Saturday, June 30, 2012

BETHESDA RESTAURANTS OPEN WITH POWER AND AIR CONDITIONING

Here's a huge list of choices for Bethesda residents seeking dining and/or nightlife options during the power outage:

the parva [party until 2:30 AM in cold AC with frozen margaritas!], bgr, rock bottom, berry yogurt, louisiana kitchen, wing hub, caddie's, la panetteria, mia's pizzas, sorrento, passage to india, tragara, matuba, freddy's lobster, grapeseed, victor's, cal tort, south street steaks, harp & fiddle (open w/ live music), guapo's, tia queta (open including the rooftop), bacchus, brasserie monte carlo, tastee diner, black's bar and kitchen, woodmont grille, starbucks, cesco, redwood, vapiano, kraze burgers, mussel bar (live music), jaleo, american tap room, cafe deluxe, mamma lucia, yogiberry, panas gourmet!

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COOLING CENTERS - BETHESDA STORM UPDATE

For the many without power and AC:

3 cooling centers are open in Montgomery County:

Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville

Clarksburg High School in Clarksburg

White Oak Recreation Center in White Oak

*Bring any prescription medications you need with you*

RIVER ROAD DETOUR

Much traffic, including T2 Metrobuses is being diverted from a stretch of River Road just north of the Ridgefield Road-Little Falls Parkway commercial strip onto parallel Ridgefield Road.  Ridgefield Road is a 2  lane road through a residential neighborhood.  With speed bumps!  Slow going.  Avoid, avoid, avoid!

BETHESDA LIBRARY on Arlington Road is open to the public as a limited hours cooling center.  The county has not specified the hours.

MORE STORMS APPROACHING!

Monitor weather channels and @BethesdaRow on Twitter for the latest!

KILLER STORM ROCKS BETHESDA, MASSIVE POWER OUTAGES TEST PEPCO IMPROVEMENTS

A powerful thunderstorm system blasted Bethesda Friday night, knocking out power throughout town, and leaving a massive mess in its wake.

73% of residents had no power Friday night.  An urgent public health emergency looms today, with temperatures forecast as feeling like 115 degrees, and A/C-deprived Pepco customers being told power will be out for several days.

It is unclear at this hour just what locations in Bethesda do have power, in terms of what sites can be opened as cooling stations today.

Trees are down from Bethesda Row to the Potomac River.  Massive power outages were reported by residents in neighborhoods off of major highways like River Road and Old Georgetown Road.  One resident near Goldsboro Road reported hearing repeated blasts of a truck air horn over an hour-long period during the night.  I have no idea what that could have been, but would assume it was something serious to make that much noise at night.  If anyone knows what that was related to, let me know, and I'll pass that information on.

Pepco is now facing its first real test of its  2-year-long service improvements.  Bethesda residents reported that outage hotlines were down around 11 PM last night.  Today the area will find out if Pepco has the crews from outside DC to respond to one of the biggest outages in history.  If Pepco rises to the challenge, it could greatly improve public opinion of the utility.

Downtown Bethesda outages left late night partiers without post-nightclub eats.  Both Bold Bite and Jiffy Shoppes were forced to close.  Redwood's Bethesda Lane patio was lashed by hurricane force winds.

In fact, an 80 MPH wind shear was recorded in Bethesda at the height of the storm.  The freight train sounds I heard confirm that.  I was sure a tornado would spawn at any moment, but the damage suggests that circular wind patterns did occur.  Leaves carpet streets, and tree companies will be busy for weeks.  The full extent of the damage will be known once the sun rises this morning.

If you have difficulty reaching Pepco, try their Twitter at @PepcoConnect.

Monitor radio for announcements of cooling centers if you have no AC.

Be advised that more storms are expected today and Sunday.

Stay tuned for more details on one of the Top 5 most violent storms to hit Bethesda in the last 50 years.  Follow me on Twitter @BethesdaRow for more breaking weather news.

Stay cool, Bethesda!

Friday, June 29, 2012

WHAT A GEORGETOWN TO GLEN ECHO STREETCAR MIGHT LOOK LIKE

This week's news that the DC streetcar will be extended from Union Station out to Georgetown has fueled speculation about the possibility of it one day reaching Glen Echo.

In recent days, Montgomery County Councilmembers Hans Riemer (who has also advocated having DC streetcars cross into Maryland) and Craig Rice have correctly noted the incompatibility of the proposed BRT system boondoggle with the county's current fiscal situation.

It's clear there simply is neither the revenue, nor the debt capacity, to build the pie in the sky, by and by, BRT network.

This is the time to focus on projects that will actually qualify for federal funds, and which can be built with private investment capital.

Such projects include something as simple as a new parking lot at the Boyds MARC station.  I'm rarely in agreement with developers, but I think there is a lot more potential in the MARC system than we are giving credit to these days.  I was at the council hearing for the bill regarding the issue of development near MARC stations, and Councilmember Riemer spoke correctly on that issue, as well.  To have housing right at a station, while improving MARC service, could certainly take some cars off the road during rush hours, if not during the rest of the day.  In Boyds, you have people who want to ride MARC, but there isn't enough parking.  We should have applied for stimulus money for that project.  That was a missed opportunity.

The Rockville Freeway is a larger project that fits the federal funding/private funding criteria.  This 50-year-old master plan highway, that today would connect exploding employment and residential centers in White Flint and Columbia, would carry more commuters per day than the entire proposed BRT system.  That is a key qualification for federal funding.

Finally, a streetcar line from Georgetown to Glen Echo would qualify, as well.  As I mentioned yesterday, the old streetcar right-of-way is still there, and is already entirely separated from automobile traffic.  This means that the Glen Echo streetcar will literally travel faster than a car making the same trip out MacArthur Boulevard, with red lights and a speed camera-enforced 25 MPH speed limit on that road.

Beyond that huge incentive for ridership - actually reducing your commute time - the Glen Echo right-of-way allows stops to serve major employment centers at Sibley Hospital (currently unserved by rail transit) and, most importantly, the future intelligence campus at the former Geospatial Intelligence Agency site on Sangamore Road.  As you know, there has been a controversy over parking garages there.  Apparently, no one realized the old streetcar right-of-way was the answer!

With the federal government needing to move its employees to and from that campus, they have real, practical reasons to help fund a Glen Echo streetcar.  The speed of the streetcar - possibly the fastest in the nation, on its own right-of-way that is already paid for, no demolitions necessary - is the second major selling point for Uncle Sam.

When you add in the potential partnership with DC, and their plans to build their next streetcar routes with private partnerships, a Glen Echo streetcar project is even more fiscally viable.

If Montgomery County were to share streetcars with DDOT, they might look like this:

Photo: United Streetcar, LLC/Oregon Iron Works


This is the USA-built streetcar DDOT is purchasing from Oregon Iron Works, which kindly sent me this photo to share with you.

