Pike District in Bethesda Beat

Friday, October 5, 2018

Did you see this article in Bethesda Beat about the Pike District new placemaking signs? Check it out by clicking here.

Here's the first part of the article to whet your appetite:

If someone gets lost in Montgomery County’s Pike District, an area nonprofit this week made it a bit easier to find what they’re looking for.

On Wednesday evening, members of the Friends of White Flint hung 30 signs along Nicholson Lane, Executive Boulevard, Old Georgetown Road, Woodglen Drive and Marinelli Road directing pedestrians and bicyclists toward places such as restaurants, bars and parks.

The grant-funded markers are a signage system intended to highlight area amenities. The grant was awarded by the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.


Are you seeing our new wayfinding signs around the Pike District?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thanks to a grant from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center and some intrepid volunteers, the Pike District has wonderful new wayfinding signs to guide and entertain. The fun signs, created by the Friends of White Flint, are spread around the White Flint area. Have you seen them all? Have you taken a selfie with any of them?  Be sure to tag the Pike District when you post them!


County Executive Candidate Forum

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

 

Be an educated voter. Learn what the candidates for County Executive think about issues important to the White Flint/Pike District area. Attend the Friends of White Flint County Executive Candidate Forum on Sunday, October 21 at 7:30 pm at AMP at Pike and Rose. Free tickets are required as attendance is limited. Click here for tickets


Fall Saturdays at NoBe Market

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

So many things to do at North Bethesda Market this fall! NoBe Market will have live music, cooking, food trucks, and fitness and wellness classes. Visit https://www.facebook.com/AtNoBeMarket/ for more details.


Eight New Capital Bikeshare Stations Added in Pike District

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Eight new Capital Bikeshare stations added in the Pike District area! This was a call for a ceremony that included Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer, Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Director Al Roshdieh, and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Assistant Secretary Charles Glass. During the ceremony Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said "Here in the Pike District and nearby, we are celebrating eight, new, Capital Bikeshare stations," and "These stations offer more options for residents and workers to commute between their home and workplace to the Red Line – and, to visit local stores and restaurants without getting in a car." This marks the ninth Metro station area in Montgomery County that has received Capital Bikeshare stations.

 

Currently the Capital Bikeshare program has nearly 500 bike stations spread all across the D.M.V. with stations as far north as Rockville, Maryland, and as far west as Reston, Virginia. The Capital Bikeshare program was created as an alternative method of transportation for Washington D.C. with the idea of being ideal for short rides and one way trips. The Capital Bikeshare program also states that it is a great way to have fun with friends, get exercise while traveling, and go green by not emitting pollutants that other modes of transportation make. The capital Bikeshare program offers three different fares. 2 dollars for a single trip under 30 minutes (trips over 30 minutes are susceptible to extra fees), 8 dollars for a 24 hour day pass, and 85 dollars for an annual membership with the Capital Bikeshare program.

 


Happy Veterans Day: Honoring Our Veterans Along the Pike

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

 

 

Thanks to Our Vets

Friday, November 10th, 2017

9am – 11am

North Potomac Senior Center

13850 Travilah Road, Rockville, MD 20850

 

In recognition of Veteran’s Day, the center will provide our men and women who have and continue to serve our country with coffee and donuts. We want our Veterans to start their day with a smile.

 

 

 

Honoring Veterans and Active Duty Military

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Pinstripes Pike & Rose

11920 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda, MD 20852

 

Pinstripes is honoring veterans and active duty military with complimentary entrees up to $20 per person. Military I.D., VFW or American Legion Card, or a copy of DD214 required. Not valid with additional offers or promotions. Valid November 11th, 2017.

 

 

Veterans Day at Mission BBQ

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

11am - 9pm

Mission BBQ @ Wintergreen Plaza

865 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852

 

On Veterans Day, as a special thank you to all Veterans and active duty Military, vets get a FREE sandwich and cake.

