Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Valentine's Special at Nando's Peri Peri
All Month Long During February
Love is in the air at Bethesda Row: Nando's Peri Peri on Bethesda Avenue is offering special Valentine's Day dinner package they call "Peri Peri is for Lovers." The best part is, it is available every day in February. After all, is it possible to have too many romantic dinners?
Here's what comes with the package: One whole Nando's Chicken in Fiery Peri Peri Sauce, your choice of two large side dishes, a bottle of Cara Viva wine, and a Chocolate Spoon Cake.
Grand total for this date night: $39.99!
Starts Wednesday at Bethesda Row.
AND CHEESE MCGRIDDLE
This morning through February 29, Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddles are only $1.99 at the Bethesda McDonald's on East West Highway and River Road.
That just happens to be one of my favorite breakfast items at McDonald's. Now I know what you're thinking: "Where's the syrup?"
The syrup is inside the pancake. It's inside the pancake. Incredible.
While you ponder the existential question of how they get the syrup inside the pancakes, I'm heading to McDonald's for a Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddle!
Last month, when writing about ridership on Norfolk's Tide light rail being twice the projected number, I suggested it might have something to do with the large military population there.
While most light rail systems across the country are successful, the Tide service is the biggest success so far (assuming planners didn't lowball the projections, which is unlikely, since low numbers don't win federal money). So the large number of men and women who have served in Germany and Japan, for example, might be one explanation for the above-average performance.
The reason I think this hypothesis is valid is that these servicemembers have experienced the convenience of the more advanced transit systems found in European and Asian cities. So when they return here, while our systems (with the possible exceptions of cities like New York and Chicago) seem quaint by comparison, they are more likely to give them a chance.
Further proof of my theory was found in yesterday's Core Values column by WTOP commentator Chris Core. He printed a letter from retired Air Force Col. Chris Krisinger, who had high praise for Munich's frankly incredible transit system. Noting the seamless mobility offered by Munich's S-Bahn (think the Purple Line or MTA Light Rail) and U-Bahn (subway), he underscored the need for convenient rail service to Dulles Airport.
Alas, the sensible and world-class layout described by Col. Krisinger ("the 's-bahn' train arrives at the airport in an underground station that brings passengers right up in between the two main terminals") has already been rejected for the Dulles Metro station.
In fact, the so-called airport station was never under the Dulles terminal, and that made the cheaper compromise station the right choice. Had the argument been over an actual underground station at Dulles, I would have written letters to editors and promoted that option here. Nothing would tell visitors that America leads the world more evocatively than rising into the airport itself upon an escalator from the train platform.
Ironically, Core's original column was boosting a Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority board member's idea of a smaller, Aero Train line that would restore the original vision by taking Dulles passengers from an even more affordable station further away directly into the terminal.
Given the fiscal and practical realities of the moment, that idea is a good one, but it seems to have been discarded by the board.
The truth is that Metro to Dulles is all about the Benjamins for wealthy developers. The stations have no parking, which means a massive portion of potential ridership will be lost from the get-go. The Tysons mall station... ...is not in the mall. That says third world, not world class. And the afterthought treatment given to the station theoretically the raison d'etre for the whole Metro line? These three facts speak for themselves.
So we won't have a world-class Dulles Metro system (but the skyline view of already-impressive Tysons Corner from the elevated trestle will be fantastic at night).
But Col. Krisinger's letter does offer proof of my theory - our military population, such as those commuting to BRAC sites like Walter Reed, Fort Belvoir and the Mark Center, are more likely to use transit than the average American worker.
The question is, can our politicians "grow up" and deliver the world's best transit and highway systems for the world's best men and women in uniform?
Monday, January 30, 2012
PROJECT FAILS TO
Following years of delay, the Trillium condo project at the northern gateway of downtown Bethesda has been altered yet again.
The long-empty site has its latest plan, and it leaves much to be desired. First, the proposed building is smaller and far shorter than it should be, within walking distance to Metro. Density in that spot shouldn't be the maximum because that walk to Metro is not a short one.
Second, the design is decidedly ho hum. A cross between a hospital and a cookie cutter office office building, the Trillium is poised to be the latest gateway property to disappoint.
At the south entrance to town, you are confronted with Staples. This was a chance to do something bold. When arriving in Bethesda, you should be greeted by bold architecture, glass, steel and innovative design. Maybe an 8 story fountain.
Instead, we're getting this bland, utilitarian and squat commercial style building. To top it off, the C-shaped courtyard design faces drivers entering Bethesda, from the plans I've examined.
The vague promise of a grocery store that will draw people to the site suggests one name: Wegmans. But will it really be Wegmans, or Harris Teeter, which the same developer has contracted with in one of its DC projects? I will say that getting Wegmans would go a long way to compensate for the underwhelming design.
It's not too late to come up with an alternative. The Planning Board needs to stop trying to throw up skyscrapers in residential neighborhoods, and start trying to build them in downtown Bethesda instead. And it's time to start rejecting the same old, cookie cutter designs every other town is using.
The building that stands at the gateway to Bethesda ought to represent Bethesda.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Farmstead cheese is rare in both the U.S. and Europe. But not Sundays at the Bethesda Central Farm Market at the Elm St. parking lot from 9 AM to 12:30 PM.
What is "farmstead cheese?" It is cheese made on the same farm where the livestock that produced it graze. Stonyman Gourmet Farmer is selling farmstead cheese every week at the market, so you can try this rare cheese for yourself.
Stonyman has another Bethesda connection: they designed a cheese plate for Food Wine & Co. on Wisconsin Avenue.
So stop by Stonyman at the market; their mission in life is to help you create the perfect cheese plate for you, while fostering local and sustainable dairy production.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
BETHESDA RESTAURANT WEEK
This could be your last chance to dine in Olde Town Kensington before it turns into AnyTownCenter U.S.A.
Kensington is closer to Bethesda than you think, just minutes away on Connecticut Avenue.
K-Town Bistro is on Howard Avenue, featuring the charm of Antiques Row and passing trains on the old B&O Metropolitan main line.
Here is their Restaurant Week dinner menu:
Soup of the Day
Field Mixed Green Salad
(Red Onion, Cherry Tomato, Avocado, Goat Cheese, House Dressing)
Creme Brulee with berries
Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
Here's some interesting bonus trivia: This stretch of Howard Avenue, along with Armory Avenue and St. Paul Street, was once part of Maryland's brief but legendary MD Route 666.
