Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

Photo via the Facebook Page of Downtown Silver Spring
- Lou Diamond Phillips, who you may remember from such films as Young Guns and In the Line of Fire, may be spotted around downtown Silver Spring in coming days. He is here filming segments for the new series An Officer and a Movie which debuts Friday on Discovery's Military Channel. The network is using a temporary studio set up in the DTSS space that once housed Ceviche and which will one day serve as the new home of the ever-shifting Art Spring store.

According to the official press release:
An Officer and a Movie pairs Phillips with retired and active duty officers who lived through major battles or have an expertise in the conflicts depicted in notable Hollywood films. As each film makes its Military Channel premiere, An Officer and a Movie provides expert commentary that can only come from being “on the ground” during the action as these officers reflect on the themes of that night’s film and also provide personal insight that puts each movie into a modern context.
Other recent celeb sightings in Silver Spring include Ross from Friends, who was at the AFI last Friday night for whatever reason and DC-based rapper Wale, who was allegedly spotted here last week by a number of twitter users.

(For those of you who do happen to catch Lou Diamond in Silver Spring, I have it on good authority he really likes it when you attempt to get his attention by yelling "Hey, La Bamba!")

- The county council is considering raising parking costs for Silver Spring meters from 50¢ to 60¢ per hour, which is really nothing. In fact, at 60¢ it makes it really simple to determine exactly how much additional time you'd be getting per coin. What I'd really like to see is all the meters around town give you the option to pay via cellphone or credit card, as is the case elsewhere. I was out running errands this weekend and wanted to briefly stop and grab takeout from a Silver Spring restaurant, but when I pulled up and realized I was out of change, I was forced to leave. It wasn't worth the cost of the parking ticket that I would inevitably receive.

- Last weekend I made only the second clothing purchase in downtown Silver Spring of my adult life - a hoodie at American Apparel. The other was a $7 t-shirt bought years ago at the now-defunct City Place Steve & Barry's. Clearly the retail situation in Silver Spring, particulary for men, hasn't improved much over the past few years. I still think something basic like a Gap (particularly one with Gap Kids) would do well in DTSS. If, God forbid, our Borders goes the way of many others in that chain, a Gap or something similar could do well in that space.

Speaking of American Apparel, if you act fast there's a $50 for $25 offer out there now from one of these Groupon clones. Sure, their advertising may have upset The Community, their owner may be a total d-bag and their stuff a bit pricey, but hey, at least it's made in the USA.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- I was dismayed to discover this past weekend that the concrete bleachers at the Old Blair field are in the process of being demolished. I liked having the option of doing some stairs on those admittedly infrequent occasions when I went for a run on the adjacent track. After decades of use, they have now been classified as a safety hazard and are being removed in favor of a small set of metal bleachers. (What's next, banning sidewalk chalk?)

Perhaps there's been a recent rash of bleacher accidents I'm not aware of, but with a large county budget deficit was this really the most pressing issue toward which precious education dollars needed to be allocated? It's true the concrete was kind of disintegrating in spots, but it never seemed that dangerous to me. Just tell kids not to play on it or something.

Of course, removing the bleachers may have the unintended consequence of converting the entire hill into a sledding paradise, so there still may be loads of childhood injuries occurring here come next winter.

- Remember how IMP was trying to block state and county funds from supporting the Silver Spring Fillmore? Their lawsuit was dismissed this week.

- In another defeat for obstructionists, The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission voted 6 to 2 against designating the Silver Spring's First Baptist Church of Silver Spring as historic. (Here's a detailed explanation of why it isn't historic.) Presumably development of the property at the corner of Wayne and Fenton can now proceed.

The First Baptist Church

Notice to whoever is in charge of demolition: I would love to take one of the Space Needle-esque lamps currently standing outside the church's front entrance off your hands if you aren't going to re-use them. Seriously, email me.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The General Store Is No More

The General Store has closed. Who would have expected that mocking your customers would turn out to be a bad marketing strategy?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Food Truck Invasion Continues

It would appear that the visits from the Tops Truck over the past two weeks were indeed a harbinger of even greater food truck action in Silver Spring, as another foodmobile has landed downtown. The latest arrival is the "Great Sandwich Truck" operated by the Sub-Urban-Bros. The bright orange and yellow truck has been camped out around Silver Spring serving subs over the past two days.

