Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where in Bowie? #3

The Where in Bowie posts are meant to challenge readers to identify a location in Bowie pictured in the post. I put a lot of empty space at the end of the post to keep the comments out of sight until the reader scrolls down.


Where in Bowie is this?
Click here for the answer.








































Late January Snowfall - The Day After

The sun came out the day after a storm dumped about 5 inches of snow on Bowie. The meteorologists originally predicted a dusting to two inches, so the extra snow was a surprise. I heard a lot of complaints about the incorrect forecast, but then again, we were told a storm was coming before it ever existed.


Major roads like Annapolis Road (seen here), Stoneybrook Drive, Belair Drive, Millstream Drive and Old Chapel Road were clear of snow early Sunday morning.




Side roads like Sussex Lane still had a layer of snow early Sunday despite having been plowed. Pavement on the side roads was showing through by the afternoon after the sun warmed things up a bit.




Crews worked to clear snow at Kenilworth Elementary School. The sidewalks and parking spaces were mostly free of snow at Kenilworth Elementary by noon on Sunday, but a two-hour delay for Monday in Prince George's County was already announced by Sunday evening.




Sledding at Kenilworth Elementary School.



video

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Late January Snowfall in Bowie

Snow started falling heavily around 9:00 this morning in Bowie, and there was about five inches of the white stuff on the ground by 7:00pm.

I stopped by Best Buy at the Bowie Town Center, and it was the first time I found parking in front and no line at the register. I almost didn't recognize the place.


The snow-covered Bowie bushes




Old Chapel Road. The roads were very slippery.




Snow plow on Route 197 in front of Benjamin Tasker Middle School. The blade works better when it's down.




City of Bowie plow on Mitchellville Road - with the blade down.




An accident on Laurel Bowie Road (Rt 197) at Old Chapel Road. Apparently car(s) coming down the hill on Old Chapel Road couldn't stop in time.




Four Bowie Police officers work the scene.




The view from the top of the hill on Old Chapel Road




Police closed off Old Chapel Road at Laurel Bowie Road

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where in Bowie? #2 - Answer revealed.

In a previous post, I asked where this picture was taken in Bowie.




The picture shows a portion of the Showcase Market Place Cinema 6 sign on Annapolis Road (Rt 450) in the Market Place Shopping Center. The theatre has not been in business for years, but the sign remains. The original sign said "market place cinema", but the portion of the sign that says "cinema" has been flipped over so the sign now reads "market place."

Kudos to Val for correctly guessing the answer.





One mystery remains. What used to be displayed on the East side of the sign? Was it the name of the last movie to play in theatre 1? Was it something that was put up after the theatre closed? My first inclination is to think that it was the name of a movie, but one might think that whoever removed the word "cinema" from the sign would have also removed the letters.



The sign includes the letters "S", "T", "I", "G" and "M". I think the theatre closed sometime in the 1990s. I wonder what was playing then.








Here is the main entrance to the theatre - now boarded up. There used to be an arcade near this entrance.




A larger sign hung on the wall to the left showing the movies that were playing. An electric wire hangs from a hole in the wall where the sign once hung.




The back of the theatre.




Here is the exit along the side of the theatre. You can see a faded 3208 - part of the theatre address at 3208 Superior Lane. You can also see the outline of an arch that used to hang above the doors.

Plans for renovating the Market Place Shopping Center are being discussed. I'll have more on the renovations in a future post.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where in Bowie? #2

The Where in Bowie posts are meant to challenge readers to identify a location in Bowie pictured in the post. I put a lot of empty space at the end of the post to keep the comments out of sight until the reader scrolls down.


This one may be a little too easy, although the answer to this post contains a mystery itself.
Where in Bowie is this?
Click here for the answer.












Sunday, January 17, 2010

Con Artist in Bowie

My wife was approached by a man while she pumped gas last Thursday at the Sunoco on the corner of Laurel Bowie Road (Rt 197) and Old Chapel Road in Bowie.


He told her that he needed money for gas so that he could get home to Piney Point in St. Mary's County. Being the super nice person that she is (to strangers), my wife's first reaction was to help out. Although she never has any extra cash when I need it, she managed to pull out $5 to give to the guy. He came closer to take the money, and she noticed that his clothes were dirty and he had bad teeth. He said, "thank you," and he might have even included a "bless you," and then he started walking toward the station as if he was going to give the money to the attendant. Before he reached the door to the station, he turned around and headed back toward his car - a black Lexus. My wife saw him raise his hands in the air as he let out a little "woo hoo!" He got into his car, and then he drove away. There was a passenger with him in his car.

