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Bethesda is the Best in October

Capital Crescent Trail between mile marker 6.0 and 6.5

Capital Crescent Trail between mile marker 6.0 and 6.5

Bethesda is truly a wonderful place to be in the fall and there is no better time than the month of October.  The leaves begin to change color and the air cools off but remains warm enough to sport a light sweater or jacket and a comfy light scarf.  Take a walk on the ever-popular Capital Crescent Trail and perhaps you’ll spot a deer, a fox or an owl hovering in the trees.  Oh, and there’s always pumpkin this-and-that to grab at one of the 180+ area restaurants.  C’mon, you know you want that taste of fall no matter how cliche!

Looking for something to do besides eating and drinking in Bethesda?  For you more adventurous types, check out our concerts, classes, exhibits and events around town at the non-profit Bethesda Urban Partnership or “BUP”.  Established in 1994, the organization creates and promotes a variety of  events and festivals for the community.

Sculptures on Woodmont Ave.

Sculptures on Woodmont Ave.

One of our favorite events is the upcoming Bethesda Row Arts Festival scheduled this year for Saturday, October 15th, 2016 from 11 AM -6 PM and Sunday, October 16th, 2016 from 10 AM – 5 PM.  The event is FREE…. What’s not to love?!

Oh right, you won’t love the parking!  Perhaps try parking just outside of town at the Bethesda Pool and walking into town on the Capital Crescent Trail (about 1/2 mile).  At this time of year, it’s a perfect stroll and you’ll pop right out onto Bethesda Ave in the heart of the festival.  Enjoy!

 

Sold! Charming Colonial with Room to Play!

5810 Augusta Lane, Bethesda located in Glen Mar Park

5810 Augusta Lane, Bethesda located in Glen Mar Park

5810 Augusta Lane, Bethesda, MD 20816

List Price: $819,000 – SOLD!  Call for sale price.

Click Home Tour to see the additional photos and floorplan tour.

Ideally located in Glen Mar Park off Massachusetts Ave, this classic brick colonial features a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, new cabinetry, granite countertops and tile flooring.  Formal living room with wood-burning fireplace & mantle opens to a screened porch with a ceiling fan.  Spacious family room off the kitchen and a convenient bathroom and laundry area on the main floor. Upstairs you will find an en-suite master bedroom plus a hall bath and two additional bedrooms with hardwood floors.  The finished basement includes a recreation room and a fully renovated bathroom.

Back yard with deck and trellis with mature vines.

Back yard with deck and trellis with mature vines.

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Fully renovated kitchen!

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Elegant traditional floorplan

There is room to play in the generous fenced backyard!  The spacious deck is perfect for entertaining with built-in seating and a trellis for shade.  Plenty of room to expand the home on this property, if desired.

The Glen Mar Park community offers a playground just steps from the home and annual parties and events.  Convenient shopping is available nearby including Whole Foods, Starbucks, CVS & Rite Aid, Giant Foods, Safeway, and several restaurants including the popular Praline Bakery and Bistro.

The Capital Crescent Trail is close by.  Enjoy an easy commute to DC with access to the Metro bus to Friendship Heights at Massachusetts Ave or catch the D5 commuter bus direct to DC.

Enjoy some of the finest schools in the nation including Woodacres Elementary, Pyle Middle School and Walt Whitman High School.

Popular Capital Crescent Trail nearby

Popular Capital Crescent Trail nearby

Just steps to the community playground!

Just steps to the community playground!

Please contact Brian and Amy Maury for information on this truly special home.

Listed by: Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652.

Sold! A Contemporary Work of Art – 6102 Namakagan Rd, Bethesda

6102 Namakgan Rd, Bethesda, Listed by Maury Real Estate

6102 Namakgan Rd, Bethesda, Listed by Maury Real Estate

See Property Photos and Floorplans:  6102 Namakagan Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Glen Echo Heights

List Price:  $1,229,000 – Call for sold price.

Amazing light and airy spaces in this contemporary home bring the outside in.

Amazing light and airy spaces in this contemporary home bring the outside in.

This stunning 5-bedroom contemporary home is a work of art! A sunroom/family room addition with exposed wood beams & floor-to-ceiling windows opens to a renovated chef’s kitchen. Two-story addition features a master bedroom suite on the upper level & an au pair/in-law suite w/private entrance on the main level. Three fully renovated baths in 2015. Multi-level deck & fully fenced yard. A private oasis.