The Great Sandwich Truck

I'm curious as to why is this just happening now. Did vendors only recently discover that people work in Silver Spring and that they eat lunch like everyone else?

Anyway, while I'm certainly interested in trying their sandwiches someday, I have to wonder a little after reading the following sequence of tweets they issued over the weekend:

LOL, indeed. Maybe I am completely misinterpreting these tweets or perhaps there is some segment of the conversation missing, but I was immediately reminded of this video, which consistently makes me laugh far more than it has any right to.

Meanwhile, I don't believe the aforementioned Tops Truck has yet made an appearance in Silver Spring this week, though they did express interest in a food truck alliance with the Sub-Urban-Bros at some point.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What Next for The Flower Theatre?

Not far from the downtown Silver Spring and its immaculately-restored Silver Theatre lies another theater from Silver Spring's suburban boomtown heyday - the Flower. While not as old or elegant as the Art Deco Silver, the theater is nonetheless still interesting.

Located on Flower Avenue in the Long Branch neighborhood of Silver Spring, the Flower showed its last film about fifteen years ago. As the owners having been unable to find a suitable tenant for the past three years, the building continues to be available for lease. That's not unsurprising, as the uses for a former movie theater are somewhat limited. It would likely require quite a bit of investment to get this property rehabbed for most commercial uses.

The Flower Today
I have a lot of nostalgia associated with the Flower, as I spent many a weekend afternoon there in my formative years enjoying classic 80's films such as Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, and others. Even then the threadbare theater was clearly showing its age. Of course, at that time so was the Silver, and that building ultimately became a showpiece of theater restoration.

A short(ish) history of the Flower Theatre:

K-B first opened the single screen, 1,016 seat Flower Theatre on February 15th, 1950. To put its size in perspective, the AFI Silver's main theater has 400 seats and the District's Uptown Theatre presently has 840 (though it originally held 1,364).  At the time it opened, the theater offered 600 parking spots, which can be seen in this 1957 aerial photo of the neighborhood. The film shown on opening night was The Great Lover, starring Bob Hope.

Interior of the Flower Theatre, 1950. Note the flower design on the wall.
The February 12th, 1950 Washington Post provided a preview of the soon-to-be-opened movie house. A few interesting features of the theater were highlighted in the article. One was the Maryland Room, a private party area where you could watch a picture while serving your own prepared meals and boozing it up with your friends. Another was an amenity that would certainly be embraced by patrons of the Majestic 20 today:
A nursery, which has 21 seats where parents and small fry can make all the caterwauling they please behind a plate glass window, double-panes to prevent distortion. The walls are colored with cartoons and there’s space behind the chairs for the small fry to cavort, thus saving sitter expense at home.
This was an elegant theater for a more civilized age...

The Flower must have been considered to be of at least some import at the time, as its interior was featured on the cover of movie theater trade magazine Boxoffice later that year.

The Flower and the Adjacent Giant Food in the Early 60's (?)
According to legend (i.e. random internet commenter), Sly Stallone was at one point employed at this theater as an usher, during which time he received a beating there that gave him his famous speech impediment. The veracity of this story is dubious at best, yet I choose to believe it because I so want it to be true.

K-B operated the Flower as a single-screen theater until 1979. A year later, a new operator re-opened it after bisecting the single theater into two separate screens. Two additional screens were tacked on in 1983, and if I recall correctly these last two theaters were very tiny. The theater finally ceased operations in 1996 due to flooding. As is the case with many shuttered theaters, including the old Seco/Roth's Silver Spring West downtown, it eventually went into use as a church. The church vacated in 2008 and the property has stood empty ever since.

Here's a photo of the theater from 1983, when it was showing Getting it On and Mr. Mom. It looks to have been taken when there were still just two screens.

Flower Theatre, 1983
This one was taken two years later, when it had four screens.

Flower Theatre, 1985. Apologies for the watermark.
That arrow-shaped "Flower Parking" sign mounted on the roof is terrific - I'd kill to get my hands on it. No doubt it's long been relegated to a scrap pile, though.

(Coincidentally I happened to see Starman, the name of which is visible on the marquee, at this theater. Why I remember this one out of all the movies I saw here, I don't know. This is the second instance of my coming across old photos of cinemas showing films I expressly recall seeing at that particular theater. The first occurrence of this phenomenon was this 1984 photo of the Silver Theatre, taken at the time the it was showing Star Trek III. Maybe I just saw a lot of movies.)

