Bethesda Murals: Old and New

Bethesda mural

Anyone who has ventured into the interesting and diverse DC neighborhoods of Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan will be familiar with the murals depicting all manner of life and history within those areas.  But many people who visit Bethesda may not be aware that we also have some fantastic murals in our equally-awesome little town.

The one above depicting a traditional looking American steam train is perhaps the most prominent.  Despite being located on a lane behind the main drag, it is nevertheless noticable as you wander past – not least because of its impressive size!

It’s location seems obvious enough, very close to the Capital Crescent Trail, once a branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but it wasn’t until I decided to do some digging that I had any idea whatsoever about its history.  Not surprisingly called the “Bethesda Train”, the mural, on Bethesda Road, was produced in collaboration with Jerry, Pat, Bryan and Cory Deere of Deere Signs of Clinton, Md.

The 34′ x 74′ mural was created according to the design of Chip Gestiehr at Good Dog Creative located in Bethesda.  It was painted with Duron exterrior acrylic enamels over the course of approximately two weeks.  Big thanks to Daybreak Studios for this info, where you can also view a series of photos showing the creative stages of the project.

I immediately thought of the Bethesda Train while walking down Woodmont Avenue before the snow came 10 days or so ago, and spotting a new (brick wall) mural in the process of being painted on the side of the building for lease.

new mural

It’s not quite on the scale of the Bethesda Train, and I suspect it is covered by snow at the current time, but nevertheless an interesting addition to the area, and a great way of adding some flare to a dull beige wall.  Does anyone have any idea of the story behind this one?  I wonder if it is primarily to attract attention and entice potential occupiers to the premises?  We’ll post more of the finished product once the snow clears away!

Quick Update: More Social Media

Just a quick update to say that you can connect to the Facebook page via the “Follow Me” button in the top right sidebar, as well as our Twitter profile.  Both are still in the development phases and will be jazzed-up as we go along.  We’d be really grateful if you’d join us and help grow our community on the good old social web!

Not More Snow?!

The latest flurry of snow promised for the DC metropolitan area today seems to be upon us, with a flurry currently coming down and the backdrop of a rather heavy looking sky… For some reason I’d got it into my head it wouldn’t start snowing until later, or perhaps even overnight?  Not the case though, although hopefully this is small fry compared to the last 10 days.  Tomorrow’s forecast for the Bethesda area looks much better – albeit cold – with a mixture of sunshine and cloud pretty much characterising the rest of the week.  More to come…

Bethesda Actually on Facebook

Bethesda Actually now has a dedicated Facebook page, so if you’re a member of the social networking site, please drop by, take a look and become a fan.  While the main blog will always be the definitive Bethesda Actually website, with all the latest and most up-to-date information, Facebook is an awesome way for the social networkers amongst you to share information, let your friends and family know about us, and join in the discussion with other fans.

You can find the Facebook page here.

All you need to do is click “Become a fan” and you’re away!

Reflections On The Snow Week

The last few days have been a welcome respite from snowmageddon rounds one and two began almost ten days ago but seem to have been dragging on for much longer.  With the sun making a welcome appearance and the big thaw beginning, we take a look back at some snowy photos from the past week kindly sent our way by Patricia Tunnerman-Stewart.  These great pics also offer up an explanation to the current abundance of snow piles and large scale puddles they are giving way to…

cars

Clearing cars has been an epic task, and no matter how snow-free you try and keep them, a fresh covering of compact snow was never far away.  Couple that with the drifts that have built up against each vehicle, and it could be some time before these machines are back on the roads!

snowy tables

This snow scene punctuated by half covered tables and chairs makes for a fantastic photograph.  The outdoor furniture offers a sense of scale to the drifts that surround it.

bethesda 2

Welcome to Bethesda!

bethesda 3

Here’s a birdseye view we haven’t yet seen on this blog showing the snowy roofs of the eateries along Cordell Avenue.  The snow bank against the car’s front wheel shows how deep the snow is down the sides of the street.

snowy streets

And again, the streets abound with snow piles, drifts and steep-sided snow banks that make walking down the sidewalks seem like trying to negotiate an endless icy corridor.  Ice on the ground is an issue now, and further problems will arise when these snow piles really do start to thaw.  But first, we have another round of snow to contend against, due to hit tomorrow and continue overnight into Tuesday… But if this winter weather is good for anything, it’s a good large-scale snowball fight.  Patricia’s husband Cody Stewart (above) clearly has the right idea!

