Sunday, September 30, 2012
"COMING SOON" SIGNS GO UP AT BRICKSIDE FOOD AND DRINK
Renovation continues at the future location of Brickside Food and Drink on Cordell Avenue. These signs were just put up on the front of the restaurant.
If anyone is listening, I'm casting another vote to have Funnel Cake Fries on the menu - Funnel Fries! (The owner has them on the menu at his other restaurant).
LUKE'S LOBSTER ADDS GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES TO BETHESDA ROW MENU
When Luke's Lobster opened a Georgetown location in August, word was that grilled cheese sandwiches would be on the menu - but just in Georgetown.
Last night, a sandwich board (no pun intended) was out on Bethesda Lane at Luke's Bethesda Row shop...
...we officially have Grilled Cheese sandwiches, too! You can order a Grilled Cheese combo, as well.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
DAVID CASTAIN OPENS VIP OUTDOOR STORE AT BETHESDA'S WESTFIELD MONTGOMERY MALL
Washington D.C. businessman and nightlife guru David Castain is expanding into Bethesda, opening the new V.I.P. Outdoor apparel store at Westfield Montgomery Mall.
Now if I can just ever convince the right people to build an upscale, Las Vegas-style nightclub and lounge here in Bethesda, he might be in town even more often, putting on the kinds of events he currently promotes in the District.
WHEN IS THE HARVEST MOON IN BETHESDA TONIGHT?
Tonight is the Harvest Moon of 2012. The moon will reach its fullest at 11:19 PM EDT, and will be bigger in size, and appear closer to the Earth (although it actually isn't) than usual.
In the times of long ago, when Bethesda was mostly farmland, the Harvest Moon was a big help, providing light to harvest and hunt by during nighttime hours.
For the three nights of the Harvest Moon, starting tonight, the moon will rise after sunset, and remain in the sky until dawn.
So there are two times to keep in mind: sunset, and 11:19 PM tonight.
HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE POP-UP STORE OPENS IN BETHESDA [PHOTOS]
When the calendar turns to October, it will officially be the most wonderful time of the year next to Christmas: Halloween!
The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man welcomes you to Halloween Adventure, a pop-up store in Westfield Montgomery Mall.
Here are some of the superhero costumes available.
YOGI CASTLE FROZEN YOGURT OPENS IN BETHESDA! [PHOTOS]
Yogi Castle kept its September promise! Bethesda's newest frozen yogurt shop had its grand opening yesterday at Westfield Montgomery Mall.
The gleaming yogurt palace is mostly self-serve, but staff is there to help you out. I couldn't help but notice that the high-end stools for in-store dining were the same type I featured in the premiere edition of My First Bethesda Apartment, here on the blog.
While some outlets like Red Mango bend towards the eccentric, Yogi Castle offers a more crowdpleasing selection of flavors. There are stand-bys like Peanut Butter and Chocolate, but also more unusual ones like Cake Batter.
Just in time for fall and Halloween, Yogi Castle's special flavor right now is Pumpkin. They also have free samples!
Now here is a full photo gallery from the Grand Opening, so you can tour the shop vicariously with me:
|Grand Opening day!|
|Start here, by taking a cup|
|Great flavors! Low fat! Tip: the center|
tap will dispense both flavors at once
|Pumpkin - just in time for Halloween!|
|Adding chocolate to peanut butter|
|Now add toppings. Everything looks fresh|
|I'm adding chocolate candy|
|Now pick up your spoon here, and join|
the Yogi Castle Club
|After you've got everything you want, place|
your cup on this scale to determine price
|Don't forget Yogi Castle has a full|
selection of smoothies and shakes
|Ready to eat|
Friday, September 28, 2012
CORDELL AVENUE GARAGE ELEVATOR 1 OUT OF SERVICE - BETHESDA PARKING UPDATE
Heads up for users of the St. Elmo-Cordell public parking garage, which is currently undergoing repairs: Elevator #1 is currently out of service for electrical repairs. Elevator #2 is still working.
3 BETHESDA METRO CENTER RENOVATIONS BEGIN (PHOTO GALLERY)
Renovations are now underway at 3 Bethesda Metro Center. The building - and neighboring Newlands Building - are two of the best architectural designs in the DC area. Impressive in the daytime, both come into their own after dark. Heavy moisture in the air last night - ahead of electrical storms moving into the area - heightened their already-dramatic lighting.
|A beam of light points to scaffolding at|
the top of 3 Bethesda Metro Center [left];
the Newlands Building is at right
|Close-up view of scaffolding|
|Another scaffold at upper right corner|
|Believe it or not, you can|
still enter the building
despite the police tape
|Protective canopies have been installed|
over street-level sidewalks
|This is the company doing the work|
NEWS EXPRESS POSTS SIGN IN WINDOW (PHOTO)
As I reported a few months ago, News Express is returning to downtown Bethesda. The convenience store and newsstand will be in the ground floor of the Triangle Towers apartment building on Cordell Avenue.