 

Let Freedom Ring! - Heart of Maryland Chorus Annual Show

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

1pm - 3pm

Fitzgerald Theatre of Rockville

603 Edmonston Dr, Rockville, MD 20851

 

A tribute to our veterans and active duty military presented in the traditional USO show style. Come join the Heart of Maryland Chorus as they salute the heroes of our country this Veterans Day. They are a Sweet Adelines women's chorus singing 4-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. Featured guests include Misfire, a men's Barbershop Harmony Society quartet, the Fugitive Brass Quintet, Gottaswing Dancers, and more.

 

 

American Flag

 

Veterans Day Ceremony

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

11am-1pm,

Veterans Park (corner of Rt. 28 and Rt. 355)

Rockville, MD 20852

 

Join Rockville’s Mayor and Council at this annual ceremony in honor of the men and women who served in the nation’s armed forces. American Legion Post 86 will lead the wreath laying ceremony and their Honor Guard will present a twenty-one gun salute. A reception will follow at American Legion Post 86 located at 2013 Veirs Mill Road.

 

 


Halloween in the Pike District - Check Out Our Event and Promotion Listing for the Spooky Weekend

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pike & Rose

PIKEkids: Trick or Treat

Saturday, October 28 10 AM -12 PM

http://www.pikeandrose.com/event/pikekids-trick-treat/

Join Pike & Rose for tricks, treats and neighborhood fun on October 28th from 10am-12noon. Bring your costumed kids and trick-or-treat bags for an early Halloween celebration at all your favorite Pike & Rose establishments.

 

 

Montgomery county parks

2017 Halloween Eye Spy Trains

Saturdays and Sundays October 7-29

https://www.montgomeryparks.org/trains/

Great for kids 8 and under, but really families of all ages, Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train & Carousel will be dressed up as “Trainslyvania.”

 

 

Sur La Table Kids Cooking Class

Spooktacular Halloween Treats for Kids

October 28-29 10 AM -12 PM

http://bit.ly/2zUHLmG

 

 

Sur La Table

30% off Halloween Goods

http://bit.ly/2gQgu06

 

 

Montgomery County Parks

Not So Spooky Skate - Cabin John

Friday, October 27th 4:00 PM to 6:15 PM, Cabin John Ice Rink

https://www.montgomeryparks.org/events/not-so-spooky-skate-cabin-john/

 

 

Rockville Panic Room

10 AM - 10 PM everyday

12009 Nebel Street Rockville,MD 20852

https://texaspanicroom.com/rockville-reservations/

 

 

Kids Club Halloween Party at Pinstripes North Bethesda

Children’s Halloween Party

Sunday, October 29 at 10 AM - 12 PM, Pinstripes Bowling Alley

http://bit.ly/2yYuj3p

 

 

Saturday “Halloween” Ride

Trek Bicycle Store

Saturday, October 28 at 9 AM - 11 AM

https://www.facebook.com/events/1708922979409174/

 

 

Trunk or Treat

Dynamite Gymnastics Center

Saturday, October 28 at 5 PM - 7:15 PM

https://www.facebook.com/events/119211208774316/

 

 

2017 Halloween Gala

Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center

Friday, October 27 at 6 PM - 10:30 PM

https://www.facebook.com/events/120376771971190/

 

 

Stella Barra Pizzeria Halloween Costume Party

Tuesday October 31, from 4 PM - 10 PM

https://twitter.com/StellaBarraNB/status/920266402249842688?s=03

 

Strathmore

Halloween Promotion Discount Code

Who doesn’t love Halloween? Costumes! Parties! Trick-or-treating! In honor of this fun and festive holiday, we’ve rustled up some scary good deals on upcoming concerts. Use promo code HALLOWEEN to get 25% off tickets for select seats to the following shows:

YASMIN LEVY & THE KLEZMATICS Nov 7

IRMA THOMAS WITH MEMBERS OF PRESERVATION HALL & THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA Nov 12

DAKHABRAKHA Nov 17

ARTURO O’FARRILL & THE AFRO LATIN JAZZ ORCHESTRA WITH DR. CORNEL WEST Feb 2

STEVEN PAGE & THE ART OF TIME ENSEMBLE Feb 3

Don’t delay—this offer expires at the stroke of midnight on October 31. Spooky!