Valentine’s Day in Bethesda

Happy Valentine’s Day to the whole Bethesda community! Here is my take on five fun Valentine’s options for all those looking for ways to celebrate the day:

1. Buy and share a couple of delightful Valentine’s Day cupcakes from one of the many terrific cake shops in town — Just Cakes, Fancy Cakes by Leslie or Georgetown Cupcake are three of the options you have.

2. Take your better half to see a movie at Regal or Bethesda Row — maybe the new romantic flick Valentine’s Day?

3. If you have forgotten to make a reservation and don’t want to break the bank you could go to La Madeleine’s and have some delightful comfort food by their fireplace.

4. Another good option for food this evening if you don’t have a reservation is to try and snag a table in the bar area of a nice local restaurant — two worth checking out are Cafe Deluxe and Mon Ami Gabi (perhaps give a call first to check things out).

5.  Pick a recipe (maybe from here), head to one of the local supermarkets and cook a lovely meal at home.

Also remember that tomorrow is a public holiday so you have a chance to continue the celebration tomorrow!

Birds in the Blizzard

While some bird species migrate for the winter, our little feathered friends who choose to stick around are probably wishing they’d flown south too in light of the last week’s snow!  This fantastic series of pictures was kindly sent to us by local photographer Victoria Porter, an East Bethesda resident since 1981.  They show that it’s not just we humans that have been struggling to keep up our daily routines in Bethesda since snowmageddon round one took us by storm.  But it’s nice to know the birds are getting a helping hand!

cardinal

Beautiful Female Cardinal with snowy beard… Blizzard!

robin

Robin dining on holly berry in snow… They don’t eat seeds!

robins

Many robins found food in my snow-laden holly during our first February 2010 blizzard!

robins in tree

These two robins are taking a rest in the Dogwood before continuing to dine on holly berries…

sparrows

ALL IN… These two sparrows are seriously going after food here!

sparrows on feeder

Piling on… 5 sparrows at the feeder on a snowy, snowy day!

male cardinal

Masterful Mister Cardinal in snow!

sparrows on fence

Sparrow and Junco on deck rail… Stirring up the snow!

mister cardinal

Mister Cardinal… OK… Where’s the seed?

feeder

What? You’re taking my picture again?

squirrel

And last but not least… A hungry squirrel on approach to the feeder… Keeping a wary eye out for the BIG person who chases him away!

You can see more of Victoria’s work on display at the Orchard Gallery in Bethesda.  Her exhibition, Nature’s Bounty, opens today and runs until March 4th.  A reception will be held next Friday, February 19, from 6-9 pm.


Metro Train Derails on Red Line

The Washington Post has reported that a metro train derailed on the red line at 10:13 this morning, immediately after leaving Farragut North station.

Fortunately only three minor injuries have been reported, with one person taken to George Washington University Hospital for treatment.

The derailment has caused severe delays.  Metro has stopped trains bound for Shady Grove at the Gallery Place station, turning them back in the direction of Glenmont.

The derailment came at a time when people were being ferried to work for the first time in days.  Thankfully trains were running at a reduced speed due to the inclement weather.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said: “Fortunately our reports are that there have been no injuries.  The front wheels of the front car came off the tracks. We do not know how it happened.”

Click here for updates.

We’re extremely relieved to hear that there have been no major injuries reported, and hope the disruption is eased as soon as possible.

Essie Says: Staying Chic in the Snow

The latest blizzard may have blown away, but as Bethesdans return to their usual routines, we will be left to fend for ourselves against snow drifts, murky puddles, and frosty February air.  But who says we have to endure the remains of winter in grump and frump? And with Spring just around the corner, Bethesda Actually has pulled together some stylish pieces that will keep you fashionably warm now and will still prove stylish through the seasonal transition ahead.