Yesterday, a sign was placed into the window. Which just says what regular readers here already knew. Duh.
Great news (pun intended) for Triangle Towers residents, who can find coffee, ice cream, newspapers, potentially postal services, and maybe just a respite from all the construction noise behind their building, where That 70s Building (a.k.a. The Gallery at Bethesda) is currently being erected.
MY FIRST BETHESDA APARTMENT - A YOUNG PERSON'S WEEKLY GUIDE TO APARTMENT HUNTING IN BETHESDA, MD - BETHESDA APARTMENTS, RENTALS
Welcome to the sixth installment of My First Bethesda Apartment: a weekly, urban guide to the intimidating task of apartment hunting in Bethesda, and scoring and furnishing your dream pad once you find it.
This week's apartment is not cheap. But the outstanding location right by the Bethesda Metro Center, washer and dryer in-unit, large closets plus storage, fitness center, 24-hour concierge, and pool are among many reasons to round up a roommate or two, and make it work!
You can't spend more lavishly than at Bethesda's Design Within Reach. So if you're searching for a multi-arm lamp for that living room sofa, you're going to have a choice:
Serge Mouille 3 Arm Floor Lamp from DWR - $7,380
Ore 5 Arm Floor Lamp from Kmart - $93.60
Where do you stand? There are people in Bethesda who could write that check for the Serge Mouille without a second thought. And they'd be getting a 1952 design classic, the finest materials, and... it's made in France.
But the rest of us will have to Fake It this week, and save over $7200(!!) in the process. Get to know your local Kmart in Aspen Hill for handy bargains like this. 5 arms beat 3 any day!
Have a great weekend, and let me know if this guide helps you find the apartment of your dreams, in the Richest Town in America!
WALTER REED TO STAGE MOCK MASS CASUALTY DISASTER ON OCTOBER 5
JOSÉ ANDRÉS PEPE FOOD TRUCK ADDS BETHESDA ROW AS A STOP!!
World-famous chef - and owner of Bethesda Row's Jaleo - Jose Andres has announced what downtown Bethesda has been waiting 6 months to hear:
His Pepe food truck will be adding Bethesda Row as a stop from now on! Pepe will also stop at the NIH campus.
Pepe's menu will include:
Pepito de Iberico
Spanish Grilled Cheese
Futbol Club Barcelona
Jamon Serrano y queso Manchego
Pepito de ternera
Andres is perhaps the highest-profile restauranteur to "turn the tables" on the popular food truck phenomenon, by launching his own truck.
In terms of downtown Bethesda restaurants, Bold Bite recently launched a rolling hot dog cart out of its Fairmont Avenue location.
The competition for lunch dollars is just getting started. Andres' expansion into Montgomery County (Friendship Heights and Rockville Town Center are also on the list of stops) could lure more big names and DC food trucks to downtown Bethesda.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
BIEBER AND DICAPRIO DRIVE IT: THE ECO-FRIENDLY "RICH MAN'S TOY" ARRIVES IN BETHESDA - FISKER KARMA IS HERE!
Bethesda is now officially the Richest Town in America. So how better to save the planet, than with a $110,000 hybrid electric car?
Yes, there's the extravagant Fisker Karma, basking in the oohs, aahs, and adulation of shoppers at Bethesda's Westfield Montgomery Mall. It's certainly a deserved reward for the exotic sedan, after a long boat ride from Finland to the United States.
With a relatively-modest fuel economy rating of 54 MPG electric, and 22 MPG with its GM gasoline engine online, are you overpaying to slow the rise of the oceans, and heal the planet?
Probably. The Tesla Model S will give the Karma a run for its money. But let's face it, the S is no Karma in the styling department.
With the Karma, you get a "tailored" drivers seat. Stealth Mode. 10.2" dashboard screen.
And everyone's attention on the road.
Described as a "rich man's toy," well, that descriptor will suit you well in Bethesda. If it's good enough for Justin Bieber and Leo DiCaprio...
Once prices hit six figures, I'm thinking of Lamborghinis and Ferraris. But if saving the world is on top of your list, and you're determined to do it in the grandest style, the Fisker Karma is waiting for you to take a test drive.
FREE WINE TASTING TONIGHT IN BETHESDA
Enjoy a FREE Italian wine tasting tonight at Capital Beer and Wine, from 5:30-8:00 PM.
CBW promises a sample of two Sicilian white wines, and two Sardinian reds. However, they did not specify which Winebow-distributed wines they would be.
So rather than guess, here are 4 wines offered by Winebow.