So, now the question is what can be done with the Flower? Abandoned movie theaters are a huge liability. If left empty, a theater will eventually become a hive of homeless murderers and rapists. Yes, this is absolutely the case. I learned this from watching 12 Monkeys.

What viable commercial enterprises could take advantage of this sized space and would be able to commit to the necessary investment required to renovate an entire theater? To the dismay of many, a number of the District's old movie houses (the MacArthur comes to mind) were closed and converted into pedestrian retail establishments such as drug stores. That solution might be economically viable, but it's boring and certainly not a preferred option in this case.

Of course, the surrounding area has some problems, and the shopping plaza's other tenants include a laundromat and dollar store, so it's not exactly high-end retail on that block at present. On the other hand, if they can re-brand an entire "district" around a theater in D.C. (a district within a district?) and make it hip, perhaps something similar can be accomplished in Long Branch.

The adaptive reuse of the Flower is part of the planning department's Long Branch Sector Plan (PDF), which defines the theater as a "historic resource" but is short on details on exactly how the theater might be utilized. Supposedly the Purple Line will someday be built and if/when it does, it will stop just a block of so away, making the whatever the Flower ultimately becomes easily accessible to many from outside of the neighborhood.

The most welcome solution would be to have it turned into sort of annex for the AFI, but that's unlikely to happen. It has been suggested that the county could perhaps assist the Silver Spring Stage in relocating from their current home in the bowels of the Woodmoor Shopping Center to the Flower. Would that be too much space for them, though? Also, would they have the resources to perform the amount of work that needs to be done to the theater to get it up to snuff?

So, any brilliant ideas out there on what could be done with the Flower?

Also, in the event that anyone has photos (older or recent) of the interior, please send them to me. Someone was nice enough to provide some recent pictures of one of Silver Spring's other long-defunct theaters.

Much of the information I found on the Flower originated from the website For a detailed history of the Flower Shopping Center and the historical significance of the theater (or lack thereof) read this (PDF).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- The National Museum of Health and Medicine, full of exhibits of the type of things I generally try to avoid looking at, will be closing its doors at Walter Reed in April and relocating to Silver Spring. When it re-opens here in the fall, the museum will be located within Fort Detrick's annex in Forest Glen. Hmmmm... a museum that houses "the world's largest collections of brains" right down the street from the Silver Spring Zombie Walk?

- A brief follow up to my last post regarding food trucks in Silver Spring: apparently we did have a couple visits from a cupcake truck late last year. According to eyewitness reports, this particular truck may even live in Silver Spring.

- Speaking of cupcakes, Cake Love has now re-opened on Fenton Street after moving around the corner from their old home on Ellsworth. I haven't had the opportunity to recon their new, larger location but according to Cake Love's Facebook page, the new store is "cozier, complete with seating, and a kids zone!"

- The first Fenton Street Market of the year will be supersized when it opens for the season on April 30th, with over 100 vendors expected to participate. That's more than you'll likely find at Eastern Market on any given weekend. My vision of bringing back the Silver Spring flea market has finally come to fruition (even if I played absolutely no part in it).

- Earlier this week Greater Greater Washington posted a nice letter to the editor from a reader whose quality of life was improved by moving to downtown Silver Spring.

- Per Urban Turf, Silver Spring won't be seeing many new condo projects anytime soon.

- One thing that will be finally be built, according to DCmud, is the long-delayed Ellsworth Condos Apartments. You may recall that many long years ago these were marketed as being the "Last Word in Silver Spring Living". At this rate, that might quite literally be the case.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Food Trucks in Silver Spring: Benign Trend or Economic Parasites?

A species heretofore unseen in these parts has recently been introduced to the downtown Silver Spring ecosystem: the so-called 'gourmet' food truck (truckus hipsterus). While superficially these vehicles may appear similar to the type of lunch truck which has operated in the parking lot of our Home Depot for some time (truckus commonus) or those from which you may have bought a pretzel down by the National Mall (truckus touristus), they are in fact another breed of vehicle entirely.

While gourmet food trucks have been an increasingly common sight in D.C. over the past couple years, for whatever reason they have yet to establish a permanent beachhead just over the border here in Silver Spring. Like overpriced cupcakes, the concept of gourmet food trucks was imported from New York to D.C. after being fashionable in the former for a number of years.  Of course, If you had told me ten years ago that it would someday be socially acceptable to wear two-toned 80's sunglasses and a preferred origin of meals would be from self-propelled kitchens, I would have had to request an immediate 5150.