Oh, and by the way, the Glen Echo right-of-way allows double-tracking, as the original DC Transit operated two tracks.  So it is all set for that contemporary "must" for rail transit engineers.  The original electrical poles and wires are still in place, and still operating.  All that is needed is to clear the brush from some sections, and install the overhead catenary, and we are back in business.

With no Metro route serving this corridor, a streetcar line makes abundant good sense, as Rick Perry would say, from both a transportation and fiscal standpoint.  It would not cause "sprawl," because it travels through some of the most dense residential neighborhoods in the DC area.  Neighborhoods currently underserved by transit.  Not to mention that a Park-and-Ride lot could be built right off the Beltway near the old Cabin John streetcar turnaround, for even greater ridership.

This is such a great concept, and worked so well in the past, I'm surprised no one is taking action on it.

FARM BUS COMING TO PIKE CENTRAL FARM MARKET IN NORTH BETHESDA SATURDAY

Ordinarily, I'm telling you about the Bethesda Central Farm Market at Bethesda ES on Sundays.

But this Saturday, from 9 AM to 2 PM, a special bus will be stopping by the Pike Central Farm Market, at Mid Pike Plaza at Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road.

Longtime readers know that I believe one of the most underappreciated issues facing America today is, how do we create a new generation of farmers?

One way is to interest children through farm-related toys, like John Deere tractors.  You can buy them locally at Gladhill Bros. John Deere dealership in Damascus.

Gardening is another way, and of course, these days there are even farming video games.

But Saturday, there is yet another way:  the Sol Food Mobile Farm. It is a school bus converted into a rolling demonstration farm.

It's touring the nation this summer to teach kids about agriculture, nutrition, the environment, and all those other hot topics.

The bus even runs on waste vegetable oil, and has a green roof.

In a county where our elected officials don't seem much concerned about the future of farming - Montgomery County has only one Future Farmers of America chapter[!!], at Damascus High School - we in the community need to pick up the slack on this issue that is critical to our economy, national security, health and environment - yes, it really is that important!

So head to the Pike Central Farm Market, and find out what you can do to make a difference.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

FOURTH OF JULY RECIPE: CRAB CAKES WITH FIRE AND ICE SALSA

Here is the perfect recipe to add to your steak you are already planning to grill for July 4th:  Phillips Crab Cakes with Fire and Ice Salsa.

The recipe is for the salsa.  With Phillips Crab Cakes from the freezer aisle, all you have to do is sautee them following the easy package instructions.  Then add your homemade Fire and Ice Salsa on the side.

As usual, I will be adding a spoonful of tartar sauce to go with my crab cake.

DC STREETCAR INCHING TOWARD GEORGETOWN ...AND THEN TO GLEN ECHO?

More exciting streetcar news from Washington, DC:   Mayor Vincent Gray and DDOT are actively pursuing a future streetcar line that replicates a famous one, Union Station to Georgetown.

One question is whether or not the route will travel along M Street.

The important point for those of us out here in Bethesda, is for the streetcar to climb the hill up to Prospect Street from M Street.

That will connect the streetcar to a possible future extension to Glen Echo.  After turning left on Prospect towards Georgetown University, the streetcar would gain access to the original - and still existing - right of way that goes all the way to Cabin John.

A streetcar traveling between Georgetown and Glen Echo would be the fastest trolley line in the region, if not the nation.  That's because the entire right of way, with the exception of a few blocks in a residential Palisades neighborhood, is off-road.  Separated from auto traffic, the streetcar will be faster than a car, a clear advantage for commuters that will ensure boosted ridership.

The Georgetown to Glen Echo streetcar is an idea whose time has come... again!

LOVE BALL KICK-OFF PARTY TONIGHT AT BLACKFINN BETHESDA

BlackFinn is the place for dog lovers to party after work tonight (although dogs are not invited to this indoor event - sorry!) in Bethesda.

A $5 donation to benefit the Montgomery County Humane Society will selfishly benefit you as well, with Happy Hour discounted food and drink specials.

There will be a silent auction, and you can also buy tickets to the Big Event itself, The Love Ball.

If you can't attend tonight, you can still save 10% on Love Ball tickets by ordering them right now online.

Have questions?  Contact Juliana Willems at 240-401-8144 or jwillems@mchumane.org.

BlackFinn Bethesda, 4901-A Fairmont Avenue. 6-9 PM tonight.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

THE SECRET PASSAGE IN BETHESDA'S LOT 8

Yesterday, I told you about the best kept parking secret in downtown Bethesda, Public Parking Lot 8.

But there's one more secret at Lot 8:  a secret passage that takes you over to Cordell Avenue.  The passage could really use some lighting and a power wash.  But with that warning in mind, the miniature alleyway could come in handy in getting over to Freddy's Lobster, Grapeseed, California Tortilla, Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle, etc. etc. on Cordell.

Stay classy, Bethesda.

You made it!  You're on Cordell Avenue!

YOU'RE INVITED TO THE BEST OF WASHINGTON HAPPY HOUR AT BETHESDA ROW TONIGHT!

Head to the patio on Bethesda Lane at Redwood Restaurant and Bar tonight between 6:00 and 8:30 PM.

You're invited to Washingtonian Magazine's "Best of Washington" Happy Hour.  A $10 donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will get you one cocktail and 4 tasting tickets to try food from American Tap Room, Vapiano, Mon Ami Gabi, Redwood, Luke's Lobster, Georgetown Cupcake, Lebanese Taverna, Jaleo, Taylor Gourmet, Mussel Bar, Tandoori Nights, and Dolcezza gelato.

You've got some big decisions to make!

Tickets for the July 11 Best of Washington event will be on sale for a discount price during tonight's happy hour.

So stop by for the biggest party in Bethesda tonight at Redwood!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

THE DRY BAR IS COMING TO BETHESDA ROW

Ladies, the biggest salon trend in Southern California is coming to Bethesda Row.

The Dry Bar specializes in one thing and one thing only:  blowouts.

Their charge is $35, wash included.

Get ready to find out what your favorite celebrities already know, when The Dry Bar opens later this year at Bethesda Row.

BETHESDA PUBLIC PARKING LOT 8 OPENS - FINALLY!

Bethesda's newest public parking lot, Lot 8 on St. Elmo Avenue between Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues, opened Monday after months of delay by the county.

Lighting has finally been installed

Don't let word get out about the best parking in
town - it's our little secret on St. Elmo Avenue!


Thank the Monopoly Guy for free parking; meters haven't been installed, but are scheduled to be by next Monday.

No meters!  Plenty of free parking
and upscale ambiance

Free surface parking - this is what
America's all about!


There is a 2 hour time limit.  Please check all signage when parking for updated policies.

2 hour limit - don't get towed
away by
The Man!


Until then, enjoy the best kept secret in downtown Bethesda parking - Lot 8!

