Monday, June 1, 2009

what's up the pike: going to philly today

This is me on top of the "Rocky Steps" in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art the last time I was in the city, three years ago. I'm going back today to look at some architecture, look at some schools, and hopefully eat. (I have been told that Philadelphia is famous for some kind of steak sandwich with cheese in it, but I fear it is an Old Wives' Tale.)

In the meantime:

- The Gazette reports that Joy Nurmi, chief of staff to former District 4 councilmembers Marilyn and Don Praisner, will become head of the East County Regional Services Center after former director Anise Key Brown stepped down last week. "I am very excited about going to the east county because this is a part of the county I know," says Nurmi, who lives in . . . Germantown? The article says she's "considering relocating," which I hope means "is picking out paint colors for her newly purchased house off of Fairland Road."

Seriously? Despite her years of service for an East County councilmember, Nurmi doesn't have the same experience as someone who's actually lived over here. But it's worth noting that Chuck Crisostomo, the center's assistant director (seen here wrangling a llama in 2007), is from Gaithersburg - but you wouldn't know it from his dedication to the area. Hopefully, Nurmi will do us just as well.

UPDATE: MPW suggests Nurmi, who was appointed by Ike Leggett, could be the County Executive's attempt to undermine new County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, who was elected to succeed Marilyn and Don Praisner.

- OMG, Maryland Politics Watch is HAVING A BABY!

- Did anyone attend any of last weekend's big events, among them the Spirit of Silver Spring Dance Party or the Colesville Strawberry Festival? How was it? Post a comment or send an e-mail to justupthepike at gmail dot com.

- MCPS is considering redistricting the boundaries of East Silver Spring, Sligo Creek, Takoma Park and Piney Branch elementary schools, which together serve students throughout below-the-Beltway Silver Spring and Takoma Park. For maps and details about the redistricting, check out this new blog set up by a group of local parents currently zoned for East Silver Spring Elementary School.

- Whoa, another new blog! Check out the Wayne Avenue Watchdog, created by a resident of, um, Wayne Avenue. "The reason I'm up creating this blog and writing my first posts is that I can't get to sleep," reads the second-ever post. "No, I didn't binge on sugary drinks or anything. Rather, it is the incessant jackhammering noise that is very audible from my flat keeping me awake." The blogger's motivation, as he/she/it? makes clear, is that "there are a number of things that irk me about Silver Spring," which is always a good place to start.


Bossi said...

My neighborhood sub shop is the best (granted, everyone always says that about their neighborhood's local haunts). Check out Dalessandro's in the Roxborough / Manayunk area, located at the corner of Henry Ave & Walnut Lane. It's easy to get to by car via Kelly Drive (right behind the art museum, along the river). Or you can take the R6 to Wissahickon or Manayunk & hike uphill (not recommended after sunset, though).

Sorry for the borderline spam, but I always have to support my favorite food & my favorite subshop. Just whatever you do, do NOT eat Geno's! Even Pats or Jims are better than that.

Make sure to check out the Penn's Landing area as well as Market Street, both pretty close to eachother. South Street is always the tourist hotspot, though I think it's vastly overrated. The Italian Market is a fraction of what it used to be, but still not shabby & plenty of tasty food.

A jog or bike ride along Kelly Drive (en route to Dalessandro's perhaps?) is the best way to recreate -- there's plenty of open space alongside the river.

Just before Roxborough/Manayunk is East Falls -- where the Governor has his home & also where Grace Kelly was raised (and my old neighborhood). The area around Midvale Avenue & Henry Avenue is amazing, centered around the University of Philadelphia & the Quaker Penn Charter school. Lovely neighborhoods to walk around if you want to take in some single family residential archtecture, though there's a strip of my favorite townhomes right along Midvale near Henry Ave.

Hope you enjoy Philly. Cheers!

Bossi said...

Oh crikey, forgot two very important recommendations, though they're undoubtedly on your "must visit" list if you're seeking architecture & considering your views on transit. That is, 30th Street Station as well as Reading Terminal Market. Great food at the latter, located immediate at the Market East station.

Bossi said...

I can't stop adding in things (it's probably becoming evident that I have a bit or pride of my former home-city)... the area I mentioned before, East Falls, may be worth taking some time to explore if you have some time.

I've always thought of it as a great example of a multimodal community: rail, bus, and cars are all well-served. The East Falls station on the R6 puts you in the downtown area, and the Queen Lane station on the R8 puts you in a more residential area (both not terribly far from each other).

The latter was our local station, and on the west side of the tracks was the Chevy Chase like neighborhood, then there was the other side of the tracks which was quite the opposite. I've always loved the contrast and how the same station can serve two very different demographics, and also how SFDU's can still be transit-oriented (sort of like Garrett Park, I suppose; but SEPTA's rail is a bit better-serving than MARC).

OK last post... lunchtime's over; back to work!

Thomas Hardman said...

Allow me to chime in and point out that Joy Nurmi has pretty much lived and breathed District 4 for many many years now. I haven't enough superlatives to tell you how helpful and responsive she has been to every constituent request that has come across her plat, so to speak. If Montgomery County government has a reputation for being able to get things done and get them done well, people like Joy Nurmi are the reason why.

Maryland Politics Watch's estimation of how and why she's in East County Services Center may be discounted as nothing more than the partisan paranoia that has come to be the signature of all of their postings since, well, about March 2009.