So it was with little fanfare that a cherry red truck operated by the Tops American Food Company spearheaded the food truck invasion of Silver Spring ten days ago. Its limited menu, sure to be popular with local vegans, consists of sausage, hot dogs, chili, or some combination of the three. The truck's ever-shifting location can be tracked via it's Twitter feed.

Admittedly, I was as intrigued as anyone by the truck's arrival, perhaps as much by the novelty of food trucks in Silver Spring as the actual food being offered. As I don't presently work in downtown Silver Spring, I haven't gotten the chance to check out the truck in person, though it did make a weekend appearance Saturday at the Silver Spring farmer's market. I'd certainly welcome the arrival of such a vehicle to my no-food-option-having office park, though sadly that scenario would only occur if the driver got horribly lost.

Prior to Tops, Silver Spring's recent mobile kitchen history consisted primarily of the Chez Dikel cart, which has on occasion served their French and Malian-fusion fare from the gas station lot at the corner of Colesville and Georgia. Of course, this clearly being a cart not a truck, it doesn't really count now does it?
Chez Dikel food cart. Photo by Flickr user Eating in Translation
After my initial enthusiasm over the arrival of this new truck wore off, I started to wonder if this arrangement is really fair to more permanent Silver Spring restaurateurs. Simply by virtue of being on wheels, any new food truck spotted in Silver Spring will create a buzz that eclipses that enjoyed by most of the local "brick & mortar" restaurants.

Take Skew Works, for example: prior to opening last week, they were setting up their new restaurant on Wayne Avenue for a few months, no doubt paying significant construction costs along with a premium downtown rent while doing so. They finally open for business and some carpetbagging truck from Gaithersburg just sets up shop between them and the downtown office buildings, potentially siphoning off some of the lunchtime crowd that might otherwise have made it over to the new skewer joint.

In contrast to the significant investment required to establish a proper restaurant, start up costs for a food truck business might run just $25-$30K, while a yearly mobile food service license from the county averages only a dollar per day (though I imagine the expense of feeding parking meters exceeds that).

So I'm a little torn... are food carts in Silver Spring a good thing or no? They have the welcome potential to create a variety of lunch options that might not otherwise exist downtown, while at the same time, they would likely do so to the detriment of businesses who have chosen to make a more permanent home in Silver Spring.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Unique Seminary House For Sale

It's no pagoda, but there's another interesting property located on the former grounds of the Forest Glen Seminary that's recently been put on the market (along with the Swiss chalet). Clearly, this one needs some serious elbow grease. On paper, $272K for a 2,015 square foot house in that neighborhood sounds great, but it's pretty evident from the photos that you might have to put just as much or more money into making it habitable. 

I don't know how to best describe the style, but the Realtor site simply calls it "Colonial House", as you can see from this (circa 1999 cellphone?) photo:

The house's windows are beautiful:

The main entryway is particularly nice:

The one major problem I would have with living here is the abandoned hallway that leads directly into to the second floor of the house. Seriously, if there is a poltergeist and/or serial killer trying to get into my home, I know exactly where they'll be entering from.

I think it would make compelling programming on HGTV or a similar network if they spent a season or more covering a series of restorations of all these unique seminary properties. I would say TLC could do it, but unless Sarah Palin is going to lead the renovations using a crew of midget workmen, that channel probably wouldn't be interested. I kid, Discovery employees, but you know I'm kind of right. (For what it's worth, I would actually tune in for that.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Skew You

As a rule I refuse to try new restaurants on their opening day, or even during their first few weeks of operation. There can be a steep learning curve for any new restaurant staff, and this can often result in your receiving the wrong order or an under/overcooked meal. I once made the mistake of going to the Red Rock Canyon grill too soon and got a chicken pot pie that was essentially a block of ice encased in a pastry shell. For whatever reason, I decided to throw caution to the wind tonight and try Skew Works, which just celebrated its grand opening earlier in the day.

Skew Works' menu is pretty straightforward - you can choose from beef, chicken, lamb, shrimp or veggie skewers. If you order a combo your skewers come with vegetables and your choice of rice or noodles. Most items come with peanut sauce on the side.