 


The Ballad of Ranger Russ: One of Pike District's Most Interesting Characters

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mild-mannered game designer by day, outspoken mountain ranger by night -- all in the heart of Pike District.   

Russell Allen is a student in the Simulation and Digital Entertainment department at the University of Baltimore at Shady Grove. He also happens to have one of the most interesting jobs in Pike District.

Russell is a game designer at Rockville Panic Room, an escape room that recently opened in Pike District. You can read our profile of Rockville Panic Room here. He designs the layout of the escape rooms and creates the logic puzzles that have to be solved in the 60 minute time limit to win the game.

“I make sure all the puzzles and clues make sense and if people are getting stuck… I have to look at that and change it,” Allen explains. “I make sure it looks pretty and it works right and people have a good time.”

The challenge is designing a series of puzzles that can be adapted for players of all ages and skill levels. “It’s tricky,” Russell says.  “Our goal is we don’t want everyone to get out of the room quickly, we want them to get out with a minute left. So I have to design the room so it takes up almost the whole hour but…if you get out 15 minutes early that’s not a good game.”

Although Russell spends a lot of time in front of a computer, game design is only one part of his job. If you sign up to play Cabin Fever, one of the two escape rooms currently available at Rockville Panic Room, there’s a good chance you will meet Allen’s alter-ego, Ranger Russ.

Ranger Russ greets players in full costume when they arrive -- mountain ranger jersey, backpack, and Mountie hat -- and stays in character the entire game. After Ranger Russ checks you into the cabin, he monitors your progress on video and is always available on the two-way radio to give hints, answer questions and warn about the movement of an oncoming blizzard.

“We joke around on the radio a lot, the Cabin Fever one especially,” said Andrew Ma, the owner and Chief Escape Officer at Rockville Panic Room.  “It’s cheesy but people love it.”

Russell fully commits to his Ranger persona. “It’s fun. I love it. I can mess with them and push them in the right direction.”

Where does Russell find his motivation for his acting role?

“I think it all comes from playing Dungeons and Dragons,” he explains. “All the players I have are my players and I’m kind of like their dungeon master.”

In fact, Russell’s love of Dungeon and Dragons helped get him the job in the first place. When he interviewed, Ma asked Russell if he had played an escape room before. Russell had not, but he said the concept reminded him of Dungeons and Dragons.

“That is one of the big reasons I hired him,” Ma confirmed. “Because I used to play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons.”

While Russell enjoys the role of Ranger Russ, he does not want to be typecast. He is currently workshopping a Principal Russ character for Escape Detention, where groups are trapped in a middle school science classroom.

“I’m still working on that character,” Russell says. “They might be stuck on something and I’m like, ‘Let’s try this class. I see you all haven’t been doing your summer reading. That’s why you got detention.’”

With Rockville Panic Room in the process of adding prison and zombie-themed escape rooms, Russell will have more than enough chances to showcase his acting range.  

Rockville Panic Room is located at 12009 Nebel Road and is by appointment only. You can reserve a room online at www.texaspanicroom.com/rockville.


Interview With Michael & Son on Their DC Metro Bathroom Map

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It’s a situation everyone hopes to avoid. You are on the metro and you realize you need to use the bathroom. You look at the map to see the next stop. You have never been to that metro before and have no idea where to find the nearest restroom. What do you do?

Luckily, you now have an answer. Michael and Son Services, Inc., the local plumbing company that has served the area since 1976, recently embarked on a month-long journey to visit every stop on the DC metro and create an interactive online map showing the closest restroom to every station, including the three stops in Pike District: Grosvenor, White Flint and Twinbrook. They even included a five-star rating for ease of access. The profiles for each Pike District metro stop are below, along with additional photos to help you find your way.

