Area News featuring Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Georgetown, Rockville & Tenleytown
The owners of the property at 5550 Friendship Boulevard in Friendship Heights have withdrawn plans to seek rezoning which might have enabled them to build a high-rise condominium in front of the existing office building. They have decided “to evaluate redevelopment of the property through means other than a Local Map Amendment.” The owners have several alternatives. For example, they could sell the property to another company, or raze the office building and redevelop the entire site featuring a mid-rise mixed-use structure or perhaps luxury town houses.
Residents of our Village have noted that there are now at least six areas in Friendship Heights that may be considered prime properties for development or redevelopment. There were concerns that if the County approved redevelopment at 5550, it would set a precedent for “bending” the sector plan zoning to accommodate redevelopment of:
The GEICO campus The Saks Fifth Avenue parking lots The parking lot in front of Lord & Taylor The parking lot above the Brooks Brothers store Parcel Six, which is the area just south of The Elizabeth condominium
Meanwhile, congratulations! to the many residents of Friendship Heights – and the local Village Council - who wrote letters and otherwise expressed their opinions about the abandoned - at least for now - plans.
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center is exhibiting their Fall Shows, thru December 17:
The Eternal Feminine: RADIX is a collaboration of three Washington artists: Anne Marchand, Pat Goslee and Cianne Fragione. The exhibit features the concept of the Eternal Feminine as “an original, dynamic and cosmic force, in paintings and assemblages."
The Trawick Prize features award-winning Washington art. Carol Trawick, a community activist from Montgomery County, Md., established the prize, which rewards some of the most talented artists from the Washington area.
The museum is also displaying new additions to its Rothfeld Collection of Contemporary Israeli Art. The Collection "inspires dialog about political and cultural issues involving Israel, through paintings, sculptures, and mixed media work of prominent and emerging Israeli artists." The show runs concurrently with an exhibit of Arab modern and contemporary art.
Moscow Ballet will perform their Great Russian Nutcrackerin The Music Center on December 22 & 23. The performances will mark the company’s 25th North American Anniversary Tour. The production features “over-the-top production values, world class Russian artists, larger-than-life puppets and nesting dolls and gloriously hand-crafted costumes.”
James Fitzgerald, retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent, criminal profiler, member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, and forensic linguist, will discuss his book, A Journey to the Center of the Mind: The (First Ten) FBI Years, at the Friendship Heights Village Center on November 30 at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Fitzgerald was the FBI profiler who found Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and was part of the investigation of the Jon Benet Ramseyhomicide, the DC Sniper case, and the Anthrax investigation. After retirement he worked as a technical advisor on the CBS series Criminal Minds and also as co-host and executive producer of A&E’s Killer Profile. Copies of Mr. Fitzgerald's book will be available for purchase. The Village Center is at 4433 S. Park Avenue in Chevy Chase.
Please sign up in advance to attend the book discussions by calling the Village Center at 301-656-2797.
Award-winning author Alice McDermott will discuss her latest book, The Ninth Hour, at the Friendship Heights Village Center on December 14 at 7:30 p.m.The book tells the story of a young widow taken in with her young daughter by the nuns of a Brooklyn convent. Ms. McDermott is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. The Village Center is at 4433 S. Park Avenue in Chevy Chase. Please sign up in advance by calling the Village Center at 301-656-2797. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
At least two more restaurants are planning to open in Tenleytown. Seoul Spice, which will be located on the street level of the Tenleyview apartment building, features Korean comfort food with traditional flavors and “a modern twist." They use ingredients “that are raised responsibly & are naturally gluten-free.” Seoul Spice has a branch in the NOMA neighborhood in DC & plans to open another branch in College Park. Visit http://www.seoulspice.com/
Buredo plans to open a branch on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown. Buredo, (pronounced "bur-EE-doh") is a local company. The restaurants offer burrito-size sushi rolls and salads that feature Asian and other globally-inspired ingredients and flavors. Using seasoned rice and traditional nori, they roll sushi burritos to order. To read more, visit https://eatburedo.com/
Also in Tenleytown, the owners of the former site of The Dancing Crab and an adjacent property, propose building a mixed-use development on the sites.
Meanwhile, The Collection in Chevy Chase will, as previously reported, have a branch of The Little Beet Tablerestaurant. The company has a branch in DC near DuPont Circle, as well as branches in Manhattan & Chicago. Other restaurants, as yet unnamed, are also expected to open as The Collection continues ongoing redevelopment.
The Puppet Co. will present The Nutcracker" at Glen Echo Park, November 24-December 31.It’s the classic story of Clara-Marie’s favorite toy, and their adventures together in the Land of the Sugerplum Fairy. The show is set to music from Tchaikovsky’s ballet, and the production blends the music with marionettes and costumed characters to create a unique production.
Glen Echo Park Partnership will have their annual Winter's Eveevent in the Arcade Building & throughout the Park on December 9. Visitors can celebrate the holiday season as they enjoy free activities, including holiday crafts, sing-alongs, story-telling, open studios, and a hot chocolate bar.They can browse and buy fine artworks at the Holiday Art Showand at artist studios.
Adventure Theatre MTC at Glen Echo Park is presenting Frosty the Snow Man, directed by Jason Schlafstein, at Glen Echo Park, thru December 31. It’s the beloved “merry wintertime romp, chock-full of chuckles and comic antics, as Frosty dances into the hearts of kids and adults alike- even the heart of one near-sighted cop - through his uproarious antics.”
