Monday, November 28, 2011

We Are the 94%

It is patently obvious to anyone that only a small minority of Washington-area residents actually from the region, but Silver Spring has the distinction of having the fifth lowest ratio of "native" residents in the entire country. This factoid comes from the most recent Census by way of the Washington Examiner, which states that a meager six percent of current Silver Springers 25 years or older were born in the state of Maryland.

Unfortunately, I'm not exactly sure where on the Census site I can find locale-specific data such as this to verify, so I'm unsure what was considered to be "Silver Spring" in this case, nor do I know what the four places with smaller percentages were. Of course, by the qualifications used, I would also be considered a "migrant" to Silver Spring by virtue of having been born in D.C., despite having grown up here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- I checked out the new City Sports this past weekend, and it is a great addition to what unfortunately remains a fairly barren retail landscape in downtown Silver Spring. It's a big, open, bright space featuring gear from quality brands like North Face, Patagonia and one of my personal favorites, Timbuk2. I was actually able to buy clothing for myself in downtown Silver Spring, something I have been able to do very infrequently, a few shirts from American Apparel notwithstanding. (Sorry, City Place Marshall's, but I don't need size 5XL jeans.)

There's a large selection of City Sports-branded shirts, and while for now they all read "Washington DC", they will purportedly be stocking Silver Spring shirts in the coming weeks.

The only downside is that, unlike other City Sports I have been to in the past, they don't carry fan gear - things such as hats and jerseys for the teams that D.C. Metro area residents root for. You know, like the Steelers, Cowboys, Red Sox, etc.

- The downtown Silver Spring McDonald's, renowned worldwide for being the Worst McDonald's Ever™, is undergoing renovations to update it with the current, more modern, McDonald's design. A welcome cosmetic improvement, I suppose, but you still couldn't pay me enough to eat there. Now, were it to look anything like this McDonald's, I might very well consider it.

- Speaking of lipstick on a pig, I recently received a flyer in the mail encouraging me to visit the newly-redesigned Four Corners Safeway. While this Safeway may be the most convenient, if not closest, supermarket for me, I generally avoid it unless I quickly need something basic like a gallon of milk. The store is cramped, run-down, and the produce generally looks inedible. Simple staples, such as the aforementioned gallon of milk, are frequently out-of-stock.

Perhaps the work isn't complete (then why send me the flyer??), but the 'renovated' store didn't look a whole lot different than I remembered it. Unfortunately, a wooden floor laid down in the produce section doesn't magically make your fruits and vegetables fresh.

I wish we could have gotten a brand new Safeway like Kensington did a few years back. Their equally-crappy old-timey Safeway was razed and a brand new building was constructed in its place. I guess we'll just have to settle for this half-assed effort.

In fact, the one thing I kind of liked about the Safeway was its retro facade and marina-style roof . Now the former has been eradicated, to be replaced by what I can only presume is some generic Safeway signage.



- From the Post review of last Wednesday night's Kid Rock concert at the Fillmore:
Introducing “So Hott,” Rock did the time-honored practice of slipping the venue’s name conspicuously into the lyrics one better, namechecking Silver’s Spring’s Quarry House Tavern as the site where he’d picked up a lady companion to ease the loneliness of the road the prior evening.
I assume someone just provided him with the name of a local joint so that he might indulge the crowd, but perhaps someone can confirm that Kid Rock was actually at the Quarry House on Tuesday night.

- A flash mob of fifty-or-so shoplifters robbed the 7-11 up on Tech Road on Saturday Night. Nice. For those opposing the proposed MoCo teen curfew, incidents like this certainly won't help your cause.

Soon there will be another 7-11 in Silver Spring to flash rob, as a new store is opening in the strip mall at the corner of Georgia and Silver Spring Ave. Why is that strip mall still there, anyway, other than to provide revenue to towing companies?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dawn of A New Age of Reason to Take Place Across from Fenton Street Parking Garage

Skeptical? I assure you it's absolutely true - I read it on the Internet. Specifically, I discovered this astounding news on the website for the under-construction Citron apartments.

The following is from the site, and is best read using the voice of the late, great, Don LaFontaine:
There was a time when people held salons, intimate gatherings of literary, artistic and cultural movers and shakers. At Citron, that era is back, in all its creative glory. Citron is an intimate counterpoint to its high-rise neighbors. A haven of serenity and elevated consciousness in the heart of Downtown Silver Spring's never-ending excitement. Amenity-rich, filled with features, green and sustainable, and always forward-thinking.
Clearly, Foulger-Pratt has stumbled upon something incredible here - all that was needed to do to resurrect the spirit of the Parisian salons of the Enlightenment was to design apartment buildings with common areas! We should expect a massive influx into Silver Spring by the world's intellectual elite, many of whom will inevitably be leasing apartments at the Citron as soon as construction is complete.

(Note that the Citron is the successor to the ill-fated Ellsworth Condos, which were billed at the time as being the "last word" in Downtown Silver Spring living.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Silver Spring's City Sports to Open This Weekend

The grand opening of the City Sports on Fenton Street is scheduled for this Saturday. According to a rep from City Sports,"The new store will have a special women’s section (a huge initiative for the brand this year), freestanding shoe wall and interactive zone, among other features."

There's also a grand opening party planned for Saturday the 26th, with a DJ, food, and giveaways. There will be a contest featuring a grand prize of "free shoes for a year", though I'm not entirely sure what that means. What if I feel like wearing a new pair of kicks every day? Rappers do it, right?

I'm still waiting to hear if they will be stocking "City Sports Silver Spring" t-shirts. Apparently there are custom shirts produced for the Bethesda location, so they better.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Silver Spring (Old) News 'N Notes

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late... some of this may be old news, but I'm still playing catch up. More to come.

- Work is proceeding in earnest on the construction of the new City Sports on Fenton Street. Here's hoping they carry "City Sports Silver Spring" t-shirts, though in all likelihood they'll instead stock D.C. t-shirts like this one.

- Travel time from Silver Spring to Bethesda during rush hour on the Purple Line? 8 1/2 minutes. Of course, by the time it is ultimately built, molecular transporters will have been invented, making the light rail line a 22nd century C&O Canal.

- The temporary toy store in the former Borders is set to open today, at least according to a sign on the door. (Still waiting on that H&M, by the way.) We need to start commercializing additional holidays in order to fill all this empty retail space. Halloween and Christmas only cover a few months.

- The takeaway from this article is that Ghar-e-Kabab is expanding their dining area. Good on them.

-  The sushi and steakhouse restaurant opening in what was once Ceviche is going through an identity crisis: first it was Nobu Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi, then it was Haruhana Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi, and now it's Masa Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi.