Wednesday, April 15, 2009

what's up the pike: tax day?

- This Saturday is the 100th birthday of Rachel Carson, the scientist who started the environmental movement with her book Silent Spring, which she wrote in this unassuming ranch house off of New Hampshire Avenue in White Oak. The Rachel Carson Council will be holding an open house there this weekend called "Spring of Awareness," with lectures and events commemorating her life's work. For more information, check out their website.

- Greater Greater Washington has a map showing which local roads have the highest frequency of buses running on them. This is different from which bus routes have the highest ridership, though it provides some clues into why some lines are more popular than others.

Not surprisingly, buses run most frequently on portions of Route 29 and along Route 193 and Piney Branch Road, which may become part of the Purple Line. These routes have very high ridership. Meanwhile, buses are relatively infrequent on Randolph Road, which may explain why the lines that run along it - the C8, C7 and C9 - have at one time or another been suggested for service cuts because of low ridership.

- As always, check out my weekly column in the Diamondback, the University of Maryland's independent student newspaper. This week, I'm writing about the loss of Vertigo Books, a locally-owned bookstore in College Park that became a D.C.-area institution.

- Washingtonian magazine is doing a survey for its yearly "Best Of" lists and wants local residents to put their two cents in. For whatever reason, they've boiled down all of East County to "Silver Spring/Wheaton" in their neighborhood surveys, but it's still worth it. Quarry House for Best Burgers, anyone? (I mean, if there's a better place, I want to know about it.)


Robert said...

The bus map appears not to be very accurate. It shows a bus on Dale Drive (RideOn Route 3) every 16 to 30 minutes. In fact, they only run 6 buses a day on the route, 3 in the morning rush hour and 3 in the evening rush hour.

Thomas Hardman said...

I haven't had the Quarry House burgers and so I cannot compare. However, Urban Burger in Aspen Hill has very good burgers.

They also have this ridiculously large selection of red hot and BBQ sauces. And the staff are all very friendly!

I recommend their chili burger, or maybe get a burger with chili/cheese fries on the side.

Cyndy said...

I'm not really an expert, but I find the burgers at Urban Burger to be completely astounding. I've only been there twice - so far. I like them with blue cheese - it gives them a little smoky flavor.

Thomas Hardman said...

My experience with Urban Burger has been this: You spend about $10.00 on burger, fries, and a tip.

The burger is a half-pound or so of top-quality beef, cooked the way you tell them to cook it. I've had their mushroom-cheese burger twice (and the blue cheese once) and it comes in a cardboard basket, which it pretty much fills.

This is the sort of burger that you eat with a knife and fork, because if you try to eat it with your hands, it is so loaded with stuff that it will probably explode. You would certainly get sauce and toppings all over your hands and face.

Then I just take the fries to go. They also pretty much fill up one of those cardboard baskets. I can nibble them for the next few hours; they're as good cool as they are hot, in my opinion.

If you wanted, you could probably make a whole day and evening at the Rock Creek Village shopping center, eating lunch at Urban Burger, then hanging out on the patio between Urban Burger and Caribou Coffee House most of the afternoon, nursing a coffee. Then you could go have dinner at "Dad's", nurse a few beers until the band starts up.