On Saturday, a man in a black Lexus pulled up to the pump next to me at the Shell station on the corner of Superior Lane and Annapolis Road (Rt 450).



The man approached me, and he said, "do you mind if I ask you a really awkward question?"

I was thinking, "ummm, you already did," but instead I said "what's up?"

He told me a story about leaving his wallet at home by accident, and he needed gas money to get home to Piney Point in St. Mary's County. A little "ding ding" sounded in my head. I could have called him out on his con, but I instead fabricated my own story about not being able to part with any money as I am planning to quit my job as a late night comedian for a major television network. Actually, I was not quick enough to think of that one until I was posting this story. What I did tell him was how unfortunate it was that he caught me before I had a chance to get to the ATM that day. He thanked me for being polite, and then he moved on to try his shtick on someone else.

After I finished pumping gas, I parked my car next to the station to use the vacuum. I noticed that the man continued his con.

When I was done with the vacuum, I pulled out onto Superior Lane, and I saw the man in his Lexus heading East on Annapolis Road - perhaps to the Chevron on the corner of Annapolis Road and Route 3.

The Lexus that the man was driving sort of looks like the car in this picture that I found on wired.com. I think it was an older model - maybe a 1999 or 2000 model.




The guy sort of looked like John Allen Muhammad did in this picture that I found on the Guardian web site, except the guy's hair was shorter.



If he approaches you, give him the late night comedian line for me.

Pomo Grille Closing - Some Bad Information

I previously posted about the closing of the Pomo Grille. When I heard that the restaurant was closing, I went to Pomo Grille and talked to the hostess. She informed me about the plans for the Monte Restaurant Development Group to convert the location into a Squisito Pizza & Pasta restaurant, and she told me that Squisito would be opening on Monday, January 18. I said to her, "January 18th! They're going to be able to do the renovations in one week?" And she said something like, "Yep. I heard that a crew will be starting tomorrow (January 10)."

I did send an e-mail to the Monte Restaurant Development Group last week to confirm the conversion plans, but I never received a reply.

I have yet to see any signs of renovations at the restaurant. This is how things looked on Saturday morning, January 16.




Multiple notices of the closing hang on the door, and nobody took in the new phone books. Phone books? Do they still print those things?




A closer look at the notice - note the 15% discount at the 4 Seasons Grille through February 28. I didn't see any promotional posters for the new Squisito.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where in Bowie? Answer revealed.

In a previous post, I asked where this picture was taken in Bowie.






The picture was taken along the brick walkway leading to the Belair Stable Museum. Kudos to Anonymous for correctly guessing the answer.



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where in Bowie?

The Greater Greater Washington blog has a weekly feature called What's That. Pictures of three location are posted each Sunday, and readers try to guess the names of the locations. A day or two later, the answers are revealed in another blog post. The original pictures are well cropped to hide detail and to create a greater challenge, and more detailed pictures are provided with the answers. Comments are initially hidden from view to create an even playing field.

I thought I would try something similar using Bowie locations. My blogger skills have not yet advanced to the point where I know how to hide comments, so I'll just put a lot of empty space at the end of the post to keep the comments out of sight until the reader scrolls down. I'm also going to post one location at a time.


Where in Bowie is this?


Click here for the answer.


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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Recession Special - $70,000 House Available in Bowie

A recent Washington Times article indicates that there are $350,000 bargain houses that can be found in the Greater Washington D.C. area. As proof, the article mentions a $350,000 short sale in Bowie.

The Bowie house is a 3-bedroom, 3.5 bath "custom-designed contemporary-style residence built in 2007." This house is located at 12905 7th Street in the Old Bowie section of town, and it originally sold for $520,000 in June, 2007.




Many streets in Old Bowie offer a non-homogeneous selection of houses. The following house can be found less than 200 feet down the road from the custom designed contemporary house.



The good news is that this home is available for a mere $70,000. Seller is even paying closing costs. The following comments can be seen on the MLS listing:

*****BUILDABLE TRIPLE WIDE LOT IN OLDE BOWIE*****PERMIT READY FOR PICKUP FROM PG COUNTY--PUBLIC WATER & SEWER--HOUSE ON LOT TO BE RAZED BY BUYER--QUIET DEAD END STREET!! START THAT DREAM HOME--THIS IS A PRICE BLOWOUT & SELLERS WILL PAY ALL CLOSING COSTS!!!!!!