Route 666 was designated such while Connecticut Avenue was constructed with today's bridge over the railroad. Route 666 was an at-grade crossing (and former streetcar route) which no longer exists.
Dine amongst history for Restaurant Week tonight at K-Town Bistro.
One selection from each category: total: $33.
3784 Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD
Open 5-11 PM for dinner.
CHINA HIGH SPEED RAIL
LESSONS FOR U.S. SYSTEM
China has built the most miles of high speed rail of any nation in the world. They have made some big mistakes along the way, and yesterday's China Daily reported on the changes China is implementing in response.
Most of the lessons learned reinforce the idea that the United States should concentrate its full effort along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, including here in Maryland and the District.
Paul Amos of the World Bank suggested to the paper that China is wise to now focus on "main corridors (to) generate good revenue streams."
Amtrak's Northeast Corridor is its biggest revenue generator, although longtime transportation reporter Don Phillips has noted that it's not as profitable as is often assumed.
But the Northeast is where the biggest demand is. As China Daily noted, "in the eastern areas of China...the population is dense and the economy dynamic...(Li) Kun said, development of high speed rail in the east should 'continue to be fast tracked.'"
Although China expanded too rapidly, and has taken on debt as a result, it's interesting to note that they spent $586 billion on high speed rail. Why? Because they can afford to.
There are recent indications that the US economy is turning around. We should know by March whether President Obama's stimulus has worked.
My belief is that, had the bulk of the stimulus been spent on highways and rail projects, a more rapid recovery would have occurred.
Amtrak has put forward a sound plan to develop high speed rail in the Northeast Corridor. It would cost about $3.9 billion per year over the next 3 decades. Track and tunnel improvements would be made between here and New York. North of New York City, Amtrak would acquire a new right-of-way to Boston for HSR.
Diverting the majority of HSR funds to this Amtrak project would provide the most job creation benefits, and produce the high speed rail route most likely to turn a profit for the taxpayer.
Friday, January 27, 2012
BETHESDA RESTAURANT WEEK
EXTENDED TO FEB. 5!
American Tap Room
Brasserie Monte Carlo
Le Vieux Logis
Oakville Grille and Wine Bar
Old Angler's Inn
$15 Lunch, $33 Dinner
AMERICAN TAP ROOM
Executive Chef Bobby Vickers has done it again! American Tap Room at Bethesda Row isn't just rehashing last week's DC Restaurant Week menu for this week's Bethesda Chevy Chase Restaurant Week 2012.
One of my personal favorites at Bethesda Row, American Tap Room has an outstanding beer list, a four beer sampler (and here they are world-famous names you'll be choosing from), a menu with variety and the best brownie sundae in town. (Watch my video review on the Robert Dyer Channel at http://www.RobertDyer.net).
Here's the dinner menu for Restaurant Week:
Soup of the Day
Baby Spinach Salad
ATR Tossed Salad
Grilled Salmon Salad with Creamy Ginger Dressing
Steak Frites with Cabernet Wine Butter
Slow-roasted Lamb Shank with Celery Root Mashers and Natural Jus
New York Cheesecake with Berry Coulis
Granny Smith Apple Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Pick one from each category; grand total: $33
American Tap Room is at the corner of Elm Street and Woodmont Avenue at Bethesda Row - with the flaming torches out front, you can't miss it!
LAND CO. LAUNCHES
WEBSITE TO SOLICIT
PUBLIC INPUT ON
CHEVY CHASE LAKE
Future Purple Line Community
Goes Back to the Drawing Board
Another Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row Exclusive!!!
The Chevy Chase Lake redevelopment concept is getting a do-over, and developer Chevy Chase Land Co. wants your opinions.
A new website offers a conversation opportunity with CCLC representatives, the centerpiece of which is a survey.
"Why should I waste time filling out a survey?" Well, because they're likely to listen this time. After all, when your urbanizing proposal gets panned by urbanism guru Rollin Stanley, you know you've exceeded the boundaries.
To sweeten the deal, though, CCLC is offering to make a $5 contribution to the Friends of the Chevy Chase Library for each fully-completed survey.
Check out the survey and website here:
Large-scale plans for Chevy Chase Lake depend heavily upon construction of the Purple Line through the community. That's become somewhat of a stretch at the moment, as Ike Leggett's CPI budget proposal includes no funding for the rail line. Yesterday's revelations of large-scale demolitions of homes and businesses in the Washington Post are unlikely to win any new support for the trains, either.
So while you'll likely still be shopping at the Chevy Chase Supermarket in 2022, why not share your own ideas with the Land Co.?
You have nothing to lose, and $5 to gain for Chevy Chase Library.
DELAYED UNTIL 2014?
Another Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row Exclusive!!!
There is a potentially shocking development regarding the proposed Walmart on Rockville Pike.
Stephanie Kavadoy of Bagel City - which would be forced to move if the Walmart goes forward - posted the following statement on Rockville Patch yesterday:
"The Walmart project is on hold right now...JBG is looking to renew all of the leases...at the Pike Shopping Center. Bagel City, David's, Cici's, the Office Depot, Goodyear and Catherine's will all remain at the Pike Shopping Center at least until 2014. JBG is also exercising options to plan other projects since so many people object to have (sic) a Walmart on Rockville Pike."
Wow. If this is true, what happened? The county council's "big box" bill failed to gain traction once business leaders heard about it. Council President Roger Berliner wrote an unprecedented letter asking for the project to be stopped.
I have not heard any local media outlet report that the Rockville Walmart proposal had been delayed. So this is certainly breaking news - if true.
Personally, I am in favor of Walmart coming to Rockville and Aspen Hill. The major reason is that I am a Walmart shopper, and currently have to drive up to Germantown (having said that, I do love the Milestone Shopping Center!). Also, Walmarts in both of these locations will help preserve the suburban nature of their respective areas. Rockville and Aspen Hill are not urban areas, despite developers' plans to urbanize them.
There is one simple reason both Walmarts would have traffic issues: the Rockville Freeway was never built. Building this long-delayed road would easily provide the necessary capacity, as both stores are sited about one-and-a-half blocks from planned interchanges of the Rockville Freeway at 355 and Connecticut Avenue.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
BETHESDA CHEVY CHASE
RESTAURANT WEEK 2012
Chef Geoff Tracy's Lia's in Friendship Heights has perhaps the largest selection of any Bethesda Restaurant Week menu. It's pretty much the whole menu. Check it out at https://www.ChefGeoff.com/lias-menus.html
But beyond that generous offering for only $33, I want to bring your attention to an even bigger deal at the bottom of the Restaurant Week Menu: the $19.95 Twilight Delight available from 4:00-6:30 PM.
