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Day: 210 Ronald and Me at the new McD's

Ronald McDonald & Carter (great face!)

There are three McDonald’s located in Bethesda and I know them all too well.  I’m not proud of the fact I know them well but my boys have a McDonald’s chicken nugget obsession and I indulge them.  We frequent the McDonald’s at Montgomery Mall, the McDonald’s on Pearl Street (between Montgomery Ave. and East-West Highway), and tonight’s blog the “new” McDonald’s on River Road.  The River Road McDonald’s, the first in Montgomery County, has undergone a major $500K+ modern facelift.

I finally meet Ronald McDonald!

This year McDonald’s has plans to “re-image” the standard McDonald’s look with a more contemporary look more reminiscent of Starbucks.  And our River Road McDonald’s is sporting the “new” image McDonald’s will likely have for the next 25 years .  Now there’s stone on the exterior and the large Golden Arches have been replaced with a curved ribbon of gold above the entrance.  The interior now looks like something you would see in Architectural Digest depicting the latest modern cuisine in New York.  Stools replace most of the booths, and round seating with “leather” seats provides much more comfortable dining.  High tables with stools and  flat-screen TVs, and free wi-fi now greet you as well.  According to the company, McDonald’s sales jump 7 percent in remodeled stores and they plan to remodel 600 stores in 2011.

The new Golden Arch!

The River Road McDonald’s has been running specials all month leading up to their grand re-opening on Sunday July 31.  Today we just happened to stop by and got to see Ronald McDonald in the flesh.  Man he hasn’t aged a day in all the years I’ve known him.  How does he do that? ~Brian

Day 205: BOGO Burger Day at Parker's Restaurant

Burger Day!

It’s Monday and that means it’s Burger Day at Parker’s Restaurant.  Parker’s is located at 4824 Bethesda Ave. and offers a casual dining area and sports bar.  Come dressed any way you like.  As we described on Day 37, we love going to Parker’s for happy hour between 3 PM – 6 PM weekdays.  Since it’s across the street from our office, it’s our own Cheers for RE/MAX!

Our cheeseburgers

Have the Monday blues?  A burger makes it better!  Take it from us – we just ate a couple!  The Monday deal is this – buy one burger (and two drinks) and you get the second burger for only $0.99.  Parker’s burgers are fresh-grilled and tasty.  There are four burger options: a good old-fashioned cheeseburger, the hickory burger, the bayou burger and the roasted Portobello burger.  We both opted for the cheeseburgers today but instead of fries, Brian tried a side of asparagus.  They were big, fat, nicely grilled asparagus stalks and they were really tasty!

The Restaurant

Parker’s is a great place to party and August 20th they are throwing their own 20th birthday party. The details are posted on their Facebook page which you can check out right here.  There will be a DJ, drink specials, food specials, door prizes, a raffle and more.  Sounds like fun.   I am sure they will have the drinks flowin’, the music hoppin’ and the food cookin’!  Let’s party!

~Amy

Day 204: After Movie Treat – Haagen Dazs

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Häagen Dazs

I have a good friend who uses the expression, “That was top 5” referring to some place, meal, or other material object.  The phrase means that the particular subject would rank in his personal “top five” of best experiences of his life.  Well the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema is “Top 5” for me with this caveat.  Part of what makes the experience great is the after movie ice-cream cone I used to enjoy at the adjacent Gifford’s Ice Cream shop.  Needless to say I was very disappointed when Gifford’s closed, amid litigation with the owners of Gifford’s and an investor who purchased the previous eight locations.  Stepping into the void left by the closed Gifford’s store is competitor Häagen Dazs in the former Gifford’s location.  They’ve been there a few weeks now.