Monday, June 25, 2012

TWO MORE THEFTS IN WEST BETHESDA

The theft reports continue to come in from neighborhoods west of downtown Bethesda.  According to SpotCrime, thieves returned to Sumner and Wood Acres late last week.  These are the latest thefts in a crime wave that began May 4 on Westbard Avenue.


Thursday, June 21:

Theft from vehicle. 4800 block of Fort Sumner Drive.

Friday, June 22:

Theft from vehicle. 5800 block of Devonshire Drive. 

IS NOT LIGHTING THE VETERANS PARK MEMORIAL DISRESPECTFUL TO VETERANS?

LIGHTS OUT

Another Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row Exclusive

One thing that concerns me as summer begins, is the darkness at downtown Bethesda's Veterans Park.  As previously lit in the past, the fountain memorial to Bethesda soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice was visually impressive, and animated the park as a public space after dark.

July 2010

June 2012


After all, Veterans Park is not just a place to hang out or eat lunch; at its heart, it is a memorial.

Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.  If the memorial is hidden in the darkness of night, how is it reminding visitors of those sacrifices?  You're free to hang out there and enjoy life, because someone else gave theirs so you could.

I also wonder if the flag is adequately lighted at night, as well.  Technically, an American flag flown at night should be properly illuminated.

Is the unlit fountain a cost-saving measure?  Is the lighting malfunctioning, and in need of repair?  Given the unwise spending increases - and massive tax increases - approved by the Montgomery County Council, it would be hard to justify a cut in the lighting of a veterans memorial.  And a troubling statement about misplaced priorities.

It's time to turn the lights back on at Veterans Park.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

PASSION FIN SIGN INSTALLED AND LIT

The grand opening of new sushi restaurant Passion Fin is near in Bethesda. Last night, the new external sign was lit.  The front door was propped open, but no one was going in or out when I passed by.

Passion Fin, located in The Shops at Sumner Place on Sangamore Road, currently has no internet presence (website, Facebook, etc.).  It would be an unorthodox approach to open without any marketing or announcement, to say the least.  Diners in the Bethesda area are not familiar with the owners' other restaurants outside of Baltimore.  So they will need to let us know what their concept and approach to sushi are at Passion Fin.  A "secret" opening would not really be a great idea under those circumstances.

Having said that, there is a lot of excitement in the neighborhood around Sumner Place about this opening.  From the appearance of things, it won't be too long now.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

MYSTERIOUS SIDEWALK REPAIRS AT FAIRMONT AND WISCONSIN AVENUES

An apparently top secret project is underway at the western intersection of Fairmont Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue.




The sidewalks on both corners are torn up and surrounded by barricades.  No signs are posted to explain what is going on, how long it will take to finish the job, or why it is being done in the first place.




By my recollection, there was nothing wrong with the existing sidewalks there.

Watch your step over there!

BETHESDA CROOKS GO HOG WILD IN THE HILLS!

If the last 7 weeks are any indication, it's going to be a long, hot summer of crime in the suburbs of Bethesda.

On Wednesday, thieves and burglars returned to the same neighborhoods yet again in Bethesda.

Before hitting the road again, they racked up 6 thefts and 2 burglaries.

Many of their favorite streets got a return visit.

Neighborhoods hit were Westmoreland Hills (just days after another spree), Spring Hill, Mohican Hills and Green Acres, where the crime wave first erupted in May.

Hog wild in The Hills!

The crime wave is calling new attention to the Montgomery County Council's decision to spend money on developers and other special interests, rather than on the public safety budget.


Wednesday, June 20

Theft from vehicle. 5400 block of Mohican Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5200 block of Portsmouth Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5400 block of Albemarle Street.

Theft from vehicle. 5200 block of Elliott Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5200 block of Farrington Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5300 block of Carvel Road.

Breaking and entering, burglary. 5300 block of Baltimore Avenue.

Breaking and entering, burglary. 4500 block of Cortland Road.

Friday, June 22, 2012

VERA BRADLEY BETHESDA GRAND OPENING TODAY

The new Bethesda Vera Bradley store will open today at 10:00 AM at  Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Vera Bradley is located on the lower level, near Macy's.

All will be revealed this morning!

ANOTHER THEFT SPREE IN WEST BETHESDA

Despite the arrest of 4 alleged thieves June 14, a spike in thefts continues in west Bethesda.

Sporadic reports were capped by a one day spree in the Westmoreland Hills neighborhood.  Nearby Western Avenue was hit, and a car was stolen not far away in Friendship Heights, according to SpotCrime:

Tuesday, June 19:

Theft of vehicle. 4600 block of N. Park Avenue.


Theft from vehicle. 5300 block of Carvel Road.

Theft. 5300 block of Western Avenue.

Theft from vehicle. 5300 block of Albemarle Street.


Theft from vehicle. 5300 block of Albemarle Street.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

LADIES NIGHT AT URBAN CHIC AT BETHESDA ROW

Ladies, on this 100 degree day and evening, you'll want to stop by Urban Chic at Bethesda Row between 5 and 8 PM tonight.

Refreshing beverages from Puree Juice Bar, makeover consultations and big savings on fashions from Urban Chic await.


SUMNER PLACE, WESTWOOD CENTER II LIKELY SITES FOR SECOND BETHESDA POST OFFICE

The second big postal story yesterday was the announcement that USPS is seeking space for a post office in the 20816 zip code of Bethesda.

A 2000 square foot space requirement has been cited.

Place your bets on The Shops at Sumner Place first (Sangamore Road), and the Westwood Center II (Ridgefield Road at River Road) as potential homes for the new post office.

Frankly, there is no other appropriate space in the zip code.

Both offer ample, free surface parking.  And both currently have vacancies.

Sumner Place has a vacancy between Starbucks and the future Passion Fin sushi restaurant.  Its largest available space is 2361 square feet, well over the 2000 requirement.  Another space is just under 2000.

Neither site is convenient for downtown Bethesda residents, but may offer some relief for senior citizens and the disabled, who have virtually no access to the new post office at 6900 Wisconsin Avenue.

Both sites are also accessible via Ride On Bus 23 (Friendship Heights Metro to Sibley Hospital).  And both are adjacent to apartment communities.

The 20816 post office won't solve the downtown Bethesda post office fiasco, but that part of Bethesda would certainly benefit from the convenience.

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN ON NEW BETHESDA POST OFFICE: "WHAT ROBERT DYER SAID."

Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D - 8th District) made his first public statement on the Bethesda Post Office fiasco yesterday, and it was remarkably similar to what I said three months ago.

He said we need a different location.

Duh!

It's clear that Mr. Van Hollen and the Montgomery County Council either lack familiarity with downtown Bethesda, or were not engaged in the process of selecting a new post office site for their most affluent constituents.  Many of whom are senior citizens.

Both cases are likely true, especially given the number of carpetbaggers on the council.

