Anonymous said...

You'll be "surprised IF IT IS finished"??? How are you so paranoid that Rockville is out to get you? I'm looking out my window right now at the work going on at the site, so feel free to start taking your meds.

You'd "be happy to have something in that space," but the design is sooooooo bad that you're still going to complain about it? Not at one of the 204845 design meetings on it, but out to cyberspace after the design is finally final? Nice.

Anonymous said...

Wake up and smell the coffee - and I'm not talking about that nice aroma coming from Kefa's.

Paranoid? Hardly. Just realistic. Do you know how many decades the redevelopment of DTSS has sputtered along and how many half baked proposals have been made in that time? As one recent minor example, thre is the skating rink. Which is STILL not open. It was a central selling point for the plaza and they tried to pull it out from under us until the community stood up and said no.

Now they have done a bait and switch with the library design. The new design is NOT the same as the old design. HELLO! That is the point of Sligo posting the drawings together.

As far as attending one of the 200,000 plus (your count) meetings. Been there done that - probably before you were born. There is no point to spending hours listening to a bunch of BS, when MoCo is going do what they want anyway. You yourself are sarcastic about the number of meetings.

Sure there is work going on, but it is not finished, till it is finished.

Your looking out your window and you can see it? LOL Have fun with that. Better you than me.

Anonymous said...

"they tried to pull it out from under us until the community stood up and said no."

Wow. Way to be completely devoid of fact. I'm pissed off the rink isn't set up yet, but the contract dispute has nothing to do with the county trying to rob DTSS of it's sheet of ice.

"The new design is NOT the same as the old design."

Duh. The majority think the new design is better than the old. It's called improvement.

"Sure there is work going on, but it is not finished, till it is finished."

I can't believe you honestly think the county will not finish constructing the library. What happened in your childhood that has left you so scarred? You have to be the first person I've met that thinks the county has broken its promises to DTSS. Count me among the masses who think Doug Duncan should be given the title of King of Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

Your twisted sense of reality gets pathetic when you resort to personal put downs. Enjoy your view of: (to quote Springvale Roader) "But the new design? You're right, Sligo. It looks squashed and somewhat defeated, which maybe is fitting, given the financial and social decline of the nation."

Enjoy mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I'm sorry you felt insulted. You're referring to me asking why you're scarred? I guess? Anyways, I will enjoy the view. I've lived and worked in DTSS for a long time now and have had a view of just about every construction project at some point in the day for quite a while. Watching DTSS transform has been a real pleasure and a new library and art gallery are pretty nice additions to an already great place to live and work.