TASCA D'ALMERITA, REGALEALI BIANCO SICILIA IGT (2009)
What will you notice in this dry white wine? A definitive fruit flavor, with hints of apples, peaches, pears and citrus fruit.
Pair this with grilled calamari, sushi, or a salumi and cheese board.
TASCA D'ALMERITA, CHARDONNAY SICILIA IGT (2010)
An acidic white with plenty of sweetness, and hints of fruit and white chocolate.
Perfect with salmon.
ARGIOLAS, KOREM ISOLA DEI NURAGHI IGT (2008)
Winebow describes this red wine as "voluptuous" and "exotic." Among the aromas of berries, smoke, chocolate and spice is a hint of leather.
This pairs well with pork ribs and lamb chops.
ARGIOLAS, IS SOLINAS ISOLA DEI NURAGHI IGT (2007)
An earthy, smoky ruby red, with "violet tinges." Expect a flavor of spice and black fruit.
Try this with grilled hamburgers or sausage.
WINDOW GRAPHICS UP AT TAKE 5 BOUTIQUE (PHOTO)
Take 5 Boutique has fully moved in at the former Second Chance Boutique space, at 4920 Fairmont Avenue.
Yesterday, new graphic panels were up in the storefront windows, and behind them, the task of redesigning the space for the new boutique was underway.
As I reported a few weeks ago, Take 5 is scheduled to open next month.
Recently, owner Sakina Iskender flew to Turkey for Istanbul Fashion Week.
What makes Take 5's opening perhaps the biggest fashion news in downtown Bethesda this year? The boutique will be carrying international fashion lines you literally will not find anywhere else in the U.S. That's because Take 5 will be an exclusive importer of those designers' pieces.
By the way, the slick graphics are a welcome change from the most popular window covering in the Woodmont Triangle these days: brown paper. Stay classy, Bethesda!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
BOULEVARD BREWING CO. IN BETHESDA?
Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Co. beers have arrived on the East Coast in recent weeks for the first time. The Midwestern favorite is sending some of its best Smokestack Series bottles our way, and Capital Beer and Wine has The Sixth Glass and Dark Truth Stout in stock - while they last!
Dark Truth Stout is an Imperial stout Boulevard describes aptly as "black liquid gold." Its flavor promises hints of espresso, roasted fig and creme brulee.
Even more intriguing is the Hans Christian Anderson-inspired The Sixth Glass. (Who said beer wasn't educational? Now you'll want to read HCA's classic, "The Watchman of the Tower," to fully appreciate this bottle). What would go better with a good book on an autumn evening than this Belgian dark strong ale? Its malty flavor comes off sweet, with a scent of dark fruit and caramel. Try it with a selection of cheddar, Gouda, and Havarti cheeses, and finish with a chocolate dessert.
Stop by Capital Beer and Wine on Norfolk Avenue, and try a rare "import" from the great state of Missouri tonight.
MAGGIE'S FINISHED OUTDOOR TIKI BAR (PHOTOS)
A while back, I posted the first photo of the new outdoor tiki bar at Maggie's on Cordell Avenue.
But now the bar is actually finished, and it's time to have a look at the final product.
|It's not just a wood framework anymore!|
|The finishes tell you this isn't your|
great grandfather's tiki bar
|The brackets hold large flatscreen|
TVs when the bar is open
BETHESDA U.P. RESTORES VETERANS PARK FLAG LIGHTING
The U.S. Flag illumination problems in Bethesda's Veterans Park I reported here Monday morning, have been corrected.
|Tuesday, 8:30 PM|
Earlier Tuesday, I received a Twitter message from Bethesda U.P. that said the lighting for the flag was going to be fixed, and in the meantime, the flag would be raised in the morning, and taken down by dark.
So I was surprised to find the flag - properly lit - already flying over the park last night.
Bethesda U.P. released photos showing workers in action Tuesday.
|Bethesda U.P. workers repair flag display|
lighting at Veterans Park Tuesday
[Photo: Bethesda U.P.]
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL HOV LANE PLAN DEFIES BELIEF
The Montgomery County Council and staff have surveyed two of the nation's most notorious traffic snarls - the American Legion Bridge/I-495, and I-270. They have examined these 7th and 8th Circles of Hell. They've brought their infinite wisdom to bear on one of the biggest obstacles to attracting new employers to Montgomery County (traffic gridlock).
And they've concluded the answer is... carpools.
Apparently, on whatever planet, and in whichever dimension, these folks reside in, this makes perfectly plausible sense to them.
Reality can be harsh.
They've studied a problem that has two definitive causes: the failure to build at least three additional Potomac River bridges, and the failure to build our master plan highway system.
