Thursday, August 22, 2013

Something Maybe Actually Kinda Happening With City Place?

"No, really, hear me out. City Place is going to be GREAT!" - Developer, 1989

After years of false starts and empty promises, it looks like something might finally be happening with City Place ("Ellsworth Place"?). A development application sign has been posted outside announcing changes to the facade and streetscape. I searched the plan number on the county's development website, but no results were returned.

Thanks to reader E.T. for the photo.

Hopefully this is a signal that Petrie Ross Ventures' announced makeover of City Place is finally underway. Let's just hope that things will improve on the inside, not just the outside (insert "lipstick on a pig" reference here). I'm still waiting for the announcement of the great new tenants they supposedly have lined up.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Majestic Isn't Perfect, But It's Probably Not Racist

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I have my issues with the Majestic, however I feel like I'm obligated to defend it from accusations that have been leveled against it this week. In case you haven’t seen the story, a patron who attended a showing of Lee Daniels’ The Butler at the theater this past weekend was shocked to see armed guards working security in the lobby and in the theater, and believed that the security was somehow targeting this particular film's predominately African-American audience. (You can read her whole series of tweets here.)
She did mention this was her first time at the Majestic, so she wouldn’t have any way of knowing that this is par for the course for the theater on busy nights. There are always off-duty officers handling security on the weekends. In fact, when you are attending a popular movie like this one, you probably want the extra scrutiny – without it, you’d have people purchasing tickets for other films taking up seats in your sold-out theater. This will leave some of those with valid tickets without a seat – I’ve been in overcrowded theaters where legit ticketholders were stuck watching a movie from the steps because so many people had snuck into their show and taken up seats. Why they have security guards instead of ushers handling this responsibility, I don't know.

It does seem somewhat ridiculous that a movie theater would need guards packing heat, but I suppose off-duty police officers with sidearms are more likely to deter potential troublemakers (or take down crazed gunmen) than toothless mall cop security guards. Maybe the "optics" are bad if you take the whole scene out of context, but having been to this theater countless times, I'm just accustomed to it. I guess it makes a good story for the media, though.

I'm sure the theater would rather not have to cover the costs for extra security guards, the wages of whom are likely far more than those of revenue-generating positions like concession workers. God knows they could use more of those

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- Some changes are afoot at a couple of established Silver Spring restaurants: Ed Witt is out as chef at 8407, to be replaced by Justin Bittner, most recently of Bar Pilar in the District. Expect a revamped 8407 menu in the fall. Meanwhile, 8407's original chef, Pedro Matamoros, is to become part owner of the longstanding Golden Flame Restaurant, where he had already been named executive chef  back in March. 

- I had been looking for a photo of this classic graffiti on the Forest Glen railroad bridge for quite some time, and finally found it posted on the Old Time D.C. Facebook page. The current, shortened version which simply reads "Surrender" has somehow managed to survive for quite a few years without being removed.

- I believe I may have mentioned this before years ago, but one of the enduring mysteries of Silver Spring (to me, at least) is why the World Headquarters of Stuckey's is located in the nondescript office building at the corner of 16th and Spring Street. There are zero Stuckey's in Maryland and the nearest location is three hours away. On the off chance that an employee of Stuckey's corporate reads this blog, could you please explain how the chain came to be headquartered here?

 - A Silver Springer's kitchen remodel is featured in the current edition of Dwell magazine. Kudos to the magazine's editors for not pluralizing Silver Spring, as is the norm. I will even forgive their transgression of indicating on the cover that the house is "in Washington".

- I had heard that Frank Lloyd Wright's son once lived in my neighborhood, but had never seen any evidence to verify that assertion. However, there's an interesting document for sale on eBay right now - the original specifications for a house Wright designed for his son in Bethesda. (His grandson now lives there.)

Of course, the document identifies the client (Wright) as a resident of "Silver Springs, Maryland"

Though interestingly, they managed to get it correct elsewhere:

The document is a bit confusing, as it seems to incorrectly indicate that the house was to be built in Silver Spring ("Springs"), which unfortunately was not the case.