Imagination Stage in Bethesda is presenting Charlotte’s Web, based on the book by E. B. White, as adapted by Joseph Robinette & directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer, in the Lerner Theatre, thru January 7.The production of the beloved classic is “infused with live music!” It’s the tale of a soft-hearted farm girl, a charismatic pig, a silly goose, a moody sheep, a selfish rat, and Charlotte, a clever spider. The show is considered best for ages 5+.
Western Grove Park, which is next to (over the wall from) the Giant Food parking lot on Western Avenue in Friendship Heights, opened as planned in late October. The park is nearly two acres in size and is a pioneering project for the Montgomery County Parks Department in partnership with neighboring Chevy Chase Village. The park “celebrates green space in an urban setting & is the first urban park of its kind in the County. The park’s unique design concept “interweaves the latest in 21st century sustainable materials and amenities like WiFi with protection of the land.”
Images below: Several views of the new park.
The main entrance to Western Grove Park
Two main paths into the park
A seat next to part of the in-ground human sundial
Part of the Water Feature
Entrance to the Playground
Part of the Playground
A Pathway thru the Park
The Landon School in Bethesda will have their annual Greens Sale & Holiday Boutiqueon November 30 & December 1.
St. Albans School at Washington National Cathedral will present their annual Christmas House Tour & Boutiqueson December 1 & 2. St. Albans is a private, all-boys day and boarding school. The House Tour has been an annual tradition since 1983 & is the primary fundraiser of the Parents’ Association and a great community undertaking. The funds raised help the Parents’ Association support the school through faculty grants and bonuses and other important programs.
Tudor Place in Georgetown will offer Candlelight Tours of the Mansionon December 5, 6, 12 & 14.Visitors can see the grounds lit for the holidays and can enjoy a guided tour of the elegant historic mansion. The experience is for adults and history buffs ages 16+ and is “great for history lovers and Christmas enthusiasts alike!”
The Washington Revels-Carpe Diem Community Sing will take place in Silver Spring, MD - featuring songs of grace, gratitude and remembrance of American Indian Heritage Month - on November 21. There will also be a Holiday Shopping Extravaganza.
The Washington Conservatory of Music will present the Pressenda Chamber Players - the Conservatory's Ensemble-in-Residence – at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ in Bethesda on December 2. The trio is comprised of Aaron Berofsky, violin, Tobias Werner, cello, & Adam Golka, piano.
The program will feature trios for violin, cello & piano by Mendelssohn and Schubert.
Dumbarton Concerts will present Washington Symphonic Brass Quintet: Sounds of the Season on December 16 at Dumbarton Church in Georgetown. The quintet “is comprised of some of the finest professional musicians in the Washington/Baltimore area.
The Georgetown Concert Series will present a concert by the Etherea Vocal Ensemble at St. John’s Episcopal Church on November 25.The ensemble is “an intimate chamber group specializing in choral repertoire for treble (high) voices.” Etherea’s Christmas program – by candlelight - will feature Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols & John Rutter’s Dancing Day, with harpist Grace Cloutier.
The Washington Men's Camerata, conducted by Music Director Frank Albinder, will perform Christmas with the Camerata on December 2 at Fairlington United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia; at Bradley Hills Presbyterian in Bethesda, Maryland on December 3 and at Church of the Epiphany in DC on December 10. The program will feature familiar carols, popular melodies and a few surprises.
Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts & Culture will have a Holiday Art Show & Salein the Popcorn Gallery, November 24-January 7.Shoppers can browse and buy fine artworks for everyone on their holiday shopping lists. The exhibition will feature works by resident artists, instructors, and invited artists and will include glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography, painting, crafts & more.
Chico’s, the apparel store for women, closed their branch at the corner of Western & Wisconsin Avenues in Friendship Heights on October 10. There is no information available about what company will lease the highly-visible site in the future.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MSHA)removed the hazardous vertical curb islands that were installed next to street-crossing rampsin June at the corners of Wisconsin & Willard Avenues in Friendship Heights. There were several reports of pedestrians having tripped on the islands and suffering injuries. “Pedestrian-friendly” crossings have been installed on the corners of Wisconsin & Western Avenues & Wisconsin Circle. In addition, pedestrian call signals have been mounted but have not yet been activated.
Image below: One of the new pedestrian-friendly crossings. Note that the bricks in the center draw attention to the slightly raised area.
Quotidian Theatre is presenting two plays – Horton Foote’s A Coffin in Egypt, featuring Jane Squier Bruns, and Conor McPherson’s St Nicholas, featuring Steve Beall- in repertory, at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, thru December 17. Both plays are directed by Jack Sbarbori.A Coffin in Egypt is “a moving tale of the dramatic life of a ninety-year-old Texas Widow.” St Nicholas “tells of a Dublin theatre critic who runs into vampires while following an actress to London.”
Round House Theatre in Bethesda will present Lauren Gunderson’s play The Book of Will, directed by Ryan Rilette, November 29-December 24. The concept is that Shakespeare’s works were lost after his death, and “two actors were determined to compile the First Folioand preserve the words that shaped their lives. They'd just have to borrow, beg, and band together to get it done.”
The story was “inspired by the true story of Shakespeare’s First Folio.”