What is a bigger issue for a politician than the location of a post office?  This would be one of those hot button situations like the placement of a school or substation.

These are the kind of bread and butter issues that, when handled with great attention, diplomacy and a small amount of common sense, earn respect for politicians like Howard Denis or Barbara Mikulski even among their partisan opponents.  And - judging by the Denis/Mikulski records - keep them in office.

Managing a post office move is just the sort of close-to-home matter we elect politicians to deal with.  To represent our interests.  And to prevent from becoming a fiasco, which this has.

At least Van Hollen is speaking out now.  Not a single member of the county council has spoken about the post office issue as of this morning.

Where have these politicians been?  What have they been doing?

But despite Van Hollen's political power and large staff, all he can say is... what Robert Dyer said.

Three months ago.

The fact is, there simply is no space for parking at this site.  Any agreement now reached under political pressure will not provide adequate spaces for the customer base of an entire town.

We should be glad one politician has belatedly gotten religion on the post office issue.

"We need a new post office."

We need new leadership.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FREE GIFTS WITH PURCHASE TODAY AT LILLY PINK PALM

Fans of The Pink Palm at Bethesda Row:

Today is National Wear Your Lilly Day, and you can get a free gift with any purchase.  And more gifts with a $150 purchase.



PAUL BLART: MAIL COP

WACKY NEW BETHESDA POST OFFICE
STILL HAS NO PARKING, BUT A COP
TO LET YOU KNOW

Patrons of Bethesda's new "post office" quickly learned that federal, state, local and postal officials had approved a site that had no parking for postal customers.

Beleagured citizens were victims of predatory towing, when attempting to park in the lot next to the building at 6900 Wisconsin Avenue.  The lot seems like the logical place to park.  In reality, it is only for customers of the mattress store and Verizon Wireless.

A month has gone by, and politicians have yet to provide a single parking space.

But a "mail cop" is now on duty at the mattress/Verizon lot to tell you to "get off their lawn" if you try to drop off that birthday card for grandma.

It's not Verizon's fault, or the mattress folks' by any means.  That's their lot, for their customers, they pay for it, and have a right to keep others out.

It's not their fault that the USPS chose an inaccessible location for an "urban" post office.

The real shock is that USPS was able to get away with it.

I believe I was the first person to point out the problems with the site, long before it opened.  That was before it was even known that the too-tiny lot was going to be off-limits.

Being a lifelong resident, such a site proposal immediately sounded crazy to me.

But local politicians apparently lack my familiarity with downtown Bethesda.  They had not word one to say about it.

Local media bought into the USPS PR, even parroting the talking points that "parking will be available" and that the site was "walking distance from Metro."  Just check a map!

As of today, not a single member of the Montgomery County Council has publicly commented on the postal fiasco.  A post office with no parking.  How do you ignore something like that?  Too many steak dinners with developer lobbyists (the Post Office swap was rushed to create project opportunities for two developers on the old postal sites)?  Too busy approving sales of public parking lots to developers?

And what of Chris Van Hollen?  Yet to be quoted, his office claimed to be working on the issue belatedly weeks ago.

No results so far.  Just Paul Blart, Mail Cop out there.  Van Hollen is often touted by just about everyone for his political skills, genius intellect and command of the issues.  But he didn't find anything wrong with 6900 as a postal site when it was announced.  And I'm assuming closure of your constituents' post offices would be kind of on your Congressional radar.

What can anyone do?  The parking just isn't there to begin with.  Smart politicians would have put the brakes on 6900 immediately.

Fortunately for them, they're not taking any criticism from the local media for a blatantly obvious disaster that is - absolutely - partly their fault.

And that's going to keep the untenable postal parking situation going for quite a while.  No heat? No fallout?  No parking.

Ain't it cool?

Do I have any advice for would-be postal patrons trying to park, who find the advice of parking in a garage 2 blocks away to be not exactly helpful?

Uh, maybe wear pajamas, hold up your phone, and ask, "Can you hear me now?" when the mail cop "pulls you over," and convince him you're going to buy a mattress and a new data plan?

Conversely, is it time to join the "throw the bums out" movement that was in every newspaper yesterday?  Meaning, vote everybody on the council off in 2014.  And even if they are just 9 new Democrats, wouldn't that be an improvement over the current situation of failure, taxoholic spending and ignorance of basic issues, like where senior citizens can mail a letter?  You know, the folks who pay the councilmembers' massive CEO-style salaries?

In one of the wealthiest, most-educated areas in the world, we have a post office with no parking, and no one is talking about it.  Much less doing anything.

Except Paul Blart.

"Segway Parking Only."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SAVE $5 ON GLUTEN-FREE DINING IN DOWNTOWN BETHESDA

Searching for great, gluten-free cuisine in downtown Bethesda?  Lilit Cafe is the place to go.

But wait:  print out this special coupon, and you'll save $5 on your check!


FREE BEER! FREE BEER!! FREE BEER!!! TONIGHT! IN BETHESDA!

What more do you need to know?

FREE BEER.  7 PM until it runs out.  At Rock Bottom Bethesda.  Tonight.

Plus, be one of the first to try Rock Bottom's new summer menu!


Monday, June 18, 2012

POLICE CATCH DOWNTOWN BETHESDA ARMED ROBBER

The alleged gun-wielding robber of Sunoco and Geste Wine in downtown Bethesda is in Montgomery County Police custody.

A tip led police to Raymond Adell Sanders, 23, of Brandywine.  Evidence connecting him to the crimes was discovered upon a search of his home, including the weapon used in the robberies, police say.

Both robberies were perpetrated on June 15.

DC MOVES FORWARD WITH H STREET STREETCAR AS MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOES OFF RAILS WITH BRT

Big streetcar news was announced quietly on a Saturday by the DC Department of Transportation:  DDOT has awarded a partnership of M.C. Dean, Inc. and Facchina Construction the design-construction contract for the H Street-Benning Road streetcar line.

Dean-Facchina will build the western and eastern termini of the route, the overhead catenary that will deliver power to the streetcars, and the Benning Road-26th Street, NE car barn.

Work will begin immediately once DDOT issues the paperwork, pending council approval, according to Director Terry Bellamy.  The timing will keep the streetcar on schedule to start service in late 2013.

If you're a streetcar fan, you've got to be excited just to hear a phrase like "car barn" again.

Much like the Purple Line (and at one time, the light rail concept of the now-ruined Corridor Cities Transitway) here in Montgomery County, the H Street streetcar is a targeted expenditure, bringing the benefits of rail transit to serve a route expected to grow in density.

Contrast that with the scattershot boondoggle known as Montgomery County BRT, which duplicates existing Metro routes, lacks the density to support it according to the county's own master planner, is slower and costlier than rail, and has no responsible financing.