Here's a scan of their menu:
I generally avoid restaurant reviews, as too large a portion of my diet consists of frozen pizza and Chipotle for me to consider myself qualified to judge food. However, I will say the food we had was pretty tasty. My only complaint was that the chicken wasn't quite as hot as I'd like, though I'll chalk that up to the restaurant's newness and presume food temperature won't generally be a problem.

Here's the chicken skewer combo I ordered...

...and my wife's  shrimp skewers, along with a couple of potato curry puffs à la carte.

One nice thing was that the staff was extremely friendly. Hopefully that enthusiasm doesn't wear down too much over time.

An amusing thing that occurred while I was there: The staff dimmed the lights just after Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On" came over the loudspeakers. I'm not sure what type of sexytime atmosphere they're going for at Skew Works...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Silver Spring Spared McMansionization (For Now?)

Though it was original published back January, I just recently came across a post on the Historian for Hire blog about teardowns in Montgomery County. It focuses on a house in North Four Corners that was recently razed and replaced with a McMansion. It's definitely worth a read.

One thing that I found particularly interesting was a map included in the post. It was originally produced by the Montgomery County Planning department and illustrates the distribution of teardowns across the county. What's striking is the large disparity in the number of teardowns in Silver Spring when compared with Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Potomac. (Granted, the map was created in 2006 and there certainly have been some more teardowns here since that time, though I'm sure there's been just as many or more to the west of us.)

Teardowns in SoMoCo

The Next Trend?
Each dot on the map represents an instance of an existing home being torn down and replaced by a new (presumably much larger) one. I've always thought that with some exceptions, we've been generally spared this unfortunate trend, and this map confirms my suspicions. While whole swaths of southwest Montgomery County appear to have been razed, within equally or more dense Silver Spring, there have only been a handful of teardowns to date.

Why tear down a perfectly good house in favor of a McMansion? Perhaps you need larger gold bar storage rooms or additional quarters for your manservants. Who knows. When they've finished with everything to the west of us, will the bulldozers come for our properly-scaled homes next? Hopefully not, as the Great Recession may have served as the the McMansion's Waterloo, permanently halting their progression before they could establish a foothold in Silver Spring.

To be fair, not every so-called "McMansion" design is grotesque and not all are completely oversized for their lot, but I've seen some terrible examples in MoCo. The problem is particularly pronounced in Chevy Chase, where some houses quite literally block out the sun. There are a certainly a few unfortunate examples of McMansionization in Silver Spring, some of which are referenced in the Historian for Hire post. In many ways worse are the completely over-scaled additions to small homes that have produced Frankenstein houses even more hideous than most McMansions. I can't begrudge someone the right to expand on their home, I just wish people took more of an effort to make their addition blend with the existing house and those surrounding it, rather than just maximizing square footage for the sake of it.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- Pyramid Atlantic's Art Spring store continues its musical chairs journey around DTSS, this time moving from its current location across from Whole Foods (to make way for the CVS) into the space most recently occupied by the Toys 'R' Us Express.

- County exec Ike Leggett is seeking to follow the lead of the District and other municipalities by instituting a five cent bag tax on paper and plastic bags in Montgomery County beginning in 2012. In addition to ostensibly reducing the amount of garbage created, the money raised through the bag tax would go towards water and litter cleanup.  The tax would go into effect at all stores, not just groceries. Now, reusable bags are nice in principle, but note that if you don't bother to wash them, they can "turn into bacterial swamps".

- Another piece of legislation the county is trying to institute is the regulation of roadside panhandling, though whether it would be an outright ban or the introduction of a permit system is yet to be determined. Any new restrictions of this nature need to be enacted through state legislation, and while there was supposed to be a vote in Annapolis on the subject last Friday, it got pushed back a week. I don't necessarily see roadside panhandling as a problem in downtown Silver Spring, but in other areas of the county (Rockville/"North Bethesda", in particular) there are people begging on all four sides of an intersection. This is certainly the case in Four Corners, where there is nearly always someone hustling at one or more of the stoplights.

Also, Four Corners has eight corners. Discuss.

- Be sure to get your Pączkis (Polish donuts) on tomorrow at the Woodmoor Bakery in the aforementioned Four Corners.

Pączkis. Is there anything they can't do?

- The AFI Silver Theatre has (deservedly) been nominated in the "Best Place to See A Movie" category in the City Paper's Best of DC Reader's Poll. You can submit your vote for it here.