Choose one from each of the following groups:
Personal Antipasti Plate (best in my opinion)
Roasted Garlic Risotto
Buckwheat Pizzoccheri (these are pasta ribbons made with buckwheat flour)
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Of course, the legendary Chef Geoff Burger is on the RW menu.
Garage parking is available, and Friendship Heights is a quick, one stop Red Line trip from Bethesda Metro Center (no guarantees on those escalators, folks).
4435 Willard Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
240-223-LIAS for reservations
ADDS SIGN TO
HISTORIC WDCA BUILDING
Enterprise has a long-standing rental car operation by the Capital Crescent Trail bridge on River Road in Bethesda. Yesterday, they attached a new light up sign to the building which formerly housed WDCA Channel 20. The building is now primarily an auto body shop and repair facility, but also has an office suite.
This comes about two months after Washington Episcopal School placed an electronic message sign directly across the street from Channel 20.
UNION JACK'S BETHESDA
FLYING DOG "KUJO"
Are you ready for a beer described as "the savage spawn of two brewing worlds - coffee and beer - colliding?"
Then get thyself to Union Jack's Bethesda tonight, 7-9 PM, for the first tapping of Flying Dog's Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout!
Be confident you are "buying local:" not only is Flying Dog brewed in Frederick, Maryland, but the coffee in this revolutionary brew comes from West Virginia.
Enjoy the rich, dark, roasted flavor with hints of vanilla, chocolate and toffee. Resist the urge to bark at the moon afterwards.
Take a one-of-a-kind coffee break tonight at Union Jack's on St. Elmo Avenue.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
BETHESDA RESTAURANT WEEK
Freddy's Lobster and Clams is keeping it very simple for their Bethesda Chevy Chase Restaurant Week 2012 menu:
The $15 lunch is 1 lobster roll, and 1 cup of chowder.
The $33 dinner is 2 lobsters and 2 cups of chowder. Although restaurants often forbid splitting one restaurant week fixed-price meal, 2 cups suggests sharing to me. Wouldn't they just give you a bowl if it was for one person? Ask when you go to make sure, but this sounds like a potential bargain for two diners.
Of course, Freddy's has much more than lobsters (and don't forget the lobster rolls!). Lobster Mac & Cheese, hot dogs, and even fried chicken (Thursdays).
The capstone is one of the best beer lists in Bethesda - and in Montgomery County, for that matter. And, Freddy's Happy Hour was recently named "Best in Bethesda."
Continue your restaurant week adventures by setting sail for Freddy's.
4867 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Another Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row Exclusive!!!
Word had it that additional officers would be on patrol in the Westbard area after last week's brazen 9:00 PM armed robbery in the Park Bethesda parking lot.
Last evening, two county police cruisers were conspicuously present, a relief to concerned residents. Most I have spoken to are alarmed at the recent robberies in West Bethesda, but still feel the area is safe.
Certainly, the increased presence of police is going to give potential robbers second thoughts about operating in the area. It's also important to remember, as an officer once said at a community meeting, "just because you don't see the police doesn't mean we're not patroling the neighborhood." Sometimes, she said, they may use undercover officers.
Although last week's robbery was a negative for the victim, three positives have come out of this crime incident:
1. Bethesda residents are more aware of personal safety and more likely to note and report suspicious activity.
2. What Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger and rank and file officers and supervisors have been saying for a long time is finally being publicly recognized: the county needs more officers and more funds for the police budget.
Police officers and firefighters are also overdue for raises and step increases. With the county council proposing to spend millions on a biotech venture and tens of millions on yet another developer tax cut, it's clear that they have money for our public safety budgets and employees.
Compared to those sums, and the $2.5 billion BRT proposal, new officers can be hired starting around $50,000 apiece salarywise.
3. It's clear that area residents should organize now regarding the Crown Street trail proposal. As Barney Fife would say, it's time to "nip it in the bud." One man's CCT access is another man's getaway route. This surprisingly dangerous proposal by the Montgomery County Planning Board and the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights is a non-starter. It would make it even easier for criminals to prey on residents of the Park Bethesda and Westwood Mews townhomes. That's one idea that should be canned yesterday.
No word yet of any arrests in the Westbard cases, but it's clear that citizen concerns are on the police department's radar at the moment.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Tragara is an Italian restaurant on Cordell Ave. The chef is the former chef of the legendary Rive Gauche in Washington. The Rive Gauche closed, but the great French chef is still cooking right here in Bethesda.
They have Peroni on the beer list. The gelato is homemade and outstanding, by the way.
Here is the Bethesda Chevy Chase Restaurant Week dinner menu:
Portobello Monte Blanco
Soup du jour
Agnolotti Freschi Alla Crema
Linguini Gamberoni con Funghi di Bosco
Salmone Griglia Rapini
Pollo Alla Romana
Scallopine di Vitello Limone
(my favorite: Veal Scallopini in Lemon
Butter sauce with capers)
Your choice of homemade pastry or
$33, pick one from each category
4935 Cordell Ave.
Valet Parking after 5:00 PM
Bethesda Market, located in the Shops at Sumner Place on Sangamore Road, has paper over the windows, and a "For Lease" sign is posted.
This is a surprise, and a shame.
Sumner Place - Little Falls Mall, to longtime residents - has been hit hard by the recent move of the Geospatial Intelligence Agency to Northern Virginia. The lunch and after work crowds have been greatly reduced.
Still, I'm very surprised that the store would close. There are a number of apartment and condo buildings which surround the Sumner Place property.
The market also had a menu of soups, sandwiches and cookies. One sandwich was appropriately called, "The Sangamore."
If the market isn't reopening elsewhere, it's also a shame. Bethesda Market had an on-premises license, which meant that a customer could sample a beer or wine before buying, in many cases.
I still think Sumner Place is a great location, and it is currently well-suited for investors who are taking a long-term approach. While business has slowed temporarily, it won't be that long before the new, top-secret employees move into the former "mapping agency" campus.