With BRT, the county is literally going off the rails.  And wasting money that could have been better spent on a light rail CCT, on its own right-of-way as originally planned.  Or purchasing more Red Line or MARC capacity.  Or funding a new parking lot at the Boyds MARC station, where more commuters actually want to take the train, but have no parking!

Or cooperating with DC on restarting the streetcar line from Georgetown out to Glen Echo.

We still have the right-of-way for the whole Glen Echo route; do we have the leadership to create a modern transportation system in Montgomery County?

BRT rush-to-ruin tells serious transit advocates we don't.

BETHESDA THEFTS CONTINUE DESPITE ARRESTS

Theft reports continue to come in from neighborhoods west of downtown Bethesda, despite the widely-reported arrests of 4 alleged thieves.

Although the accused were arrested "very early" the morning of June 14, thus suggesting they wouldn't have pulled off any thefts yet on that date, such a theft was reported on Baltan Road for Thursday.

Then, on Friday, two more hits, including a third return to theft-weary Gloster Road in Wood Acres in a week's time.

Are there more thieves about, or are these cases of victims belatedly realizing something is missing from their cars?  We'll know for sure in the coming days.


Thursday, June 14:

Theft from vehicle. 5000 block of Baltan Road.

Friday, June 15:

Theft from vehicle. 5900 block of Gloster Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5100 block of Scarsdale Road.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

MAN-MOSAS, BACON AND LOBSTER: FATHER'S DAY AT BETHESDA ROW

Here are two of the best Father's Day brunch menus in town; they might even make up for giving a tie as a gift!

Forget the bottomless mimosas that make girls-brunch-out go by faster.  American Tap Room is offering the testosterone-friendly Man-mosa as its featured adult refreshment.

At Uncle Julio's, the magic words "bacon" and "lobster" will hit a home run faster than Bryce Harper.

Bethesda Row is the place to be for Father's Day, and don't forget about the Bethesda Central Farm Market from 9-1 today at Bethesda ES.

IT'S ALL ABOUT ZE GERMAN SAUSAGE AT BETHESDA CENTRAL FARM MARKET TODAY

Today's Bethesda Central Farm Market (9 AM - 1 PM at Bethesda ES) comes to you by way of Germany today.

Meatcrafters will have its newest sausage, Landjaeger.  It is does not contain Jagermeister, but would probably pair well with it!

Instead, Landjaeger is a German Hunter's sausage made with organic beef and pork.  Try a bite of this traditional German snack at the market today.  Then take some home.

Finish off your buy-local Father's Day feast with German potato salad made with 2012's first crop of potatoes from Bending Bridge Farm, and a Peach-Blackberry pie from Westmoreland Berry and Toigo Farms.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

Now that Montgomery County has torn up Relic's liquor license, only two Bethesda nightspots with VIP table service remain.  And that block of Fairmont Avenue is nearly dead.

Most businesses have either moved away or closed due to construction damage caused by the Bainbridge development.  Fortunately, the most active remaining storefront - Bold Bite - is close enough to Norfolk Avenue to still get foot traffic at night.  But with Relic sidelined perhaps indefinitely, that is one lonely street at night.

I hope Westin will recognize that the market and deep pockets to support an upscale, pretentious Las Vegas-style nightclub exist in Bethesda, and build one into their new hotel planned for Wisconsin Avenue.

DOGGIE BRUNCH EVERY SATURDAY IN BETHESDA!

Searching for a dog-friendly brunch spot in downtown Bethesda today?



Union Jack's Bethesda is launching its new Doggie Brunch today, and it will be held regularly every Saturday on their patio from 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM!

Bring your canine friend along, and he or she will enjoy FREE water and dog treats, contests, prizes, "Kiddie Pool" and the ability to order from a Doggie Menu.

Those of you on less than 4 legs will enjoy $10 *Bottomless* Mimosas, Bloody Marys and house wine.  And $2 domestic drafts.

So it's not like your dog is going to tie you to a parking meter while he goes inside to dine.  Not that you'd do that to him, right?

There will also be guest speakers, coupons and discounts from nearby pet businesses and vets.

And save $5 with this coupon!!

If your dog enjoys being sociable, you may want to add Doggie Brunch to your calendar as a weekly outing.



I have just one question.  Will they replace the cops who are usually positioned across from Union Jack's at night with K9s for this event?

Union Jack's, 4915 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda.  301-652-2561.

Friday, June 15, 2012

WINE TASTING IN BETHESDA TONIGHT

You'd be surprised how many people visit Bethesda Avenue and don't realize there is a whole other world there on the other side of Arlington Road.

Find out tonight with a Lantana wine tasting at Cork 57, from 5-8 PM.

Wines you'll be sampling include David Hill's Pinot Gris (rated 93 by Wine Enthusiast) and Black Label Reserve 2008 (90).   Then move on to Columbia Valley's Kiona, Ferme de Gicon Rose, and Premio Falanghina.

Broaden your wine expertise tonight at Cork 57, and then check out other spots over there, like the popular patio at Nest Cafe, the Queen Bee Cafe and Bethesda Crab House.

NEW FRESH YOGURT BAR AT FANCY CAKES BY LESLIE

Bethesda Row has many dessert options, ranging from cupcakes and ice cream to crepes and gelato.

But what if you are still sticking to that New Year's resolution of a healthier diet?

Fancy Cakes by Leslie on Elm Street has the answer:  a brand-new Fresh Yogurt Bar inside their shop!
Photo:  Fancy Cakes by Leslie

Even if you're just waiting to pick up a cake, stop by the bar.  Don't be expecting mass-produced, packaged yogurt - these flavors are made locally from milk produced by grass-fed cows.  That's right, locavores, it's time to buy local yogurt.  In addition, there are 3 Greek yogurts, which are the current fad in yogurt.

Flavors include maple, raspberry and chocolate, and toppings are available to customize your treat.

Stop by Fancy Cakes by Leslie today and find out how fresh yogurt can be!

Fancy Cakes by Leslie, 4939 Elm Street.  301-652-9390.

POLICE BUST 4 BETHESDA THIEVES

Montgomery County Police arrested 4 alleged thieves suspected of being behind a recent theft rampage in the west Bethesda area.

Yesterday morning, officers spotted a suspicious vehicle in a neighborhood along Massachusetts Avenue.  After pulling it over, two adults and two juveniles were arrested, having been caught with burglar tools and stolen merchandise from recent thefts.  None are Bethesda residents.

These folks did not seem like "professional" thieves, because their m.o., like the accused Bethesda burglar, was to keep returning to the same neighborhoods and streets.  Bold yet predictable, it was inevitable that police would catch them once District 2 Commander David Falcinelli deployed special units.

Prior to these arrests, two additional thefts were reported, according to SpotCrime.  Police cited over 40 thefts from vehicles, which sounds like a Bethesda record.  Will this finally end this highly unusual crime wave in one of Montgomery County's safest areas?

Tuesday, June 12:

Theft. 6400 block of Bannockburn Drive.

