Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I've uploaded many new photos from last Thursday night's Porcelanosa grand opening in North Bethesda. You can see Jaleo chefs in action making the now-famous Liquid Olive, more photos from around the showroom, and, yes, more Valeria Mazza.
I also remembered a couple of other things since I wrote my previous post. First, when you enter the store, there are two virtually life-size photographs of Nicole Kidman and George Clooney a few yards inside the door. In fact, there are many other famous people who are members of what Valeria Mazza referred to as the "Porcelanosa family:" including Prince Charles (whose logo appears many places under the Porcelanosa logo on signs around the store), and [the real] 007 himself - Pierce Brosnan.
The other thing was that a vintage Ferrari was parked outside when I left at the end of the night. What a classic, and what a great metaphor for the elements that go into every Porcelanosa product.
Now, enjoy the photos, and be sure to read my previous entry to get the full story on the Porcelanosa grand opening!
PORCELANOSA PHOTO ALBUM:
Friday, November 18, 2011
Last night's grand opening of the new Porcelanosa showroom in North Bethesda was a star-studded affair. The high-end Spanish tile, kitchen and bath firm went all out by inviting Bethesda's most famous chef, José Andrés, and supermodel Valeria Mazza.
If you noticed 4 searchlights in the sky over North Bethesda... that's where I was. Porcelanosa rolled out the red carpet - literally - for guests at the door. Inside was a spectacular showcase of Spanish cuisine and craftsmanship.
With television shows, cookbooks, and a growing empire of 5-star restaurants, James Beard Award-winning Chef José Andrés has made the best of Spain well known to American diners. Most people now know that Spain produces cheeses, ham and wine that are among the world's best - and many would argue, the best.
But in this time of cheap-quality products, mass-produced in cheap labor centers in Asia, we may have forgotten that Spanish craftsmanship is outstanding in other areas, too. And always has been. In the age of conquest, scoundrels and swashbucklers, where did you want your sword to be from? Toledo, Spain, of course! Today, Spain designs and manufactures some of the most innovative and advanced trains - with sleek, modern designs - and exports them to run on West Coast American rails.
Now, Porcelanosa brings this skill and modern artistry into your home, with Spanish tile and fixtures that can transform any kitchen or bathroom into a design showcase.
No wonder so many interior design, remodeling and architecture professionals were in the house. I spotted Anthony Wilder of Bethesda's Anthony Wilder Design/Build across the room, for example.
There was an open bar and plenty of delicious tapas from Jaleo. The chef even brought a special dish to try: The Liquid Olive. I had a Spanish white wine.
If you didn't think you needed a kitchen or bathroom makeover when you entered the showroom, you probably did by the time you left. All of the latest features are available at Porcelanosa, but with the quality and craftsmanship lesser brands leave behind.
There was also a guitar duo playing Spanish and flamenco-style music throughout the evening. It was very good, and you can hear it on the video.
Speaking of which, here it is! Exclusive video of José Andrés and Valeria Mazza at last night's event:
Both of them were very gracious, and I thank Porcelanosa for the invite, and for setting everything up so that I could bring you this exclusive video from the event.
The first photos are up at:
More to come!
Don't forget, you can meet José Andrés yourself right here at Bethesda Row on December 7, when he is having a cookbook signing at Jaleo Bethesda. One of his cookbooks, autographed, would make a perfect holiday gift for any of the aspiring chefs on your list.
Enjoy the video, and have a great weekend!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Most of Montgomery County, Baltimore and the state of Maryland's highway history is more about the roads that weren't built, rather than the ones that were. After 50 to 60 years, drivers are still waiting for the Outer Beltway and new Potomac River bridges, the Rockville Freeway, the M-83 Midcounty Highway Extended, the Northwest and North Central Freeways, and the Northern Parkway. And those are just in Montgomery County! If you haven't noticed, our economy has been in decline, we are losing jobs, and large companies are going elsewhere.
Recently, Gov. Martin O'Malley directed a multimillion dollar award to Bechtel in Frederick County. Bechtel had threatened to move to Virginia. Because Maryland can't afford to lose any more jobs, Gov. O'Malley had little choice but to pay up.
What was Bechtel's number one reason to move to Virginia? The company wanted easy access to Dulles Airport, which currently does not exist from any county in Maryland. Of course, had we built the I-370/Outer Beltway Potomac River crossing directly from the I-270 corridor to Dulles, we wouldn't have this problem! The same issue was a major reason Northrop chose Northern Virginia for its headquarters over Montogmery County. Even after the payoff, Bechtel has just announced that it will shift a number of jobs from the Maryland headquarters to a Virginia location. As you know, that means a reduction in tax revenue for our state.
When will we learn that...
Texas, Kentucky and, frankly, most other states already know this, and they're taking action. Texas and Kentucky are among several states clamoring to be on the route of Interstate 69, a NAFTA superhighway that will stretch from the Mexican border to Canada through the United States.
