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Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 Things Howard County needs

1)      Washington Metro Stop- Really tired of having to go to Greenbelt or Silver Spring to catch the Metro
2)      Radio Station- Towns a fraction of the size of Columbia have local radio stations.  I do remember the short run of a station in the Columbia Mall of a station that came out of Laurel years ago
3)      Minor League Baseball team- Why is it that the Orioles have always placed their AAA minor league team so far away from Baltimore?  Who ever went to Rochester or now Norfolk?  Wouldn’t a team in Howard County draw big crowds to see a AAA team?  Maybe the Orioles are afraid too many people would choose AAA or the major league team with its overpriced seats and stadium food.
4)      Roys Place II- We now have a wide range of sandwich places—some chains and some local- not bad but for those of us that remember when Roy’s Place II was where the 3 Guys place is now off Snowden the fun was going there to select from sandwiches that were unique.  My favorite was the Sigmund Freud of ham, fried oysters and cole slaw.  Now I have to try and recreate it at home.
5)      Whole Foods Store- I guess with the Wegman’s we are getting closer to a Whole Foods store but I could never understand why this county wasn’t seen as a great place for a Whole Foods store.  If you want to see what I mean go to the Whole Foods store in Fairfax Virginia. 
6)      Charles Theater type movies- Why can’t one of our movie theaters have one screen for the movies we have to go to the Charles in Baltimore or the Janis theaters in DC?
7)      New Affordable Starter Homes- Are the only new homes that are feasible in Howard County 3500 square feet and cost $450,000+?
8)      Free outdoor ice skating rink in the winter—Ideally somewhere near the Town Center or at one of Park and Rec’s Parks.  Other towns do this in unused parking lots.  It might be expensive because of the winter temps here requiring it to have some refrigeration.
9)      Antique Car show—With all the aging baby boomers this should be popular.  Could be part of a 50’s themed weekend with restaurants having some items on their menus with 50’s pricing.
10)   Welcome Center- To show why Howard County is the 2nd Best Place to live in the County.  Similar to the Columbia Visitor Center to highlight the diversity of Howard County and its people.

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P.S. 2
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Brent The Brewer said...

I think you have some great ideas here. I'll comment on a few of them.

1) Although convenient, I would be careful about welcoming a METRO stop in Howard County. I know several people who park at the Greenbelt and College Park stations and have their cars broken into on a regular basis. Police do nothing other than take a report and move on. In Silver Spring, there is always a gamut of pan handlers you have to weave your way through in order to get to the train...most of which have no issue urinating in plain site of walking traffic. It's gross. And just recently the Baltimore Sun had an article about the crime and pollution issues that the light rail was bringing to a neighborhood near BWI. Until the authorities can get a better handle on crime in and around these railed modes of transportation, I'd be content driving a little further to use it as opposed to having them brought to my back yard.

3) Agreed, problem is we have Camden Yards within 30 minutes from most of HoCo. With attendance as it has been the last 10 years, I doubt the O's brass would do anything like place a team that close. We all know that would put an even bigger dent in the already low attendance numbers because people would choose convenience over quality (if you can call the O's quality).

5) I'm not a huge fan of the Whole Foods in Silver Spring. I think the MOM is Jessup is great! The Whole Foods in VA might be much better, but its probably cause they can sell beer and wine. That makes a huge difference.

6) I'd love something like the AFI Theater in Silver Spring to come HoCo. The AFI is one of the things I miss about living down in Silver Spring.

9) Awesome idea!!! I love car shows.

Jason Booms said...

Great ideas.

I heartily agree with 2, 3, 5 & 7. I can see the value with 6, 8, 9 & 10. I have no opinion on 4.

On 1, I understand the rationale. Having driven to the Silver Spring & White Flint Metros from Columbia, those are long commutes. At this point, I would prefer to see a new Montgomery County stop in or around Burtonsville or a new PG stop in Laurel.

Mo said...

I think a WF would go well in that empty store space in Wilde Lake. I know there's arguments against that, but it would draw people in. The Melting Pot is in the same center and seems to be doing well.

I totally hear you on the metro station, and a single screen theater (just because it's a neat community feature). RE the car show... I thought I might have seen one last year near Lincoln Tech? Although that might not have been antiques. That seems like something that would be driven by demand.

B. Santos said...

So I see that I am not the only one that yearns for a "good cold sandwich" (an ice cube served on two heels of rye bread) after all these years. The nostalgia is a nice touch.

WRT Whole Foods, their site criteria includes abundant parking for a stand alone store adjacent to high foot/vehicle traffic with a traffic light at the entrance to their parking lot. Where in Howard County do those requirements apply? It's not that Whole Foods does not know about Howard County, they have been here. It is that they have visited and said no.

WRT new housing options: wouldn't it be greener to create a program for people to purchase a previously occupied "starter" home in the 800-1500 sq ft size? Just a thought.

hoco Connect said...

The only problem with purchasing a previously occupied "starter" home is that it segregates affordable homes in just some communities.

Kimberly said...

Couldn't we add getting a good Chinese market to the list? Unless there's one I don't know about hiding around here somewhere, we have to go all the way to Catonsville to get Chinese specialty ingredients.

hoco Connect said...

I assume you have been to the Lotto market in Ellicott City?

Anonymous said...

You have to go all the way to Greenbelt or Silver Spring to catch the metro? You poor baby! We should spend billions of tax dollars to save you of this terrible inconvenience, and deal with all the increased crime associated with it.

Thank god you're not in charge of anything.

Anonymous said...

The fact that we've had some of these, and those establishments went out of business, speaks to the lack of demand and profitability for those items (theater, Roys, radio station, Welcome Center).

Kimberly said...

hoco--Yes, I have been to Lotte, which was why I specified "good" Chinese market. Hard to call a place with health department violations good. Even my Chinese son, adopted when he was a teenager, who is a human vacuum cleaner and eats almost anything, doesn't want to shop at Lotte because it's dirty and smells bad--he makes me take him to the Han Ah Rheum (H-Mart) in Catonsville.

Matthew and Elyse said...

Isn't there an antique car show at the county fairgrounds?