Monday, July 18, 2016

One, Big, Little Living Room That's Big Enough For All Of Us..And Coffee!

There're a lot of empty living rooms in Silver Spring. (Photo from ZedsCafe.com)
 
I like coffee, and THIS is the BEST COFFEE in the entire WESTERN WORLD!

I wrote a review of Zed's Café and One Big Living Room, many years ago, on a now defunct WordPress blog, and I might have described little else, but, the coffee, ..which is phenomenal. So, this time, while there is much to praise about this legend of Silver Spring hospitality, I don't want to diminish that one, indisputable fact. Phenomenal coffee! Go anywhere else, where you are poured a cup of coffee, and the quality of the coffee that you will find at Zed's Café will surpass it, every time and at every hour of the day. How does proprietor, Zed Mekonnen, do it?

He has a gold standard.

Zed's Café, in Downtown Silver Spring, delivers the promise of what a cafe serves, coffee, and that standard is never compromised. Ever. The quality of the coffee - a cup of Nirvana, every time - and the paninis and wraps and French, Swiss and Italian pastries and the cheesecake (my favorite) is always deliciously, sensually exceptional. What brings me back to Zed's, however, is more than fine coffee and cheesecake and beautiful, Ethiopian and European women. Yes, these are considerations, ..but, what Mr. Mekonnen has created here - what the local press has consistently lauded - is an experience. Zed's Café is an experience, ..and that, in my opinion, has always been the mark of the most celebrated bistros, bars, and restaurants.

The first thing that strikes you about Zed's is the decidedly Bohemian décor, which is classic coffeehouse vibe - a funky, eclectic mix of mismatched steel-frame dinette chairs, vinyl easy chairs, tufted wingback chairs, elegantly appointed mahogany chairs and tables ..and broad, cushy, soul-hugging loveseats. Wi-Fi is free. The genius of local artists is exhibited on the walls, mixed in with small, framed paintings of exotic places, around the world. There are books, everywhere - shelved on every wall, resting on cocktail tables and end tables, between chairs. Between and around the books, there are colorful figurines and other knick-knacks, scattering the scene, ..as if by a favorite uncle. Somewhat on the small and cozy side - it's not a kiosk, at Safeway - Zed's Cafe looks and feels lived in and loved, as if it's been here, forever, ..and welcoming you to drop by, whenever!

Peep in, at any time of the day, and you will find silver-haired friends chatting, yuppies and bootstrappers tapping away on laptops and flawlessly beautiful East African women doing something, ..beautifully. It's where community groups meet. It's where young couples cuddle. It's where new mothers take a break, with their babies. It's where brilliant protest poetry is written and LIVE blues, jazz and indie music is played. It's where college buddies quietly argue over what's going on in a comic book. The 'friend', whose generosity they've all gathered to enjoy, ..more than the ruggedly handsome bloke, quietly pouring coffee, behind the counter, ..is an authentic feeling of belonging and being welcome, in a familiar place...

And that is a stroke of commercial genius.

Whoever you are, you will not be kept waiting for what you came for, because service, here, is consistently fast and efficient - another standard that is never compromised.

More than Starbucks, and with none of the corporate, mass-marketed artificiality of Starbucks's wannabees, Zed's Cafe is an authentic experience ..that can be as brief, intimate, memorable, amusing or lazy and irreverent, as you like. Whether you are sending in kids for carryout coffee, while you're double-parked on Georgia Avenue, ..or you are digging in, with friends, for light eats and live music, ..you leave Zed's, feeling glad that you dropped by.

Isn't that how dropping by a friend's 'Living Room' should feel?

Zed's Café and One, Big Living Room is located at 8225 Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, Maryland, ..at the very gateway of the Downtown district. Go. Linger. Double-park. Carry-out. Taste. Love.

Friday, July 15, 2016

How Exactly Would DC Statehood Benefit Seven Bee And The Rest Of River East?

For the people...is it, really? [Photo from the the51st.org]

by Mel Dyer

I have very good reasons, being a resident of Ward 7 and ANC-7B, both in River East, to oppose DC statehood.  I'll try to state them, as plainly as possible, here.

Ward 7 simply isn't ready to be a city/county.  Nor is ANC-7B.

Neither have the commercial development or subsequent REVENUE to build strong enough economies to successfully sustain a city or county--to support public works, police, EMS, good schools and to attract subsequently necessary growth.  I see people Downtown, some from Wards 7 and 8, raving about DC statehood, and I continue to ask them how it would benefit Seven Bee and the rest of River East--no answer.  So long as we, east of the Anacostia, have no means of creating industry, DC statehood remains something for affluent people in thriving neighborhoods, like Capitol Hill, NoMa or Georgetown, ..west of the River.

There must be some way to give Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton a VOTE on the Hill, without DC statehood potentially turning Wards 7 and 8 into politically powerless and poisonable cities, ..like Flint, Michigan.  However, until Eastfolk, still chaffing from Walmart and the DC City Council screwing us over on Skyland Town Centre, can be assured that all of the above is possible, ..no thanks.

Furthermore, Maryland hasn't expressed much interest in getting another Baltimore; so, the prospect of DC climbing in bed with her, even if we wanted to be there, is highly unlikely, ..a-aannd she's got crabs. Again...

No thanks ..and no vote.