And what they've proposed specifically, is this: turn the shoulders of 495 between Tysons Corner and the 270 spur into HOV/bus lanes. And take an existing lane of I-270, and designate it an HOV lane.
In the first case, they have not increased capacity for the majority of drivers, and they have proposed a solution that could actually create worse traffic jams, and reduce safety.
Very few people carpool or take the bus on the Beltway. So moving those vehicles onto the shoulder would have virtually no impact on travel lanes. What would happen, however, is that the frequent broken-down or fender-bendered cars would now have no refuge at the side of the road. There's no shoulder to pull off to, under the council's scenario.
I happen to recall driving from Virginia into Maryland one afternoon rush hour, and seeing a broken-down school bus on the shoulder. Had the council's plan been in effect, those children would have been out in the middle of interstate highway traffic. Is that a situation the parents of Montgomery County can buy into?
In addition, if someone breaks down in that shoulder "lane," you would have a jam worse than ever, as all of the buses and carpoolers would have to change lanes to get around that disabled car.
At least they're not proposing to "steal" a lane there. But further north on 270, that's exactly what their plan calls for. They want to turn an existing lane into an HOV lane. In other words, congestion will get worse, not better. Have you ever been at a dead stop at the 270 spur, and noticed the HOV lane is essentially empty? So we're all sitting here, just so some politician can say he's "green?"
Surprisingly, or not, local media had no critical questions to ask the council, despite the plan's patent absurdity. Instead, we are treated to more Orwellian statements about 21st century solutions, and "getting people out of their cars," something no one besides Communist China has been able to do so far.
Traffic congestion will not improve whatsoever should the council implement both their HOV plan, and the equally laughable Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) proposal. In fact, in both cases, traffic would be worse.
But gridlock could be all but eliminated, if we made a belated commitment to building our master plan highways: The Outer Beltway, Rockville Freeway, M-83 Mid-county Highway Extended, Northwest Freeway, and the Northern Parkway. And at least one new Potomac River crossing.
There is simply no way the council can add 85,000 new cars to our existing highway system, as they plan to do, when it can't even handle today's traffic.
It's fine if the council wants to delude themselves that we can bus and carpool ourselves out of this mess. But citizens and the media should cease to indulge decisions that place ideology over reality and decades of traffic engineering research.
We have "leaders" telling us they're adding 100,000 new residents to the county, which means 85,000 new cars driven by people who will not ride transit under any circumstances.
How many master plan highways is that same council proposing to build in the next 10-20 years?
We can't go on like this.
HANDS-ON iPhone 5 REVIEW AT BETHESDA ROW APPLE STORE (PHOTOS)
iPhone 5 sales may have been high this past weekend, but unlike some earlier launches, there was no line outside the Apple Store at Bethesda Row the next evening.
The phone may not be as earth shattering as Apple would have you believe, but it still has the organic intuitiveness you expect - and almost always get - from an Apple product.
|Are you following this guy|
@BethesdaRow on Twitter?
|Hey, it's the Piano Guy at|
American Tap Room!
BETHESDA VETERANS PARK FLAG UPDATE
Last night, the American flag in Veterans Park was lowered and removed before dark. As I reported yesterday, the flag had been flying in darkness recently, in violation of the U.S. Flag Code.
|Veterans Park, Tuesday evening|
Is there a wiring or bulb issue? If so, this should be resolved as soon as it is feasible to do so. I'm glad that the flag is now (hopefully) going to be treated properly, and hope it will be raised again during daylight hours today.
But Veterans Park should not be left in substandard condition indefinitely. We have a setup there to illuminate the flag and veterans memorial at night, and we ought to use it. The park is a public space, and should be inviting to the public around the clock. And with the monument and flag illuminated, it is also an inspiring place.
As the richest town in America, it's incumbent upon us to aim a bit higher than this. If parks aren't going to be maintained in working order, taxpayers may start demanding a refund of the taxes they've paid for that very purpose.
Monday, September 24, 2012
TWO MORE THEFTS IN BETHESDA - ON THE SAME STREET
A burst of six thefts Thursday was followed up by two more Friday in west Bethesda.
Thefts from vehicles were reported Friday in the 4900 and 5100 blocks of Allan Road in the Green Acres neighborhood, still reeling from its "Summer of Snatch" theft and burglary waves.
Keep those car doors locked, and remove any valuables from inside the cabin.
WHICH AVENGERS BLU-RAY PACKAGE IS THE BEST?
Tuesday is Avengers Day: the top movie of 2012 is finally coming home on Blu-ray and DVD. The question on everyone's mind is, Who has the best Avengers Blu-ray package? Which one has the best exclusive extras?
Check out the list of all that comes in the package - including a gift card, a high-quality Avengers guide, and that nice, lighted[!] case to display it in. But it will set you back over $70, with tax.