While the government isn't saying who or what will be going in there, one thing's for sure: those folks are going to have to eat lunch and dinner, and Sumner Place is the only dining spot in walking distance.
There will also be a market for a great Happy Hour spot when that day comes.
Until then, the neighborhood is being hit hard by the closures of the market, Jerry's Subs and Pizza, Potomac Video and Ritz Camera.
After all, where can one buy Gifford's Ice Cream and Tuppers' beer under one roof in Montgomery County?
Alas, not at Bethesda Market anymore...
Monday, January 23, 2012
RESTAURANT WEEK 2012
MON AMI GABI
The weather is bad, but it's time to forget about that - Bethesda Chevy Chase restaurant week starts today! It continues through the 29th.
I'll feature some of the many menus here this week, and tonight's dinner menu is from a Bethesda Row favorite, Mon Ami Gabi.
Petite Caesar Salad
Onion Soup au Gratin
Four Mushroom Soup
(Not just any steak frites; Mon Ami Gabi's were
named "Best in Washington" by Washingtonian)
Seared Atlantic Salmon
(Pommes Puree, Sauteed Mushrooms,
Pearl Onions, Red Wine Sauce)
Roasted Half Chicken and Frites
Warm Pear and Cranberry Crumble
with Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Mousse with
Perles Craquantes and
(Perles craquantes are crispy dark chocolate "pearls")
Pick one from each category for a fixed price of $33
CROWN ST. ACCESS
Last week's armed robbery at a Westbard Avenue apartment building parking lot has raised new questions among residents.
First, it is fairly well known that - thanks to misplaced budget priorities by the County Council - Montgomery County's police force is currently underfunded, undermanned and underpaid.
In fact, the Gazette just reported that Montgomery County has the lowest ratio of officers to residents in the entire DC region.
Council President Roger Berliner, who represents Bethesda, is quoted as being skeptical of the need to hire new officers. However, I have heard county officers say otherwise. I think we should rely on the judgement of our professional officers. And on the assessment of Chief Thomas Manger, who has clearly stated more officers are needed.
A second burglary, at a business located in the former WDCA building on River Road, took place recently.
I've heard that more police will be patrolling the Westbard area at night, to address community concerns. I also know that the community officer for the area has been very proactive, and has even handed out business cards with a number she can be reached at directly.
In light of recent events, there is even more reason to oppose the Planning Board's plan to construct a Capital Crescent Trail access point from Crown Street. This is part of a complicated development deal between the board, the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, and the developer of the old Betco cinderblock plant. I testified against the plan to give part of Little Falls Stream Valley Park to the developer, and against the plan to build a bridge between the Betco site and Little Falls Parkway. Not only did the developer get everything they asked for from the board and county council, but the CCCFH made it worse: they had jaywalkers' trail access granted via the parkway and from Crown St. above the site.
As you can imagine, Crown St. access could provide an easy getaway route for criminals stealing from persons and homes at Park Bethesda and Westbard Mews. I don't know how many people in those developments know about these plans, but I can't think they'd be too pleased about an escape route that would allow criminals to disappear into the night via the CCT, the creek or getaway car on the Parkway.
While trail access is a positive, the negative uses cannot be disputed.
Recent crimes, unusual for West Bethesda, suggest there is much careful thinking to be done by county officials in the near future.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Bethesda swimmer Jenny Wilson, graduate of Sidwell Friends, helped Northwestern defeat teams from Iowa and Harvard at Norris Aquatics Center yesterday.
Part of the 200 Medley Relay Team, Wilson posted times of 1:02.77 in the 100 breaststroke, and 2:16.97 in the 200 to win, according to CollegeSwimming.com.
The website noted University President Morty Schapiro was on hand for the victories.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
As the sun rises, roads are slippery around Bethesda, but fairly clear of accumulation. Especially the state roads.
This is a morning that calls for a thermal shirt, hot chocolate and a stack of pancakes with a piece of butter melting between each layer.
Tune in to the Robert Dyer Channel at http://www.RobertDyer.net to watch a short video I took last night. The Shops at Sumner Place was well-prepared. They had a fleet of 3 trucks working hard to get ready for this storm: a salt-spreader, a snowplow and a little white pickup truck with boxes in the back that seemed to take the leadership role. Zipping back and forth throughout the shopping center's vast property, occasionally disappearing behind the buildings, the white truck patroled as the salt spreader, well, spread salt. The snowplow truck had little to do before snow started falling. But they really went the extra mile to prepare for the worst, for the safety of their customers.
Enjoy a very short video of the salt spreader in action, taken last night as the storm approached the Washington, D.C. area, on the Robert Dyer Channel right now.
Have a great snow day, and stay tuned to @BethesdaRow on Twitter!
Friday, January 20, 2012
SEND LETTERS TO
A WOUNDED HERO
An American hero, Cpl. Joseph Mille, recently arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center here in Bethesda.
Cpl. Mille was seriously wounded when an IED detonated as he dashed to assist a wounded comrade (who survived), in Afghanistan.
Recently, he was able to leave the intensive care unit. His sister tells the Press of Atlantic City that Cpl. Mille is "in pretty good spirits. He's more worried about his friend that was hurt. He keeps on repeatedly thanking his nurses and doctors, and they all say the same thing - that they should be thanking him."
Cpl. Mille can receive your letters and well wishes at:
Cpl. Joseph Mille
8901 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20889
TAKES PART IN
Nura Suleiman, Peace Corps volunteer and Bethesda resident, will be featured in a new podcast series sponsored by the Arab-American Museum.
On the February 21 episode, Suleiman will reflect on her time of service in Cameroon.
The series will highlight current issues of interest to the Arab-American community, and to other Americans wishing to learn more about these topics underreported by the mainstream media.
"We cover a wide range of timely topics, from identifying and combating stereotypes and the little-known contributions of Arab-Americans in public service, to the reasons why Muslim women here and elsewhere may choose to dress in the conservative style known as hijab," museum curator Janice Freij told the Dearborn Press and Guide. "It's our hope that people all over the world - Arabs and non-Arabs - will be informed and enlightened by these podcasts," she added.
The podcasts will be available at http://www.ArabAmericanMuseum.org where you can click on the iTunes logo on the "Online Activities" page.
OF 5 MONTH
Move over, John Travolta: A real-life case of Bubble Boy syndrome at Bethesda's National Institutes of Health took an uplifting turn yesterday.
