Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ode to Bethesda

In my off-blog existence, I joke about this wealthy suburb frequently (but out of love, baby, out of love).

Like the top-security-access restrooms – even in the most innocuous buildings. If Osama’s declaring a war on shabby chic, thank God the Blue House is secure. {ed note: you buy stuff at the Blue House}

The pampered dogs at places with names like “Bone du Jour” {ed note: you think those dogs are cute}

The pampered people everywhere else. Duck! That’s a pink yoga mat swinging your way. {ed note: you go to Unity Woods. All in all, you are a hypocrite in this post.}

And the lack of regard for stop signs. If I had a quarter for every time a fleet of Lexi nearly mowed me down crossing the street for a coffee, I’d be able to actually afford a condo here. Maybe even a single-family detached home.

Enough negativity. Two things (besides vast restaurant selection) Bethesda does very, very right:

The one near downtown is a frickin’ palace – like a Barnes & Noble without the espresso bar. Every public library should be like this…and it makes me mad when they are not. Like in Charleston, SC (down the street from Armani, too!) and in several neighborhoods in the District. These “public houses of learning” look like shacks out of a 1970s documentary about Haiti, whose few scattered, antiquated books just look as though they reek of mold and were rejected from a prison GED program. I know that tax base realities have a lot to do with these discrepancies – nevertheless, this is a shameless slap in the face to the citizens purportedly “served.”

“Hey, poor people! Yeah, we don’t want you to read. You know that, of course. But we thought we’d just make it blindingly obvious that we want to keep you stupid and oppressed. Now you just go back to 7-11 and your trans-fat-filled chips and your mindless court TV shows.”

So Montgomery County's commitment to good libraries almost make me happy as I fill out my tax forms. (Almost. That crazy local tax - percentage of gross income! - makes one longingly reminisce about the Ron Paul blimp.)

Not money, silly. Sustainability. Bethesda has launched BethesdaGreen. It’s a group, it’s a blog, it’s businesses, it’s events.
Better yet, let them explain; here’s the website.

Now if only they could get their parking ticket SWAT force to chill out. For a person who drags out the Zipcar maybe twice a month, what I spend on overdue meters might be able to finance a small Hyundai at this point. Or, given Bethesda's new focus, a Prius..


At 2:00 PM, Blogger Sorority in the City said...

So not a fan of anything MD. Bethesda included.

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Sorority in the City said...

I dislike all things MD. Bethesda included.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

Are you a Virginian by any chance? (cool blog, by the way - and good luck with your fundraiser) I do think Bethesda is one of those places people either completely adore or are like "meh, not for me". But don't give up on all of Maryland - there are some cool spots within the state. (I'm hoping to do a Baltimore post soon)

At 3:41 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Bethesda was a bit too white, a bit too prefab and a bit too safe, but it remained a pleasant destination for those who knew exactly what they would be getting, and I liked it for that reason. I also agree about its first-class library. Don't be surprised, though, if the rather sensitive citizens from a nearby unincorporated area climb all over this post to dis the place.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

Are you predicting an uprising by the Silver Spring pirates perchance?

At 3:03 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

You didn't hear me mention any names.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

That is true, Media Concepts. If any rancor is headed this way due to Maryland neighborhood stuff, please direct it solely at me. But better yet, please redirect yourself the new post I just posted. It regards a truly unjust situation with teacher layoffs in Colorado - I heard about it last night and am still p*ssed this morning!


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