Commuters Beware! Escalator Outage at Bethesda Metro

The scene wasn’t pretty at Bethesda metro station this afternoon, with every single escalator and possibly the elevator out too.  Anyone who travels on the metro system on a daily basis will be used to outages across the network, but it’s unusual for all three escalators to be out at the same time during rush hour.  And with a station as deep as this one, it’s not good!

The “up” escalator was a tired line of passengers, some making the most of the situation to cram in a little unexpected fitness training, others puffing and panting as they made their way to the top in stages.  Hopefully the situation has been resolved over the last couple of hours, but until we know for certain commuters, beware!

Welcome Friends!!

Hi friends, just thought I’d take a couple of moments to welcome you to our new online community. This blog came about after chatting with friends and family here in Bethesda about how truly unique and special our small corner of the world is.

We feel that Bethesda is a truly unique place – minutes away from Washington, DC but with a culture, vibrancy, style and economy all of its own.  Sure, many people here work in Washington and vice versa, but this isn’t Washington, it’s Bethesda, actually!  For that reason, we decided to create a place online where others who share our enthusiasm for Bethesda can meet and exchange ideas.

So, if you want to share your thoughts on the best happy hour in Bethesda or the latest real estate news or even the results of our local school football teams, Bethesda actually is the place for you.

Please stick around and share a few thoughts on what you would like this blog to cover (you can leave a comment below) or drop us an email (bethesdaactually@gmail.com). If you need to dash now, no worries, just drop by again when you have time.

Cheers!

More Exhibitions at the Local Galleries

It suddenly occured to me after mentioning the “January” exhibition at Gallery Nepture that I should draw your attention to a couple of other exhibitions in the area that are also winding up in the next couple of days.  They are:

Piece by Piece,” featuring works on paper by local assemblage artists Judy Basile, Jennifer Maben Bishop, Gwendolyn Graine, Sherill Anne Gross, Ellen Hill and Irene Sylvester.  The exhibition is on at the Ratner Museum, 10001 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda.  It’s free to enter and more info about the show, opening hours and so on can be found here.

The Clean Hands Project,” offering a vivid glance into life in Nepal via photographs collected by a group of Nepali activisits and journalists.  It’s on at the Washington School of Photography, 4850 Rugby Avenue , Bethesda, and is free to enter.

Visual Fugue,” paintings by Roger Strassman.  The show is on at the Waverly Street Gallery, 4600 East West Hwy., Bethesda.  It’s free to enter and is running until February 6.

The Historic Bethesda Theatre

Bethesda Theatre

Okay so I enjoy films – sometimes old ones – but I’ve always been a fan of old movie theaters like this.  So armed with my camera while out on a stroll around town, I decided to snap a few pictures!  Most locals will be familiar with the Bethesda Theatre, but for anyone new to the area, here’s the deal…

Opened as the Boro Theatre (name changed only a year later) on May 19, 1938 to a screening of Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife, starring Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert, it soon became a local landmark/community hub and remains one of the few remaining Art Deco cinemas in the Greater DC Metro area.  At the time it was built, it represented the cutting edge of technology and comfort.

Remaining in that role for more than four decades, in 1983 it was converted to a film and food venue known as the Bethesda Cinema ‘N Drafthouse, then later the Bethesda Theatre Cafe in 1990.

Bethesda Theatre2

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 and restored to its former glory, thanks to the Bethesda Cultural Alliance, the old cinema is now a theater showing intimate Off Broadway productions and cabaret-style shows.  Great building!  For more info on shows, history and old pictures, check out the theaters official website.

And despite being pretty small, its fashionable Deco lines help it hold its own against the towering building behind!

Walking for the Arts

I’ve got to be honest – it is tough getting out for a walk when the weather is fluctuating from very cold to rainy …..I am really trying to stay in shape this winter but mother nature is not aiding my efforts! Fortunately, the super folks behind Bethesda Art Walk have made it a little easier to get motivated to walk.

Not heard of the Art Walk? Well let me give you the 411. The second Friday of every month there is a free gallary walk organized in Bethesda. As a part of it you can check out lots of galleries and studios that feature gobs of really interesting stuff. Photographs, pottery, painting…..well you get the idea. As an added bonus some of the places involved have nice little receptions (yes you knew food/ drink was likely to be involved). Sometimes the tour is self guided and on other occasions you can someone to guide you around. Either way it is a lot of fun and a good excuse to wrap up warm and stroll around town. The next one is February 12 and is, I think, self-guided. The tours start at the Metro (630pm start I believe although the galleries open 30 mins earlier I think) and I’m guessing if you are a bit late you can catch up and join in along the way. Have fun and enjoy the stroll!

Bringing Some Mussel to Woodmont!

Bethesda Actually has heard that a new mussels bar/restaurant is set to open in the space formerly occupied by Levantes.  If so, this is sure to be a welcome addition to our town’s already impressive selection of eateries.  Watch this space!

Chili / Chilly Days in B-town

Chilly Days in B-town

Well the snow has fallen a few times already this winter and the artic blasts keep on coming – another one is scheduled for tonight. All this cold weather seems to offer up the perfect excuse to head out for a nice bowl of chili ! My favorite place for a pipping hot bowl of the good stuff is Hard Times Cafe on Del Ray Ave in “Old” Bethesda. HTC was named, back in 2005, by USA Today as one of the top ten places in the country to eat a bowl of chili.
 
The original Hard Times is in Virginia but I simply love the restaurant here in Bethesda. The staff are friendly and have created a really relaxed environment where you can head in and grab a bowl or plate of chili and kick back and relax. When the weather outside is as cold as has been these past few weeks, trust me when I say this place will warm you up.
 
There are four main types of chili (including a vegetarian one!) and you can get it with all sorts of sides and additions. I quite like it over spagetti and tend to order the 5 way chili mac (beans, onions and cheese). For first timers you may want to ask them if you can sample the four chilis before making your choice. I was there a little while ago with a friend from out of town and he loved checking out the options before making his call.
 
If the day is particularly cold or if you just want to spice things up a touch snaggle a plate of the jalapeno pepper poppers – AWESOME — stuffed with cheese you can get them mild or a wee bit toasty!
 
Anyway, that is my tip for the chilly season – grab a plate of chili at Hard Times — it is well priced and there are lots of lean options available if you are looking to lose a couple of pounds this winter.

A Delightful Happy Hour

Mon Ami Gabi is a wonderful restaurant located in the heart of Bethesda and we will certainly review the brunch, lunch and dinner options available sometime soon.

However, I’m guessing that at the moment a few of us are looking for ways to have an enjoyable meal out without breaking the bank….and if you are in that mode, I strongly recommend the happy hour at Mon Ami.

It is a little on the early side (about 5pm to 630pm) but a visit allows you to sit and enjoy the lovely bar area at Mon Ami and try their delightful salmon burger. Well made, really tasty and served with some fantastic (usually) piping out frites this is a must try at $5. The inexpensive price creates a bit of room to sample the very good wines on offer by the glass or, the wider, by the bottle selection. There are a few good beers available as well.

Now, I will say that going to the happy hour should not be seen as a substitute for enjoying the food and atmosphere of the main restaurant but if you, like me, want to have an inexpensive meal out, perhaps induldge in a lovely wine, and save a few dollars as you pay off the holidays….well Mon Ami’s happy hour is for you.

Almost ready to go!

Well folks the time is almost upon us for this blog to be launched!  Have a great weekend and stay tuned – Tuesday will be the day!

Coming Soon!

Welcome to Bethesda Actually, an exciting new project set to be officially launched at the beginning of the New Year – with lots of build-up between now and then, so stay tuned!