Timmy Osbourne, only a year-and-a-half old, had spent nearly a third of his life in a 15x30' room at the world famous NIH. Doctors said Osbourne, whose condition is more properly termed "Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome," could now safely live in a normal environment.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
READY FOR A
There hasn't been much snow to be found so far this winter. Those complaining should fasten their seatbelts, because by next week we will be in the DC area's traditional blizzard season. Trust me, there will be plenty of snow this winter based on the pattern of things so far.
But what if you can't wait for a Snow Day?
You can have a Snow Day today - at Union Jack's Bethesda!
They've just tapped Snow Day, a winter ale from New Belgium, brewers of the famous Fat Tire.
This Snow Day includes Styrian Golding, Centennial and Cascade hops, delivering a bold flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel.
Enjoy a Snow Day that doesn't involve shoveling your car out of a snowbank tonight at Union Jack's.
"BAD NEWS" CIP
GOOD NEWS FOR
Amidst all the justified complaints over the exclusion of the new Bethesda Metro Center elevators in Montgomery County's proposed capital budget, there was good transportation news.
County Executive Ike Leggett has included funding for a new transit center at Westfield Montgomery Mall, and has postponed funding for Montrose Parkway East.
The new, improved mall transit center was approved in 2005 as a condition for 500,000 square feet of mall expansion.
Westfield will pay for the new bus bays, utilities and foundation structures. Montgomery County will pick up the tab for wind and weather screens, a rain canopy above waiting riders, and a driver restroom. The new transit center will be located adjacent to I-270.
With the recent announcement of a new, 15 screen multiplex theater and new restaurants, Bethesda's beloved mall is getting a new lease on life. Let's hope Montgomery Mall has continued success and growth, rather than sharing the fate of White Flint, now scheduled for demolition. Demolishing perfectly good malls is embarrassing, but you'll find greedy developers pushing this trend through media coverage designed to convince you that the enclosed mall concept is "dead." Tyson's Corner and Montgomery Mall are proving them wrong, but we the public need to support our malls. And to stay engaged in the planning process to let the politicians know we don't want our malls turned into "town centers."
Now, how is the postponement of Montrose Parkway East good news for the Rockville Freeway?
Well, Montrose Parkway is the county's latest example of what I call "right-of-way creep." Montrose Parkway is using part of the Rockville Freeway's right-of-way. However, once the future east section crosses over the railroad tracks north of Randolph Road, planners diverted it from the RF r.o.w., to dead-end at Veirs Mill Road.
I testified against this last summer. The CIP budget delay gives a chance to avoid making this foolish and costly mistake. A 4-lane parkway that ends at Veirs Mill is virtually useless in this east-west corridor.
The county should revert back to the original Rockville Freeway plan. This would not only mean constructing a grade-separated interchange at Veirs Mill, but continuing the rest of the way to the ICC. Montrose Parkway was an abuse of an expensive highway facility. But what's done is done, and we at least got the critical 355/Montrose interchange built.
Now we have the opportunity to make 60 years of boneheaded delay into the highway of the future. The Rockville Freeway is the only way we can possibly handle the traffic that the White Flint plan will generate. And accomodate the rapidly growing traffic flow between White Flint and Columbia, two major emerging employment and housing centers.
A new transit center and a critical highway link wouldn't be bad news at all.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
When I received the MTA press release announcing the January 2012 launch of Bus 203 between Columbia and Bethesda, it sounded like exciting news.
Thinking about what was around the stops on the route, I was ready to write about how you could ride horses, drink Ethiopian coffee and enjoy wine tastings Friday afternoons in Scaggsville. Or catch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in IMAX 3-D at The Mall in Columbia. And then zip back to Bethesda on Bus 203.
Unfortunately, after downloading the 203's schedule, I instead must report a disappointment: Either half the schedule was left off by accident, or this bus only travels west in the morning, and east in the afternoon.
The bus costs $5 each way, which is pretty stiff for the distance and could-be-faster trip.
203 is great news if you live in Columbia and work at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the USUHS on Jones Bridge Road, or NIH. You can leave Snowden River Park & Ride at 5:33, 6:03 or 6:33 AM. Trips back to Columbia start at 12:30 PM from Bethesda Medical Center; the last one is 4:33 PM.
So on that count, 203 is a small BRAC commuter success. But its benefit for Bethesda residents is less than minimal. All the things you can do around the Scaggsville Park and Ride I mentioned? Well, you can take the 203 over there from Bethesda Medical Center in the afternoon. To get back here, alas, requires a string of local routes that sounds more like a bingo game than modern transit.
You could drive home from Scaggsville faster. From that standpoint, this is a wasted opportunity to provide any incentive for a Bethesda resident to use this bus. Not only should it provide service east in the morning, but it should be able to use the shoulder on I-270 N to I-370 E to the ICC, rather than take jammed Connecticut Avenue during rush hour. That would have been a true express bus.
I can only find one evening getaway for Bethesda residents on the 203's route: Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville.
Dyer's Law 433: Cuban restaurants are hard to find.
Dyer's Law 434: Good Cuban restaurants are even harder to find.
Fortunately, we have Cuba de Ayer in beautiful, downtown Burtonsville.
You can take Bus 203 from Bethesda Medical Center/NIH at 4:33 PM. Arrive at the Burtonsville Park and Ride at 5:09 PM (this schedule sounds mighty optimistic, if you been on northbound 185 in the evening rush hour; they must really floor it on the ICC!). Cuba de Ayer is within walking distance.
After dinner, take MTA Commuter Bus 201 from BP&R to Shady Grove Metro. Take the Red Line back to Bethesda.
That's still pretty convoluted, and you could do it faster in a car.
So, as Bill Clinton once said, "at least I tried."
Ultimately, Bus 203 is a great commuting option for Columbia, Scaggsville and Burtonsville residents who work in Bethesda.
Planners did not seem to take into account, however, the fact that there is more job and housing growth in Columbia right now than in Bethesda. And that faster, all-day service east would generate customers for businesses located in underappreciated retail centers in Burtonsville and Scaggsville. That would boost ridership and create jobs. Isn't that what the politicians keep telling us they're going to do?
And, of course, that massive growth in Columbia is exactly why we need to build the Rockville Freeway between Montrose Parkway and the ICC near Indian Spring Country Club.