Special Cones

In the 1960s Häagen Dazs was founded by Reuben and Rose Mattus of Brooklyn, New York.  The name implies an “old-world” origin of the company, like Holland or Denmark, but really it’s just a savvy New Yorker whose mother used to make and sell ice-cream from a horse-drawn wagon on the streets of the Bronx.  In the beginning there were just three flavors –chocolate, vanilla and coffee.  Today one can enjoy over two dozen classic flavors and more than a half-dozen “limited edition” flavors such as Sweet Chai Latte which is purported to be “inspired by the distinctive tastes of India.”  It’s chai tea blended with rich, “velvety” ice cream.  My favorite is Mint Chip.  As Häagen Dazs’ website states it really is “delightfully refreshing and invigorating.” They describe it as natural mint essence infused into a smooth, creamy base, with rich chocolate flavored chips added for the perfect finish to this cool treat.”  With 300 calories in a 1/2 a cup (that’s less than a scoop) and 60% of your daily requirement of saturated fat, this ice-cream could be a real life saver in an emergency.  Let’s say the federal government shuts down and chaos ensues.  Or I bet the 15 people stranded on that uninhabited island near Guam recently could have used a little saturated fat – don’t you think?  Anyway, after a great movie at Landmark, such as academy award nominee Incendies, DEFINITELY A TOP 5 MOVIE, stop in and enjoy a treat at Häagen Dazs.  However, if nothing but the classic Washingtonian Gifford’s will do then stop by the recently re-opened Chevy Chase Gifford’s (under the old management) near the Clyde’s Restaurant in Friendship Heights. ~Brian

Day 203: Bethesda Outdoor Movies

BUP logo 2011

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, July 26th to Saturday, July 30th to enjoy movies under the stars!  Bethesda Outdoor Movies, hosted by Bethesda Urban Partnership, has a terrific lineup for its 2011 summer movie series.  Here is the schedule for a this fun and FREE event:

Tuesday, July 26:  The Breakfast Club – This one is a true 80’s cult classic.  It’s rated R (sorry kids), but anyone who wore shoulder pads and big hair in the 80’s will appreciate this flick!  Too much fun!

Wednesday, July 27:  Bye, Bye Birdie – All I know of this one is that it’s a 60’s era film.  An oldie but a goodie.  NR

Thursday, July 28:  The King’s Speech – One of my favorite modern movies!  If you didn’t see it in the theater earlier this year, it would be a great choice for your Bethesda Outdoor Movie selection!  (Rated R)

Friday: July 29:  Rocky – A feel-good boxing classic.  The theme music is ringing in my head now!  Rated PG

Saturday, July 30:  The Social Network – Surprisingly a really great film in my opinion.  Who knew that Justin Timberlake could act?!  And quite well, I might add.  The movie is entertaining, interesting and fun.  Rated PG-13.

So bring your lawn chairs and your honey to Woodmont Triangle at the corner of Norfolk & Auburn Aves. The shows begin at 9 PM sharp and I have no idea what they do if it’s raining.  Might be fun to find out though.  The seating area is actually on the street so a blanket won’t do much for you on the ground.   Chairs are definitely recommended.  You might also think about some bug spray too.  There are quite a few restaurants around so food and drinks are all taken care of.  Enjoy a romantic night under the stars at the 7th annual Bethesda Outdoor Movie Series.   ~Amy

Day 202: Tia Queta – A Little Bit of Mexico in Bethesda

The boldly-colored Tia Queta on Del Ray Ave

A few days ago, Brian and I were invited to attend a happy hour party at Tia Queta for a friend leaving the area.  Tia Queta is located at 4839 Del Ray Ave.  I had never been there before and didn’t even know where it was.  It was a warm evening and we were late (as usual) but even though it was a Friday evening and the busy dinner hour, parking in the public lot next door was no problem at all.  Now that area parking lots offer Pay-By-Cell, we didn’t have to run to the car to re-fill the meter either.

