Friday, April 10, 2009

what's up the pike: books and coffee

BUT FIRST: As I'm sure you've already heard, Nick Adenhart, pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels and a Silver Spring native, was killed a in a car crash in the wee hours of Thursday morning. The twenty-two-year-old Adenhart, who graduated from high school in Western Maryland, had made his debut with the Angels less than a year ago. Our condolences go out to his family and fans.

The White Oak Shopping Center is home to one of the latest Starbucks coffee shops slated to close.

- Burtonsville resident and writer Tom Meylan seeks to "help people get through these tough times" with his new book, Facing Challenges Whether You Chose Them or Not. The text "shows how our worldview can either be a constraint that keeps us from succeeding, or a tool that we can use to surmount our challenges," reads his website. I'm wondering if Meylan, who we met at last year's Burtonsville Legacy Plan Charrette, might consider pitching this to down-on-their-heels shopkeepers in B'ville in the hopes they don't close up for good.

- Speaking of closing up: The latest round of Starbucks store closings hits East County, with locations in White Oak and Leisure World soon to shut down among 300 worldwide. I've never been to the Leisure World Starbucks, but I can imagine the 55-and-older set preferring to have their breakfast at a slower-paced establishment like Nancy's Kitchen. I think the White Oak store would've done better after the Food and Drug Administration campus opens next door, and I wouldn't be surprised if the demand for one reappeared somewhere down the line. (Thanks to Patrick for the heads-up; Images from

- A recently-published book on suburban redevelopment features a blurb on Chip Py (right), the local photographer whose run-in with Downtown Silver Spring security two years ago sparked a march for free speech on Ellsworth Drive. Retrofitting Suburbia, a text by architecture professors Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, mentions the "ambiguity" between public and private ownership in suburban "town centers" like DTSS that caused the photo controversy:
Over a hundred people gathered on July 4, 2007 at Downtown Silver Springs’ Astroturf town green (a celebrated if curious emblem of hybridity in its own right) before marching through the streets taking pictures and, more important, demanding civil liberties in spaces that are developed with public assistance. Does the fact that the space triggered public discourse and provided the setting for a protest qualify it as public space?
The book is on Amazon for a whopping sixty dollars, but if you're cheap like me, you can check out this excerpt available online. (warning! PDF file.)


Cyndy said...

That's too bad about the White Oak Starbucks. It's been such a quick and convenient coffee stop for me this year on the way to UMD. Even though it's on the left side of New Hampshire Avenue as you head south it's really easy to get in and out of there. They seem to always have plenty of people in there so it's a shame for them as well.

chippy said...

If I recall correctly the White Oak Starbucks was the first to open in Silver Spring back in the mid nineties. This was a bid deal back then.

Cyndy said...

I see a lot of Leisure World types up at Panera in Aspen Hill - I think the coffee might be cheaper there. I hope the Layhill Starbucks stays in business. They have a nice little scene in there. They even have poetry night!

Thomas Hardman said...

Cyndy, I am indeed almost baffled by how well the Starbucks in Layhill (Plaza del Mercado shopping center, actually) has been doing.

That little building with its odd location has driven at least 3 chain restaurants into closing their doors there. For a long long time there was a Long John Silver's Seafood House there, with not a customer in sight so far as I ever saw.