Having a modern transportation system - and Responsible, rather than "Smart" Growth - requires roads like the Rockville Freeway, and a faster Bus 203 that serves Bethesda as much as Columbia.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Major League Baseball's World Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, will visit wounded servicemembers and their families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center today.
Along for the trip is former home run king and current Cardinals coach Mark McGwire.
Who won't be along?
Future Hall-of-Famer and ex-Cardinal Albert Pujols, who was invited to join his former teammates when they visit President Obama at the White House this afternoon at 3:00.
The players are the latest celebrities to visit wounded warriors at Bethesda's world-famous hospital. No word if they will stop for lunch in downtown Bethesda, but I would highly recommend it.
Monday, January 16, 2012
PEARLSTEIN CALLS FOR
SEIZURES OF PRIVATE
Steven Pearlstein's column in yesterday's Washington Post ("Road to growth is out of the exurbs") not only used local developers' favorite talking points, but advocated measures so extreme they could have been from a Communist dictatorship.
He called on the state of Maryland to appoint a "development authority" that could "buy and assemble land (by taking if necessary)."
But even the pedestrian parts of the article are off base.
In touting so-called "smart growth" within the Beltway, Pearlstein combined all of the easily-rebutted arguments with another familiar ingredient in these developer-friendly pieces: elitism.
Those businesses run by average Americans trying to keep their head above water and provide a better life for their kids along Route 1? "Marginal," says Pearlstein.
In fact, everything All-American along major roadways fails to impress him, as he scolds planners for daring to have allowed fast food restaurants, motels and strip malls to serve hungry and tired travelers of our state and interstate highways.
He has witnessed the error of your ways, and has descended from on high with not simply all the answers, but a draconian proposal to force you to agree with him.
First, he says, the market isn't working.
Developers have commented on my blog in the past, when I wrote about the fact that the only apartments built in Bethesda today (and there have been very few built in the last 10 years, if any) are luxury buildings, that those are simply "what the market will bear."
Now, Pearlstein and local developers are telling us that the market isn't working anymore (!!) and government must take an approach more fitting for a centrally-planned Communist state.
But let's consider the fact that the market actually is working.
Here's a scary thought for Pearlstein and his developer buddies: Rockville Pike, as it exists today, is working. Parking lots are filled up and down the Pike. Retailers and restaurants alike are drawing crowds. The area is walkable for the few who wish to do so. Most shopping centers have no vacancies along 355. If government stays out of the market and does nothing, this will continue for several more decades.
Citizens and consumers are happy. Business owners are happy.
Who's not happy?
Developers and the politicians they elect to office.
You see, as long as we're all happy about Rockville Pike the way it is, developers can't build more stuff. With profits rolling in, and zoning being what it [was], there was no reason for landowners to sell or redevelop shopping centers.
That's why the county (and the City of Rockville) both passed zoning overhauls that changed the game overnight. New zoning allows anything to go anywhere, and suddenly shopping centers are worth a lot more on the real estate market. Using simple Gordon Gekko psychology, they have changed real estate market behavior. That tidy profit the landlord was making from storefront leases can now be vastly multiplied with mixed-use development.
So it isn't the market at all, but government interference that is driving urbanization and high-density growth within Montgomery County's suburbs.
This is happening now. But Pearlstein and developers still aren't satisfied. It's not happening fast enough or on a large enough scale, they claim.
Pearlstein says it is time to "deal...with scores of owners of small parcels who may not want to sell, or [who] like things the way they are." And pesky "community opposition."
How to solve this annoying problem?
"[C]reate a Capital Region Redevelopment Authority whose director and board majority are appointed by the governor. Such an authority would need to have the power to borrow money, buy and assemble land (by taking if necessary), override local zoning in extraordinary circumstances," declares Pearlstein, conceding that this would be "heavyhanded intervention" by Maryland.
I'm not exactly sure how one responds to such a radical proposal. It makes Plan Maryland sound like a laissez faire document.
Just break it down: Can you imagine? An elected politician appointing people who serve at his pleasure - to have this much power to steer business within the real estate market? It is a recipe for corruption.
"Taking" land? The seizure of private property for a for-profit development is an abuse of eminent domain power. Of course eminent domain has a legitimate purpose in cases where the public good, health or safety is at stake (highways, railroads, hospitals, fire stations, etc.). Town centers do not qualify, but thanks to the misguided Supreme Court decision of recent years, this abuse of eminent domain continues.
"Override" local zoning authorities? Pearlstein seems to have forgotten that citizens are the boss, and government is supposed to serve us, not the other way around. Citizens have too little say in development decisions as it is. Pearlstein's proposal would leave us with none.
There's so much else in the article that just isn't so.
He also shares the opinion of developers and our elected officials that you should pay for infrastructure while developers walk away with tax breaks and the big profits.
For example, in White Flint, developers will pay less than a third of the infrastructure costs, leaving taxpayers to foot the majority of the bill. Your share in profits from that development? $0.
Pearlstein laments that developers were once "required to pay for" infrastructure. And rightly so, given that they and the politicians are the ones who get the revenue.
Now Pearlstein says that future infrastructure "must be a public expense agreed to by the voters and added to the tax bills of all landowners."
Ridiculous. This is why we need Responsible Growth, not Smart Growth.
Pearlstein promotes the tired idea that infill development of luxury condos will provide affordable housing for young adults.
News flash: "singles and young-marrieds" can't afford $2200 a month rents or $800,000 luxury condos.
He claims that families with children are seeking a "more urban," car-free lifestyle. Well, we all need a good laugh. Soccer moms who chaperone the team on Metrobus rather than the old SUV are the next wave in Pearlstein's world.
Shopping malls aren't part of that world, he says. "Shoppers no longer prefer them, retailers are abandoning them and developers are scrambling to tear them down."
Well, he got the third part of that sentence right.
As for the first two claims, has Pearlstein ever tried to find a parking space at Tyson's Corner during the holidays?
How does he explain that Westfield Montgomery and Wheaton are both fully-leased? With the exception of Borders going bankrupt nationally, so was White Flint.
It seems he needs to get out more often.
Shopping malls remain convenient, but developers are using media to influence the public otherwise.
If we tear down all car dealerships and repair shops as Pearlstein proposes, where will we all get our cars repaired?
The best course of action is to pursue Responsible Growth, where developers cover infrastructure costs with impact taxes. And where growth is approved when the infrastructure is in place to support it. We need better transit operations, but we also need to complete our highway system to serve the other 85% of current and future residents who will drive cars.