When you walk in the door of the unassuming, yet boldly colored Tia Queta, you immediately feel transported to Mexico.  The festive music and brightly colored murals on the walls begin your attitude adjustment until such time as the tequila can finish the job!  On this particular evening, our party was held upstairs on their rooftop terrace.  What fun!  The evening was warm and so was our greeting.  The casual atmosphere of the rooftop terrace was the perfect backdrop for a lively gathering of friends.  We really felt like we were somewhere in Mexico, far away from busy Bethesda.

Tia Queta

The drinks came first – mostly margaritas and Coronas of course.  Then came some wonderfully prepared dishes of all kinds.  The nachos and quesadillas were truly mouth-watering.  Loved the salsa too.  I think we also had what they call “miniature enchilada verdes.”  Sooo yummy!  I lived in San Diego for several years and enjoyed authentic Mexican food often.  The closest I have come to that since then is Tia Queta – and that’s saying something.

I am looking forward to a trip back sometime soon to enjoy a full dinner and perhaps some sopapillas for dessert.  I also noticed that Tia Queta offers catering services – an ideal option for a summer party.  But one of the best things that stuck with me about my visit to Tia Queta was the service and care offered by its owner, Roberto Montesinos, and his staff.  We received a warm greeting when we arrived and a big thank you when we left.  It felt like we had been visiting someone’s Mexican home.  If you have never stopped in for a meal at Tia Queta in its 31 years in Bethesda, it’s never too late to try it.  You’ll be glad you did.  ¡Buen Provecho!     ~Amy

Day 201: Heat Wave Bethesda 2011

The heat wave begins in Bethesda.  Temperatures in the 100’s have arrived!  What will you do to cool off?

We recommend a swim at Bethesda Pool, shave ice at Clayboys, Calder’s Cart or a Swirl at Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Restaurant – and NOT necessarily in that order!

Stay cool everyone….  Amy & Brian

Shave Ice Flavors

 

Swirl from Rio Grande

Day 200: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Restaurant Week…again!

BUP logo 2011

It’s that time again, time for Bethesda Restaurant Week.  It’s a great excuse to get out and enjoy a good meal at an affordable price.  Try a new dish at one of your favorite restaurants or give a restaurant a try that you have never experienced before.  The 28 participating Bethesda and Chevy Chase restaurants are listed on the Bethesda Urban Partnership website.  Lunches are $12 – $15 and dinners are $30…well except for Le Vieux Logis who is offering $29 dinners just to really shake things up!

Some of our favorite participating restaurants include:

Assagi Mozzarella Bar

Food, Wine & Co

The Irish Inn at Glen Echo

Jaleo

Le Vieux Logis

Mon Ami Gabi

Raku

and Redwood Restaurant

But we have yet to try some of the places on the BUP list.  Perhaps this will be our chance to find a new favorite!  Any suggestions?

~Amy

Day 199: Take the plunge!

Bethesda Community Pool

It’s been awhile since I visited the Bethesda Community Pool located at Little Falls Parkway and Hillandale Road near the Capital Crescent Trail.  I used to live in the Kenwood Forest townhome community nearby and take my older girls here all the time.

Late one afternoon last week I visited the pool with my youngest son.  We had a blast.  Since the last time I visited they’ve built an entirely new six-lane 25 meter lap pool on the property.  The main pool is in the shape of a “Z” and features a 50 meter long course and a shorter 25 meter course that goes into the well of the diving area.  The diving area includes a large slide.  My son is not quite able to handle the deep-end yet so, to much disappointment, he has to wait probably until next year before he can give the slide a try.

New Lap Pool

The pool is open weekdays 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. and weekends 12 noon to 8:00 p.m.  Did you have a paper route as a child?  If so they have an “early bird lap swim” from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Not that early really.  The pool features a pool house with his and hers entrances.  First you have to check in with the staff and there are numerous options for paying to use the pool.  The easiest way to enter the pool is with a pool pass.  Click here to apply.  You have to be a Montgomery County resident to apply (and yes they will verify residency) and a Family Pass for up to four people is $275 ($20 each person thereafter) for the season.  A couple can get a “Pair” pass for $240.  There is no gender requirement for a couple you just need to reside at the same address.  An individual pass will set you back $195 and seniors get $20 off that.  A senior couple gets in for the summer for $230.  Speaking of the senior rate, that begins at only 55!  The older I get the younger 55 seems.