The same street contains a mix of newer homes and split levels built during the 80s.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pomo Grille Closed

Saturday was the final day in business for Bowie's Pomo Grille restaurant. The wait staff first heard the news two weeks ago.

The Monte Restaurant Development Group, the owner of the Pomo Grille, has decided to convert the location into a Squisito Pizza & Pasta restaurant. Renovations are expected to take just one week, and the new restaurant will open on Monday, January 18th.

Monte Restaurant Development Group owns and runs several restaurants in the area, including eight Squisito locations (predominantly in Anne Arundel County), the Four Seasons Grille in Waugh Chapel, Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen & Wine Bar in Annapolis and Sazzio in Hanover and White Marsh.

Squisito offers a more casual dining format than the Pomo Grille. Customers place orders at a counter before sitting down. I'm not sure if the staff delivers food to customers or if customers pick up the food at the counter. Click here to see the menus at other Squisito restaurants, and click here to see a picture gallery of Squisito restaurants and menu items.

My wife and I ate at the Pomo Grille a handful of times since it opened in 2007. The food was always great, and there always seemed to be plenty of customers. Obviously the owner believes that a Squisito will be more profitable in this location, but I'm interested in hearing more details.

I'm also looking forward to trying out the new Squisito. The reviews I found on the Web suggest that people visit Squisito for the pizza. This will be the first pizza joint to return to Free State Mall since the closing of the Happy Italian Delight.

UPDATE: It seems that I received some bad information about Squisito opening on January 18th. Please see this new post with more details.

Snow in Bowie

A couple inches of snow fell in Bowie yesterday. It started late at night, and the sun was back out by morning. Colder than usual temperatures will keep the snow around for a few days.



Looking out my back door.





Old Chapel Road




Schools were delayed for a couple of hours to give time for the clean-up, but the roads were in pretty good shape.





The sun peeks out over the Chapel Forge neighborhood.





The sun is out by 9:00 am. Here is a view down Belair Drive.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Art in Public Places

The Prince George's County Council passed legislation in 1988 that requires one percent of the construction cost for new buildings and major renovations of county government buildings be used for the acquisition and installation of artwork. The legislation established the Art in Public Places Program. A seven member panel oversees the program, and a project advisory committee is established for each project.

The Arts in Public Places Panel and a project advisory committee began a search last October for an artist to create a 12' x 18' piece for the future South Bowie Branch Library. One-hundred forty-seven applications were received, and three finalists have been selected.
A community input meeting will be held at the South Bowie Community Center on Tuesday, January 19th. Members of the public will be able to learn about the project, meet the finalists and provide the artists with information about the community. Opinions are welcome. Attendees must RSVP by Friday, January 15th.

The three artists will create designs for the project, and one of the designs will be selected in March.

The Prince George's County Arts in Public Places Panel commissioned a stained glass and tile mirror mosaic for the recently opened Northview Fire Station in Bowie. Cheryl Foster , a D.C. resident, was the lead artist for the project. Foster designed and oversaw the installation of the mural.


The mosaic can be seen at the front of the Northview Fire Station (at the corner of Northview Drive and Health Center Drive). The diversity of Bowie residents is captured in the faces of the firefighters, and the background is filled with historic references and reflections of modern day life in Bowie.





Bowie Station opened in 1872 in what is now called the Huntington Section of Bowie (also known as Old Bowie). The railroad station was constructed at the intersection of a Baltimore/D.C. line and the Pope's Creek line to Southern Maryland.

Bowie Station has been relocated only yards away from its original location, and it has been preserved as the Bowie Train Station Museum.





The Belair Stud and Stable. Two Triple Crown winners (father and son Gallant Fox and Omaha) called the stable home, as did Nashua, the first horse to be sold for more than $1 million. The stable is now a museum operated by the City of Bowie.





This is either Gallant Fox or Omaha. It's hard to tell. They look so much alike, and they're both represented on the mural.










Skating at the City of Bowie Ice Arena at Allen Pond Park.





The City of Bowie Dog Park.





Bowie fourth-grader Hayley Yeager is depicted in the mosaic. According to a recent Bowie Blade article, Foster had an artistic connection with Yeager.





Plaque on display at the fire station. Several people from the Bowie Senior Center assisted with the installation of the glass tiles.





Cheryl Foster created other public pieces in the D.C. area, including this mosaic at National Harbor. Other work from Foster can be seen on her Web site.





Another Foster piece at National Harbor.