Boots

First and foremost is footwear. Bethesda roads are not for the faint-soled, and durable shoes will shield you from the salty roads and ever-expanding puddles.  Let’s start off with a classic: a high pair of Hunter Boots. Popular with fly-fishers and fashionistas alike, these rubber boots will keep you dry in style.

Hunter Boots- Original Gloss Tall Boot – $115

original gloss tall boot

**They come in a variety of colors from traditional black to granite gray to plum purple, all to suit your personal taste and wardrobe color wheels.

We’ve also found a great pair of wellies (for a steal) at the local South Moon Under in Montgomery Mall.

South Moon Under – Dirty Laundry Bucket Rain Boot – $54

dirty laundry bucket rain boot

**Essie owns a pair and can say that they have kept her feet warm and dry through the slush and snow. These boots can be worn with a pair of distressed denim shorts or a floral dress in the rainy seasons ahead.

Pants

While donning rubber boots, it’s necessary to wear something close-fitting and warm underneath. Wider mouthed shoes should always be balanced with slimmer fit bottoms. Trouser leggings are ideal to tuck into boots, and local boutiques have a wide variety of options available. The two listed below are available at Luna (7232 Woodmont Av., (301)-656-1111) or online at Nordstom.com.

Dylan George Trouser leggings – $196

dylan george trouser leggings

Citizen for Humanity Trouser leggings – $185

citizen for humanity trouser leggings

**These leggings’ versatility makes them a worthwhile investment. Wear them with pumps and a boyfriend blazer for a night down the red line, or pair em’ with flats and a nautical Tee for a Saturday stroll along the Crescent Trail.

Coats

Now, there’s no point covering up your beautiful boot/jean combo with an old, battered coat. A full length comforter coat will help you resist the cold while warding off the late-winter style doldrums. And, with post-holiday sales currently in full swing, there’s no reason to break your budget!

Nordstrom – Gallery A-Line Quilted Down Coat – $74 (on sale!)

gallery a-line quilted down coat

The North Face – Triple C Down Jacket (via Backcountry.com) – $270 (on sale!)

triple c down jacket

Nails

Finally, we couldn’t help but notice that quite a few trend-setting Bethesdans have been sporting graphite nail-polish of late. After personally testing a few shades, we have found three polishes that add pizzazz to pale winter-weary skin.

OPI – You Don’t Know Jacques – $8

you don't know jacques

You Don’t Know Jacques is a rich, dark gray with deep purple undertones.

Sally Hansen – Commander in Chic – $4

commander in chic

Commander in Chic is a long-lasting, subdued grey-mauve.

Chanel – Particuliere – $23

particuliere

Particuliere is a lighter grey with a tiny touch of lavender.

Now get out there and face the wind and slush in style – see you on the Row!

Ciao,

Essie

Essie Says is a weekly fashion column written by a local style savant.

The Snow Makes Its Last Stand

snow drift

snow drift 2

It’s been an interesting couple of days!  After the disruption of snowmageddon last weekend and the brief resurgence on Tuesday – with more snow and added gusts of wind leaving a fresh covering over everything – we wanted to share this little selection of photos bringing up to date our cataloging of the February storms.

tennis court

tennis court 2

The tennis court in Battery Park still had the net up but only the tape could be seen.  A routine trip to take out the trash was turned into an epic effort since the dumpster was almost completely buried, as was our car and what is normally used as the foot path.

dumpster

car

And here’s Sandra knee-deep in snow!

sandra

Wednesday, on the other hand, brought sunshine, increasing temperatures and clear skies.  The federal government is finally reopening again in the morning (as far as we know) and with any luck things are happily on their way toward normality again in time for the Valentine’s Day weekend.  But the sunshine could bring with it a new problem for both motorists and pedestrians – namely turning those impressive snow drifts into very, very deep puddles!