Ultimately, Pearlstein's central premise is backwards.
The exurbs will be where growth and economic opportunity lie if our politicians and developers keep on our current path, and adopt extreme measures such as those proposed by Pearlstein. Families are seeking convenient shopping and services, lower crime, backyards and affordable single-family homes on leafy, suburban streets. Why would you choose to take a two hour transit commute over sitting in highway traffic for one hour? Nothing in these "smart growth" proposals addresses these realities.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Today at 4 PM at Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, internationally-acclaimed pianist Berenika will join violinist Rebecca Racusin for a FREE program of Chopin and Schumann.
Berenika has performed across the globe, including for heads of state. Award-winning Rebecca Racusin has played everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Italy. Today you can hear them both for free in a more intimate setting than those famous venues can allow.
Little Flower is located at 5607 Massachusetts Avenue, and has ample free parking.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Work is underway to transform a former clothing store into a sushi bar at the Sumner Place shopping center in Bethesda.
A banner-style sign announced the early 2012 opening. Out front, there was a large dumpster on Thursday evening.
When it opens, Passion Fin won't be competing directly with Sushi-ko, Sushi Taro and Kushi. Its main competition will be other sushi bars in the West Bethesda area like Yirasai Sushi in the Westwood Center II, and a couple of places on Macarthur Boulevard in Palisades.
With Passion Fin, Kicks Karate (in the former Potomac Video space) and Subway (in the former Jerry's Subs and Pizza space), The Shops at Sumner Place has filled some rare vacant storefronts.
The former Little Falls Mall has endured some recent challenges, with the Geospatial Intelligence Agency moving from its longtime home across Sangamore Road to Virginia. Agency employees were always a major part of the shopping center's customer base.
Fortunately, new intelligence-related personnel will be deployed at the site in the near future. That and an end to the recession would bode well for the future of this much-loved retail center.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Bethesda's favorite comedian, Wayne Manigo, is joining TV's Ian Salmon for a night of live comedy at Yamas Grill. Not only are you going to get more entertainment than you paid for (tickets are only $10), but you will also be supporting a good cause - Cinderella Cares.
Cinderella Cares promotes awareness and early diagnosis of, and finding a cure for, lung cancer. ( http://www.CinderellaCares.com )
It's going to be a very cold and windy night, so head into the warmth of Yamas Grill for an evening of great comedy and outstanding cuisine.
The show starts at 9 tonight at 4806 Rugby Avenue.
Federal Realty Acquires Montrose Crossing
Shopping Center Controlling Interest
Can it really be time for another Rockville Freeway update already? Yes, because developments (pun intended) continue to unfold rapidly along the Rockville Freeway/Rockville Facility right-of-way. That tends to happen when you delay construction of a critical highway for 60 years!
The latest major "development" is that Federal Realty has just acquired the controlling interest in the Montrose Crossing shopping center. This is a legendary and still-popular shopping destination with tenants that include Giant Food, Old Navy, Sports Authority and Timpano Italian Chophouse. I say legendary, because this shopping center once housed one of the few Super Giant stores in the DC area back in the 70s.
Montrose Crossing just also happens to sit adjacent to the Rockville Freeway right-of-way. This portion of the Rockville Freeway has been converted into the Montrose Parkway, the construction of which led to the building of the Rockville Freeway's planned 355 interchange.
As you may know, Federal Realty owns Mid-Pike Plaza, home to Toys R Us and G Street Fabrics. FR plans to demolish MPP and build a mini-Manhattan where it stood, to be known as "Pike and Rose." I kid you not.
Now it controls Montrose Crossing, and surely will redevelop that site as well. In fact, FR noted in a statement that current zoning would allow mixed-use redevelopment, and that future permissions could be granted for transit-oriented, high-density development.
Of course, we all know that "transit-oriented development" is a sham, because only 15% of any new residents will use transit.
Knowing that underscores the urgent need to get started on the Rockville Freeway. The first step is to get the freeway into the appropriate master plans. That is the only way a project can qualify for federal funds. Total cost of the Rockville Freeway would be under $1 billion. Because the project has been on the books since the 1950s, it is ahead of newly-planned roads in competing for funds. In a worst case scenario, it could be built by a private company. This would make it a toll road. I am opposed to toll roads, but if you let the company own the road, tolls would be much lower than the ICC.
One final, more trivial update? Did you know that building the Rockville Freeway would require condemnations of only a handful of properties? In contrast, the Purple Line could impact over 300 properties. Yet the Rockville Freeway would carry more commuters per day than the Purple Line.
The Rockville Freeway is an investment in job creation and quality-of-life Montgomery County can't afford not to make.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
SASHA AND MALIA
First daughters Sasha and Malia Obama were spotted bowling at Bethesda's venerable Bowlmor Lanes this past Sunday.
They were far from the first celebrities to bowl at the former Bowl America. But Sasha, Malia and Michelle Obama have made theirs the first First Family to spend significant time in Bethesda.
I'm still hoping the President will make his first real stop in our town. The Commander-in-Chief likes burgers, and we have the only Kraze Burgers in America here in Bethesda. BGR is here as well. There's the DC Dog chili half-smoke at Bold Bite to try.
According to the New York Daily News, Malia and Sasha dined on upscale Bowlmor appetizers Sunday. Frank Digiacomo reports the Obama girls and two friends enjoyed "spring rolls, corndog skewers and pigs in a blanket."
Final scores at Bowlmor, Digiacomo claims:
TO BETHESDA AT
PLAZA DEL SOL
This Saturday night (January 14), guitarist Miguelito and dancer Sarah Louisa return to Plaza del Sol restaurant for two flamenco performances at 7 and 8 PM.
Enjoy fine cuisine and a rare flamenco show at this new Mexican restaurant at 4932 St. Elmo Ave.
Why go all the way downtown to Lauriol Plaza when Plaza del Sol has their former executive chef right here in Bethesda?
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
5 YEARS IN
Stop by Guardado's on Del Ray Avenue this week as they celebrate 5 years in downtown Bethesda. As you know, 5 years is practically an eternity in the volatile restaurant industry. So it speaks well to the quality of the food and service Guardado's offers.
Enjoy a special $25 prix fixe menu ($45 per couple) this week.
If you go tonight, they have a Red Sangria special: $12 for a pitcher, $4 for a glass.
