Bethesda

Posted by Ellen

Conceded: the sun was already below the horizon when it did all this to the sky the other day. Say it set ten or fifteen minutes earlier, around 5:30 PM.

5:30's not bad. Really. We don't have to pay any attention to that groundhog behind the curtain: spring is coming.

Still have to wear a coat, though.. . .

Posted by Ellen

On one of these cranes in the sky above Bethesda, Maryland, is a "Now Selling" sign, urging people to go ahead and put their money down for new condos currently under construction.

Odds are, however, that nobody's buying the condos–or much of anything else–in Bethesda or elsewhere in the Washington area this week. An estimated 700,000 people anticipate being furloughed for an unknown length of time, and hundreds of thousands more will be expected to do their work as usual except without any guarantee of a paycheck.

This is how we roll nowadays, in the greatest country on earth. . . .

The cranes will likely keep on craning, like other non-governmental operations, at least until the reduced level of spending in the regional economy pushes businesspeople to furlough even more employees.

Posted by Ellen

The weather was raw and wet a couple of weekends ago in Bethesda,Maryland,  but the artists all showed up anyway with their tents for the annual art fair. The street was closed to cars, and I got to wondering about all the traffic arrows painted on the roadway: Did it cost extra for a booth with an arrow that directed traffic right to you, as opposed to one where the arrow on the road seemed to be steering people away from you?

I was also curious why the same lane on the street seemed to be painted with arrows pointing every which way.

In the end, I'm sure the arrows made no difference; the weather kept crowds thin all weekend long. The band kept playing on the makeshift stage at the corner, and the vendors kept hawking crab cakes and curry, but I hope the artists enjoy better days soon.