All posts by Amy Ginsburg

BUN’D UP at The Block

A new take on steamed buns has come to the Pike & Rose neighborhood! Bun’d Up, a popular food pop-up known for their Korean twist on the original Taiwanese “gua bao,” opened at The Block this past Thursday!

Place your carryout orders on their website here

967 Rose Ave, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 7pm

If you can handle the Korean spice🇰🇷🌶, our pork belly bun will satisfy your taste buds.😋 Pork belly and pineapple🍍 kimchi topped of with scallions and our cilantro lime sauce. Comment below if you are down for some Asian fusion👇🏼

Another Covid Update for 20852

Below is a compilation of Covid charts for our area. As they used to say on Hill Street Blues (a cop TV show from long ago, for the under 40 crowd), “be careful out there.”

Courtesy of Delegate Marc Korman
From the New York Times
From Montgomery County Coronavirus Dashboard
From the Montgomery County Coronavirus Dashboard

National Capital Region Vaccine Information from the Maryland Vaccine Dashboard (Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s)

Count of Vaccinated: 37,067

Proportion of Population Vaccinated: 1.55%

How Central Farm Markets Thrived in 2020

With help from Montgomery County, Councilmember Andrew Friedson, Governor Larry Hogan, and Federal Realty, Central Farm Markets and its Pike Central Farm Market at Pike & Rose thrived in 2020, despite the pandemic.

Mitch Berliner, owner and founder of the fifteen-year-old Central Farm Market said that other jurisdictions, such as Virginia, closed farmers markets, but Maryland and Montgomery County realized that farmers markets were essential to maintain the local food chain and keep local farmers farming.

Mitch Berliner

“Bottom line, I’m super proud of how we handled the pandemic,” said Mitch. “We put in our own protocols before there were protocols. We enforced mask-wearing before the county did, and our patrons were extremely cooperative. As soon as we opened Pike Central in April and in our Bethesda market, we installed signs reminding people to social distance, eliminated sampling, and had one entrance/one exit to control the number of people shopping at the market. We also added prepared food ranging from Asian to vegan to Ethiopian, helping chefs and restaurants to stay afloat.”

Pike Central also offered contactless pickup and began a “farm-to-fridge” program. With volunteer help from ProFish, they’ve made thousands of deliveries since April.

Because the number of food insecure residents in Montgomery County has doubled during the pandemic, co-owner and founder Debbie Moser and Mitch made a $25,000 challenge gift to Manna Food Center, which farm market patrons generously matched. They also send produce to Manna weekly.

“I didn’t sign up for this as my retirement project; it’s not as much fun during Covid,” laughed Mitch, “but I absolutely love, love, love doing the markets.”

The Pike Central market returns to Pike & Rose April 24, but you can shop at their Sunday Bethesda Central Farm Market all year round.

The American Legion Bridge

Yes, I know that the American Legion Bridge isn’t in the Pike District, but I bet it affects the residents and businesses in the White Flint area in an array of ways — from making it home to attend your kid’s piano recital to leasing office space to debating in which neighborhood you’ll buy your first home to wondering if your Virginia friends will accept your Thursday at 6 pm dinner party invite. (All pre-Covid, of course.)

The purpose of the I-495/American Legion Bridge Transit/TDM Study is to identify a range of current and future multimodal solutions that can be implemented to reduce congestion, improve trip reliability and regional connections, and enhance existing and planned multimodal mobility and connectivity.

The agencies involved in this project are seeking public input on the Draft recommendations for multimodal improvements along the corridor.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) will hold a Virtual Public Meeting for the I-495 American Legion Bridge Transit and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Study on January 12 at 7pm. Draft recommendations will be presented to the public for information and input. Register here for the meeting.

In addition to providing comments at the public meeting, the public may provide public comment in other ways through February 1.

  • Completing the Online Form
  • Leaving a voicemail: (703) 253-3324
  • Mailing Address: DRPT Attn: Ciara Williams. 1725 Duke Street, Suite 675. Alexandria, VA 22314



Watch the Washington Football Team Playoff Game at the Drive-In Theater on Executive Blvd at the Willco Drive-In Theater

From the MoCo Show

DC Party Box will be holding a watch party for this Saturday’s Washington Football Team vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers playoff game.

The game will be played on their big screen at the Willco Drive In Theater located at 6011 Executive Blvd in North Bethesda. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids and are available at DCPartybox.com. The gates open at 7:45PM and game time is at 8:15PM.

For more information contact:202-922-6696 or info@dcpartybox.com

Encouraging expanded MARC train service

Below is the draft letter regarding HB 1236, Del Solomon’s MARC expansion bill that Friends of White Flint has agreed to sign. We hope that MARC expansion would enable a “one-seat ride” from Garrett Park/Rockville to NoVa.

Dear Speaker Jones, President Ferguson, and Minority Leaders Kipke and Simonaire:

The undersigned elected officials, businesses, business organizations, labor unions, and advocates urge your support to override the veto for HB 1236, a bipartisan bill passed by the General Assembly that can be a key piece to our recovery in the near-term and for generations to come.

HB 1236 will enhance the economic competitiveness of the State of Maryland, deepen access to labor pools for employers and affordable housing options for residents, and reduce congestion on our clogged roadway network. This bill will begin to implement the MARC Cornerstone Plan through three initiatives of statewide importance, including: (1) a plan to pilot an extension of MARC trains beyond Union Station to L’Enfant Plaza, Crystal City and Alexandria; (2) a plan to close the gap between Perryville, Maryland and Newark, Delaware—opening job opportunities for residents in Cecil and Harford counties in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania; and (3) a concept plan to connect the Penn Line and the Camden Line to enhance these lines’ resiliency and improve operations and maintenance.  