The backyard offers a multi-level deck and a private oasis!

The backyard offers a multi-level deck and a private oasis!

The location of the Glen Echo Heights Community offers easy access to buses and a quick driving commute to DC via McArthur Blvd or Sangamore Rd.  Plentiful shopping options with nearby Whole Foods, Giant, Starbucks, RiteAid, CVS, Praline Bakery and more!  The nearby Capital Crescent Trail is also a convenient and popular community feature, as are the bike/walking path along McArthur Blvd.  

Master bathroom plus two additional upstairs baths have all been renovated in 2015.

Master bathroom plus two additional upstairs baths have all been renovated in 2015.

Enjoy the historic charm and community events at Glen Echo Park including the popular carousel – a summertime favorite.  Nearby Irish Inn at Glen Echo is a popular restaurant/pub with live entertainment regularly. The private Mohican Pool is available to residents in the area and has been recently renovated.  You just can’t beat this location!

Enjoy some of the best schools in the countryWoodacres Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Whitman High Schools

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!  See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652.

For a private showing or more information, contact Brian and Amy Maury.

Sold! Charming Wood Acres Colonial – 5909 Cobalt Rd, Bethesda

Charming Wood Acres colonial at 5909 Cobalt Rd

Charming Wood Acres colonial at 5909 Cobalt Rd

See Property Photos and Floorplans:  5909 Cobalt Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Wood Acres

LIST PRICE:  $889,000 – Sold over the asking price!  Call for details.

This charming colonial is one-of-a-kind! It offers a circular floorplan with an expanded and updated kitchen open to a breakfast room plus a cozy family room with exposed brick wall.  The breakfast room opens to a large deck and a deep, level fenced yard with a shed.

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Multi-level deck with large backyard.

The main floor is enhanced by a convenient half-bath plus a main floor office or bedroom.

There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs including an en-suite master.

Off-street parking is available in the driveway.  The front yard and thoughtfully enhanced with raised flower beds and blooming bushes further enhancing the home’s street appeal.  Seriously, this is a cream puff!

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Kitchen island with eating bar. Main floor den through door pictured on right.

Located in popular Wood Acres, the community offers festivals and events throughout the year for its residents including the famous 4th of July celebration at Wood Acres Park.

The location of Wood Acres Community offers easy access to buses and a quick driving commute to DC.  Plentiful shopping options with nearby Whole Foods, Giant, Starbucks, RiteAid, CVS, Praline Bakery and more!  The nearby Capital Crescent Trail is also a convenient and popular community feature.

Enjoy some of the best schools in the countryWoodacres Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Whitman High Schools

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!  See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652.

For a private showing or more information, contact Brian and Amy Maury.

Sold! 5108 Lawton Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

5108 Lawton DR, Bethesda, MD 20816

5108 Lawton DR, Bethesda, MD 20816

See Property Photos and Floorplans:  5108 Lawton Dr, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Sumner

LIST PRICE!  $829,000  – Call for final sales price

This remodeled rambler is ideally located on a quiet cul-de-sac in popular Sumner. Updated kitchen with painted wood cabinets, granite counters and stainless steel appliances.

Remodeled kitchen at 5108 Lawton Dr

Remodeled kitchen at 5108 Lawton Dr

Fully remodeled baths on the main level. Newer windows and hardwoods throughout main floor.

Family room with sliding door to deck

Family room with sliding door to deck

The family room with its vaulted ceiling opens to a roomy deck overlooking the private backyard. Office or 4th bedroom option adjacent to family room.

The master bedroom offers a private fully renovated bath with vanity and shower.  The spacious basement with 440 sq. ft. offers a generous second family room with fireplace, plus tons of storage space, a half-bath and a laundry area.

Master bathroom at 5108 Lawton Dr

Master bathroom at 5108 Lawton Dr

The home offers off-street driveway parking and street parking on the quiet cul-de-sac.

Conveniently located in Sumner, it is within approximately one mile of the DC line and an easy commute via Massachusetts Ave.  Ideally located near the Capital Crescent Trail, MetroBus, RideOn, parks, restaurants & shopping at Westbard, Kenwood Station, and Sumner Place shopping centers.

Back Yard 5108 Lawton Dr

Back Yard 5108 Lawton Dr

Enjoy some of the best schools in the countryWalt Whitman High School, Pyle Middle School and Woodacres Elementary. This home is a rare find!

