Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BETHESDA METRO CENTER FOUNTAINS ACTIVATED FOR SUMMER (PHOTOS)

One of the sure signs of spring in Bethesda - and of the rapidly approaching summer - is the activation of the fountains at Bethesda Metro Center. A refreshing diversion for beleaguered Metro riders surfacing out of the Bethesda Metro station, and its inoperable escalators.

SAVE AND HELP PREVENT CANCER AT WESTFIELD MONTGOMERY MALL DURING VIPink WEEKEND, MAY 3-4, 2014

Shop with 20% off, and enjoy refreshments, music and events during Westfield Montgomery Mall's VIPink Weekend, on May 3 and 4 in Bethesda. Westfield Montgomery has joined with Bright Pink, a non-profit dedicated to help women aged 18-45 become proactive against breast and ovarian cancer.

Your purchase of a $10 VIPink Card will benefit Bright Pink, and give you 20% off both days at many of the mall's most popular retailers. Participating stores include Aldo, Tommy Bahama, Lucky Brand Jeans, and J. Crew. You can order your card online, or just stop by Pink Central in the mall's Center Court to buy one in person. VIPCard deals vary by retailer.

Center Court will be the center of attention during VIPink Weekend, with a postcard-writing station, music, a photo booth, pink-themed beverages and more. Receive a complimentary hand and arm (or neck and shoulders) massage at Aveda with your VIPink Card. Stuart Weitzman will be giving away a $500 shopping party. And the new Lilly Pulitzer store will donate 10% of its total weekend sales to Bright Pink. Check this list for the specific deals at each store and restaurant.

Bright Pink founder and CEO, Lindsay Avner, says she is “thrilled to be teaming up with Westfield once again to deliver our lifesaving message to shoppers throughout the country. The critical funds raised through VIPink weekend, and VIPink card sales, will fuel Bright Pink's education and support programs to empower young women to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health."

Westfield Montgomery Mall
7101 Democracy Boulevard

CAR SMASHES HOLE IN WALL OF DOWNTOWN BETHESDA PARKING GARAGE (PHOTOS)

D'oh!!

Parking Garage 40 has an unplanned window on downtown Bethesda, after a woman reportedly crashed her car into the garage's wall. A witness tells me that a woman driving a white car smashed into the wall on the garage's second level around 5:00 PM on Monday (April 21). The force of the collision busted a large hole right through the wall, which has been boarded up on the interior. This is the wall that faces toward Union Jack's up the block. The heavily-used garage has entrances on both Cordell and St. Elmo Avenues.
The new scenic view
This guard rail appears to
have prevented a disaster



And you thought parking in
Bethesda drove
you up the wall..

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HINATA TO BRIEFLY CLOSE TWICE IN BETHESDA IN APRIL AND JUNE (PHOTO)

Hinata, a popular Japanese grocery store and sushi carry-out on St. Elmo Avenue, will close briefly this weekend, and again in June. The store will close this Friday, April 25, and reopen on Tuesday, April 29. It will then close for a longer period on June 9, and reopen again on June 24.

There is no reason for concern if you are a Hinata fan; the store briefly closed last year, as well. This is not unusual for small businesses. But just a heads up, if you're tempted to make the walk over there for a sushi lunch on any of the days in question. You may want to mark these days on your calendar.

THEFT AT YMCA, VEHICLE THEFT AT PARKSIDE - BETHESDA CRIME UPDATE

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on April 19, according to crime data:

Theft. 7700 block Woodmont Avenue.

Theft. 7900 block Connecticut Avenue (Columbia Country Club area).

Drug arrest. 5500 block Friendship Boulevard (Friendship Heights).

Theft. YMCA, 9401 Old Georgetown Road.

Burglary. 9800 block Parkwood Drive (Parkwood).

Theft. 8700 block Melwood Road (Hillmead).

Vehicle theft. 10600 block Montrose Avenue (Parkside).

Theft. Macy's at Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Vehicle burglary. Safeway, 5200 Randolph Road (Loehmanns Plaza area).


MONTGOMERY COUNTY GREEN FORUM WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23 AT 7:00 PM

Today is Earth Day. But Wednesday night (April 23) in Silver Spring, you can find out what Montgomery County candidates have to say about environmental issues, at a Green Forum sponsored by Conservation Montgomery. The forum will be moderated by ABC 7 weekend morning anchor Kathy Park, and include all candidates running for County Executive and County Council.

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions via index cards. The event is free, but registration will guarantee you a seat, and a chance to submit your question(s) early for the candidates online. Registration is not required, however.

The forum will be held from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Parking is available in the public garage directly across Ellsworth Drive from the building.

Silver Spring Civic Building
1 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring

WHAT A SHOCK! BETHESDA METRO ESCALATOR MISSES WMATA REPAIR DEADLINE (PHOTOS)

Remember the mezzanine-to-platform escalator at the Bethesda Metro station that WMATA said would be repaired by April 21? The deadline came and went yesterday, and the escalator is still out of commission. Now WMATA says the new deadline is May 19, virtually a month behind schedule.

Despite continued station closures, single-tracking and maintenance, the fact is that Metro's leadership continues to fail customers. At Friendship Heights Metro just the other day, all up escalators were stopped. A customer was surrounded by a small crowd midway up the escalator, in obvious physical distress, and unable to continue the climb. "You're going to be okay," a companion assured the victim.

This level of service is completely unacceptable, and potentially deadly for customers. It's high time that the Washington Post and regional politicians stop enabling Metro's failed leadership. Funding increases from state and local governments must be tied not only to actionable changes in operations, but also to changes at the very top of Metro. Enough's enough.

