Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My 2 cents on the Costco issue

Well, I'm going to come right out and say it.  I'm not a fan of the Costco plans for the vacant Hecht's space at the Westfield Mall.  When I initially heard about the possible Costco, my first reaction was indifference.  I don't have a Costco membership and I don't feel a need to store a year's supply of toilet paper at my house (nor do I have the space!).

The more I thought about it, though, the more strongly I started to feel that this is a bad move for Wheaton.  To frame my argument against Costco, I'm going to paste in the goals announced late last year for the updated Wheaton CBD Sector Plan (more info at 

Here is the list of goals from the planning board's website:
-Focus new development and revitalization efforts near the Metro's Red Line
-Reinvigorate Wheaton's downtown by creating a walkable community with a distinct identity
-Create a vibrant mix of jobs and housing
-Preserve Wheaton's ethnic diversity
-Design quality public spaces inviting to pedestrians
-Foster an environmentally sustatinable community

First of all, I want to say that I whole-heartedly support these goals.  Wheaton is already well on its way to many of them, and the neighborhood's unique vibe combined with all the great potential that exists is one of the main reasons I moved here.  If you take these goals and think about whether Costco will really help Wheaton to acheive any of them, you'll start to see why I have a problem with this.

As I started to collect my thoughts on all of this, I realized that I was going to create the mother of all posts if I talked about all the different issues that I see with bringing Costco in.  So, I'm going to let this post stand as-is, and I'll organize future posts about Costco around each of the goals listed above.

Until then, I'll leave you with two images.  The first image is the google street view of the Costco in Beltsville (only a 17 minute drive from Wheaton!).  The second image is from the planning board's presentation about the updated sector plan for the Wheaton CBD.  Which one do you think we should be aiming for?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tiptoe through the tulips...

Spring is in the air.  The birds are singing, trees are budding, flowers are blooming.  Where oh where in the endless strip malls of Wheaton can a person go to get in touch with nature?  Brookside Gardens, of course!

Not only is Brookside one of the hidden gems of Wheaton, but even better, it's all free (except for that butterfly exhibit they sometimes have).  The garden features paved paths wandering through a variety of landscapes, which are all beautifully maintained.  They also have a main visitor center and two inter-connected greenhouses that are great to visit even if the weather outside isn't so nice.  On a recent visit, I found fields of tulips in bloom.  You can either drive to the garden or if you live close to Wheaton Regional Park, you can walk through the park to reach the garden (more on the regional park in a future post!). 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Helloooo Wheaton!

After living in downtown Silver Spring as a renter for 5 years, I took the plunge into home ownership and moved up Georgia Ave to Wheaton. I'm excited about all that Wheaton has to offer (where else will you find the Hung Phat grocery store!), and I'm also interested in all of the possibilities out there for Wheaton's future. During my time as a SS resident, I became a regular reader of some great blogs coming out of the neighborhood - SilverSpringSingular, ThayerAvenue, SoCoEats, Just Up the Pike, and the Silver Spring Penguin (RIP).

When I moved to Wheaton last summer, I knew of only one blog in Wheaton, which is now defunct (Scenic Wheaton). I started to think about leaping into the world of blogging to help make some contributions to my new neighborhood just like all those great Silver Spring blogs I had been reading. Since then, I've come across a few new blogs (Good Eatin in Wheaton, What's Up Wheaton, and the Talk of Wheaton) and I've decided to add my voice to the growing blog community here in Wheaton.

So, hello to all of you out there! I hope to write about a variety of topics here in Wheaton. I love food, so expect to see lots of restaurant reviews, and I work in the architectural field, so I'll have alot to say about the new development that is planned and/or underway here in Wheaton.