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652

SOLD! Elegant Colonial in Sumner – 4910 Scarsdale Rd, Bethesda

4910 Scarsdale Rd in Sumner

4910 Scarsdale Rd in Sumner

Property Tour Link:  4910 Scarsdale Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Sumner

List Price:  $1,495,000 

This elegant and stately center-hall colonial is one of the most impressive homes in Sumner. Located on a generous corner lot, the home has a commanding view. Featuring four finished levels, it offers six bedrooms, four full baths and two additional half-baths.

Family room addition with kitchen eating bar

Family room addition with kitchen eating bar

Conveniently located in Sumner, it is within approximately one mile of the DC line and an easy commute via Massachusetts Ave.  Ideally located near the Capital Crescent Trail, MetroBus, RideOn, parks, restaurants & shopping at Westbard, Kenwood Station, and Sumner Place shopping centers. The home offers generous living and dining rooms off the foyer.

Kitchen open to family room addition

Kitchen open to family room addition

The updated kitchen is open to the family room with high ceilings, gas fireplace and lots of light.  The sliding Pella doors to the flagstone patio and overhead pergola offer a perfect entertaining indoor/outdoor space.

The well-planned kitchen offers an eating bar, Corian counters and stainless-steel appliances including double-wall ovens and a gas cooktop.  

Additional living spaces on the main floor include a den/office with a wet bar as well as a sunroom with a vaulted ceiling.   The finished basement has a recreation room with wet bar, 1/2 bath, utility room and one-car attached oversized garage open to a workshop/storage area .  The home also offers the security and convenience of a whole-house generator and comfort of a two-zone HVAC system.  New roof installed in 2014.

Sunroom with vaulted ceiling with fan

Sunroom with vaulted ceiling with fan

Enjoy some of the best schools in the country – Walt Whitman High School, Pyle Middle School and Woodacres Elementary.

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for sale price and other details.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652

SOLD! 5102 Marlyn Dr, Bethesda

5102 Marlyn Dr, Bethesda

5102 Marlyn Dr, Bethesda

Property Tour Link: 5102 Marlyn Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Mass Ave Hills/Sumner

List Price:  $949,000Contact us for final sales price.

There have been many recent updates to this wonderful, roomy home! The neighborhood is within one mile of the DC line for an easy commute down Massachusetts Ave and ideally located near the Capital Crescent Trail, MetroBus, RideOn, parks, restaurants & shopping.

Cherry Cabinets, eating bar and breakfast nook overlooking backyard

Cherry Cabinets, eating bar and breakfast nook overlooking backyard

The generously-sized kitchen is perfect for entertaining with an eating bar, cozy breakfast nook with built-ins, wine refrigerator, double ovens, granite counters, stainless steel appliances & abundant cherry cabinets.

The master bedroom with its full bath is located on the main floor.  The main level also offers an additional office or guest bedroom and a another full bath in the hall.  Newly refinished hardwoods on main level so you can move right in!

The spacious living room is elegant with room enough for a grand piano.  There are built-in bookshelves and a wood burning fireplace with a marble surround.  The formal dining room is perfectly sized and opens to the screened porch with ceiling fan.  The level backyard has been extensively landscaped including a flagstone patio, fountain and small pond and plenty of privacy.

5102 Marlyn Dr. Backyard patio and screened porch

5102 Marlyn Dr. Backyard patio and screened porch

The upstairs offers four additional bedrooms, a full bath and a large walk-in attic storage room. Architectural plans are available to convert to an upper level master suite with a walk-in closet and private master bathroom.  The two-car garage has an automatic opener for convenience and the paver driveway is a nice upgrade to the home. Enjoy some of the best schools in the country – Walt Whitman High School, Pyle Middle School and Woodacres Elementary.  This home is a rare find!

Listed by Maury Real Estate

SOLD! Sumner Court in Bethesda

Newly refinished hardwood floors!

Newly refinished hardwood floors!

Property Tour Link: 5007 Sentinel Dr. #43, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Sumner Court

List Price: $305,000 – Call for sale price.

Sold Sept. 2015

This renovated two-bedroom condo is located in one of the most popular areas in Bethesda just off MacArthur Blvd and Sangamore Road and near Massachusetts Ave.  Situated just steps over the DC line and within walking distance to the Capital Crescent Trail, shopping, restaurants, METRO bus (D5) and RideOn Bus, you just can’t beat the location!  Easy commute to DC or Virginia.

