In a series of illustrated presentations and walking tours this spring, Peerless Rockville will explore several of Rockville’s modern neighborhoods, including Twinbrook, New Mark Commons, and King Farm.
Free and open to the public, the series will highlight five neighborhood communities from the early postwar housing boom to mid-century planned development to the “new town” movement popular at the end of the century. The series will culminate in an evening lecture and panel discussion at Rockville City Hall on the factors that influenced modern development, the significant elements of each time period, and the special features of each community that have contributed to its success and left lasting imprints.
The schedule for the upcoming series:
Building Houses, Creating Community: Joseph Geeraert and Twinbrook, featuring professor Dr. Richard Longstreth of George Washington University, Saturday, March 23, 10 am at the Twinbrook Community Center Annex.
Woodley Gardens: A Traditional Red Brick Neighborhood with a Modern Feel, featuring Continue reading →
“Team Rockville” – a group of five candidates for Rockville’s Mayor and Council – was announced yesterday at Giuseppi’s Pizza Plus in downtown Rockville. Team Rockville consists of Mark Pierzchala for Mayor and Tom Moore, Virginia Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr, and Beryl L. Feinberg for City Council.
Rockville’s election will be held November 5, 2013; the candidates are announcing their intentions early and as a team to signal that they intend to bring expertise, productivity, energy, transparency, and diversity to the Mayor and Council as a group.
Leading Team Rockville is Mark Pierzchala for mayor. The owner of an international consulting business based in downtown Rockville, Mark is completing his second term as a city councilmember. He has previously served as president of the Continue reading →
A tense discussion late in the evening of the February 25, 2013 meeting of the Rockville Mayor and Council suggests that there are serious problems in the appointment process to boards and commissions, as well as in our elected officials. It was probably missed by most citizens because the chambers were nearly empty at 10:00 pm.
A sense of the troubles began hours earlier, when Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio nominated two residents to the Board of Supervisors of Elections, a city committee that recently lost three of its five members due to resignations. David Berthiaume’s nomination was approved with one councilmember abstaining and Andrew Powell’s nomination failed due to a lack of a second. With one of her nominations rebuffed, Mayor Marcuccio noted that, “I would like to point out that we are in need of a quorum for the Board of Supervisors of Elections and by appointing Mr. Berthiaume I think we have achieved that. But I am quite shocked that our Council does not choose to appoint my other suggestion.”
The issue was forgotten until Old/New Business, when it was raised again by Councilmember Newton (at 3:30 of the February 25, 2013 meeting):
Councilmember Newton: I was disappointed in the decision this evening on Mr. Powell and I would like to encourage this body to think long and hard about Continue reading →
The February 2013 issue of Washingtonian magazine is devoted to the 100 very best restaurants in the DC region and three Rockville restaurants are included! Here’s what the critics had to say about them:
- Cava Mezze: ”Casual-rustic digs, clever takes on Greek mezze, and gentle prices make these eateries among the buzziest around [the two other Cava Mezzes are in DC and Arlington]. Sometimes the ktichen takes liberties with tradition–gyros, for example, are fashioned into sliders–but it’s usually to the good, and chef Dimitri Moshovitis understands that a bit of innovation goes a long way. And though it might seem there’s little reason to stray from small plates, a whole branzino crisscrossed with char marks convinced us otherwise.” 9713 Traville Gateway Drive (west of #270, just west of Shady Grove near a Giant grocery store). Warning: Traville Gateway Drive is a large loop that intersects twice with Shady Grove Road and nearby there’s a separate but similarly named Travilah Road–don’t the police and fire departments find these loose street-naming conventions a safety hazard? And technically, this restaurant is outside of the City of Rockville (which ends at Shady Grove Road).
- La Limeña: ”You can eat Peruvian chicken anywhere these days. You come here to explore the multifaceted cuisine beyond pollo a la brasa–from tiradito (lime-marinated tilapia atop yellow-pepper sauce) to grilled beef hearts (imagine a hanger steak with slightly more chew) to rich aji de gallina (chicken in a sauce of egg, white wine, and garlic). And don’t allow the steam of a sizzling steak trailing through the room divert you from the fish, particularly the ceviches and the whole fried trout blitzed with shaved almonds.” 765-B Rockville Pike (in the far corner of the Continue reading →
You won’t find tomatoes or peaches, but there are plenty of other items available at the new Winter Market in Sandy Spring. The year, the Olney Farmers and Artists Market has extended the season by moving east a few miles, finding shelter at the Sandy Spring Museum on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.
Last weekend I found nearly two dozen vendors selling a variety of produce (mostly squash, greens, carrots, radishes, apples), meat (chicken, beef, lamb), food (tea, sheep cheese, cupcakes, jams, Vietnamese food), plants, handcrafted goods (soap, jewelry, quilted table runners, pet tags), and firewood. It was good weather and many vendors were spread outside but during inclement weather, there’s plenty of room inside the museum (plus there are restrooms!). And at noon, there’s typically a cooking demonstration by a local chef (last Sunday it was the former chef of the White House).
