Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Loft at 4935 gets its own sign (Photos)

Most attention is on the conversion of the ground floor of 4935 Cordell Avenue into George's Chophouse, expected to open in September. But the Loft at 4935 lounge upstairs is still open, and is now getting its own sign on the second level of the front facade.

Oh, no...not again! Water bubbling up at Del Ray & Old Georgetown in Bethesda (Video + Photos)

A tiny geyser of water is bubbling up through the pavement at the intersection of Del Ray Avenue and Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda. Standing water is collecting at the end of Del Ray. This is the same intersection where an apparent water main break occurred last fall.

Then, Pepco workers had to conduct extensive repairs to their own underground infrastructure there in late November. According to a Pepco crew member, they blamed WSSC for damaging their electrical system when they repaired their water main break. You can still see the patched pavement where one of the holes was dug last year right next to the little geyser.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Faryab, Ecker's Clock & Watch Shop to take summer break in Bethesda

August is the time of year when a number of small businesses in town close briefly, to allow their limited staff to take a vacation. Faryab Afghan Cuisine will go on hiatus starting Tuesday, and reopen for dinner on September 1. Meanwhile, Ecker's Clock and Watch Shop at 8010 Norfolk Avenue will be closed from now through Monday, August 28.

Community Paint & Hardware awaits reassembly after cross-town move (Video + Photos)

The historic Community Paint and Hardware building was successfully moved from Wisconsin Avenue by the Apex Building to Middleton Lane overnight Saturday. Cut into two pieces, the building halves are set right against each other, but have not been reassembled yet. It appears a separate team will be brought in to reattach the two parts, which are still sitting atop the motorized dollies used to move them up Wisconsin.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Apple Store closed Saturday for "unforeseeable circumstances" at Montgomery Mall (Photos)

The Apple Store at Westfleld Montgomery Mall in Bethesda was mysteriously closed yesterday. A sign posted did not explain why the store had to close for the day, simply attributing it to unnamed, "unforeseeable circumstances." There was a partial power outage at the mall on Friday, but the store did not cite this as the reason, and the empty store had electricity yesterday. All other businesses at the mall were open Saturday.

Power outage in downtown Bethesda

Around 7:05 AM this morning, two tremendously loud explosions were heard across Bethesda. It appears two Pepco transformers blew, as the 4900 block of Cordell Avenue, and most of the the 4800 block of Cordell were left without power. It's unclear what the cause would have been, as we are experiencing near-perfect weather this morning.

Historic Community Paint & Hardware store moved in Bethesda (Videos + Photos)

Crowds of spectators turned out to watch the move of the historic Community Paint and Hardware store overnight in downtown Bethesda. Some were filled with nostalgia, others were simply trying to figure out why there was a massive police operation up and down Wisconsin Avenue. The police numbers were matched by the number of hard-hatted utility workers, who were charged with making sure neither their infrastructure nor the venerable building were damaged by the move.

The store, originally known as the Wilson Store, was moved to clear the way for the redevelopment of the Apex Building at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue. It was previously moved a short distance south in the late 1980s, when that building itself was constructed.
A massive police presence
was needed up and down
Wisconsin Avenue
Crowds began to gather
as southbound Wisconsin
was shut down

Utility workers would swing
each of these signal arms
aside as the store passed
each intersection

The store is ready to move

Two northbound lanes of
Wisconsin remained open

Utility workers had to
protect their infrastructure
while ensuring clearance
for the historic building
Workers manually turned
off traffic signals at each
Finally, it was time to move the building, one half following the other, creeping slowly up Wisconsin Avenue to Middleton Lane. There, a site was prepared for the building's new home, in a Montgomery County public parking lot. It is expected to be leased to a professional or retail business.
Front half of store
rolling onto Wisconsin

The rear half of the
building creeping up
Wisconsin Avenue

Rear half on Wisconsin

Police had to yell at drivers
who were snapping cell phone pics
to remind them that's illegal
First half of store reaches
Middleton Lane

Police ask crowd to step back
"in case anything goes wrong"
as store is backed down Middleton

Panoramic view of turn
at Middleton
Both halves pause at
Middleton Lane

Front half arrives
at Middleton
Traveling this far was the
easy part, though
Making the reverse turn
onto Middleton, and clearing
the Wisconsin median, were
the biggest challenge
A loud bang startled the
crew, causing a delay, but
eventually the first (rear)
half made the tricky turn
As the rear half starts down
Middleton, the front half
moves into position to begin
the turn to follow it
Rear half makes it
down Middleton to the
destination site
Front half makes the turn
onto Middleton
Front half moving down Middleton
past Chevy Chase Cars to
public parking lot site
Now all that's left is to put
the two pieces back together