These things take time, but the work is beginning to pay off. Some stretches are now being designated, and simply putting signs along the corridor is boosting those areas' job prospects, even before the highway is finished!
Check out these comments on the relationship between highways and jobs:
"Access to an interstate is an important driver of economic development activity, so this effort is of particular importance to South Texas communities and businesses.”
[G]etting one stretch of roadway in Kentucky designated as part of I-69 was a cause of celebration by some 200 people and dozens of schoolchildren at Southside Elementary School, which stands practically in the shadow of the newly designated I-69.
[Kentucky Gov. Steve] Beshear cited the economic development significance of putting more western Kentucky cities on an interstate, bringing jobs and companies that depend on top-rate transportation infrastructure.
Good highways are “one of the most important” factors that companies consider when locating a facility, he said, and identifying cities on an interstate highway is part of the process.
It’s extremely important and will be extremely useful to Henderson in terms of employment, job opportunities and economic development,” Henderson Mayor Steve Austin declared.
State Sen. Dorsey Ridley said the future extension of the interstate toward Henderson “will move economic development in a way people don’t realize, simply by putting up a shield called I-69” along the Pennyrile [Parkway].
At the Kentucky press conference, a representative of the Obama administration stated that this highway was just the sort of project that would create jobs and stimulate the economy - through infrastructure.
Isn't it time to move forward in Maryland?
Sunday, November 06, 2011
I hope you enjoyed the exclusive video I posted yesterday from The North Face grand opening at Bethesda Row. Today I have another video, as we have one more day of celebration at The North Face on Bethesda Avenue!
This video is my review of The North Face Venture Jacket. I won this jacket in the big giveaway that has been going on for the grand opening of the Bethesda store. (Don't forget, if you won a prize, you need to redeem it by today at the store.)
The Venture Jacket is a high-tech, lightweight rain jacket. It repels water, and keeps you dry. On this video, I show you the jacket and all of the features. (One thing I missed was that the iPod pocket is actually a zippered pocket on the upper right sleeve).
As you can see by the small size of shopping bag, the Venture Jacket would fold up easily in your luggage for traveling. You get all the benefits of an upscale jacket in the suitcase space of a cheap rain slicker.
One sign of high quality apparel, whether it be a Lacoste or Ralph Lauren polo shirt, or a jacket like this, is the great fit right off the rack. My Venture Jacket is size Medium, and is not all baggy like some cheaper jackets would be.
Hopefully the video will be of help if you are shopping for a rain jacket, and they are available for men and women. The colors they had Friday night were green, blue and the grey that I chose. Whatever you are looking for, the helpful staff will steer you in the right direction. Which is a good thing, because they have jammed a ton of stuff into this store!
So stop by The North Face at Bethesda Row today, and you can still take on the Climbing Wall until 4 PM!
Be sure to follow me at @BethesdaRow on Twitter to find out everything that's going on in downtown Bethesda, and follow The North Face Bethesda at @TNFBethesda.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
The North Face is open at Bethesda Row, and it's not too late for you to join in the festivities today! In fact, all that happened last night is happening again today at the new store on Bethesda Avenue - and more. Mix 107.3 FM is doing a live broadcast from the store, and The North Face is bringing a Rock Climbing Wall to Bethesda Row! Are you up to the challenge?
If you went yesterday, what did you think? I stopped by last night and got some exclusive video for you:
If you didn't visit yet, get a sneak preview on the video, and then make plans to go today or tomorrow. Here's the official schedule again:
I also picked up the Venture Jacket I won in the ongoing contest. It is a great rainproof jacket, and I will be posting a second video to show you all of the features. Be a winner yourself by following @TNFBethesda on Twitter for all of the latest news and giveaways. And of course, follow me at @BethesdaRow to find out everything that's going on around downtown Bethesda.
The staff was very helpful in getting the right size of jacket for me, and rounded up a salesperson to help find thermal shirts I was searching for. The North Face is opening at the perfect time, as we are getting a sneak preview of the frigid, heavy snowfall winter ahead: now you can gear up with everything you need not only for weather survival, but for all of your favorite winter sports (extreme or otherwise) as well. I found out that you can even have orders from The North Face web site shipped to the Bethesda Row store, and pick them up there to receive FREE shipping!
How did they jam all that gear into the store? I don't know, but it's here and ready for winter. So stop by this weekend to check it out for yourself, and enjoy the festivities at The North Face Bethesda grand opening!
Friday, November 04, 2011
Here are the first photos from last night's party at Urban Country:
Don't forget to hurry in for the final days of their 20th Anniversary Sale, with 20% 0ff!
The North Face will be celebrating its grand opening all weekend at its new Bethesda Avenue store!
Here is the complete schedule of events:
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
South African chicken restaurant Nando's Peri Peri makes its long awaited debut on Bethesda Avenue today. You can choose how mild or spicy you want your chicken to be. Parking is convenient, as Nando's is located right next to the Bethesda Ave.-Elm St. Public Parking Garage. If you can find a space! The grand openings aren't over yet: The North Face opens at Bethesda Row this Friday!