- There's a great Luau Hut mug on eBay right now. With a starting bid of $25, it's not cheap, but this one has a cool look and is the only style I've seen that actually says "Silver Spring" on it.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Cuckoo for Coco Bread? Society Brings New Caribbean Eatery to Silver Spring

So what's the story with this "Society" opening up in the old Nicaro/Newcaro space on Georgia Avenue? The Gazette has the answer.

Society, scheduled to be up and running by May, will serve a mix of Caribbean and American food, and according to founder Jason Miskiri will be a mix of "restaurant/bar/sports bar/lounge/home".

With regard to the menu:

The restaurant will serve refined American food like steak, crab cakes, Angus beef burgers and salmon. Miskiri said he also plans to integrate Caribbean food into the menu. He said the restaurant will most likely serve Caribbean fare during lunch and daytime hours and move into the American classics during the evenings. On Sundays, there will be brunch with dishes like crab cake benedicts, omelets and stuffed waffles
A Blair graduate, Miskiri was a college hoopster at George Mason and played a Moonlight Graham-like three minutes in the NBA. Along with his sisters, he currently operates Island Flavors, a Guyanese restaurant in Laurel.

Miskiri says that along with a lounge and a VIP seating area, he plans to offer valet parking to customers.

Hold on, valet parking? What is this, Bethesda? To be fair, this location on Georgia is not really the most convenient location to which to drive. Perhaps adding valet parking would be a good strategy for Georgia Avenue restaurants, as removing the frustration of parking might make these businesses more accessible. The use a valet may seem lazy to some, but in inclement weather who wants to park blocks away? Valet parking is actually ecologically friendly, as driving around looking for parking creates unnecessary pollution and wastes gas. On the other hand, how much do you trust a Random with your car? Look what happened to Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

On a somewhat related, I learned this morning that people commonly create a beef patty sandwich with coco bread. I feel like all these years I have been missing out by eating these items separately. I need to go to Negril to rectify this STAT.

Another thing I just learned: While it may have started in Silver Spring, Negril franchises and now has five locations. Does this qualify it as a chain that we are obligated to shun? Discuss.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Friday News 'N Notes

- Time is running out to skate our new ice rink - its final day of operation this season is next Sunday. Rink management: perhaps you could provide some larger-sized training buckets for adults next winter? Uh, not that I would need one or anything...

- The Silver Spring Fillmore is coming along quite nicely and is still on schedule for a fall opening. (And by "on schedule", I of course mean years later than it ought to have been...) It's only a matter of time now before Jay-Z concertgoers will be terrorizing The Community!

On that subject, I do have to issue a small mea culpa: at the time the supposed threat of a hypothetical Jay-Z concert was a real topic of discussion on local message boards, I scoffed at the idea that he would ever play a smaller venue like the Fillmore. Turns out, he actually did perform at a different Fillmore earlier that same month, so my bad. Of course, Silver Spring is not Miami.

To get regular construction updates and to view more photos, be sure to like the Fillmore's unofficial Fillmore Silver Spring Facebook fan page.

- The Fenton Street Market is scheduled to return April 30th, and as was the case at the conclusion of last season, it will take place on Veterans Plaza each Saturday. Before the full market returns there will be two other FSM-related events taking place on the Plaza: The Silver Spring Bling Handmade Jewelry Expo on Saturday, April 9th and the Kids Fest and Rock-N-Romp, held a week later on the 16th.

- If you haven't already, there's still time to take advantage of this week's Living Social deal offering two movie tickets from Fandango for just $9. Tickets for shows at the Majestic 20 can be purchased through Fandango, and considering the regular $22 cost of two adult passes at this theater, nine bucks is a bargain. (Note that unfortunately the coupon isn't redeemable for tickets to the "IMAX Experience".)

- More on Cake Love's move and FroZenYo's impending arrival from The Gazette.

- And finally, check out the caption on the photo attached to this story. I can't say I've ever seen this error made in reverse. Perhaps it's time for someone in Florida to start a blog entitled "Silver Springs, Plural"...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I Got Five on It

Five being the number of years, and "it" being the this blog, of course.

Five years and 565 posts ago today this blog launched with the fabulously imaginative name of "Silver Spring Blog". Interestingly, that first year had more than twice as many posts as any year since, with 42 of those posts being published in the first month alone! Wow, I sure must have had a lot of time on my hands.