Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween or is it Merry Christmas

It is that time a year again, everyone dresses up and dances around the Christmas tree before going trick-or-treating.

Wait, that isn't supposed to be how it goes. Isn't putting up holiday decorations before Halloween a bit early? It seems like there are only three seasons anymore: Christmas, Back to School, and Other.

There are holiday decorations went up earlier this week in front of the Barnes & Noble on the corner of Woodmont Ave and Bethesda Ave in Bethesda, MD and on Bethesda Lane by Redwood Restaurant. Both places have a Christmas tree and a Menorah so we get the requisite does of bi-holidayism.

Happy Halloween everybody.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cool construction Stuff

Every now and then I walk by the construction on Woodmont Avenue between Hampden Lane and Elm Street in Bethesda, MD just to see how it is progressing. Sometimes they have some neat pieces of construction equipment, including this one, which I had never seen before. Last week was this unusual scene. There was a big truck of gravel, but instead of dumping the gravel on the ground, it was pouring onto a conveyer belt that was moving really quickly. At the end of the belt, the gravel was thrown off and flying through the air at high speed. It landed about 30 feet away at the bottom of the foundation.
Last month, I saw this concrete pumping truck. Nothing too unusual about it, but I love the name of the company "Grumpy's Concrete Pumping". If I ever start a company, I gotta have Grumpy as part of the name.

You can see the full coverage about this construction project.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bradley Boulevard improvements planning

Currently in the early planning stage are improvements to Bradley Blvd between Wilson Ln and Goldsboro Rd. The master plan includes on-street bike lanes on Bradley as well as an off-road shared use path. The current study will evaluate connecting the existing sidewalk on Bradley Boulevard east of Goldsboro and an existing sidewalk on Wilson Lane to improve pedestrian safety and provide access to transit stops and the Bethesda central business district.

This project is still in the early planning phase. There will be a public meeting tomorrow October 27 from 7:00 - 9:00pm at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase regional services center, 4805 Edgemoor Ln, Bethesda, MD.

More information about the project is at the county website.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bethesda Fountains Part 7 (potd)

A number of the office buildings in Bethesda, MD have fountains out front in a public plaza. This one is on the ever so uniquely named "East Lane" between Montgomery Lane and Hampden Lane. Behind the fountain is an abstract mural made with muted colors.

Read all of the Bethesda fountains series.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Candy Corn Construction Cones

I saw a couple of these in Bethesda, MD yesterday. The one in the photo was in front of the Barnes & Noble on Woodmont Avenue. I also saw one on Old Georgetown Road. Somebody has taken some of the orange construction cones and given them a Halloween paint job, turning them into giant yellow, orange, and white candy corn. It's a good thing they did too, it reminds me that Halloween is coming up. I still need to come up with a costume before I go trick-or-treating.

Update October 27th: I saw one of these candy corn traffic cones in Silver Spring yesterday too.

Update October 28th: I read that the responsible part is someone named Diabetik

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A crepe from Rita's Crepes

I've had my eye on this crepe stand for a while, just waiting for the right time to give them a try. Today was just the day, nice and warm but not too hot.

Rita's Crepes is a little outdoor stand across Woodmont Avenue from Barnes & Noble in the Bethesda Row section of Bethesda, MD. There isn't any seating there so I went down the Capital Crescent trail to the rest area to eat.

The menu is limited, 4 sweet crepes and only a single savory crepe. Since this was my lunch, I went for the savory: Fresh spinach, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and capers. It was cooked fresh in front of me in a few minutes and wrapped in foil so I could eat it on the go.

The crepe was filling and the cheese was nice and melted. The tomato sauce I was a bit concerned about, but it added a nice flavor to it. The Spinach released a little bit of water that made it to the bottom of the wrap but not nearly as much as I expected. The capers added a salty little surprise now and then. The crepe was good, but not great, it was somehow missing a bit of punch. Because of this and because of the limited selection of savory crepes, I'd recommend trying the sweet crepes, that looks like it is more the strength of this stand.
I wonder if the people of Silver Spring are laughing about this, I can almost hear them saying "Typical Bethesda, trying to be all upscale. A hot dog cart isn't good enough for them, nooo, they have to have crepes".

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hilton Garden Inn hotel now open

The construction of the new Hilton Garden Inn hotel on Waverly Street in Bethesda, MD has been an ongoing affair for quite some time now. It hasn't been without problems either, in May they had issues with the construction causing a blizzard of Styrofoam in the area. At long last, the problems are behind us and the hotel is open. I have been watching the construction for over a year, it started around January of 2008. Here is a retrospective of the building going up.

January 2008
This is almost a 'before' picture. They have put up construction barricades but they haven't started demolishing the pre-existing parking garage.

April 2008
They have pulled the old parking garage down and put up plastic sheeting so cars in the rest of the garage won't get debris from construction on them.

July 2008
This is a view from the remaining parking structure looking down at the bare dirt they are building the hotel on.

October 2008
They have the first 6 or so floors built.

November 2009
Lots of visible progress, 12 floors and they are starting to put on the exterior.

