Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Open Thread

Before a rogue tree takes out my power for an extended period of time, I wanted to set up an open thread in the comments of this post for people to share Sandy-related updates from around Silver Spring. This could include power outages, restorations, openings, closings, etc. Also, if you've got any interesting storm pics, send them to me via email or Twitter, or tweet them with the hash tag #sssandy.

Personally, the one thing I hope to get out of this storm is the opportunity to finally break out my fancy wellies that I purchased last year, but which until last night sadly still had the tags attached.

Good luck and Godspeed!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This is Your Early Voting Line

I thought introducing early voting was supposed to make things more efficient, yet its popularity has resulted in ridiculous queues at the voting station at the Silver Spring Civic Building. This afternoon the end of the line was somehow in front of Stronsider's.

At first I thought there must be a crazy wait for pre-storm stockpiling at Whole Foods, but realized that the voting queue actually winds through the alley between CVS and Whole Foods, turns right at Fenton Street then wraps all the way across Veterans Plaza.

I can't even imagine how long this line takes to get through... two or three hours? I went down there this afternoon with the intention of voting, but as it only usually takes me no longer than fifteen minutes or so to vote at my local polling station on election day, I'm not about to stand in this line. I guess people must be really energized by the nonstop barrage of advertising they've been subjected to over the past three months. Nearly every day I receive flyers from both proponents and opponents of question 7.

Personally, I'm all for question 7. In fact, someone should turn Shitty Place into a proper casino. What the hell - it's the only way you'll ever get people in there. We could use the proceeds to finance our library and the Purple Line. Skybridges for everyone!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday News 'N Notes

- The Transit Center will supposedly open next September. At the rate it's progressed thus far, that timeframe actually feels optimistic.

- Another downtown office building project has been converted from commercial to residential. Despite low office vacancy rates, developers still seem to think downtown Silver Spring has more potential as a bedroom community. Guess we'll all continue to commute to D.C. and NoVa for the foreseeable future.

- Is the Fillmore too expensive to rent for community activities? In addition to everything else, it does seem a bit excessive to demand a cut of merch sales after charging you $150 to have someone work the counter.

- I've driven by this house countless times without knowing it was Sly Stallone's childhood home.

Friday, October 05, 2012

New Silver Spring Library to Open in Two Years... Or Not

The new Silver Spring library project has been in progress for well over a decade now, and we're still only at the point of selecting a contractor to actually build it (Foulger-Pratt? Only if Facchina Construction gets to pour the concrete!). Bids were due yesterday, and supposedly a groundbreaking will occur by the end of November. Once construction starts it will take two years before the library is actually open for business. Of course, that was also the stated timeframe for the as-yet-unopened transit center when work began on that project four years ago.

Meawhile across the border, construction of a library does not appear to be a generational project, as the District has recently built or renovated dozens of libraries while we've spent time holding multiple hearings over superfluous skybridges. And these new libraries aren't just nondescript boxes, either - the District government has made a point of investing in architecturally noteworthy structures.

Here's just a small sampling of neighborhood libraries built around D.C. just in the past few years (there's more).

And here's our new library:

I don't know what my point is - maybe just to reiterate the ridiculousness that is the glacial pace of construction around here when it comes to public buildings. Entire Chinese cities have been built since this project began.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Namaste Planet Bollywood, Bienvenidos La Malinche

Thanks to J.T. for the pic!
More new restaurant news, though if you've read the comments sections of recent posts or strolled down the north side of Colesville road lately, you probably already know this:

Skid Row's Planet Bollywood is no more, but its space will soon be occupied by La Malinche a "Spanish end [sic] Mexican tapas" restaurant. I'm guessing that the lettering in the above photo was not applied by someone whose native tongue is English. At least I hope it's not, otherwise this might be worthy of joining Taste of Marocco in the pantheon of local restaurant grammar fails.

I don't have any details on the restaurant yet, but I did learn that La Malinche represents the "embodiment of treachery" in Mexico.

Apizza? Yes, please. Pete's New Haven Coming to Silver Spring

There are two categories of restaurants that seem to have no saturation limit within a particular area: pizza and hamburgers (and at least in Silver Spring, Ethiopian), so it's no surprise that Silver Spring will be getting another pizza joint in the near future. Pete's New Haven Style Apizza, a local chain with locations in D.C. and Clarendon, has signed a lease at Wayne Plaza, located at the intersection of Wayne and Georgia. (WTF is "apizza", you say?) Not a bad location, so long as people figure out that you can actually exit on side of the Wayne Avenue garage opposite DTSS.

This is a particularly nice development in that Pete's has genuinely good pizza and, importantly, they deliver. For me at least, Pete's will probably end up trumping any of the existing pizza delivery options in Silver Spring.

With La Madeline, Scion, and a number of other restaurants opening soon, our dining options continue to improve.