Theft.  7300 block of MacArthur Boulevard.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

JAPAN MEETS MEXICO IN HANARO'S SUSHI ROLL OF THE MONTH

Hanaro's sushi roll of the month spans the Pacific in a fusion of Japanese and Mexican cuisine.

Tobiko is flying fish roe, by the way.

You'll be saying Domo arigato to me after trying this muy delicioso roll at Hanaro.

And DJ Alkimist will be (wo)manning the turntables at Hanaro tonight, starting at 9:30, because weekends start Thursday night in downtown Bethesda.

Hanaro, 7820 Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda.  301-654-7851.

BETHESDA THIEVES ROCK NEIGHBORHOODS WITH ENCORE PERFORMANCE

It's out of control out there!

Lock your car and house doors.

Bethesda burglars and thieves rampaged again, with their usual m.o. of hitting the same neighborhoods and streets again and again.  3 thefts in Green Acres alone, the community hardest hit during this crime spree.

It's time to put out a bait car or something, because these guys are out there night after night after night since May 4.  If it's more than one perpetrator, they share a great sense of confidence.


Monday, June 11:

Theft from vehicle. 6300 block of Bannockburn Drive. 

Theft from vehicle. 5200 block of Little Falls Drive.

Theft from vehicle. 5900 block of Gloster Road.

Theft from vehicle.  5300 block of Allandale Road.

Theft from vehicle.  4800 block of Park Avenue.

NEW MARKET OPENING IN FORMER BETHESDA MARKET SPACE AT SUMNER PLACE

Another Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row Exclusive!!!

A new market has signed a lease in the space formerly occupied by Bethesda Market, at the Shops at Sumner Place.

Patty Emory of shopping center owner W.C. & A.N. Miller says that the market will be very similar to the old one, but with "much improved inventory and service."

That is great news for all those who were disappointed when Bethesda Market abruptly closed its doors last year.

Even better news:  the new market will be offering beer and wine, extending the hope that nearby residents - and employees of the soon-to-expand intelligence campus across Sangamore Road - will once again have beer and wine tastings within walking distance.

The as-of-yet unnamed market's owner has "a proven track record and experience," says Emory.

Things are starting to turn around after a brief downturn at Sumner Place.  The future federal employees and residents will soon have a convenient beer and wine store, and a new sushi restaurant called Passion Fin three doors down.

The space in between Passion Fin and Starbucks remains vacant.  Let's hope an interesting restaurant leases that space, or an entertainment related retailer like GameStop.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MEXICAN SHRIMP COCKTAIL!

It's not just Shrimp Cocktail - it's Uncle Julio's Mexican Shrimp Cocktail!

Forget about that little glass, this one can double as a light meal.

Interesting trivia:  Mexican Shrimp Cocktail was added to the menu by CEO Todd Conger.

Try this at Uncle Julio's at Bethesda Row tonight!

BETHESDA BURGLARS RETURN TO WISCASSET ROAD

A brief streak of burglary-free days came to an end Sunday in Bethesda.

One or more burglars broke-and-entered in the 6500 block of Wiscasset Road June 10.

This is the second break-in in weeks on Wiscasset, fitting the m.o. of previous burglars during this crime wave, which began May 4.  The burglar(s) in those cases - one of whom was arrested several times by Montgomery County Police - often hit the same street multiple times.

Monday, June 11, 2012

FREE SUMMER HOUSE SANDWICH WHEN YOU BUY ONE AT JETTIES BETHESDA!

The Summer House sandwich is now available for the first time at Jetties Bethesda.

Buy one, and get a second one FREE, with this coupon that expires tomorrow, June 12:


Print this, or show it to them on your phone!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

BETHESDA THEFT RAMPAGE

While there have been few burglaries recently, thefts continue to multiply in a 35-day crime spree in west Bethesda.

On June 6 alone, one or more thieves executed a theft rampage in the Bethesda neighborhoods of Woodacres and Springfield.  A whopping 9 thefts - all within blocks of each other - were reported to police that day/night, according to SpotCrime.

Not content, perpetrators boldly returned the next day, and stole twice more.

The crime wave once centered on Green Acres now appears to be shifting westward.

Wednesday, June 6:


Theft from vehicle. 5600 block of Harwick Road. 

Theft from vehicle.  5900 block of Harwick Road. 

Theft from vehicle.  5800 block of Wiltshire Drive.

Theft of vehicle. 5900 block of Welborn Drive.

Theft from vehicle.  6100 block of Welborn Drive.

Theft from vehicle. 5700 block of Ridgefield Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5600 block of Pollard Road.

Theft from vehicle.  5900 block of Gloster Road. 

Theft from vehicle. 5900 block of Gloster Road. 


Thursday, June 7:


Theft from vehicle. 5900 block of Gloster Road.

Theft. 5700 block of Cromwell Drive.


BETHESDA CENTRAL FARM MARKET SPECIALS

Stop by the Bethesda Central Farm Market - 9 AM to 1 PM today at Bethesda ES - for a chef demonstration by Chef Francois Dionot, of L'Academie de Cuisine!

There will be a Father's Day book-signing by author Paul Stankus.

Today is the debut of the first blueberries of 2012, from Moody Blues Farm in Baltimore County!

Plus, organic ketchup, organic lard for baking and another Boordy Vineyards Maryland wine tasting.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

BELMONT STAKES IN BETHESDA AT MUSSEL BAR

With I'll Have Another out of the race, no horse can win the Triple Crown at today's Belmont Stakes.

But someone can still win the Triple Crown right here in downtown Bethesda - you!

Head to Mussel Bar today for their Belmont Stakes Triple Crown cocktails.

Each one commemorates a race on the road to the elusive Triple Crown.

But at $18 for all three, or $9 apiece, these drinks won't elude you for long at Mussel Bar.

Start off out of the gate like a winner, with their Kentucky Derby Mint Julep:

Then head to Charm City with a full head of steam for a Preakness Black Eyed Susan:

Finish like a Champion with the Belmont Stakes White Carnation:

Mussel Bar's White Carnation is made with vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, soda water and a splash of cream.

If you're wondering where to go for the Belmont Stakes today in Bethesda, or the DC area in general, head to Mussel Bar to claim your own Triple Crown!

Mussel Bar, 7262 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda.  (301) 215-7817.

Friday, June 08, 2012

LUKE'S LOBSTER BETHESDA ROW GRAND OPENING JUNE 14

I just received exciting news:

The grand opening of Luke's Lobster at Bethesda Row will be June 14, at 11 AM.

Just in time for lunch!

Hopefully the weather will be good for dining on their Bethesda Lane patio that day.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY BRT TASK FORCE REDEFINES "EVERYONE"

The latest talking point from the less than 20 people ramming a Bus Rapid Transit boondoggle through the Montgomery County "process," is that "everyone" will benefit.