Now maybe you’re like me and you just want to pay as you go.  Each trip to the pool will cost $6 for an adult and $4 for a child; seniors at $4.50.  If you come in after 5:30 for the “twilight” swim the cost is reduced by 50¢ to $1.00.  As if that was not enough, you can also get a “P12 Card” good for 12 visits for the price of 10.  If all this is confusing just call the pool at (301) 652-1598.  I’m surprised the County has not yet developed an iPhone app for all this!

Speaking of technology.  When we were paying for our “twilight” pass the other day I noticed people zipping through the line next to me courtesy of a finger ID technology the County has up and running at the entrance.  What you do is put your forefinger in a device that scans your fingerprint and then records your visit.  Not sure what happens if your fingerprint does not match or you are on the “no-dive” terrorist list.  Perhaps you’re forced into the baby pool for a dunking of noticeably warmer water.  Why is the water so much warmer and slightly discolored there anyway? The next time the temperature starts to soar, head on over and instead of just putting a timid toe in the water, put your finger in the scanner! ~ Brian

Day 189: Would Norman Rockwell have painted this park?

Woodacres Park

After I was born I came home from the hospital to a small brick colonial located on Newburn Drive in the bedroom community of Wood Acres.  The Wood Acres neighborhood is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue to the west, River Road to the east and Goldsboro Road to the north and along its southern edge residents here enjoy a very unique and special park.  There are not many neighborhoods in Bethesda that have a park in the middle of the neighborhood and there are fewer still that have a park that is adjacent to the elementary school (recently renovated Wood Acres Elementary).  The proximity of the park next to the large ball fields of the elementary school results in park that meets a wide variety of outdoor needs including soccer, softball, baseball, and a number of special activities held here.  To enter the park take Massachusetts Avenue to Wynwood Road and drive to end where it dead ends into Woodacres Park.

Zip Line

In 1999, the residents of Wood Acres formed a citizens group called Friends of Wood Acres Park to raise funds to renovate the 10.4 acre park that includes two tennis courts and a basketball court. The park renovation and fundraising was a huge success with funding topping over $100,000.  Contributions from the Wood Acres Citizens Association, neighbors, friends, and businesses made up nearly 70% of the funds raised to renovate the park.  The result is a wonderfully updated park featuring an array of new playground equipment, benches, swings, slides, and a bike friendly “highway” that circles the park.  The newly renovated park was re-dedicated on July 4, 2001 during one of the highly acclaimed annual Independence Day celebrations that Wood Acres has become famous for.  The annual 4th of July parade, complete with competing floats from various streets and local political leaders, culminates at the Woodacres Park where citizen volunteers await to serve soft drinks, hot dogs, ice-cream and other treats.  Seriously, as my brother Matthew says of Wood Acres, “It’s Norman Rockwell come to life.”

Woodacres Park

My kids love to come here and climb all over the equipment (especially the play equipment that resembles a train), chase each other around the rubberized highway, jump on the “zip line”, and have me push them high on the swings.  Situated under the canopy of large mature trees, this park gets just the right mixture of sun and shade all year-long,  The park, as well as the community’s spirit, are truly one of Bethesda’s treasures and would have made great canvass for our beloved Norman Rockwell. ~Brian