Here's the current condition of the escalator:








Monday, April 21, 2014

4825 MONTGOMERY LANE LUXURY CONDOS BETHESDA CONSTRUCTION UPDATE (PHOTOS)

Slowly but surely, construction continues at 4825 Montgomery Lane in downtown Bethesda. This project is a 4-story luxury condominium building, on which each floor will be a single unit - possibly redefining the term, "living large." A single-family home used to occupy this site.

The building is finally rising to ground level now (click photos to enlarge for detail):



POOKS HILL BURGLARY, DRUG ARREST IN GROSVENOR - BETHESDA CRIME UPDATE

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on April 18, according to crime data:

Theft. 7700 block Woodmont Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 7-Eleven, 7820 Wisconsin Avenue/Fairmont Avenue.

Disorderly conduct. 7900 block Woodmont Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. Hills Plaza (Friendship Heights).

Burglary. 9800 block Bristol Square Lane (Pooks Hill).

Drug arrest. 10400 block Grosvenor Place.

Theft. 11300 block Rockville Pike (White Flint).

Theft. 10000 block Coventry Way (Wildwood Hills).

Drug arrest. Westlake Drive at Tuckerman Lane.

POTTERY BARN, POTTERY BARN KIDS TO OPEN AT BETHESDA ROW

Exclusive

Two big names in retail are coming to downtown Bethesda. Pottery Barn, and Pottery Barn Kids will open a massive, 2-story 16,608 square foot store in The Darcy, currently under construction at Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues. The high-end condominium building already has several restaurant tenants, including Paul bakery, a new Silver Diner concept, and Chopt.

Pottery Barn recently closed at White Flint Mall, and opened a location nearby at Mazza Gallerie. For the few unfamiliar with the ubiquitous brand, Pottery Barn carries indoor and outdoor furniture, decor and accessories for home living and entertaining. Pottery Barn Kids sells kids' and baby bedding, furniture and toys. Appropriately enough, Pottery Barn Kids just happens to sell a line of beds and cribs called "Darcy." Take note, future parents wealthy enough to live in The Darcy!

The Darcy is part of a large-scale redevelopment project across from Federal Realty's Bethesda Row. This project also includes a second luxury building, The Flats, and a 900-space underground public parking garage. The site was formerly home to Public Parking Lot 31 and Lot 31-A. Woodmont Avenue will be realigned and rebuilt to accommodate the new development. StonebridgeCarras and P.N. Hoffman are the developers of the project.

Opening day is quite a ways off still, as the photo above makes obvious. For now, here's a preview of Pottery Barn's Summer 2014 collection:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

BETHESDA ROW CONSTRUCTION UPDATE (PHOTOS)

Here is the latest progress from the construction site at the former Parking Lot 31 at Bethesda Row. The Darcy is beginning to rise well above street level near Barnes and Noble and the Capital Crescent Trail. Developed by StonebridgeCarras and P.N. Hoffman, this project also includes a 900-space underground parking garage, and a second luxury residential building, The Flats. 



ASSAULT IN DOWNTOWN BETHESDA + MORE - BETHESDA CRIME UPDATE

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on April 17, according to crime data:

Assault. Wisconsin Avenue at East-West Highway.

Vehicle burglary. 4800 block Cordell Avenue.

Theft. 5100 block Nicholson Lane (White Flint).

Vehicle burglary. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard.

Theft. Macy's at Westfield Montgomery Mall.

TOWER CRANE CONSTRUCTED AT FUTURE HARRIS TEETER IN BETHESDA (PHOTOS)

The tower crane has been erected at the 8300 Wisconsin luxury apartments site at Wisconsin Avenue and Battery Lane. Donohoe is constructing a 9-story, 359-unit luxury apartment building there for developer StonebridgeCarras. The project also includes downtown Bethesda's first Harris Teeter grocery store. Other amenities will include a rooftop pool, club room and fitness center. One reason the site required a deep excavation - and blasting - was that the building will have a 4-level underground parking garage. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2015.







Saturday, April 19, 2014

BATTERY LANE CLOSED BETWEEN MD 355 AND WOODMONT AVE. IN BETHESDA (PHOTO)

Battery Lane is currently closed between Wisconsin Avenue (MD 355) and Woodmont Avenue in downtown Bethesda. The closure was necessary due to crane operations at the 8300 Wisconsin Avenue construction site. It is still possible to enter the Sunoco station via a small detour at the top of Battery at Wisconsin.

2 DRUG ARRESTS IN ROCKLEDGE AREA + MORE - BETHESDA CRIME UPDATE

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on April 16, according to crime data:

Theft. 7500 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Theft. 7200 block Woodmont Avenue.

Assault. Suburban Hospital.

Theft. 4600 block N. Park Avenue (Friendship Heights).

Vehicle burglary. 7500 block Marbury Road (Pineview).

Vehicle burglary. 6500 block Cardigan Road (Woodhaven/Bradley Boulevard area).

Drug arrest. 6600 block Democracy Boulevard (near Fernwood Road).

Drug arrest. Rockledge Drive at Rock Spring Drive.


UNCLE JULIO'S ADDS TABLESIDE GUACAMOLE AT BETHESDA ROW

If you haven't been to Uncle Julio's at Bethesda Row recently, stop by and try their new tableside guacamole - literally made just for you. Fresh Haas avocados, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, garlic oil, tomato, onion and salt go into the stone molcajete, and are mixed right at the table. Tell them to add jalapeƱo, if you prefer a hotter flavor. They are chopped fresh, as well.

Uncle Julio's
4870 Bethesda Avenue
(301) 656-2981

7770 NORFOLK BETHESDA LUXURY APARTMENT TOWER CONSTRUCTION UPDATE (PHOTOS)

Here is the latest progress at the site of JBG's future 17-story 7770 Norfolk luxury apartment tower, in Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle. It looks like they are still sheeting and shoring the excavated hole at this stage.