You can view the map here.  

We reached out to Art Barletta, Digital Marketing Manager for Michael and Son, to learn more about how this innovate public service project began and how the restrooms in Pike District measure up.

Pike District: How did you come up with idea?

Michael & Son: As a leading plumbing and septic company in the Washington region, we wanted to create something that would be useful for our customers and the larger community. Metro's Safetrack program has lengthened commutes and made traveling by public transit considerably less comfortable this year. The Metro Bathroom Map seeks to improve one aspect of the situation by providing riders with a bathroom option while on the go. 

How many people were involved in scouting bathroom locations? Did people volunteer? Was this a fun project? 

We had a team of about 10 doing the scouting and taking notes for the Metro Bathroom Map.  Everyone involved was a local Washingtonian and we had many people who were excited to contribute to the map with their personal favorite bathrooms near metro stops. 

How long did the process take to compile the complete list? 

It took about a month for us to find the bathroom at each metro stop and write up the directions from the train platform to the restroom. There are over 100 stations in the metrorail system so it took a significant amount of time to gather all pertinent details. 

How long did you spend at each location searching around for bathrooms? 

We typically spent between 5 and 15 minutes per location.  

What metro stop was the most difficult to find a bathroom?

There were several stations along the green line across the river that had no accessible restrooms nearby. This has been indicated on the map. 

What metro stop had the best bathroom accommodations?

The new stations along the silver line have nice, easily accessible restrooms in the station. These are probably the most convenient. There are also a few stations with a grocery store right at the entrance that made for an easy bathroom stop. For example the SW Waterfront and the Potomac Avenue stop.  

What kind of reaction have you received? (customers, social media, media coverage, etc.)

Reaction to the map has been overwhelmingly positive. We have received lots of coverage in local publications such as DCist, Curbed, and Popville. Additionally, our customers and social media followers have all been supportive of the campaign and have helped get the word out!

[Left: DC Metro Map profile for Grosvenor Strathmore stop; Top Right: Front entrance to Meridian at Grosvenor Station; Bottom Right: View of Grosvenor metro entrance, Meridian is in the distance to the left of photo.]

Grosvenor – How did you end up at Meridian? You say “You may be able to use the restrooms, but not a guarantee.” Any story behind that? Did you have to talk your way into the bathroom?

Meridian was the only nearby building that seemed to be open regularly. The person who took notes for this stop said it would likely depend on who was working that day. Technically, it is not a public restroom, but in an emergency it would likely be an option.  

[Left: DC Metro Map profile for White Flint station; Top Right: McDonald’s on Rockville Pike, White Flint metro entrance in background of photo; Bottom Right: 7-11 in strip mall located just south of McDonald’s.]

White Flint – there are a lot of businesses across the street, how did you choose McDonald’s and 7-11?

During our research, we found that 7-11 stores seemed fairly reliable in terms of offering a restroom. Even when they were supposed to be for employees only, if you explained that it was an emergency, they often provided access.

[Left: DC Metro Map profile for Twinbrook; Top Right: Safeway across the street from Twinbrook Station driveway entrance; Bottom Right: Fuddrucker’s to the north of metro parking lot.]

Twinbrook – this appears to have been a relatively easy search. Any issues at this stop?
 
Twinbrook had many nearby options. Safeway had an easily accessible restroom but the Fuddruckers was just slightly easier to get to from the station exit.
 

Any overall impressions about the bathroom availability in Pike District? (Grosvenor got 2 stars and White Flint and Twinbrook got 3 stars for ease of access).

Compared to the stops along the silver line (with restrooms in the stations themselves) and some of the downtown DC stops (with dozens of options just steps away) the Pike District restrooms were slightly less accessible. Overall though, everyone at the local establishments was very friendly and many stores and restaurants located near Twinbrook, White Flint, and Grosvenor could be an option in a pinch!