Former Bethesda resident Jon Huntsman is en route to South Carolina after finishing third in last night's New Hampshire primary.
Gov. Huntsman, an alumnus of Westbrook ES, has 3 town hall meetings on his calendar today.
We're following Bethesda's hometown candidate because of his Bethesda connection, and because this candidate selection process is simply a farce. Marylanders are left to twiddle our thumbs as 1% of the nation gets to ask questions of the candidates, size them up, and in effect, pick the nominee of the GOP or Democratic party.
On April 3, Montgomery County voters will already know who the nominee will be. What should be a serious action is simply going through the motions, instead.
It's unclear if Huntsman has a path to the nomination. Voters claim they don't want Romney, but apparently are voting for him anyway.
A Huntsman victory in South Carolina would require getting credit for the local endorsements he has, but it's hard to top Romney's big get: the endorsement of SC Gov. Nikki Haley. She is popular among both the Tea Party and the GOP eestablishment.
Newt Gingrich's threatened Bain attack ads would have to hit a chord with voters. And social conservatives would have to settle on a candidate, as they did in Iowa with Rick Santorum. But 2008 proved that SC is a moderate GOP state. John McCain wouldn't have beaten Mike Huckabee there a decade ago. SC's newfound moderate streak certainly boosts Romney's chances, as well as Huntsman's long shot bid.
Huntsman has some momentum, having exceeded his NH poll numbers by several points.
But in Florida, the next state he pins his hopes on, he is currently at 2% in the polls.
Can he do it? You'll find out in 13 days.
BACH TO ROCK
Bach to Rock (B2R) music school on Bethesda's St. Elmo Avenue is tuning up to conquer the globe.
After nearly five years in downtown Bethesda, and with a handful of area locations, B2R is offering franchises in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Nationally recognized for its initial success, B2R offers classes to groups of kids, adults and senior citizens. In yesterday's announcement, B2R President Brian Gross pointed to TV shows Glee and American Idol, and Guitar Hero games as societal influencers, raising demand for music instruction to "an all-time high."
As a professional musician, I can say that while great musicians have existed for centuries with traditional music education or self-teaching, the electronic and educational resources of today make it much easier and less tedious to learn. And that means the rewards of mastering an instrument will be accessible to greater numbers of people.
"Not in my backyard!"
A civil discussion will be held tonight from 7-9 PM in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS cafeteria on a non-controversial topic: Where to put a massive new middle school within a completely built-out residential section of the county. No problem right?
MCPS officials want your input on the site location. Should be easy enough, right?
The first round ended up in court. That should set the tone for tonight's meeting. If you cannot attend, additional meetings will be held in the same location on January 25 and February 8 and 22.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
CAN YOU DESIGN
Head to Yamas Grill starting at 4 PM today for their cocktail contest. Put on your best Tom Cruise smile. Taste cocktails. Submit your original cocktail recipe. Pay $6 entry fee.
Yamas patrons will vote all month long to decide which one is best.
If your cocktail wins, Yamas will name it after you and add it to the February cocktail menu!
You're always a winner at Yamas Grill on Rugby Avenue, with the best gyros and lamb burgers in Bethesda. Don't forget, they also deliver.
ROMNEY AS FIRST
NH PRECINCT VOTES
Today is the big day in New Hampshire. All predictions claim Mitt Romney will win the primary. But at this hour, voting results are in from Dixville Notch, NH, and Jon Huntsman is tied for first place with Romney. Each has two votes.
In this primary process, we in Maryland have no chance to weigh in on who the Republican or Democratic nominees should be in any election year.
So today's vote is academic for us, and the media is even sure who'll win. We might as well follow the rise or fall of our "hometown" candidate, Huntsman.
As I mentioned here on Sunday, a current Bethesda resident and Westbrook ES student - Zoe Farley - is in New Hampshire as an aspiring reporter. And Huntsman, as I mentioned, attended Westbrook.
We'll follow the results and see how he does.
Capital New York is reporting that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said Huntsman is "very qualified."
Other interesting news? Huntsman had an early breakfast with a famous Maple Round donut from Harvey's Bakery. He's also been bitten by Izak the Goat. A real goat.
The Hill reports that President Obama's fiscal commission chairmen, Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have issued a statement "commending" Huntsman on his economic and debt proposals.
If you remember the primary night shocker 4 years ago, when Hillary Clinton pulled off an upset win over Barack Obama, you know anything can happen in New Hampshire.
So regardless of the outcome, this is a rare time that a presidential candidate has ties to Bethesda. But surprisingly, not the first time. Edmund Muskie once lived in Bethesda.
I have a feeling Jon Huntsman would like to get more votes in New Hampshire than Muskie did.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Remember the electronic signs scheduled to be installed last November outside the Bethesda Row garage (Elm Street and Bethesda Avenue entrances)? You may notice a big blue sign and signpost have appeared at last.
The signs will indicate how many spaces are free in the garage. This won't create new spaces. It won't mean you won't still have to drive like Jason Statham to get said spaces. But hopefully it will keep you from wasting time if the vacancy situation is bleak or nonexistent.
Remember, two surface lots across from Barnes and Noble are closing this month. So parking is going to take extra time and patience for the next two years until the Darcy parking garage opens in their place.
Check out these brand new photos of new menu items at The Parva. Chef Andy has done it again, and note that he continues to put the same effort into the presentation as he does the cuisine.
They've also updated the design of the main dining room.
Have you ever had a Pineapple on Fire for dessert? Ever sampled Hogao Paisa or Ajiaco Rolo?
Chef Andy journeyed across South America in search of the best recipes and ingredients. The results are now yours to try at The Parva!
Still one of the best-kept secrets in Bethesda, The Parva brings the authentic flavors of Colombia, Argentina and Peru - and a South Beach atmosphere - to 7904 Woodmont Avenue.
Complete Restaurant List!
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Restaurant Week 2012 is January 23-29.
Participating restaurants just announced:
American Tap Room
Brasserie Monte Carlo
Food Wine & Co.
Freddy's Lobster and Clams
The Irish Inn at Glen Echo
K Town Bistro
Le Vieux Logis
Louisiana Kitchen and Burger Bar
Mon Ami Gabi
Oakville Grille and Wine Bar
Old Angler's Inn
Passage to India
Tavira (you can take the shuttle from Bethesda Metro Center free during operating hours)
Lunch $13 or $16