The condo offers newly refinished hardwood floors and a renovated kitchen with new wood cabinets, appliances and granite counters. The unit is located on the ground floor corner of the building offering extra light.  It is in a quiet spot in the community away from the road. Conveniently park right outside the door!  Parking is plentiful at Sumner Court.

Patio outside front door at Sumner Court

Patio outside front door at Sumner Court

 

Sumner Court Pool

Sumner Court Pool

The condo fee of $590 per month includes ALL UTILITIES – heating, air conditioning, electricity, water and sewer.  It also covers snow removal in the winter plus management of an abundance of community amenities.  Some of those amenities include an outdoor community swimming pool with lifeguard services, a newly renovated playground, picnic area, bike storage, laundry facilities and storage cages are available too.

The condo offers an excellent investment opportunity or rental alternative.  Turn-key condition!

Listed by Brian and Amy Maury, Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652.

SOLD! 5321 Allandale Rd in Bethesda, MD

5321 Allandale Rd, Bethesda  Listed by Maury Real Estate

5321 Allandale Rd, Bethesda
Listed by Maury Real Estate

Property Tour Link: 5321 Allandale Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Green Acres

List Price: $949,000 (Call for sold price)

This charming colonial is located in one of the most popular communities in Bethesda – Green Acres.  Green Acres is situated just steps over the DC line and is within walking distance to the Capital Crescent Trail, shopping, restaurants and the METRO bus to Friendship Heights.  The neighborhood is only about 1-mile to the METRO station (red line).

The home is much larger that it appears from the front view, with 4 bedrooms upstairs plus a 5th room ideal as an office or nursery and 2-1/2 baths.  The three-story addition added onto the home included a family room with wood-burning fireplace, breakfast room, powder room, master bedroom with walk-in closet and en suite bath (recently remodeled) and a second upper level bedroom plus a HUGE storage room in the basement.

Screened Porch with fan is ideal for warm summer evenings!

Screened Porch with fan is ideal for warm summer evenings!

The home also offers a screened porch and wrap-around deck, large dining room and a living room/den off the kitchen.  A newly finished recreation room with carpet and recessed lighting offers a great playroom or extra office space.  The Green Acres community has a trail to conveniently access Westbrook Elementary school.

This home is a rare find!

Listed by Brian and Amy Maury, Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652

Bethesda Row Arts Festival Oct. 18-19, 2014

Bethesda Row Arts Festival October 18-19, 2014

Bethesda Row Arts Festival October 18-19, 2014

My favorite month of the year in Bethesda is absolutely the month of October!  The fall colors come out and can be enjoyed best along the Capital Crescent Trail.  The weather is mild and the festivals in town are plentiful!  We always enjoy the Taste of Bethesda, the Friday night Art Walks, Oktoberfests  and Halloween events and of course, the Bethesda Row Arts Festival.

This year the 17th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, October 18th from 11 AM to 6 PM and on Sunday, October 19th from 10 AM – 5 PM along Bethesda Ave, Elm Street and Woodmont.  Admission is free.

Bethesda Arts Festival 2013

Bethesda Arts Festival 2013

 

With approximately 90 vendors exhibiting their talents, you are sure to find something to excite the senses and compliment your decor…or perhaps a unique holiday gift for a loved one.

Prices will range from around $20 up to tens of thousands.  Whether you intend to make a purchase or just enjoy the show, it’s always fun to stroll around with a warm cup of java and listen to the live music while soaking in the art and the atmosphere.  Rain or shine the show will go on.  For more details check out BethesdaRowArts.org.

Day 17: BYOB Bethesda – Bring Your Own Bag…or Pay the Tax!

Buy One Get One Free Bags at Giant

This evening, after a nice long, relaxing walk on the Capital Crescent Trail in nearly 60 degree weather, I went to GIANT® Food Stores on Westbard.  My mouth was watering thinking about eating dinner after that nice long walk – never a good time to go shopping!

I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed my reusable grocery bags.  I have been trying to use them faithfully for months.  As I started walking towards the door to the store, I noticed that the crowded parking lot was filled with all kinds of people carrying in and out reusable grocery bags.  It made me smile as it dawned on me that the new 5 cent bag tax that went into effect on January 1st had truly made its impact on a critical mass!

