June 30, 2010

“No Train on Wayne”? The Purple Line Saga

Posted in musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:37 am by silversprung

They dot the lawns and front entryways of many homes across Silver Spring- the purple “No Train on Wayne” lawn signs. I’m well-aware of the longstanding Purple Line metro project, but decided to do a little research on the reaction Silver Spring residents have to the plan.

I’m sure all you longtime residents know the story, but for all those readers new to the area and those who’ve never visited, here goes…

The proposed purple line would connect Prince George’s county in the east with Montgomery County in the west offering commuters a mass transit alternative to the Beltway. 

Last August, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced his choice of a Light Rail Transit system over a rapid bus system as the preferred method of transportation for the line. O’Malley said last year that LRT is favored because it’s more “cost-effective and rider-friendly” and argued that light rail has made many advances and won’t be as disturbing as other, older light rail systems.

Read the rest of this entry »

March 31, 2010

Silver Spring: It’s Penguin Fever and You’re Going to Like It

Posted in history, musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:43 am by silversprung

It’s been impossible for me to ignore the ubiquitous penguins of Silver Spring. We turned a corner the other day at Cedar and Ellsworth, and there, plopped in the middle of the median, stood a waxy, penguin-like statue, its head cocked to the side, giving us the eye.

“What the heck?”

They’re hanging out at the metro, too. The uber-confusing “Transit Info” signs posted around the giant construction zone that is the current Silver Spring Metro are adorned with fat, little cartoon penguins donning construction hats. (See image left. Yeah, that fat little bugger.)

This isn’t the arctic, it’s Maryland. Read the rest of this entry »

March 24, 2010

MoCo Lags Behind Surrounding Counties in Census Participation

Posted in news, online tools tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:07 pm by silversprung

Just 25 percent of Montgomery County residents have participated in the U.S. Census, placing MoCo’s participation rate behind that of many neighboring counties in Maryland, according to the census website’s Take 10 Map.

Rates for surrounding counties include: Frederick (29 percent); Anne Arundel (27 percent); Carroll (32 percent); Calvert (30 percent). But Montgomery County reported higher participation than Prince George’s (21 percent) and Howard (24 percent).

Montgomery County’s participation rate is right on target with the state average for Maryland, which is also 25 percent, and MoCo easily bests the 16 percent national average.

Curious about the national leaders? Read the rest of this entry »

March 9, 2010

Home Sweet Security

Posted in musings, news tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:22 am by silversprung

Silver Spring isn’t a hotbed of crime, but there have been recent reports of an increase in area home break-ins and some disturbing violent crime in the neighborhood.

Multiple options exist out there for protecting ones home, from purchasing and installing your own monitoring system to finding a local home security vendor to contracting with a nationwide company.

National companies (ADT and Brinks, for example) often have the highest price tag, but you’re also paying for an organized customer service system, evaluation and experience.

Anyone out there have experience with a local Maryland home security company? Discuss.

February 26, 2010

Shoveling Sidewalks: Learn to Love It

Posted in musings tagged , , , , , , at 4:56 pm by silversprung

The recent local snowstorms got silversprung spouse and I thinking- what are Montgomery County’s snow removal laws? As proud new owners of a sidewalk (okay, and the house behind it, too) we wanted to make sure we knew the snow shoveling guidelines.

I checked MoCo’s website and the long and the short of it is: you’ve got 24 hours after the snowfall ends. Read the rest of this entry »

February 25, 2010

FRESHFARM Markets to the Rescue

Posted in musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:42 am by silversprung

On Tuesday, I blogged about Ocean City Seafood in “A Wrong Turn Yields Big Fish” and I mentioned at the end that I hoped I could find quality produce in the area. Well, I found it: FRESHFARM Markets, a weekend farmers’ market located in downtown Silver Spring.

Even though it’s not their “regular season” right now, it’s open every Saturday in March from 10am-1pm.

It’s going to be hard to top hanging out with Carla from Top Chef at the Bethesda Farmer’s Market, but it looks awesome. Wait a sec… Read the rest of this entry »

February 24, 2010

10 Reasons Why I Want to Live in Silver Spring, MD

Posted in musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:12 pm by silversprung

10. Golf- I don’t play, but I feel like I would be remiss leaving this off the list for silversprung spouse (who will be awfully close to Sligo Creek in a few short weeks..)

9. Quarry House Tavern – Looking forward to spending more time there now that it will be in our neighborhood. Best dive/not dive ever

8. The arts- SS has a ton of art-related events and businesses

7. Brookside Gardens– Yeah, it’s in Wheaton, but we love going there. Now it will be close by and won’t be a production to visit — and in general, there are also a lot of parks/bike paths in SS. Nature-tastic.

6. Oriental East– Dim sum extravaganza! (Question for locals out there- what’s the best time to go?)

Top 5 after the jump: Read the rest of this entry »

Mayorga and Costco: A Match Made in Bulk Goods Heaven

Posted in food restaurants, food retail tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:41 pm by silversprung

Mayorga, we barely knew ye

Nestled between the buckets of Folgers and Maxwell House in one of the Beltsville Costco’s food aisles Sunday sat large, fairly priced bags of Mayorga coffee. I was shocked. The Maryland-based coffee part of the Mayorga corporation had obviously been doing well.

Mayorga Coffee Factory in Silver Spring was an awesome find for us. We loved the coffee, what the company stood for, and the atmosphere of the Silver Spring location.

But I just searched for a link to Mayorga’s Silver Spring location. IT CLOSED in December! Apparently it moved to Takoma Park, so it’s not far, but still… come on Mayorga, work with me here.

Fillmore: Large and in Charge

Posted in entertainment theater, news, silver spring businesses tagged , , , , , at 1:29 pm by silversprung

I read about the Fillmore’s planned construction in Jason Tomassini’s piece in The Gazette and the description of the venue definitely piqued my interest. It looks like they’re aiming to speed things up and open in the fall of 2011.

I would be thrilled to have such a great concert venue in my backyard, and I imagine it would really boost the local economy… Still… I wonder if there is opposition to these plans either from neighbors or city planners (parking, anyone?) or the community? Seems ginormous to me.

Check out quotes from the Gazette after the jump: Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Your MoCo School District?

Posted in online tools, recommendations tagged , , , , at 10:55 am by silversprung

Part of the appeal for some Montgomery County home buyers is the school system. I found this handy tool to figure out in which school district our new home is located: http://gis.mcpsmd.org/gis/PublicLocator.asp

Which schools rank at the top of your list? What about at the bottom?

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