Tag Archives: Woodley Gardens

Rockville to Explore its 20th-Century Communities

New Mark Commons:  Maryland or Scandinavia?

New Mark Commons: Maryland or Scandinavia?

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 →

What We Learned in the Blackout of Summer 2012

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It’s been a month since the powerful thunderstorm–a derecho to be specific–knocked out power to most of Rockville and the Mid-Atlantic.  But let’s call a spade a spade–it was a massive power outage, a blackout, during the hottest days of summer.  Most lost power for days, some for a week.  As we discovered, if you lose the internet, you’re back in 1979; if you lose electricity, you’re back in 1879.  Anger boiled over in the days that followed, but now it seems nearly forgotten.  Before our memories fade, what did we learn?  Here’s my list, culled from talking with neighbors, reading the newspapers, and scanning the listservs:

1.  Pepco doesn’t know your power is out unless you tell them.  Don’t assume they have some fancy computer system that notifies them automatically that you’ve lost power, assume that your neighbor has called, assume it’ll fix itself, or assume that they’re busy and you don’t want to trouble them (poor dears!).  Call them at 877-737-2662.  Write this number down and put it on your fridge–another power outage will occur and you’ll want this handy.  Many people said they called but Pepco thought their power had been restored, so call daily to ensure they have the correct information.  David Greene noted that he used his mobile phone to, “monitor the Pepco outage map, and they marked our power as restored several times during the week when it was not actually restored. I called them many times to get us back on their map.”

2.  Pepco prioritizes work based on the number of outages.  That makes sense–first tackle the jobs that will benefit the most people–if they have the correct information.  But if you and your neighbors don’t call Pepco, they will assume everything is okay (see #1 above).  You might want to visit your neighbors and check to see if they’ve called.

3.  If you have FIOS, your “landline” phone won’t work.  How disappointing to have the latest technology and discover it’s useless in a power outage.  My FIOS system came with a battery backup, but Continue reading →

Rockville safe from politicians this weekend

With the rain and the Redskins game (or whatever you call that fiasco), the candidates had little opportunity to knock on doors to meet voters.  I was only able to find a couple hours to visit Woodley Gardens, a very charming 1960s neighborhood in the northwest corner of the city.  Surrounded by a forest preserve and set on gently curving roads with mature trees, it’s hard to believe that downtown is just a mile or so away.  The residents I met were gracious and Aster Boulevard was peppered with families of various ages and political leanings.  And given my interests, I enjoyed the architectural variety of the houses, including a small row of contemporary ones on Nelson Avenue.  How did those get there?

While it was raining and the Redskins were losing, I suspect all the candidates were at home as I was,  Continue reading →

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