Day 188: The Original Pancake House

The Original Pancake House

Today we stopped by one of our favorite breakfast stops –  The Original Pancake House located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue (located in the office triangle between Woodmont Avenue, Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenues).  The Original Pancake House was founded in Portland, Oregon in 1953 and has since expanded to over 100 restaurants from New Jersey to California.  We start off our order with real fresh-squeezed orange juice that is so refreshing.  Today my young boys got their chocolate milk in a small styrofoam cup with a lid reminiscent of a coffee top from Starbucks.  They were really cute.  The portions here are huge so consider ordering just one order and splitting it with another adult.  One of my personal favorites here is a side of bacon.  They prepare very thick cut bacon that is quite lean.  I ordered one of my favorites here the blueberry pancakes.  Pancakes have been around a long time but The Original Pancake House really knows how to make perfectly fluffy pancakes that are both light but nicely textured.  The secret they say is their recipe for “old-fashioned sourdough yeast” that they use in their pancake batter.   It is grown in their own kitchens from a culture of potatoes, flour and sugar.  When the blueberry pancakes arrive they have a small cup of blueberry syrup with real whole blueberries in the syrup.  Wow it’s mouth-watering again just thinking about them.  Amy often orders the Georgia Pecan Pancakes that are filled and topped with hot toasted pecans and lightly dusted with powdered sugar.  They really have a great breakfast menu with everything including waffles, crepes, eggs (any style), cereals, and omelets.  They also serve a great lunch as well.

Lots of fun before or after the meal outside

If you come on the weekends be prepared to wait to be seated as the line can get pretty crowded some days.  The good news is there is practically a park for the kids to play at in the courtyard just outside the restaurant.  I blogged about this a few days ago.  After breakfast the kids went outside to play at the fountain but instead decided to terrorize the other patrons in the restaurant by gawking at themselves in the mirrored windows of the restaurant.  They could see their own reflections in the windows but did not realize the people trying to enjoy their meals inside were on the other side and really wouldn’t enjoy seeing two boys smile and make syrup covered faces at them.  Quickly we got the boys focused on the fountains and other ways to traumatize me instead.  The Original Pancake House and the courtyard is a great place for kids and a great meal.  The restaurant also gives back to the community by hosting an annual Christmas breakfast for the homeless and the needy.   Their website describes the event “[They] coordinate with local social services agencies to serve a free breakfast to almost 500 invitation-only guests. Close to 100 volunteers have made this an annual holiday ritual, each bringing a new hat, scarf, or pair of gloves as gifts for the guests in addition to pitching in to cook, serve and clean up afterwards. Monetary donations are used to provide blankets, toiletries, and clothing. There are even volunteer musicians who serenade the guests with carols.”  Stop by and enjoy a visit to The Original Pancake House.  ~Brian

Day 187: Enjoy the Arts this Weekend in Bethesda

Summers in Bethesda are a wonderful time to enjoy eating at our many fine restaurants, walking around the town, visiting with friends and catching some local entertainment.  One of the great things Bethesda offers is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the arts and this weekend is no exception.

ArtWalk 2011 logo from Bethesda Urban Partnership

July 8 – Bethesda Art Walk

As we posted on Day 42 of Bethesda365, the galleries and studios of Bethesda offer Art Walk every second Friday of the month from 6 – 9 PM.  You can ride the circulator for free to visit the galleries which stay open late for this event.  Check out the route for the Circulator here.  Call 301-215-6660 with questions.

 July 9 – Bethesda Artist Market

Enjoy fine art & crafts from 25 local and regional artists including jewelry, blown glass, painting, photography, pottery and more.  Plus enjoy some live entertainment while you stroll around.   This FREE event is located at Norfolk Ave between Fairmont & St. Elmo from 10 AM -5 PM.

July 10 – Open Door Reading

From 2 PM – 4 PM, author Joan Gussow and poet W. Perry Epes will offer readings at The Writer’s Center which is located at 4508 Walsh St.  This FREE event is geared toward attendees aged 18 and older. Call 301-654-8664 with any questions.