 
 
 

New Rockville Panic Room Opens on Nebel Street

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Rockville Panic Room recently opened at 12009 Nebel Street. Andrew Ma, owner and Montgomery county native, sat down with Pike District to explain what a panic room is and why he brought one to Pike District.

Andrew Ma gets quizzical looks whenever he wears his company’s apparel in public. “When you wear a shirt that says ‘Texas Panic Room,’ it always brings up a discussion,” Ma jokes.

If you have never heard of a panic room, or escape room as they are commonly called, you are not alone. The interactive game, which started in Japan 15 years ago and quickly swept through Europe, has only recently gained popularity in the U.S.

So, what exactly is an escape room?

Escape rooms are a new form of themed entertainment where players are trapped in a room and have 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles to get out. Each room has a different theme, like a log cabin, a classroom or a dungeon. 

The concept sounds a little strange until you try it. Even Ma, who opened Rockville Panic Room in March, was initially skeptical.  “At first when I heard about [the escape room concept] it sounded kind of silly,” Ma concedes. “You lock people in a room for an hour and I am going to pay for that? You should be paying me.”

But Ma, who is an equity analyst, quickly changed his tune when he looked at the financials. “After I saw the numbers on it I was like ‘wow’ there’s something here.” Ma became a silent investor in Texas Panic Room, an escape room chain with six locations throughout Texas, and when the company looked to expand to the East Coast, Ma, a Montgomery County native, jumped at the opportunity. 

He thought the Bethesda/Rockville area had similar demographics to Austin, Texas, home of the company’s most successful escape room and believes his Rockville location could eventually be even more popular.

After scouring potential spaces in the area, he quickly concluded that Pike District was the perfect fit. “Coming from a finance and accounting background, the bottom line is very important,” Ma explained. The Nebel Street location checked all the boxes on his wish list: central location, plentiful parking, metro accessibility, and reasonable rent.

Once he had the location, it was time to design the escape rooms. As Ma gives a tour of the various rooms – some finished, some still under construction – you can tell he enjoys his job: “I like getting involved in this because the concept is fun.”

Ma shows off a “prison escape” game that is under construction, complete with jail cells, a warden’s office and even an authentic prison toilet shipped from Texas. As we enter a storage room, he points to a large coffin sitting in the corner that will eventually be part of a zombie-themed room.

Right now, there are two escape rooms open to the public – Cabin Fever and Escape Detention. The Pike District location has the capacity for up to five rooms and the plan is to introduce a new game every six months. 

[Andrew Ma, Chief Escape Officer, plays chess with Russell Allen, one of the game designers, in the cabin-themed escape room.]

Escape Detention, which is the easiest of the two, looks like a sixth-grade science class with grade-school desks, lockers, and a table full of beakers. Just because it’s the easiest, does not mean you will definitely escape. Every group moves at its own pace. Case in point, a group of 11-year olds recently escaped the classroom with 56 seconds remaining while a group of adults on a corporate retreat could not beat the deadline.

The harder option, Cabin Fever, challenges groups to escape a secluded ski resort in the wake of an on-coming blizzard. We cannot give away too many details but can attest that it feels like you just checked into a ski lodge when you walk through the door.

And it’s not just the rooms that are decorated. The staff ordered outfits to go along with each theme, like a sheriff’s shirt with fake Billy clubs and mountain ranger jerseys, backpacks, and Mountie hats. “We try to get into the role of things,” Ma said. “You are supposed to feel that immersiveness in a game. We like that part. I think the clients like it.”

They even have graduation caps and pin-wheel hats for group photos after Escape Detention. The hat you get depends on whether you escape or not.

Rockville Panic Room is also developing a kid-friendly arcade-themed room and has additional space for birthday parties, as well as a conference room for corporate outings. Ma expects almost one third of clients will be corporate retreats and team-building exercises during the week.

Rockville Panic Room is by appointment only and must be booked at least three hours in advance. You can reserve a room online at www.texaspanicroom.com/rockville.


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