Wednesday, August 25, 2010

what's up the pike: excess links

'Stop Emo,' Plyers Mill Road and Metropolitan Avenue, Kensington
Though I've been away from the area for over a week now, I still have a number of items of interest floating around the JUTP inbox. Here's a look at what's happening around East County:

- Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you know that new online news venture is up and running. I've been absolutely blown away by the quality and the breadth of the site's local coverage in Silver Spring, especially from former Gazette reporter/friend of JUTP Elahe Izadi. She's done a great job covering news in downtown, especially the ongoing controversy over skaters and public space.

They'll soon be joined by Patch, an AOL-funded venture with over a hundred outlets in suburban towns across the country. A brief look at their website shows no fewer than twenty branches set to open in Maryland alone, including Silver Spring, Wheaton, and Takoma Park. Patch already has online papers in College Park, Hyattsville, University Park and Riverdale Park in Prince George's County.

Their coverage method seems confusing - one paper each for Kensington (pop. 1,955) and Silver Spring? A branch in Colesville but not Burtonsville? However, with so little local reporting from the Post and Gazette today, this area needs all the coverage it can get. It's worth noting that like TBD, Patch has a substantial Twitter presence in Montgomery County before even going live.

- Burtonsville singer-songwriter Barry Louis Polisar appeared on the cover of this month's issue of Songwriter's Monthly magazine. Though he's been making music for over thirty years, Polisar may be best known for his song "All I Want Is You," which appeared on the Grammy-winning soundtrack to the 2008 movie Juno. Click here to read the article, and the whole issue, for free online.

- Cavan at Greater Greater Washington writes about the fate of the Glenmont Shopping Center, which continues to languish despite the presence of a Metro station. Meanwhile in Burtonsville, the Gazette reports that the Burtonsville Crossing shopping center continues to suffer at the hands of the new strip mall across the street, which is totally not news if you've been reading this blog at all over the past three years.

The solution for both? I say it's time to knock them down and start over, an idea that I'd like to expand upon more fully in the future.

- Also at GGW, Geoff Hatchard looks at the "non-circles of Washington," including the one at 16th Street, Colesville Road and Eastern Avenue where a pedestrian was killed last year. According to commenter Mike, the circle is actually called Montgomery Blair Portal. It may not be apparent to anyone who visits it in person, but it does appear on Google Maps.

As a gateway to Silver Spring and Maryland as a whole, the circle lays out a lousy welcome mat, at least compared to others in Montgomery County like Chevy Chase Circle (Connecticut Avenue and Western Avenue) or Westmoreland Circle (Massachusetts Avenue and Western). After all, it's not even shaped like a circle.

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