Monday, April 29, 2013

Welcome "Ellsworth Place" (or Not)

There have been numerous claims over the years about how City/Shitty Place was on the cusp of a retail renaissance, but all of the grandiose talk has thus far proved hollow. Instead, we have continued to live with our zombie-like POS mall where only a free Rihanna concert can attract more than a couple dozen people through the doors.

Now the current management claims that they have all sorts of new super-double-secret tenants lined up to occupy the much-maligned mall. Could the hundredth time be the charm? The building will be re-christened "Ellsworth Place", though come on, good or bad it will always be City Place. Note that last time we heard this spiel, it was to be the "Galleria".

Of course, the planned changes to the structure now need to be submitted to the county, and we know at what speed that process can progress. Throw The Community in the mix, and we could be looking at another 20 years of Shitty Place.

What the county needs to do is fast-track this process - perhaps a City Place actually worth shopping at might help to distract somewhat from the never-ending Transit Center fiasco unfolding a couple blocks away.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday News 'N Notes

- Our POS transit center won't open until next summer (at best?).

- Pedro Matamoros, formerly of 8407 and Nicaro (the original one) has been named executive chef of The Golden Flame. It will be interesting to see if he can re-invigorate this old school Silver Spring restaurant.

- Has anyone heard anything regarding the fate of the Caribou Coffee on East-West Hwy? The parent company has announced that they are closing 88 stores nationwide, and another 88 are being converted to Peet's Coffee and Tea, including stores in Maryland that survive the initial purge.

UPDATE: It's becoming a Peet's, but not for awhile.

- I so want to believe that this review of City Place is actually brilliant satire.

- The Falkland Chase apartment complex has been sold to the JBG Companies. Can we have our Harris Teeter now? That whole Falkland redevelopment has entered the pantheon of Eternal Silver Spring Projects, taking its rightful place alongside the Purple Line, the library and the Transit Center (among others).

- Stellar transit center concrete-pourers Faccina Construction is in the running for work building the Silver Line. Good luck with that, Virginia.

R.I.P. Silverdocs: 2003-2012

Silverdocs as we know it is dead, killed by what I am able to translate from a bunch of corporatespeak as insufficient funding. Henceforth, the festival shall be known as "AFI Docs presented by Audi". Since it's launch in 2003, Discovery had been the Silverdocs' biggest backer, but "shifts in Discovery’s corporate focus" have led to money from that source drying up. Of course, if Silverdocs was about documenting freak shows, they'd still be all over that. Maybe we can blame Oprah.

The organizers are somehow making the festival "more ambitious" by making it two days shorter and showing fewer documentaries. Rather than hosting the entire festival at the AFI Silver (still by far the best theater in the metro area) screenings and other events will now also be held in various venues in the District.

There will still be plenty of events at the Silver, but local businesses will take a bit of a hit from the shortened schedule. Plus, it was our festival before - now we have to share.