Enjoy the opportunity to appreciate the arts this weekend in Bethesda.     ~Amy

Day 186: Vapiano Pasta | Pizza | Bar

Vapiano Outdoor Seating

My daughter suggested we try Vapiano tonight located at 4900 Hampden Lane.  I had lunch here once before and I must admit that the European concept threw me off at first but tonight I think I grasped the idea much better.  Here’s the setup.  You arrive at the restaurant and you are given a plastic card from a friendly and helpful greeter at the front desk, much like a credit card, and then you take this card with you to one or more of several food stations located along the far wall of the restaurant.  The cleverly and well-appointed “fresh casual” restaurant features Italian decor.  Above the “chefs” are clever drawings and expressions, many in Italian and quite a few in English.  I liked the quote featured in the picture below so much I had to share it with you (click on the photo to read).  The restaurant is very warm and inviting with nice high ceiling and wide-plank wood floors.

Clever Sayings

Once you’ve figured out what you want to eat (which is a bit trial and error) your meal is then prepared fresh before your eyes by skilled chefs at one of several stations.  These include hand-tossed pizza and antipasti, fresh made pasta, and salads.  There is also a full service bar.  Vapiano is a world-wide success with 70 restaurants around the globe and another 100, that’s right 100, planned to open soon.

Tonight I ordered a specialty pizza just the way I like it and the crust was thin, crunchy and really quite good.  I paired the pizza with the Sauvignon Blanc I’ve talked about before called Fire Road from New Zealand (pleasantly surprised they had it at the well stocked bar).  My daughter ordered the Chicken Alfredo and shared just ONE bite because she was feeling quite territorial about it.  I understood why after I savored the delicious creamy sauce!

Our delicious meal

We really enjoyed ourselves tonight and Vapiano was just voted “BEST ITALIAN 2011” by Washington City Paper readers and it’s easy to understand why.  With an innovative serving format, including cool technologically savvy “chip cards”, reasonably priced menu, and great tasting food it’s no wonder they’ve become an international success story practically overnight.  Tonight, after seriously chowing down, my daughter complained about her proverbial “food baby.”  As for me, it’s a good thing this restaurant is located below my favorite gym Equinox because I could become a regular! ~Brian

Day 185: Puppet Co Playhouse – Summer Fun for the Little One

The Puppet Co at Glen Echo Park

Once upon a time I was a stay-at-home parent of little ones.  I can remember in those days (especially in the summer) desperately seeking something new and interesting to do to entertain the kids – and me too!  There are only so many times you can visit the same parks or the play pit at the mall.  And when it’s hot and sticky outside, you just have to find some indoor fun to keep everyone occupied that doesn’t involve watching TV or movies.

Here’s a great option for you that’s very affordable too!  If you haven’t visited before, and you live in or around Bethesda or NW DC, try a visit to The Puppet Co Playhouse at Glen Echo Park located at 7300 MacArthur Blvd.

This award-winning theater opened in 1983 and has offered performances to over 1.7 million people and counting, according to their website!  The 250-seat theater was designed specifically for puppet shows which are offered year-round.  Just about every six weeks you can look forward to a new, professionally designed show using puppets of all kinds!  The kids love it and you will too.  In fact, it will probably make you feel like a kid again.

There are generally two styles of shows offered at different times – one for toddlers and another for pre-K to elementary school kids. Tiny Tots  is offered at 10:00 AM on various days of the week and is designed specifically for the youngest audiences.  The shows last only 30 minutes, the lights are kept on and the doors are open so that no one gets scared.  The shows are only $5 and sure to please.

Here is a list of their upcoming shows for the month of July 2011:

July 9 – “Penguins’ Playground” – Sat., 10 a.m.
July 10 – “Old MacDonald’s Farm”– Sun., 10 a.m.
July 13 – “Penguins’ Playground” – Wed., 10 a.m.
July 16 – “Dragon Bandwagon” – Sat., 10 a.m.
July 17 – “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” – Sun., 10 a.m.
July 24 – “Baby Bear’s Birthday” – Sun., 10 a.m.
July 27 – “Baby Bear’s Birthday” – Wed., 10 a.m.

and July 31 – “Kooky Kreatures” – Sun., 10 a.m.

