Friday, June 29, 2012


Friday Hodgepodge:

Jackie's will now be doing wine tastings for $30/person every other Wednesday. This started on June 27, so the next one will be July 11. You get to sample 4 different wines from their focus region that day. If you stay for dinner, you get 15% off your check. They recommend making reservations. Follow them on Facebook to keep current with their updates. 
8081 Georgia Avenue

Just Up The Pike tweeted about the new "street smart" walk score earlier on this week. The Walk Score for Downtown Silver Spring is 97 - Walker's Paradise. That's as good as it's going to get for a suburb! 

The Crowne Plaza transformation into a Sheraton is almost complete. Grand Opening is scheduled for July 12. I saw them working on the new restaurant on the first floor so we'll see anything good comes from that. Looks like they didn't really give the exterior a much needed face lift. 

Eat 24 has been such a great and reliable service for delivery that I want to shout it to the mountain tops. Depending on the restaurant, there may be no delivery fee and in addition, also depending on the restaurant, you may get a credit every time you place an order. For example, if you select to order from Spring Garden (16th street location), there's a 5% cash coupon and no delivery fee. You can also tip on the website and they will save your order for next time to make it so convenient that you can literally re-order your meal in 4 seconds. Urban Bar-B-Que will deliver to Downtown Silver Spring but there's a hefty $4 delivery fee. Ben & Jerry's City Place will deliver as well but that one's $6.99 for delivery. 

Why is The Fillmore charging $10 for parking in the evenings? There are various parking garages just a few blocks away for free after 6pm. The sign I saw on Georgia for an outdoor parking lot by the Lee Building on Georgia and Colesville said "Fillmore Parking, $10" and they had conned 6 cars.

Over The Line Festival (Music, Theater, and Dance) at the Round House Theatre coming July 12 - 29. I'll have a more in depth blog post on this coming soon so please check back!

The Downtown Silver Spring Summer Concert Series is running all summer long every other Saturday on the Silver Plaza from 6 - 8pm. Silver Plaza is on Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue.

I couldn't find much going on in DTSS for 4th of July, but I did find the 123rd celebration for Takoma Park 4th of July Parade & Fireworks. If you hear anything for DTSS, please send it my way!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Back to the 80's

The year was 1988.  The movie Spaceballs had been out for over a year and I had seen it too many times to count on VHS. I wanted to be a Mog for Halloween that year ("half man, half dog, I'm my own best friend!"). Madonna ruled the my airwaves. Three Amigos ruled my vocab. I used my neighbor's big wide (impossible to fall off) Powell Peralta skateboard as a method of transportation to go trade Garbage Pail Kids with my friends. I still had my Atari, but the original Nintendo ruled my world and went on to do so for many years. Nerd alert: I still have it and on occasion, I will plug it in and give it a go. 
This summer through fall (June 29 - September 19), we can kick it old school and relive the 80's at the AFI Silver Theatre. They are featuring "Totally 80's Awesome" showcasing the big hits from back in the day. Yow know - the ones you quoted non-stop, back when movies were awesome. They just don't make them like they used to (things you say when you're officially old).  
General Admission is $11.50 and children are $7.00. However, on June 28, they are having a Half Price One Day Sale.  Here is the totally awesome list from their website:
AFI Theatre on Colesville

You can start your day by hitting up American Apparel on Colesville for your neon apparel. Check it out their window at the Downtown Silver Spring location.
(Don't mind the funny creepy real life kid in the window)

Then hit up Ray's the Classics for dinner prior or after seeing your movies just for the theme of it. They have the more casual Bistro Menu and then the full Dinner Menu. Ray's has to be the best bang for your buck when it comes to steaks. 
8606 Colesville Road

Then for dessert you can head over to Moorenko's Ice Cream Cafe for a good ol' fashion banana split or sugar cone with cookie dough or maple walnut.
8030b Georgia Avenue

You can also check out some pretty cool pics of Downtown Silver Spring back in the 80's at Silver Spring Singular's blog.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Silver Spring was a Railroad Town

June 23 & 24, MoCo will celebrate the 2012 Montgomery County "Heritage Days" on the piece of history that started the area's Central Business District, the Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station.  This event and the restaurants listed below are all walking distance from the Silver Spring metro stop on the red line.

The Railroad Station is history right in our backyard; it was restored back in 1945 and it was the departure and return venue for Silver Spring's WW II soldiers. It is listed on National Register of Historic Places and as per Montgomery Preservation, "the station is one of only two 20th century B&O stations extant in Maryland - represents the evolution of Silver Spring from a small country town centered around the railroad depot to a major transportation, retail and residential suburb."