December 2008
The exterior walls are going on and most of the building is covered in what looks like yellow insulation.

May 2009
Looks about done doesn't it. Still months to go before it opens though.

July 2009
There is still a lot of work to be done near the ground.

October 2009
It is done and open.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bethesda Fountains Part 6 (potd)

This fountain right at the top of the big escalator at Bethesda Metro Station and by the bus bays is arguably part of the last fountain I highlighted. This fountain is noisy, noisy enough to be heard even when there are idling buses around it. Water cascades over small steps all the way down. It is also very wide. The only minor quibbles I have with it are that it looks like it is missing a flagpole and that the water doesn't quite reach all the way to the right side for the top half of the fountain.

Read all of the Bethesda fountains series.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bethesda Artist Market

The last Bethesda Artist Market for the year is this coming Saturday, October 10th at Bethesda Place Plaza in Downtown Bethesda, MD. It features Jewelry, Photography, Pottery and more from 25 local and regional artists. Bethesda Place Plaza is where the Original Pancake House is, it is bordered by Old Georgetown Road, Wisconsin Avenue, and Woodmont Avenue.

Bethesda Community Store gets a paint job

This is a bit trivial, but I noticed this week that Bethesda Community store (on the corner of Green Tree Rd and Old Georgetown Rd, across from NIH) got a new coat of paint. It is now white with red trim. It doesn't sound like much, but I think this store has been gray for 30+ years, it surprised me to see it a different color.

Top photo is the current color, bottom photo is how it used to be painted.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A car drove into a Bethesda, MD Salon yesterday

Just before 3pm yesterday (October 6th) an 82 year old woman turned into the driveway of the office building at 6931 Arlington Rd in Bethesda, MD, drove over a curb and into the front of the Citrine Salon & Spa. The driver and two employees of the salon were taken to Suburban Hospital.

I went by this morning and took a couple of pictures. They have boarded up the front of the salon, I wouldn't expect it to be opened today.

More information:
Washington Post (including a picture of the car in the store)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You can now recycle more stuff!

As of September 21st, Montgomery County, MD is accepting additional items for recycling.

In the blue "comingled materials" bin you can now recycle Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Vorporware(*) containers as well as non-hazardous, empty aerosol containers (such as whipped cream and hair spray cans).

On the paper front, you can now recycle:
  • Milk and juice cartons (remove plastic caps from milk and juice cartons)
  • Frozen food boxes (frozen vegetables and meals)
  • Cardboard ice cream containers and lids
  • Paper coffee and beverage cups
  • Fruit and produce boxes (wax-coated)
  • Juice and drink boxes
Put them in with the rest of your paper recycling.

There are a few other items which I wasn't aware you could recycle:
  • Medicine bottles (but not their tops)
  • Flower pots (but not those 6pack plant containers)
  • plastic cups like those you get from fast-food restaurants or stadiums
Just in case you weren't confused, there are also some things that you might think are recyclable but aren't
  • Anything of type 6 (styrofoam) can not be recycled, this includes cups, egg cartons and clamshell takout containers
  • Anything of type 1 that isn't a bottle can not be recycled, this includes berry containers, plastic knives,forks,spoons, packaging from small electronics.
Take a look at this list of things that can and can't be recycled in Montgomery County's comingled materials recycling.

(*) I can never remember if it was vorporware or vorpaware, imaginary bonus points if you can tell me which it is. Points too for knowing what it is a reference to.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Taste of Bethesda is TOMORROW!

Taste of Bethesda is Saturday, come out and sample foods from 50 restaurants, drop by the Bethesda Chevy-Chase rescue squad for "Rescue Day" , enjoy entertainment on 5 stages, and see classic cars as part of "Come back to Bethesda". Yeah, this is big.

Taste of Bethesda runs from 11am to 4pm Saturday October 3, 2009. It is in the Woodmont Triangle part of Bethesda, MD.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bethesda Green Open House

Bethesda Green's business incubator kicked off a three day open house with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30am this morning. The speeches were kicked off by Honest Tea founder Seth Goldman (pictured). Followed by a number of other speakers. As is pretty much standard with ribbon cutting ceremonies, the speeches were mostly self-laudatory and I only made it through three of them. There was a good sized crowd there, much larger than I expected, a lot of people taking pictures and several doing video. One thing that was conspicuous by its absence was any form of ribbon. Perhaps they pulled it out after I left. Bethesda Green is located at the corner of Woodmont Avenue and Cordell Avenue in the Chevy Chase bank building in Bethesda, MD.

The ribbon cutting is just the kickoff though, there are lots more events planned over the next three days. Today's focus is "Business is Going Green" Friday is "Focus on Sustainable Living" and Saturday (Taste of Bethesda day) is "Focus on Community Sustainability" You can see the full schedule of events and find ones that interest you at the Bethesda Green Launch page.

Honest Tea was giving away bottles of tea there and I think this may have been the first time I have ever had any. I got a bottle of Organic Peach White Tea, which was light, not very sweet, and with just a subtle hint of peach. I liked it.