For the older audience, pre-K to about 4th grade, stop by and enjoy a 50-minute show for $10.  Through July 17th, they are showing “The Great Dinosaur Mystery!”  Then from July 22nd – September 4th, enjoy the delights of “The Wizard of Oz” like you’ve never heard the story told before.  You might book early for this popular show!

Showtimes are:

Thursdays & Fridays – 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Saturdays & Sundays – 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Plus there will be an ASL performance of The Wizard of Oz on August 14 at 1 pm.  This summer I hope you enjoy  a change of pace from the same old things and venture out to Glen Echo Park for a Puppet Co performance.  Your kiddo will be glad you did.     ~Amy

Day 184: Happy 4th of July Bethesda!

The Fireworks Display over the National Mall 2011...from our living room

This 235th celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence was experienced in our town like every other across the nation today.  There were neighborhood parades, countless numbers of backyard barbeques and gatherings of family and friends dressed in red, white and blue.  Of course, there were fireworks displays too but in Bethesda where the pyrotechnics are not legal, many people journey a few miles down the road to the Capital and enjoy the annual fireworks display on the National Mall.  This year a record number of attendees showed up for the annual celebration of our nation’s independence.

A beautiful view with the Capital in the foreground

As for Brian and me, well, we opted to enjoy the National Independence Day celebration on the Mall from the comforts of our living room – as did many Bethesda residents, I’m sure.  Here are some of our favorite shots, regrettably blurry as they were taken of our TV from our cell phone!  LOL!  Oh well, you get the idea.  Happy 4th of July Friends!  We hope it was wonderful for you and your families.

Day 183: Unleash Your Inner Artist at the Yellow Barn Studio

Yellow Barn Studio

Inside of many of us you’ll find the soul of an artist – a dancer, a painter, a writer, a photographer.  Few lucky people have found a way to make their art become their livelihood but if you, like me, have an artist inside with no outlet to express it, you’re in luck.  If you live in or around Bethesda, there is a place for you to unleash your inner artist (talented or not!) at the Yellow Barn Studio & gallery at Glen Echo Park.

Founded in 1994 by Walter Bartman who continues to serve as its Director today, the Yellow Barn was created to bring together a community of artists and provide a means to show their work, grow and improve their skills, and ultimately sell their work.  Additionally, Mr. Bartman has been teaching art in the Bethesda area for over 30 years including some time spent as an instructor at Walt Whitman High School.  He continues to serve our community as a teacher through the many classes offered at the Yellow Barn Studio.  The classes cater to the absolute beginner (like me!) to the skilled technician, thus far serving over 9,000 students since 1994.

The Glen Echo Park’s website offers a comprehensive list of classes available to try your hand at drawing or painting including watercolor, oil and acrylics.  Prices appear to range anywhere from $145 – $295 and are offered all throughout the summer.

Gallery Hours

If your interest in art is simply limited to the appreciation of it, you will still want to stop by the Yellow Barn Gallery on Saturdays and Sundays between 12 PM – 5 PM  to enjoy the exhibitions.  You can also support the arts in our community by joining the Friends of the Yellow Barn to promote the ongoing programs there and scholarships for students, among other perks.  Lastly, every month or so, the Stone Tower Artist-In-Residence program showcases the works of a featured local artist providing an opportunity for the public to stop by and see the artist in action or hear lectures in the studio.  This month you can enjoy the talents of Barbara French Pace who specializes in landscape paintings using oil and some acrylics and pastels.  She is offering art talks on Sundays from 1 – 2 PM.

Enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the world of art, explore your inner creative skills or just appreciate the fine works of the artists in residence at the Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery. While you’re there, perhaps you could take in a ride on the old Carousel as well!     ~Amy