So in the spirit of celebrating history and culture prior to the Heritage Days celebrations, why not hit up Crisfields restaurant, a true Silver Spring landmark which has also been around since 1945. Scoop up an Oyster Sandwich or Clams on the Half Shell. See entire menu HERE.  You can also check out some Yelp reviews with more suggestions on what to order.
8012 Georgia Avenue

Or after the festivities, you can pop by Tastee Diner of Silver Spring, constructed in 1946. They are open 24 hours. 
8601 Cameron Street

Here are the celebrations that will take place this weekend:

"Hot Ticket to Ride!" Montgomery County Heritage Days at Silver Spring B&O R.R. Station, Sat. & Sun., 6/23 & 24

Silver Spring Historic Baltimore & Ohio 1945 Railroad Station
8100 Georgia Ave. at Sligo Ave., Silver Spring, MD   301-495-4915, Photo Opp! Free!
Saturday June 23, 10 am - 4 pm, Sunday, June 24, 12 - 4 pm, Live Music
Tour the restored 1945 National Register Colonial Revival B&O Station
Train-Spot Real Trains Roaring Down Station Tracks, "Train Days" presented by Rockville Model Railroad Society
Model Railroad Displays for Kids of all Ages, Work "Switcher Module"
Consult with "Ask a Member Train Clinic"
View HO-Scale Antique R.R.Model on permanent display
Watch HO-Scale Model Kit-Building Demos
Learn about R.R. Safety with Jeff Peck, Operation Life Saver
View Station Manager Robert B. Davis's extraordinary lifelong R.R. photographic display,
some originally taken with his Brownie Camera; Refreshments.

Sunday, June 24, 1 & 3 p.m., Live Music: Silver Spring local Rick Kanton, Singer/Songwriter performs Folk/Blues/Rock magic on Electric/Slide/Acoustic Guitar & Steel Mandolin. Music available for purchase: "Folk Remedy," "Cure Your Ills Without Any Pills," "Blue Horizon," and more.

SSHS President Jerry A. McCoy leading Tour of Historic S.S. outside the 1945 Historic Silver Spring B&O R.R. Station. Photographer: George French

Singer/Songwriter Silver Spring Troubadour Rick Kanton performing at 1945 Historic Silver Spring B&O R.R. Station. Photographer:  George French

Photos courtesy of Silver Spring Historical Society

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Silverdocs - Grab Your Tickets!

Silverdocs opening night appeared to be a big success for AFI. With Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey featured on opening night, the red carpet was bumpin'. Silverdocs, the annual Downtown Silver Spring documentary festival, is composed of documentaries from around the world.  It will run through Sunday, June 24. General Admission is $13.  See the film program and buy tickets HERE.  

After party was held at The Fillmore across the street. Too bad they couldn't line up Journey for a performance across the street!  How great would it be if the Fillmore could line up performances that corresponded to the documentaries. For example, after the showing of Big Easy Express, we'd get to walk across the street and check out Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, etc.  Or after the showing of Tchoupitoulas, we'd get to check out a New Orleans band across the street.  Perhaps next year?!

I couldn't help but notice the restaurants across the street seemed quiet with not much going on. I will say that at the time I took these pics, people were lining up to get into the films, but it was still early and things just seemed to have very little energy. I would think that with an event like this going on in the neighborhood, it would be a huge marketing opportunity.

Hopefully we'll see more of a buzz throughout the rest of the week at the area's local establishments.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June is Music to My Ears

June is a busy month for Downtown Silver Spring with a big focus on music.  I was really hoping to see more local event related bar/lounge/restaurant and specials. You'd think the area's venues would have capitalized on the festivals/events happening in town and piggy back on those?  I feel like they are missing out on huge marketing opportunities to take advantage of the crowds that will already be in town for the large events.  For example, Silver Docs has previously had 27,000 people throughout the week. Might be a good time for the restaurants on Colesville or others nearby to promote local happenings related to the featured events to generate business...

I'll be keeping this list updated through the month of June so check back frequently!

Friday, June 8, 1pm.  Euro 2012 kicks off with Poland vs Greece and Russia vs Czech Republic. McGinty's will be showing all the games live downstairs and upstairs with their huge HD pull down screen.  
911 Ellsworth Drive

Friday, June 8, 6 - 9pm. Kick Off Silver Spring Blues Week at Pyramid Atlantic. 
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center will be gettin' that Blues Week party started. This event will feature cocktails, hors d'ouvres, art, and live Blues music featuring Silver Spring's Jonny GraveTickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. 
8230 Georgia Avenue

Friday, June 8 - Saturday, June 16. Related to the event listed above -  Silver Spring's first ever Blues Week. During this week they expect to have lives Blues performances, food, and drink specials "throughout DTSS" as per the Silver Spring Blues site. However the only venues I saw mentioned are Fire Station 1 (but nothing about this is listed on their website), McGinty's (performance by Patty Reese Thursday night) and Zev's Coffee Cafe (mention of an acoustic performance).  There are also plans to present Blues bands on Veteran's Plaza during the week. 

