Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday News 'N Notes

 - Good news for price-gouging cabbies, bad news for Silver Springers who commute to District bars on Friday and Saturday nights: Metro is considering cutting late night service on weekends. It was a wonderful development when they first introduced the extended hours, and I have to think the later closing time must reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road during these times. It would be a shame if this proposal goes through.

- Ever wondered what happened to Silver Spring's fugitive homicidal dwarf from last summer? Me too. Well, after fleeing to El Salvador, he was arrested in that country on Tuesday and was subsequently deported back to the U.S. (he's a citizen.) It's amazing that a fugitive that distinguishable was able to flee the country successfully in the first place.

- I'm always on the hunt for pre-DTSS photos of downtown Silver Spring to show those who contend that somehow recent development was responsible for the bulldozing of the lively chain-free Utopia  that downtown Silver Spring supposedly once was. To date I've had limited success, but while recently searching archived pages from the now-defunct GeoCities for the (non-Silver Spring) site I created in 1996, I stumbled upon a few pages of photos taken in 2000, when DTSS construction was just underway. Sure, they are small, scanned-in film photos, but keep in mind it was a GeoCities site in 2000. Here are a few pages of photos:

January 2000
February 2000
March 2000
April 2000

- Discovery has awarded the local hot dog vendor a gift of a brand new dog stand in gratitude for his actions during the Lee incident last September. The pimped-out stand was designed by West Coast Customs, a shop featured in one of Discovery's reality shows. (What, Jesse James' Monster Garage wasn't available?) The new cart absurdly includes a built-in Xbox, but whatever, if I had a hot dog cart, I'd want an Xbox on it.

- It's certainly no pagoda, but this house for sale in Woodmoor has a mini English pub in its basement. It even has the requisite dartboard. Is there a snooker table outside the frame? I'd like to become friends with whoever ultimately buys this place. Premiership games on Saturday mornings?


Kathy said...

I've been in that basement pub and it is GREAT. Any homeowner's dream.

Anonymous said...

Those photos from the 80s, 90s, and construction in the 2000s are pretty sweet. I recommend Jerry's "Then and Now" book on DTSS for anyone interested in more photos (and some pretty interesting history to go with most of the pics).

Man, I had completely forgotten about that dwarf until seeing the news report. I totally assumed they caught him way back when. I really hope there's an awesome story that comes out about him fedexing himself to south america or hiding in the overhead compartment on an airplane.

wombat said...

Yeah, I remember that lively-chain-free Utopia... We did have a couple of used bookstores, which was nice in the days before you could find any out of print book you wanted in two minutes on the web. But otherwise, well, I don't really miss the orthopedic truss company all that much, you know?

It drives me crazy now that I didn't take pictures of the streets when I first moved here (early 90s). But there's no way anyone could have imagined it would change like this and who would think to take a picture of a used bookstore?

Anonymous said...

Just out of interest (and not really related to anything in this post) does anyone out there like City Place Mall?

Clancy said...

We bought our place near DTSS in early 2000 largely based on the promising future the community seemed to have, as the photos of development at that time suggest. It was an awkward time, it seems, as several long-time residents seemed nostalgic for some (seemingly distant) glorious past while others were generally not holding their breaths about the prospects for success in revitalizing downtown. "Once bitten," they would say. . .

While I just missed most of the places shut down to build DTSS, I doubt they could have drawn my family here and/or retained us for this long. Downtown has a nice mixture of local and chain establishments. Other than City Place's complete inability to seemingly do anything right (and a few other minor details), I'm very happy with how things have turned out for Silver Spring.

Cilla said...

Back when I sold real estate (1990s) I was in several houses in Silver Spring that had been speakeasies during prohibition times. One basment had little tables along one wall, each with a direct-wired little lamp with a pink silk shade. I was told by "old hands" that there were some quite (in)famous watering holes in the general area of Woodmore.

Anonymous said...

Loving almost daily posts again! Welcome back and I enjoy reading your blog!

TJ said...

Agreed. Welcome "back". And those Geocities posts... that is a hyperlinked "dumpster dive" right there. Great finds.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

"It's amazing that a fugitive that distinguishable was able to flee the country successfully in the first place."

Must have been an oversight.

Regarding the Pagoda, after seeing it was for sale and hadn't been restored, I decided to see what was going on with some of the other parts of that property. I found the apartments (weren't they supposed to be condos?) listed on but only as subsidized housing. That's a change.

Danielle Meitiv said...

I worked on the 9 and 13th floors of the NOAA buildings from 1997 - 2001, and had 'great' views of most of downtown SS. I left the area in 2001 and came back in 2007. From what I saw from my window (ok, my boss' window - I was a cubicle kid in those days), I would NEVER have guessed back then that I'd ever be willing to pay what I did to live in DTSS today.

Speaking of misplaced nostalgia, will someone PLEASE tell me what is so great about the Fillmore facade that it had to be preserved. I've looked at it from every angle, and all I see is bland poured concrete...

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons (not cited in many of the articles) for WMATA wanting to cut back on late night service is the amount of money it costs them to clean up the metro cars afterwards. That particular time period is very hard on the cars due to the amount of vomit, food, drink, etc that ends up on the carpets, seats and pretty much everywhere.

Amelia said...

That house for sale belonged to my cousin who died last year. He and his wife moved out of it into Riderwood a few years ago. The name of the pub was the Loving Arms. My grandparents and many of their friends were at it's grand opening in the early-mid 70s. We enjoyed it probably close to 10 years ago complete with pub games, draught beer and lots of memories. It's a fantastic house in a great community!

Amelia said...

And the pub has the original furnishings! I forgot that he had left those with the house. No room for them at Riderwood!

Ingrid said...

My sister Amelia wrote above about our history with that basement pub. I remember playing darts there. Our cousin built that pub himself, every single piece. I wish we could buy it.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, thanks so much for those links with the old pics. I grew up here in Silver Spring my whole life and I always think about how the corner of Ellsworth and Fenton used to look like.

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