Archive for the ‘Bethesda’ Category

Fishy Minivan

Fishy Car 16-08-07_0852

Were you at the Cheltenham parking garage in Bethesda recently? Is this your sweet ride? I have to say – this really tickled me and brightened my day significantly. Thanks for adding to the factory paint job and keeping the DC area a fun, lighthearted place.

Has anyone else seen this vehicle? I love it!

So Wet, Nobody’s Safe

So slippery the pylon slipped

Even a poor pylon couldn’t escape the slipperiness from a recent rain. This poor little guy was at the Bethesda Metro stop, struggling to stand erect, like a turtle flipped on its back. At least its mission was not in vain, showing that even such a harbinger as it is subject to going ass over teakettle from time to time.

Hey – That’s Not Hummus!

Multimedia message

Nor is it humus, for that matter. Tastes more like a bowl full of choking hazards. And none of this stuff sticks well to pita bread.

Seen at the Bethesda Farmers Market on Tuesday.

Why I like Bethesda #27: Grits and Jukeboxes at the Tastee Diner


I have been doing some work for a company in Bethesda a few days a week and have really been charmed by the downtown area around Wisconsin Ave. and Old Georgetown Road.

Tastee Diner quickly became my number one breakfast joint for the days I get there early enough to partake. This is a diner like we had in New England, complete with the charm of wood paneling and cooks who banter with the customers. Nothing fancy like the fake Arlington “diners,” whose menus are pricy and the smokers permeate the air with stench. Nope, Tastee Diner has an affordable set of offerings on the menu. It’s not always fast in delivery but it’s consistently good and has grits and jukeboxes.

Grits are almost a necessity if I am going to consistently have breakfast somewhere. Maybe it’s a holdover from my years spent in the real south but I just love grits with my eggs in the morning.

Check it out: old-school jukeboxes like we had at every truck stop when I was a kid. I wasn’t much in the mood for Elvis or The Four Tops the day I took that picture but I hope to return and jam during breakfast playing some good, old-fashioned music. Let’s face it – all music goes with grits, from opera to country to funk.

Bethesda fans out there – what are your favorite things about the town?

Free Concerts in Bethesda

Bethesda Concert Sign

Hump Day isn’t just for humping anymore. If you are in Bethesda on Wednesdays, you can catch some free midday concert culture from 12-2 at Bethesda Place Plaza at 7700 Wisconsin Ave.

And to match, the day after Hump Day is no longer just the day after you humped. To celebrate the boot knocking from the day before, take your special sweetie out for an after-work concert from 6-8 on Thursdays at Veterans Park at the intersection of Norfolk Ave. and Woodmont Ave.

Both series of concerts run through the end of August, so there’s plenty of opportunity left to get down there, hear some good free music and enjoy the heart of summertime Bethesda. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes and a sports bottle filled with margaritas or your other favorite drink. Just be sure not to let on what you’re drinking or else you might be spending longer in Montgomery County than you had anticipated.

Hot Pads

Perhaps if Wayan’s couch guest is still looking for a place to stay, he should take a gander at HotPads appears to be a mash-up between google maps and wikipedia, offering a user-friendly at-a-glance look at available housing options inside the beltway.

Users can customize their search requirements by zip code, city, county or state, using a variety of variables. A quick Georgetown search turned up not a whole lot, whereas a quick search of my home zip code turned up two rental possibilities.

Looking for a roommate? You apparently can use that feature too, although it turned up zilch for me. This appears to be a great tool for relocation professionals who know naught about the new city they’ll call home. Doing a quick search of cities such as Seattle and Boston turned up a whole lot of useful information.

These three Notre Dame former college roommates moved to the D.C. area and created HotPads in early ’05, relaunching the site last month. The best thing about HotPads? It’s totally free.

Between HotPads and The D.C. Crime Map newcomers to D.C. can learn much more about prospective neighbours before they even put down a deposit. Say ‘sayonara’ to moving in sight unseen, suckers.

Tasty Tastings

I think it’s mostly just a DC thing, but a lot of neighborhoods seem to enjoy having these Taste of festivals every fall. It’s kinda like getting to go to two dozen restaurants at once, only you need tickets and have to eat standing up in the street…

Taste of Bethesda is this Saturday, Oct. 7 from 11 am-4 pm with 50 restaurants and four stages of entertainment. The festival will be on Norfolk , St. Elmo, Cordell , Del Ray and Auburn Avenues in Bethesda ‘s Woodmont Triangle. The last time I went, I even met Mr. Smoothie!

