Thursday, July 26, 2012

What's Upcoming

Upcoming in Downtown Silver Spring:

Saturday, July 28. 3rd annual Annual Fenton Street Market Joke Fest
As per the Fenton Street Market site: "Come see if you can top some of these gems from our 1st Joke Fest in 2010. After telling a joke on mic, children from ages 1-12 will receive an age-appropriate book (of their choice) authored by the How-To Cowboy (aka Edward Allan Faine). Young ones can make an animal sound in lieu of joke." (That last part was not made up).

Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29Sally Kempton at the Willow Street Yoga Center Silver Spring studio. A weekend of meditation and modern yoga.
Saturday: 12pm - 8pm

Sunday: 10am - 6pm

Sunday, July 29.  Piratz Tavern to host a "Bar Rescue" party.  More details covered here in the Washington Post. Heard the episode is a hot mess guaranteed to get a few LOLs out of you. I hope this will help bring more patrons to the restaurant/bar (despite of their frozen french fries). I actually do love to hang out here and the last time I popped in for a drink the bar area was pretty busy. Hopefully the TV show will help them with getting the word out one way or another.

Downtown Silver Spring and Arts and Humanit
ies Council of Montgomery County have teamed up in search of a resident artist to "re-imagine the holidays" at the fountain plaza on Ellsworth.  The application has been extended to Monday, July 30. So if you're still working on your monumental art piece, get 'er done! As per the Creative Moco site, this will be a temporary public artwork located on the fountain plaza. The theme for this project is sustainability through the use of recycled materials and/or sustainable energy. It will be available to view for about 10 weeks. Their project budget is $8,500, materials, and fabrication. Pretty good dough - and if you're an artist looking to get your name out, this might be a good start. Oh - also they will provide the fork lifts should you need them... More details on the Creative Moco website.

Saturday, August 4, 2012Walking Tour to Silver Spring's Original "Silver" Spring.
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Join Silver Spring Historical Society president Jerry A. McCoy on a walking tour to the spring after which our community was named and other historic sites surrounding the B & O RR Station. McCoy is the author of Historic Silver Spring (2005) and Downtown Silver Spring (2010), both by Arcadia Publishing. Cost $5.00. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Email or call (301) 537-1253.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station
8100 Georgia Avenue (at Sligo Avenue)

(Update) As per Discovery's tweet from earlier today (7/28), Chompie is starting to go up at Discovery. He'll remain perched up through the Discovery building for Shark Week, which starts Sunday, August 12 for their 25th Anniversary. Watch their underwater Shark Week announcement on Discovery's blog.

Check out Jackie's new Carolyn's Espresso Semifreddo Sandwich, pictured on their Facebook page. It's a spin on the classic ice cream sandwich and it looks amazing.

Don't forget the half price wines Monday nights at 8407 Kitchen Bar on Ramsey. I enjoyed 
an awesome meal there with a decent bottle of red from a winery in Santa Barbara, Zinfandel-Carignane-Sangiovese, which ended up being a steal at under $20. 

Friday, August 24, 2012 - 6:30pm - 9pm
Cultural Arts Center - Montgomery College, 7995 Georgia Avenue
America Meditating - Make a Shift: Music, Speakers, Dancers, Comedians, and Medication
Tickets are free but you have to register.

The transformation from Crowne Plaza into a Sheraton is complete. I peeped into their bar area on the ground flood and it looks like it would make for a good pre-going out meeting spot because of all the space. Might also be good for a large group to catch a game on one of their TVs.

Know of any upcoming events I may have missed? Please shoot me an email here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fresh, Simple, Local - Lunch

Here is a simple, quick and easy lunch idea mainly using organic and local ingredients. 

We used a few products some of the vendors from the Fresh Farm Markets in DTSS.

Goat Cheese: Firefly Farms

Tomatoes: Mock's Greenhouse and Farm

Corn & Red Onion: Spring Valley Farm and Orchard

Basil: My backyard

Cucumber: In-laws yard in Silver Spring

Fig: In-laws yard in Silver Spring

Pita, Dill, and Lamb: Wholefoods DTSS

Roasted red peppers: Snider's

Lemonade: Evensong Farm Mint & Sage or Basil. Not pictured here because it was too hot to for the lemonade to stick around for a picture. But it was perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day.

Corn from Spring Valley Farm & Orchard

Tomatoes from Mock's Greenhouse & Farm

 Spring Valley Farm & Orchard vegetables

Corn salad: corn, grape tomatoes, red onion, basil

Fresh fig with balsamic

Warm pita topped with homemade yogurt: cucumber, dill, grilled lamb, roasted red peppers, goat cheese

Ready to serve

Quick, easy, delicious

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Burger Delivery, Local Glass Art, and More

(This post has been updated 7/29/12)

If you live in DTSS and you find yourself craving a juicy burger and you're too lazy to walk or don't want to deal with parking, Stage Burger Lounge is now delivering. It's a minimum of $20 so this might be a good idea for when you're really hungry or with friends. Delivery applies to a 1 mile radius.

UPDATE on the Burger post above. Stage Burger Lounge is no longer delivering. It lasted all of a few weeks and then they decided to cancel because "it wasn't working out", as per one of the employees. Not sure what that means. Potential great idea FAIL!

