Last Saturday night we saw Yonder Mountain String Band at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. I can’t believe it took us that long to go there since it opened over a year ago. The show was AWE-SOME. We got really lucky and had our seats upgraded randomly for free, so we got to sit down in the first row of the balcony overlooking the stage. Great view of the band, and also, the acoustics in there were amazing. I say this and you should all take note because I am usually the last person to ever say this. I don’t think those words have ever been uttered by me before, and in fact, it kind of bugs me when people say that about venues. Maybe it has to do with my tone-deafness and lack of musical skillz, but unless I’m listening to David’s high school band practice, I think everything sounds good. I can’t think of any concerts I’ve been to where I’m like, “wow, that sounded really crappy.” But the Fillmore was good, and the music sounded particularly great in there. We also had a fantastic aerial view of the crowd, which was about 50% costumed in preparation for Halloween, so that made for some good people watching. As we were leaving I was thinking to myself that I should take up the mandolin so I can be just like Jeff Austin. New Years Resolution 2013? Maybe. Anyone know where I can get a mandolin? If you have not seen YMSB before, and you even remotely like bluegrass, you should do yourself a favor and listen to them.
Tax season commeth! That means I get to see the dancing Statue of Liberty on my way home from work. This costume guy was getting all into it with his little dance, I was afraid he was going to jiggy himself right off that thin little median he balances on. Nothing would be sadder than a Statue of Liberty with a twisted ankle, or worse – lying crumpled in a heap on Georgia Avenue.
And before anyone says it, I promise you I WAS stopped at a light while I took these pics. Unlike other (mostly Maryland) commuters I’ve seen, I don’t take pics while flying down the road. I also don’t floss while driving, read the newspaper, or use an electric razor… all of which I have seen before.
Have you submitted your taxes yet? Anyone get a big refund?
Dear Alexander Ovechkin,
If you’re reading my blog, maybe you can come out and give the ice rink in Silver Spring a test skate? It opened not too long ago, but I’ve yet to see it ever get really crowded. I know you’re probably not hurting for free ice time or anything, but I’d sure love to see a net out there on the ice and watch you skate around. It would certainly draw a crowd. Of course, I’m not usually around this way on a Saturday night, so maybe it picks up then, who knows? Anyways, if you’re reading this, I’m available this Saturday, and every Saturday in the future, if you’d like to go for a skate.
On Wayne Avenue in Silver Spring, if you walk along the parking garage sidewalk, you’ll come across all these decorated bricks in the streetscape. They’re sporadically placed in groups every 15 feet or so, as if they’re trying to peek through and get your attention. I enjoy them just about every morning, but especially today after trudging through the gray snow/slush/slop/salt mixture that is currently coating the sidewalks.
I pass through this “tunnel” under the Silver Spring metro tracks on Georgia Avenue with some frequency — On my way from work to meet my parents for dinner at Crisfields, or when picking the car up from the Honda repair shop up that way. Last night, I was headed through it on my way to an animators meet-up group, and with the lights glistening off the colored tiles and the water from the snow/ice event the night before… it was both pretty and creepy at the same time. It was kind of like the scene in Willy Wonka where the boat on the chocolate river goes through the crazy psychedelic tunnel and everyone’s all scared and excited, only instead of Oompa Loompas there were just some guys walking the other way past me, on their way to the bar.
It was a helluva storm that woke us this morning and led to one of the crazier commutes I’ve had in the past five years… There are flash floods and trees down throughout the whole area, as well as metro issues and gridlock caused by fallen trees. Emergency and rescue vehicles were having a tough time getting to their destinations on 16th Street northbound due to all of the chaos. And people!!! If a traffic light is out, it becomes a 4-way stop, not your own personal, perpetual green light to whiz on through… Looks like more storms on the way this afternoon. May as well wait on all that branch cleanup.
Shark Week at Discovery HQ is at the beginning of August this year, so the giant inflatable predator known as Chompie is up! He has a few weeks to spend on the building (through the building?) overlooking the Silver Spring metro entrances until he comes back down. Until then, it’s funny to watch the reactions of passersby when they realize there is a giant killer floating overhead. Also until then, there are probably a few Discovery employees missing sunlight in their office windows…
Every now and then I like to post a picture from Silver Spring, friendly neighbor to the north of DC. This particular one is a real oldie, taken in, whoa!, 2006. It’s the sculpture in front of NOAA’s building on East-West Highway. “The Hand of Noah” was sculpted by Raymond Kaskey in 1991, and is supposed to represent NOAA’s stewardship of the environment.
This shot is a closeup of “Lightswept,” a neon light sculpture by artist Craig Kraft , that sits outside HR-57 on 14th Street. I wasn’t a huge fan of this piece at first, but in reading more about his process through his website, I can at least appreciate his craftsmanship, as well as some of his other public installations, much more now. I never put it together that this would be the same artist who created a similar neon sculpture, Lightweb, in Downtown Silver Spring, a piece I see nearly every day. I guess I like the Silver Spring sculpture a great deal more because it is integrated with the elevator shaft and seems to sweep around the existing structure. The one in front of HR-57 seems much more arbitrary, like it is sitting out in the open as an afterthought. Nonetheless, public art is a great thing that we shouldn’t take for granted, and I’m sure I will come around to this piece more in the future — maybe it will require another visit to HR-57 for an evening of jazz very soon.