The following week is Taste of Georgetown, Saturday, Oct. 14 from 11 am-4 pm. This festival will feature more than 25 restaurants, a wine tasting, and three different jazz and blues bands by Blues Alley. The festival will be on Wisconsin Ave between M Street and South Street and at the Grace Episcopal Church at 1041 Wisconsin Ave . This festival may be a small consolation to those who miss Taste of DC which traditionally had been on Columbus Day weekend until last year’s debacle and is no more.

Taste of Arlington is held in May so Arlingtonians will have to wait until May 20, 2007 for your festival in Ballston. But, in the meantime, you can go to Clarendon Day on Saturday, Oct. 21, which bills itself as Arlington ‘s biggest party.

A DC blogger worth reading…

If I have an “idol” in blogging, it would have to be Merujo

Merujo, like me, is a transplanted Midwesterner. She’s from the Illinois side of the Quad Cities (Moline) and I’m from the Iowa side. My mom was born and raised on the Iowa side (Davenport), so I know some of that city. Not enough to find my way out of a wet paper bag, but ya know…

When Merujo first encountered my blog, it was because of an entry I did regarding “explaining the ’80s”. We e-mailed each other a few times, and we discovered our common bond of the Midwest. I think the response on each side was, “Oh My God…is this weird or WHAT?”

Anyway, I had wanted to meet her for quite a while, but our schedules couldn’t jive. That’s life, but that’s also where blogs come in handy – you can keep track of folks and their “doin’s” (family saying…don’t ask…it’ll just be more confusing). If you read her blog, you’ll see she’s done a lot of traveling, a lot of photography, and a lot of other things…ALL very interesting.

I finally got to meet her, and I’ve gotta tell you, she’s every bit as engaging and fun in real life that she is in her writing. We hit it off right away…we immediately started gabbing about the things we liked back home and the things we hated.

The subject, inevitably, came around to why we moved here, and the reactions of friends from back home. I told her, “Some people were surprised I moved out here because they didn’t think I was that political.”

Her response? “I don’t think people realize that DC is about so much more than politics. I mean, I go to work every day across from the White House, flip off the President, and I don’t think twice about it. There’s so much more to this place. The DC they talk about is not my DC.”

I thought that was right on the money. I’ve become so jaded lately from work and other things in life getting in the way that I forget about it. So MY goal is to be more like Ms. Merujo and open my eyes to other things.

And also, stay tuned…I’m working on getting an interview of sorts with Stevens & Medley from 94.7 the Arrow as well as the Fugitive Brass Quintet and other “DC Musical Secrets”. I’ll try to be back more often…I PROMISE!!!!

Maryland Life Expectancy Extremes

How is this for an amazing extreme in our northern neighbours: If you live in Montgomery County, you’ll live 12.7 years longer than if you live in Baltimore City.

That’s according to the life expectancy numbers for the DC area from today’s WashPost article Wide Gaps Found In Mortality Rates Among U.S. Groups:

Montgomery County is tied for first (81.3 years), with Fairfax County not far behind at 80.9. Baltimore City is next to last (68.6). The District, at 72 years, is also among the 50 jurisdictions with the shortest life expectancies.

They say they don’t know the reasons why, only that there is a difference.

I say the difference is simple: Potomac Hermaphroditic Bass. See the folks in Montgomery County, after years of exposure to estrogen-laden river waters, are way more caring, expressive, and stylish.

Baltimore – way too macho to live past 68.

Two Takes on Bethesda (Part Two: Con)

“What are you doing?! Jaywalking? In Bethesda?! You’ll get us all arrested!!”

Still my friend sauntered boldly across the center of the street, flashing her grey eyes in disdain.

Basic transgressions feel so very naughty in Bethesda. Yes, it’s crazy, but true. Jaywalking has a subversive thrill. Not to mention brazenly placing a cigarette pack on a restaurant table. Ooo, watch out, we’re in Montgomery County!

Perhaps we were overly sensitive, having just watched a student performance in a temple of childhood creativity, but it seemed as we went in search of dinner on Bethesda’s famous restaurant row that everyone, everyone wandering about on Sunday afternoon was either pregnant, carrying a baby, or herding children. Or all three.

Except for us.

You could certainly eat your way across continents on Woodmont Avenue, every restaurant sporting sidewalk dining. And what a gloriously beautiful afternoon, mild breezes at last. Kir Royale at Mon Ami Gabi, mint chocolate chip ice cream at Gifford’s, topping off a relaxing day.

And yet, and yet…

Slightly freaked out. Slightly unnerved. Slightly disjointed in the land of the strollers and the clean streets and the smoke-free. Too squeaky-clean-cut. Too fabricated. Too… nice.

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