The winter market is every Sunday through April 29, when it shifts to its usual summer location in Olney. If you’re not familiar with quaint historic Sandy Spring, go east from Olney past the Olney Theater Center and continue on Route 108 until you encounter a tighter cluster of housing and a small commercial district that includes an Urban BBQ (a branch of the Rockville restaurant). The museum is on the left just past the gas station–if you pass Sherwood High School, you’ve gone too far. Free parking is available on site.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.
The JBG Companies, who are currently building a large complex of offices, residences, and stores around the Twinbrook Metro station, are also working on a portion of downtown Rockville that’s slated as phase two of the Town Center. The 2008 economic downturn slowed development considerably but is now picking up, as evidenced by the construction of the corporate headquarters of Choice Hotels. JBG owns the former Giant Grocery store at 275 North Washington Street (across from the Beall’s Grant Apartments) and has been exploring various uses for this vacant building and adjoining parking lot. Today, they shared the following plans:
New shopping, apartments and offices are slated for an overlooked city block in Rockville’s downtown, offering the opportunity to energize a long-vacant Giant grocery store site and adjoining tracts. The JBG Companies is proposing to demolish the grocery store and build new offices and shopping as a complement to busy Rockville Town Square next door. JBG has shared its plans with multiple audiences including neighbors, city officials, community groups and civic users.
“We are fortunate to have strong support from neighbors and businesses alike who have long been asking for renewed vigor in this part of downtown Rockville,” said Anthony Greenberg, a JBG official. “Redeveloping this property is an excellent opportunity to Continue reading →
During the past few years, I’ve heard people often refer to Rockville as a “middle class” community and in the upcoming economic summit, you’ll hear it mentioned as the defining characteristic for the residents of our fair city. But what does that mean, really? Is it a measure of wealth, values, or behavior? I suspect it’s a bit of all three–and it’s a term that’s slippery enough that everyone can define it differently and still agree with each other. Much like the fictional Lake Wobegon, it seems that everyone is above average…and in the middle class. The alternatives–working class or wealthy–just don’t seem to be appropriate for us, do they?
Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center suggest that for most Americans, being in the middle class is defined as having a secure job, but not necessarily that you own a home or have a college education. It also turned out that about half the people surveyed identified themselves as middle class–but this varies tremendously depending on Continue reading →
After five years of discussion, planning, and construction, the City of Rockville unveiled its new police station with a dedication and public open house on Saturday, October 20, providing a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse inside both buildings and all floors. It was a bit difficult to tell how many people showed up given the informal nature of the open house, but I’m guessing it was about 100-150 people. Most of it consists of (yawn) offices, but some of the more interesting spots were the armory and communications center. The best part, though, was meeting the staff and officers who gave tours or explained the work of their department–so much nicer than when you typically encounter them on the street when they’re handing a crime or a conflict.
The federal government abandoned the 1938 post office a few years ago and transferred it free to the City of Rockville so it could be used for a police station. The decision to undertake the $8.5 million rehabilitation and construction project was controversial at times but the new building provides much needed space for public safety and consolidates city offices that were rented and scattered throughout the city. The architects did an outstanding job of preserving the historic post office’s distinctive features, including the lobby and its mural, as well as adding a second building that’s modern but doesn’t compete. One feature that’s not obvious is the emphasis on saving energy, which can be seen in the extensive use of skylights, white roofs, and motion-detecting light switches. One element that does rattle my design sensibilities are the signs, which seem a bit cartoonish and dated, plus I don’t like the colors of green and silver. Chief Treschuk explained that green is a color that’s being increasingly adopted for places of safety (much like yellow for school busses) so I can live with that choice, but the otherwise, the signs really need to be rethought (okay, I’m partially to blame–I sat on the Historic District Commission when it reviewed the plans back in 2010).
After five years of work by the City of Rockville and Federal Realty Investment Trust, Dawson’s Market held its grand opening tonight in Rockville’s Town Square. A grocery store had been slated as an anchor for the Town Square since its inception, but an initial tenant’s bankruptcy and threatened lawsuits by a competing liquor store caused delays, as well as finding a grocery willing to move into space smaller than is typical today. Fortunately, Rick Hood, president of Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, was looking to expand and found an ideal location in Rockville. The Richmond store is named for the two streets that intersect at that store’s location; the Rockville store is named for longtime residents of Rockville (e.g., Beall-Dawson House, Dawson Farm Park).
Dawson’s Market is now open and customers will find it emphasizes local and organic food, and discover such nice amenities as beer and wine departments, juice bar, and a cafe. Many people have compared it to Roots or a small version of Whole Foods. Parking in Town Square is available free for two hours with validation and you’ll find the store at the corner of Washington and Beall, near the modernist Suburban Trust Bank building.