Montgomery County Bag Tax

I saw one man in his nicely tailored suit (probably a lawyer – everyone in Bethesda is a lawyer) exit his car with one solitary bag in hand that he neatly folded as he walked toward the store.  I thought to myself, “5 cents means that much to you, huh?”  I wondered whether he used to carry in that bag before the tax came into effect or is he responding like so many others to the fact that a tax – even 5 cents – will be avoided at all costs!

As I walked through the store aisles I realized that almost without fail the shoppers had their bags in hand – some were nice canvas ones; others were paper shopping bags from department stores; still others were your garden-variety grocery store bags.  The age of the shopper didn’t seem to matter either – I saw a teenage boy carrying one.

The bag tax in Montgomery County came into effect on January 1, 2012 with the primary goal of reducing pollution in local streams and stormwater.  Apparently the plastic bags are one of the most common items to litter our local waterways. In addition to reducing pollution by encouraging the use of reusable bags, the County will also raise funds from the 5 cent tax towards a water quality protection fund.  They expect to raise roughly $1.5 million dollars in the first year.  I guess 5 cents adds up!

Apparently, Bethesda residents agree that the tax adds up as they carry bags with them everywhere they go.  As a self-professed “Greenie” I am very happy to see this new habit developing in our town.  However, even I was caught off guard at subway®  restaurant recently when I was asked whether I wanted a bag or wanted to pay 5 cents for one.  My knee-jerk reaction was, “What?  I can’t just have a bag here anymore?”  But then the Greenie in me kicked in and I just decided to carry my sandwich in its wrap and try not to drop the napkin.  We are not just talking about grocery store bags folks.  Any carry out bag – department store, grocery store, sandwich shop, etc. is included.  According to a January 2nd article in The Huffington Post “It does not, however, apply to bags for prescription drugs, newspapers, garbage, pet waste, yard waste, restaurant leftovers and good[s] purchased at farmers markets.” 

You know what’s next don’t you?  These bags will become a fashion statement and people will be paying big bucks for GUCCI® and Coach™ grocery bags.  It’s only a matter of time!  You know you want one!     ~Amy

Day 318: The Sights and Sounds of the Capital Crescent Trail

The approach to the Tunnel

The approach to the Tunnel

“Ting!” goes the bell as the biker passes by and announces, “On your left.”  Thump, thump, thump, thump as the runner jogs past on the other side of the trail.  Shhhhhh…the wind whispers through the trees as the dry fall leaves rustle and float down to alight upon the path.  Crunch! as I step on a dry brown leaf that crumbles underfoot.

As I round the soft bend approaching Mile Marker 6.0, the Dalecarlia Tunnel comes into view in the distance.  A woman is walking her dog toward the tunnel.  It looks like a golden retriever perhaps as its tail swishes from side-to-side.

The Ghost of the Last Train

As they enter the tunnel with its yellowish light bulbs all in a row lining the ceiling like bread crumbs to lead the way out, an airplane rumbles overhead as it zips toward Reagan Airport in Washington, D.C.  As I soon enter the tunnel behind her, I can almost hear the echo of the last train to run through it in 1985.  “Whoo! Whoo!” goes the whistle and I hear the distant clack, clack, clack of the wheels that once rolled over the track where now only the ghost of it remains.

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

The last vestiges of fall color the landscape as I emerge from the Tunnel and take in this perfect autumn 73 degree day – a rare and wonderful treat!  It may perhaps be the last warm day of the year and I am so glad to be able to carve out some time to walk the Capital Crescent Trail – one of my favorite treasures of Bethesda.

For those who are not familiar with the trail, it was formerly known as the Georgetown Branch of the B&O Railroad, created in 1910 and then converted to a trail 78 years later thanks to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.

The Capital Crescent Trail spans a 10-mile distance from Silver Spring, MD to Georgetown in Washington, D.C.  It’s a favorite of 2-wheeled commuters, athletes and people who just stay fit while enjoying the outdoors.  One of the spots I appreciate most on the trail is the Dalecarlia Tunnel which was constructed in 1910.  If you look closely when walking through it, you will notice 4 “duck ins” – carved areas that were made for people who were stuck in the tunnel when a train would come; the train was probably shipping coal from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown in D.C.  The Roman arch brick tunnel is 18′ wide and 341′ long.  You can find the Tunnel between mile marker and 6.0 and 6.5.  It sits almost right at the Bethesda-D.C. line.