Saturday, June 9, 8pm.  Luis Enrique at The Fillmore
Luis Enrique is big time throughout Latin America.  He's a Nicaraguan salsa singer who received a Grammy for his album, Ciclos, for Best Tropical Latin Album. If you like salsa dancing, this is the place to be. Free parking in the nearby garages after 6pm. 
Tickets are $35. 
8656 Colesville Road

Saturday, June 9, 9:45pmThe Society Lounge to show the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight
8229 Georgia Avenue

Sunday, June 10, 1pm - 6pm. 3rd Annual Washington Revels SunFest: Music and Dance from around the World in Downtown Silver Spring.  
Their mission as per their website: "SunFest is a summer solstice celebration of world cultures hosted by Washington Revels. Designed to give both professional and non-professional performers and groups an opportunity to shine and share their cultures, the festival features traditional performing arts – music, dance, drama, and storytelling – from around the world, creating connections among diverse communities".  They are still looking for volunteers. More details here: I wanna be involved in my community and volunteer!.  They are also still looking for Performing Art Groups that represent African, Latino, Caribbean, Asian, American, & European heritages. More details here: I'm not afraid to get on a stage and shake it!
On Ellsworth Street between Georgia Avenue & Fenton Street (including Silver Plaza)

Saturday, June 16, 10am - 11pm. 4th Annual Silver Spring Blues Festival. 
There will be 2 stages of performers. Here are the details on schedule of performances. Celebrity Emcees include Ida Campbell, Host of "Don't Forget the Blues" on WPFW-FM and Cortney Hicks from Majic 102.3. 
Festival locations are the Fenton Street Market on Fenton Street (corner of Ellsworth) and Silver Plaza on Ellsworth Drive

Saturday, June 16th, starting at 10pm.  After party from the Blues Festival at McGinty's

Remaining shows - thru June 16:. The Illusion by Tony Kushner at Round House Theatre Silver Spring (right next to the AFI Movie Theater)
Desperate to reach his long-lost son, an aging father turns to a sorcerer for insight. As the sorcerer conjures three episodes from the young man's life, his father is led deep into a maze of romance, intrigue, conspiracy, and murder. But just how much of it is true? In his witty and passionate adaptation of Corneille's seventeenth -century classic L'illusion comique, Tony Kushner weaves illusion with truth --and theater with real life.  Featuring: Aaron Bliden, Joe Brack, Gwen Grastorf, Brian Hemmingsen, Mark Halpern, Nanna Ingvarsson, Scott McCormick, and Brynn Tucker
Thursday June 14 at 8:00pm
Friday June 15 at 8:00pm
Saturday June 16 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm 
For more information, or to buy tickets visit
TICKETS: call the Round House Theatre Box Office: 240-644-1100
8641 Colesville Road

Sunday, June 17 11:00–12:00, Early Bird Admission $5.00 | 12:00–5:00, Regular Admission $2.00. DC Record Fair: Father's Day Edition at The Fillmore

The Vinyl District is hosting this awesome event alongside Som Records and DC Soul Recordings. As per their website, "This edition of the DC Record Fair will feature 40 vinyl vendors from up and down the East Coast, our patented line up of guest DJs spinning on the hour, local vintage clothing and handmade craft pop-up shops, and a screen printing station run by Pyramid Atlantic Art Center". They also made a note to point out that "The Bloody Mary bar remains a constant" (which personally, I'm excited about). 
8656 Colesville Road

And here is the crescendo for the month of June...

Monday, June 18 - Sunday, June 24. The 10th Annual AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs documentary festival. 
Silverdocs is a 7 day festival featuring documentaries from around the world with 44 countries represented. This year they are featuring 118 films and they expect 27,000 festival attendees throughout the week. It will take place in and around Downtown Silver Spring.  You can browse the movies and buy tickets HERE.

Here are the 5 Festival locations for screenings:

Pic/Map of the Downtown Silver Spring area:

The festival will open with Ramona Diaz's Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey, also featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, is a fascinating documentary about Arnel Pineda, who went from Filipino You Tube sensation to lead singer of Journey. 

This year's SIlverdocs are heavily focused on music.  Here are a few that sound fascinating with descriptions as quoted from

American Juggalo "Devotees of rap/rock band Insane Clown Posse"

Bad Brains: A Band in DC

Big Easy Express  - "Emmett Malloy follows bands Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show"

Charles Bradley: Soul of America - "Toiling as a James Brown impersonator"

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Searching for Sugar Man - "Rodriguez, cuts a couple of records in the early ‘70s. They flop; what’s new? This is new: They become wild successes in, of all places, South Africa"

Under African Skies - "Inspired by the unique rhythms and harmonies he [Paul Simon] was  hearing from South Africa, Simon traveled there on a whim to record the album using local musicians"

Tchoupitoulas - "An impressionistic and dream-like journey through the nightlife of New Orleans"

Not in Downtown Silver Spring, but just a couple stops away, and sounds like a fun contest using your knowledge regarding local businesses:

June 18 - 22 Metro Madness on the Red Line: Win $250 to Get Around Town - a chance to win hosted by MetroPointe Apartments. All you have to do to enter the sweeps is simply “like” the MetroPointe Page on Facebook and fill out their entry form to be entered to win either a $250 SmarTrip® Metro Card or a $250 Visa gift card. For the opportunity to win more entries in the sweepstakes, one should check their Facebook page every day during the week of June 18-22, 2012. They will be giving away clues about local businesses along the red line and everyone who answers the clue correctly for that day will receive one extra entry in the sweepstakes. Some of the local businesses being featured in the sweepstakes have partnered up with MetroPointe to add some extra goodies to the $250 grand prize. 
MetroPointe - 11175 Georgia Avenue

Know of an event I missed? Please hit me up here!