We appreciate Maryland’s current fiscal challenges, but we strongly believe the pilots and studies in HB 1236 will generate returns on investments that far exceed the relatively small upfront investment and will position the region to emerge from the pandemic, and future economic recessions, even stronger. Therefore, we urge your favorable support of this important piece of legislation.

Sincerely,

Future of the office market, Part 2: Which of Montgomery County’s office districts are best positioned to win the region’s post-COVID office space race?

A Third Place blog from the Planning Department offers three possible scenarios for the post-Covid world of office space. It appears the Pike District ought to be rooting for the hub and spoke office model.

Scenario 1: The regional center best withstands an overall drop in office demand while the decline of suburban office parks accelerates. Submarkets in Montgomery County that would benefit: None, but Bethesda is likely the least negatively affected.

Scenario 2: Firms adopt the ‘Hub & Spoke’ office model Submarkets in Montgomery County that would benefit: urban submarkets (Bethesda, Silver Spring and portions of North Bethesda) It is likely that firms pursuing this strategy will want some level of urban amenities for these satellite locations. Within Montgomery County, office submarkets that offer transit access and elements of the urban amenities enjoyed downtown but with closer proximity to suburban workers—such as Bethesda, Silver Spring and the Pike District—might see increased demand. More suburban submarkets like Germantown, Gaithersburg, or Rockville, which are dominated by office parks with fewer amenities, might continue to struggle.

Scenario 3: The revival of the suburban office park Submarkets in Montgomery County that would benefit: suburban markets (Germantown, Gaithersburg or northern Rockville).

Lord & Taylor, the Last Remnant of White Flint Mall, Has Permanently Closed

From the MoCo Show:

Lord & Taylor, the Last Remnant of White Flint Mall, Has Permanently Closed

Back in May, we let you know that Lord & Taylor had announced plans to close their location in the former White Flint Mall area.

After months of inventory sales, it appears that this Lord & Taylor location has finally shut its doors for good. The parking lot is empty, this location is no longer listed on the Lord & Taylor website, and google lists the location as permanently closed.

When White Flint Mall first opened in 1977, Lord & Taylor was one of its anchor stores, along with Bloomingdale’s, and I. Magnin (later replaced by Borders Books).

In the mid 2010s, there was a legal dispute between Lord & Taylor and White Flint Mall; Lord & Taylor alleged that plans to redevelop the mall were in violation of Lord & Taylor’s rental agreement. The store was eventually allowed to remain and redevelopment was halted. The mall around Lord & Taylor was demolished and the store was the only part remaining.

https://mocoshow.com/blog/lord-taylor-the-last-remnant-of-white-flint-mall-has-permanently-closed?fbclid=IwAR3ezwDEMxKT_VNWzxcdhCsBafgIu34LkT4a2JsqoDWRCEUcK4r4Jb-JIwY

One last chance to support Friends of White Flint in 2020

Friends of White Flint makes sure you are informed about everything happening in our area, and we advocate for a transit-oriented, walkable neighborhood. Whether it’s working for pedestrian improvements, supporting local businesses and placemaking initiatives, testifying on policies that affect us, or educating the community, Friends of White Flint strives to create the vibrant community we all want.

Will you make a donation to support our essential work? Whether it’s $10 or $100, we are incredibly grateful for your contribution. Click here to make your donation easily and safely.


Friends of White Flint had a surprisingly busy year advocating for pedestrian improvements, tracking the Western Workaround, testifying on the new growth policy, supporting local business,  nurturing relationships with elected and government officials as well as with residents, creating a new improved website, and keeping the community informed about what’s happening in our community through online meetings, social media, our daily blog, and our weekly e-newsletter.— one of our most important tasks.

This year we enjoyed tangible progress in the fulfillment of the White Flint sector plan:

  1. Foulger Pratt and Promark started construction of its East Village apartments on Nicholson Lane.
  2. LCOR is ready to open its Arrowwood apartments near Harris Teeter.
  3. Willco continues to move its Wilgus Tract/Northpark at Montrose project through the Planning Board approval process.
  4. Federal Realty is leasing its new office building and even opening a new restaurant at Pike at Rose.
  5. The Planning Department is focused on the White Flint area with its Advancing the Pike District initiative. (Please visit our blog for an update.)
  6. Finally — after years and years and years of advocating — we’re going to see the elimination of the hot right/slip lanes at Old Georgetown Road and Route 355.
  7. The Western Workaround project is considerably further along than in 2019 as we create a grid of streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes in the Pike District.
  8. The new Growth Policy/Subdivision Staging Policy is favorable to smart growth construction and eliminated the dreaded moratorium.
  9. Placemaking efforts, including drive-in movies,  Market Park, and other initiatives, were launched this year in response to the pandemic.
  10. Beach Drive opened to pedestrians and cyclists every weekend. (Yes, technically not within our borders but darn close.)

I’d also like to share just a couple of email snippets I’ve received over the year that demonstrate the importance of Friends of White Flint in the transformation of our neighborhood into a walkable, vibrant, smart growth hub:

“Thank you, Amy. Your call paid off, the entrance to the trail at Woodglen and Edson looks great. I hope this is a new beginning and we can all work to keep it looking great.” Resident Member about our work getting MCDOT to clean up the Trolley Trail.

“Thanks so much for the excellent newsletter. I was very interested in the maps – so much so that I went to the video to see the original pictures. Your coverage is top notch.”Resident Member 

“By the way, thank you for all your great efforts in keeping Friends of White Flint in the spotlight, staying on top of current events and actions, and coming up with great agendas for community meetings.  You do an awesome job and we do appreciate you!!!”Resident Member

Thank you for your support!