Streetcars Are Coming to DC!

streetcar tracks

streetcar tracksAnd they’re expected to bring $8-BILLION worth of development along with them. Not too shabby! Streetcars used to grace the streets of DC but they disappeared in 1962 in favor of buses.

The District is investing heavily on its new streetcar line in the hope of generating development and tax revenue. The Portland streetcar system is often cited, where ridership has increased over its 12-year history, and where development has boomed.

Eventually there will be 37-miles of track along eight different lines, serving all eight wards. The first line to open will operate along the H Street/Benning corridor and is expected to begin service sometime in 2014.

The streetcars will run almost exclusively within DC boundaries.  In theory, they are to offer transport in areas that aren’t necessarily covered by metro, including the underserved K-Street corridor running to Georgetown. To learn more check out DCStreetcar.com.

 

When Do You Think School Should Start?

Montgomery County Bell timesMontgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is gathering feedback on recommended changes to school starting and ending times, also known as Bell Times. Superintendent Joshua Starr has recommended that high schools start 50 minutes later; middle schools start 10 minutes earlier; and that the elementary school day be extended by 30 minutes. None of these changes would occur until the 2015-2016 school year, at the earliest. There are several ways you can share your thoughts on the recommendations, including community meetings.

While I initially thought that the altered school times would be a good idea (my teenagers have always been teenagers in terms of rising times), my kids think it’s a bad idea. They don’t like the idea of getting out of school at such a late hour, particularly with regard to sports. “Mom- we won’t get back home from practice until 7:30!”.  Who knew?

The next community meeting will be held Monday, December 16, at 7:00 p.m. at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville. Childcare for ages 4 and up and interpretation will be provided. For more information, visit the MCPS website.

Bethesda Big Dig Update

Bethesda Construction

This is a photo of the Big Dig in downtown Bethesda at the intersection of Woodmont and Bethesda.  I’m told that the first phase, abutting Ourisman Honda, will be complete by late 2014.  Not so sure about the second phase. Regardless, the view is pretty spectacular. Takes a lot of bodies to coordinate this effort… For more details on lots 29 & 31, click here.

Bethesda Construction

Sukkot in DC — Celebrating Shelter And Comfort

Private Sukkah in Rosemary Hills, Silver Spring MD

In a way, it’s a celebration of the home. This week, Jewish families all over the world celebrate Sukkot, the “Feast of Booths.” The observance requires life — meals, gatherings and perhaps even sleep — in a fragile and temporary structure that is neither heated nor rainproof. It’s a joyous and at the same time humbling experience. Even if you’re not Jewish, you might have seen the big tent-like structures set up in many places downtown that office workers take their lunches to, or you might have noticed the little hut your neighbor built on their balcony or in their backyard. Sukkot is a way to connect not only to our suffering biblical ancestors but to those today who are without proper homes and shelter, who are refugees or otherwise lacking the basic comfort we take for granted.

We have asked friends and clients to share cell phone pictures of Sukkot (booths) this week, either their own or of any they might spot somewhere this week.  You can find the beautiful collection in the slideshow below, and we will keep adding to it. So, if you happen to have a Sukkah or see one, make sure to email or text us a picture!

[Update 10/7: Thanks to all of you who contributed! One picture was even sent in from Denver, Colorado!]

Got Electricity?

Some people choose a place to live because of the schools.  Others fall in love with a particular style of architecture… or they want to live near a Starbucks, or a dog park.  These days, more and more people want to live and work near car charging stations.  Yup.  You heard that right.

My brother-in-law had his hybrid converted into an electric car (don’t ask me how… I’m fuzzy on the details).  He gets over 100 miles to the gallon.  With gas prices topping $4, he’s looking like a genius.

They are installing a couple of charging stations close to where I live in Bethesda.  It got me curious about other charging stations.  Here’s a list of some local spots.  You can also check out other locations at carstations.com.

Chevy Chase Nissan
7701 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

7101 Clarendon Rd – Bethesda, MD
Chargepoint L2 Status: 1 of 1 avail
7101 Clarendon Rd
Bethesda,Maryland 20815 Read more