Not just the 10% of residents who might actually ride BRT.

But the 85% who will be stuck in traffic, in longer commutes, after BRT takes existing traffic lanes away from cars along the county's busiest highways.

They will "benefit."

Bethesda residents - who won't even be able to commute via BRT, since the line dead ends in Bethesda - who pay $1000+ a year in new BRT taxes if it passes?  Yep, they'll "benefit," too.

After all, as task force chair Mark Winston said, "it's not an express bus...it's not Metro, it's not light rail, it's not a bus...It is a new animal."

He forgot to add that it cures the common cold, and makes a darn good cup of coffee, to boot.

No word if Kevin Trudeau will be named BRT spokesman for the county.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

BETHESDA PUBLIC PARKING LOT 43 TO BE SOLD TO DEVELOPER

Just as downtown Bethesda's parking nightmare has reached its worst, Montgomery County Government is selling yet another public parking lot to a private developer.

Parking Lot 43, at 8009 Woodmont Avenue, will be sold to developer JBG and will be part of a development that will include the new Bethesda police station.

The new police station is desperately needed, but one wishes the county could have staggered the closures of so many of downtown Bethesda's parking facilities.  Instead, they've sold them off to developers in one real estate land rush.

Much like Lot 31 and 31A, some parking may come with the new development, but what are downtown businesses and their patrons to do in the meantime?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

VINO VOLO SELECTS TEEL CONSTRUCTION TO BUILD NEW BETHESDA ROW LOCATION

Vino Volo, an upscale wine bar opening at Bethesda Row this summer, has hired Teel Construction to develop its space.

Teel Construction has done many retail, restaurant and office spaces around the DC area.  My personal favorite is Circa in Clarendon.  If they were to use Circa as a starting point, Vino Volo could be a spectacular design at Bethesda Row.

Vino Volo is also in the process of obtaining its liquor license from the county.  Which is kind of important when you have a wine bar!

The new Bethesda Row location is the first Vino Volo not located in an airport.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

BETHESDA THEFT SPREE CONTINUES

No rest for the thieves working neighborhoods in west Bethesda.

5 thefts were reported Saturday, according to SpotCrime.

Two were on Willard Avenue, just blocks from Green Acres, which has been the hub of the month-long burglary-theft spree.

A second theft in 48 hours in ultra-wealthy Westmoreland Hills was reported, as were hits on Marbury and Kirby Roads.

Saturday, June 2:

Theft.  5300 block of Blackistone Road.

Theft from vehicle.  7300 block of Marbury Road.

Theft from vehicle.  6000 block of Kirby Road.

Theft.  4400 block of Willard Avenue.

Theft from vehicle.  5300 block of Willard Avenue.

Monday, June 04, 2012

BETHESDA THIEF GETS BUSY

The Bethesda burglary-theft spree enters its second month, with the first June crimes being reported.

According to SpotCrime, which retrieves data from a Montgomery County Police department feed, 4 thefts occurred on June 1.

The crime wave has centered on the Green Acres neighborhood, and Friday night's thefts were all in communities adjoining that subdivision.

In Springfield, items were reportedly stolen from parallel streets.  Thieves also struck Westmoreland Hills for the first time, and again in Friendship Heights.

Friday, June 1:


Theft from vehicle. 5200 block of Duvall Drive.

Theft from vehicle.  5600 block of Jordan Road.

Theft from vehicle.  5600 block of Lamar Road.

Theft.  5500 block of Friendship Boulevard.

DEBUNKING ROBERT MCCARTNEY'S MONTGOMERY COUNTY BRT PROPAGANDA

The less than 20 Montgomery County officials ramming through a $2 billion boondoggle known as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) are desperately trying to recover from last week's devastating critique by their own master planner, Larry Cole.

Enter Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney.  In yesterday's Metro section, McCartney gave getting the BRT narrative back on track the old college try.

Suffice it to say, McCartney really, really likes the Emperor's new clothes.  And he needs to educate the masses, who just aren't smart enough to get these things.

How biased is McCartney's piece?  Check out this word cloud of McCartney's descriptions of the BRT plan:

ambitious, big idea, jazzy (!!), 
rare merit,
 bold, innovative, 
make a difference on a large scale, 
visionary, worthy

Wow.  OK.  Whatever happened to the phrase, "critical thinking" or "journalistic skepticism?"

McCartney had bought in to a plan that is nothing more than pie in the sky, by and by.  He doesn't need supporting data.  And gosh, that's good, because the county council and transit task force sure ain't providing any!

Now let's just take McCartney's piece apart, fiction by fiction:

He tries to float a general theme that there are no beneficial transportation projects that could be built - until these super geniuses, and all-around swell folks, invented BRT.

"Everybody talks about Washington traffic, but nobody does anything about it.  Despite having the region's second-longest commuting time, Montgomery has no big-ticket transportation project underway."

This is complete hogwash.

The county council and planners have been well aware for decades of our unbuilt master plan highways.  They have stalled construction of Midcounty Highway Extended [M-83], and the Outer Beltway for decades.  And they cancelled the Rockville Freeway, Northwest Freeway, North Central Freeway and Northern Parkway - just to name a few.

In 2010, Councilmember George Leventhal said, "the Rockville Freeway is dead, the M-83 will not be built in my lifetime."

Mr. McCartney, Leventhal referred by name to just 2 of many "big-ticket transportation projects" that would "make a difference on a large scale."

He, and other councilmembers, have failed to execute the known solutions to gridlock.

So, to say BRT is "all we got," is not fooling anyone.

Second, McCartney boasts that BRT "would actually relieve some of the region's chronic congestion."

Again, patently false.  In fact, by taking away existing traffic lanes, and reprogramming traffic signals, BRT will actually worsen congestion.

What will make the 85% who drive take BRT, Mr. McCartney?

His column didn't answer.  It's not speed, because it takes BRT 50 minutes to go 15 miles.  It's not convenience, because 95% of residents don't live on the major highways where BRT will run.

Pray tell, Mr. McCartney, what does make a person voluntarily agree to double their commuting time, by trading car for BRT?  Making it mandatory, like China?

Tell us, because the BRT folks so far cannot.

McCartney's suggestion that Montgomery is falling behind Fairfax County because it doesn't have BRT is ludicrous.   Have you checked the number of jobs created in both counties over the last 10 years, or 6 months?  The numbers are staggering, and an indictment of the council's failure to do anything but spend money.

Worst of all, McCartney lowballs the tax you'll be charged, which for Bethesda residents will be $1000 or more per year for single family homes, and upscale condos.

Don't "applaud the county" just yet, Mr. McCartney.  Failed policies and outlandish spending and taxes are their specialty.  BRT is just the latest scheme.