Mile Marker 4.5 near River Rd

Mile Marker 4.5 near River Rd

There are many places to access the Capital Crescent Trail.  A popular spot is on Bethesda Ave., across the street from Barnes and Noble.  Take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Trail.  At any time of year you will enjoy a beautiful and relaxing experience.  You may come across deer, a fox or even one of your neighbors also taking in this special place.  ~Amy

Capital Crescent Trail Map, Bethesda

Capital Crescent Trail Map, Bethesda

Day 143: Save the Trail 5K Run May 28th

Photo from Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail website

The second annual Save the Trail 5K and Family Fun event is scheduled for May 28th.  There will be prizes, t-shirts, tote bags and children’s activities at Elm Street Park located at 4601 Willow Lane at 9am. The cost of the 5K run is $25 and registration is available on-line.  Proceeds will benefit the non-profit organization, Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail.  Registration is also available at packet pickup on Friday, May 27 from noon to 7 pm at Chevy Chase Running Company located at 4461 Willard Avenue in Friendship Heights or on race day at Elm Street Park, but sadly those who don’t register on-line won’t get a tee-shirt.

So, what’s this race all about?  It’s about saving a large portion of the Capital Crescent Trail from destruction due to the proposed Purple Line which would wipe out 20-acres of mature trees and habitat.  The highly controversial plan to add a new rail line has long been a source of debate for all and angst for some.  Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail has posted a link to many news articles, resources and information about why this plan may not be as much of a benefit as it is a detriment to our community.  In addition, the non-profit organization, Purple Line Now!, has a website dedicated to their arguments in favor of the construction of the new rail line.

Study the facts and comment with your opinion here on Bethesda365.   As a fan of the Capital Crescent Trail and a self-confessed tree hugger, I personally would hate to see the destruction of a such a pristine and wonderful natural resource in our community that, once changed, cannot be un-done.  While traffic snarls are apparent all over the greater DC area and there is a real need for better public transportation, it seems there should be a better option.  What do you think?      ~Amy

Day 85: Cherry Jubilee in DC and Bethesda

Cherry Blossom March 26th in Kenwood

Each year, a fleeting but spectacular indicator of spring occurs in our local area with the blooming of the cherry trees with their delicate pink blossoms and soft floral scents.  It all began in 1912 when the people of Japan sent a gift of friendship, 3,020 cherry trees, to Washington DC.  The first two trees were planted by First Lady Taft and the wife of the Japanese Ambassador.  There is a fascinating and moving historical account of the complete history at the National Parks Service website.

Here locally near Bethesda in 1929, developers of the Kenwood community were inspired by the trees from Japan and decided to follow suit in their plans for this upscale community of approximately 300 of the finest homes in the area.  Although technically a Chevy Chase neighborhood, Kenwood is flanked by Bethesda addresses all around it and can be accessed from River Rd. just past the entrance to Whole Foods.  The trees in Kenwood are meticulously maintained by its residents.  Crowds of over 25,000 people flock to Kenwood to take in the sights and smells of spring with the blooming of its 1,200 trees that line its winding streets. 

This year, experts are predicting the peak bloom in DC (when 70% of the blooms are evident) to occur from March 29 – April 3.  However, it is said that the Kenwood blooms usually peak a couple of days later.

Entrance to Kenwood Neighborhood

The Kenwood neighborhood has narrow roads lined with stunning homes of diverse architectural styles ranging from Tudor to contemporary to french provincial to colonial.  The streets are typically packed with slow-moving cars during the peak blooming period and lots of pedestrians.  Kids set up lemonade and cookie stands and folks bring their blankets to sit under the trees and enjoy the magical splendor of the canopy of delicate pink blossoms overhead. 

A great way to access and enjoy the experience is to participate in the Kenwood Cherry Blossoms & Spring Flowers Walk sponsored by Seneca Valley Sugarloafers Volksmarch Club (that’s a mouthful).  It’s a 10 km self-guided walk that begins at Starbucks in the Shops at Sumner Place (4611 Sangamore Rd.) and takes you to Kenwood via the Capital Crescent Trail.

Whether you decide to travel to Washington DC and enjoy the array of activities and events celebrating the Cherry Blossoms or you stroll through our local Kenwood neighborhood, let’s remember the people of Japan who gave us these beautiful and delicate gifts and the strife they are enduring now after the March 10th earthquake and tsunami.  You can make a donation to the Red Cross to contribute to the relief efforts through the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.    ~Amy