I found a really cool glass art table at Fenton Street MarketRyan Eicher, who was manning the table, designs and creates the glass art out of his garage. He's local to Silver Spring and grew up in Woodside. He started when he was in high school and now he features and sells Homegrown Glass Art at local markets. He mentioned they can usually be found at the Fenton Street Market in addition to Eastern Market.  If you can't make it to either, you can purchase his art on his Etsy site.

Glass making demo from Ryan

Homegrown Glass Art table. I scooped up a ring holder which made for a great gift.

Next time you're taking a stroll on Ellsworth, check out some of the featured art by local artists from Pyramid Atlantic posted up in between the DSW and the future H&M. And if you glance hard in between the art through the glass, you can check out H&M's progress. As per their press release, H&M is expected to open in September 2012 and brings the center’s occupancy to 98.3%.
Art on Ellsworth featured by Pyramid Atlantic

Don't forget about the VanGo free shuttle every 8 minutes Monday - Friday from 7am to 7pm. It would be great to see those hours extended through 10pm Thursday - Saturday for going to dinner and going out especially for the winter months when it gets colder out. Here is a list of all their stops.

Over The Line Festival is going on through July 29th. Check out my blog post here: Music. Dance. Theater. All Under One Roof.

One of my previous blog posts mentioned the Crowne Plaza on Georgia turning into a Sheraton on July 12th but the new date is now July 19th. Here are some renderings on what the interior is supposed to look like. Unfortunately the outside did not get a face lift.

Fantasy Nails (not in DTSS but in walking distance from the Silver Spring red line metro stop) on Georgia has a new location - launched right across the street from their old location (which is still there and open for business). $19.99 manicure & pedicure at the new location. Lucky they are launching that special since they are in competition...with themselves. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Music. Dance. Theater. All Under One Roof.

In just a few weeks, Round House Theatre is launching Over the Line Festival, hopefully the first of many in Downtown Silver Spring. The music, theater, and dance festival will run from July 12 - July 29. During the course of two and a half weeks, we can expect more than ten companies in nearly fifty performances. The shows are for all audiences and there is something for all ages and different levels of interest.

Festival tickets are $15 ($10 if you're a RHT subscriber, senior citizen, patrons age 30 & under, and groups of 10 or more).  (Fake ID whut??). However, note that tickets to Taffety Punk performances during the festival are $10.

I was able to get the scoop from local independent actress, performer, and theatergoer Gwen Grastorf (Twitter: @gwenigma) who works with different theater companies around town and recently acted in a show Forum produced at Round House. She gave me some great insight on how it works and broke it down for me:

In a nutshell, although Round House Theatre's offices are located in the Civic Building of Downtown Silver Spring, their larger theater is located in Bethesda.  They own the Round House space on Colesville (RHSS) and rent it out to small companies, mainly Forum Theatre and Contradiction Dance but also some one-night events and unaffiliated groups.

I got her thoughts on DTSS and some challenges we face when it comes to theater and the arts in the area.

What's DTSS's biggest challenge related to the arts?

"DTSS's biggest challenge related to arts is just that people don't know that it is an accessible, fun, and cheap option.  Many people in Silver Spring don't know that they can see live arts, for cheap, right in their neighborhood.  There are hundreds and hundreds of people who work and live downtown - particularly at large companies like the Discovery or United Therapeutics, but also the many workers who make their living at DSW, Whole Foods, Ulta, Adega, McGinty's, etc.  If people who work and play in SS knew that they could see a play or a dance recital for $10 or $15, would they attend?  We already have  many wonderful options - blockbuster hits at the Majestic, indie & classic movie options at the AFI Silver, and live music at the Fillmore.  Adding cultural arts to that mix should not be a big leap for local residents. Recently there have been a lot of great live acts in the downtown area during the market days - the School of Rock kids on weekends, and the Washington Revels recent Sunfest, as well as the Blues Festival.  It's just a matter of getting residents to realize that live performance is something that can be part of their free time - affordable, fun, and a great way to spend an evening out."

What changes would you like to see take place?

"Part of the problem is budgetary - theaters and dance companies are often working on often very tight budgets, as many national and corporate grants have dried up in the past few years.  There isn't much money for marketing.   How do we get them to know about events?  Postcarding?  signs?  Presenting excerpts from shows on the live stage?" 
Gwen makes some great points since it seems like the arts are the first to get budget cuts even more so in a tight economy. She noted that another great space right on Georgia is the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center (Twitter: @MC_CulturalArts) and they have some student-produced work but mostly function as a roadhouse for touring shows and weekend events with a wide variety of performances to include dance, music, and theater.  We also have the Maryland Youth Ballet on Ellsworth Drive and it's easy to get to.

How can you help?? Spread the word. Tweet about it. Post about it. Go see shows. Stay local. Invite your friends from other areas. Promote promote promote!

If you're interested in keeping the arts alive and donating to any of the
aforementioned art centers, please see their respective websites:
Round House Theatre
Forum Theatre - keepin the arts alive!
Maryland Youth Ballet
Contradiction Dance

Note: Gwen Grastorf's opinions were those solely of her own and not representing any of the companies named, particularly Round House or Forum.

Know of any additional art centers or th
eaters I could add to this? Drop me a line at