Do your homework, and get back to your readers with fact-based, skeptical, critical thoughts on BRT, a political vanity project run wild.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

BUSY NIGHT FOR BETHESDA BURGLAR(S)

After a few quiet days, another break-in has occurred in the Green Acres area of Bethesda.  This was the second burglary on Westport Road during this burglary-theft spree that began May 4.

The burglary occurred Thursday, May 31, according to SpotCrime, which retrieves data from a Montgomery County Police feed.

A theft rampage occurred in Green Acres that night, and in the nearby neighborhoods of Sumner and Springfield.

Augusta Lane was hit twice.

Tuesday, May 29:

Theft. 4400 block of Willard Avenue.

Thursday, May 31:

Breaking and entering, burglary. 5100 block of Westport Road.

Theft from vehicle. 5800 block of Augusta Lane.

Theft of vehicle. 5800 block of Augusta Lane.

Theft from vehicle. 5600 block of Jordan Road.

Theft.  5000 block of Little Falls Drive.

COLOMBIA VS. PERU: THE PARVA IS THE PLACE TO BE IN BETHESDA

Where to watch the big game today in Bethesda - Colombia vs. Peru?

At The Parva!  Especially if Colombia is your team, but they'll have appetizers and adult beverages for both sides!

Watch the game on the big screens, and enjoy $6 empanadas and $8 picadas.

When the game ends, it's time celebrar - with a victory party that will go until 1:30 AM!

$4 cervezas.  Colombian Aguardiente or Pisco, your choice:  $5.

The legendary Parva Colombian Mojitos and Pisco Sours will provide the perfect cocktails to go with the game!

Cost to enter will be $5.

The Parva, 7904 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda.

TAKE YOUR BETHESDA CENTRAL FARM MARKET BAG WITH YOU THIS SUMMER AND WIN!

It's Sunday morning, and that means its time for the Bethesda Central Farm Market at Bethesda ES, from 9 AM to 1 PM.

You now have one more reason to come out to the market:

The "Where in the World is Your Little Red Bag?" Contest is underway!

Pick up your FREE Little Red Central Farm Market Bag at the Pelican Kitchen and Bath tent.

Take your bag with you this summer, and photograph it in interesting or unusual locations here and abroad.  Then upload your photo, and BCFM Facebook fans will choose a winner in each of 2 categories.

For all the details, and to enter, CLICK HERE!

What's going on at today's market?

The first Garlic Scapes are here.

Another Buy 4, Get 1 FREE special on ground beef from Walnut Hills Farm.

Heirloom Soups has 2 summer vegetable soups with fresh herbs.

A Boordy Vineyards Maryland wine tasting.

Also, Infusion Hot Sauce Company!

Live music by The Nick Mendez and Ted Bazil Duo.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

FIASCO! NEW BETHESDA POST OFFICE HAS NO PARKING FOR POSTAL CUSTOMERS!!!

WARNING:
POSTAL CUSTOMERS
COULD BE TOWED AWAY!

Another Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row Exclusive!!!

Ashton Kutcher is apparently now Postmaster General, folks.

Remember my expose months back about the nutty location choice of 6900 Wisconsin Avenue for Bethesda's new Post Office?

And how I pointed out the small lot, without enough spaces for USPS customers?

It just got worse.

Turns out, you can't even park in that lot!  Despite USPS claims to the media that "parking would be available," there is currently zero parking available for post office customers.

Bethesda Chevy Chase Services Center Director Ken Hartman is alerting Bethesda residents to the fact that they may find their cars towed away, if they park in the building's adjacent lot.  He urges you to park at the Staples/CVS garage, and walk over.  Definitely good advice.

This revelation has turned a terrible location choice into a complete fiasco.

A post office.  With no parking.

Is this going to be in the late night monologues, or what?

This is an absolute disgrace.  A wealthy city like Bethesda has a completely inaccessible Post Office.  Why have a post office at all, at this rate?

The new site should have been centrally located, in a walkable area with parking nearby.

Apparently, the USPS did not even do due diligence in securing parking for its customers.

And local politicians didn't even review the basic details, or notice what a crazy location it was.

Now, suddenly, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) "has learned of this situation and is working with the US Postal Service to come up with a solution."

What were these guys doing when the decisions were being made?

Are they going to pay the towing charges for innocent customers?

All this because elected officials put the developers first, instead of their constituents.

Embarrassing.

ARCLIGHT CINEMAS TO OPEN 16 SCREEN LUXURY THEATER IN BETHESDA AT MONTGOMERY MALL!!

CHAIN'S FIRST LOCATION OUTSIDE OF
CALIFORNIA TO DIRECTLY CHALLENGE
PIKE AND ROSE iPic THEATER ON
PROGRAMMING, AMENITIES AND PRICE

Another Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row Exclusive!!!

Bethesda cinephiles are the winners as a second, premium West Coast theater chain has chosen our town - out of all in America - to expand.

Highly successful ArcLight Cinemas has 4 theaters in Southern California.  They have announced that their 5th location will not be in California, but right here in Bethesda, at Westfield Montgomery Mall!

The mall's new 16-screen ArcLight Theater will open in 2014, with construction beginning next spring.

ArcLight and Westfield Montgomery are positioning themselves to squarely challenge the future Pike and Rose iPic theaterplex for the hearts and wallets of Bethesdans who desire - and are willing to pay for - an upscale cinema experience.

Like iPic, ArcLight will offer reserved seating, gourmet food and alcohol.

And like its primary competitor, ArcLight's tickets will be more expensive than the standard multiplex.

So what other advantages will ArcLight bring to the Battle of the Megaplexes?

ArcLight's programming, for starters.  Its 16 screens will show not only the latest blockbusters, but also independent films like Bethesda Row Cinema, and even some classic movies.

ArcLight also offers special family events.  In California right now, ArcLight is offering Sweet Summer screenings of family films like Pixar's Brave, which include a free "sweet treat" like S'mores or cotton candy, and themed activities.

Art exhibits and Q&A sessions with actors and directors will appeal to the true film buff.

No commercials!!  Are you sick and tired of the lame commercials playing before the movie?  Commercials begone! says ArcLight.

They'll have special 21+ screenings.

The ArcLight membership program will entitle you to special events, private screenings and advance ticket sales.

What about the food?

Here are some selections:

Crab Cakes with spicy remoulade sauce

Red Potato with sour cream and Tobiko caviar
(caviar - in a movie theater!)

BBQ Swedish Meatball

Lamb Lollipops with tarragon sauce

Beef Empanadas with cilantro creme fraiche

Red Velvet Cake

7-layer Carrot Cake

...and those are just a few that got my attention!

The biggest advantage ArcLight has is its location.  It is right on an interstate off-ramp, and slightly closer to downtown Bethesda than White Flint.

Who will win this battle?

Ultimately, the winner is the Bethesda moviegoer, when at least 3 premium theater chains (the third being at nearby Rock Spring) square off for your movie dollar.

At ArcLight Bethesda, your champagne wishes and caviar dreams may just come true!