Monday, January 30, 2006

Put a lid on it!

One of the Cleveland Park Metro exits got a Cleveland Park Metro gets a new roof.
new roof over the escalator this weekend. I don't know a lot about escalators but you've got to figure that rain and escalators don't go together too well. And that probably goes a long way towards explaining those unintelligable announcements about escalator outages. At least I think that's what they're about. Maybe after they've settled on a new "Doors Closing" voice, they can give some thought to that voice that sounds like it's telling us something important but gets lost as it reverberates throughout the stations.

The escalator outage situation is so chronic that Metro has an Electronic Elevator Notification system in place where you can be sent electronically (as long as it stays dry and remains working), messages telling you of the current escalator status. Metro calls it ELLEN although I'm not sure how you get ELLEN out of Electronic Elevator Notification.

Back in 2001, Metro held a competition for the design of a canopy which was eventually won by a Silver Spring architectural firm. What is it with Metro and competitions? First canopies, now voices. How about they have an internal competition to see how safe and reliable they can make public transportation?

Anyway, before I get off track (no pun intended), Metro has figured out this escalator/weather problem and so Dupont Circle, Woodley Park, and now one side of Cleveland Park have all sprouted these rounded canopies. Metro says that 53 outdoor entrances will have canopies eventually.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

So where should we drink tonight?

There's been some odd naming of bars in the Cleveland Park area just lately. The Uptown Tavern for one. In most places, this wouldn't be a problem but when people refer to "the Uptown" in the Cleveland Park area, they're talking about the theater. So why try and compete with that? It's forcing us to use two words when bars should be known by one name, preferably with a maximum of six letters. Nanny's, for example. An odd name for a bar to be sure but when someone says, "I was at Nanny's last night," or I'll meet you at Nanny's at ten," chances are they're not talking about their grandmother. Try saying, "I'll see you at the Uptown on Friday night" to somebody and suddenly you've got a totally unnecessary conversation on your hands.

There's a load of restaurants in Cleveland Park that adhere to the one word name: Ardeo, Lavandou, Palena, Dino, Indique, Alero, Yanni's, and Spices for example. Pretentious sounding for sure, but the latest batch of watering holes could learn from their fancier, yet more simply named, brethren.

The late, lamented (at least by me) Bricks was another great name that caused no confusion. But the new owners decided to rename it the Cleveland Park Bar & Grill. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? Five words and a mighty twenty-two letters. So what's the shorthand of that? CPB&G? Try saying, "I'm off to the CPB&G" out loud. Go ahead, I'll wait.
A common response will be, "what?" Or, from the less verbose, "huh?" And once again you have to explain yourself.

Even the Four P's (as everybody called it), though technically two words I suppose, didn't violate the six letter rule. But now, weighing in at three words and fifteen letters, the Four P's has become Four Green Fields. The best I can come up with is The Fields mainly because I know of an Irish bar in San Diego called The Field and that's a fun little place.

Still, whatever happened to Joe's?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So long, Ireland's Four Provinces . . .

The Four P's is no more -- at least not in Cleveland Park. But fear not you Guinness swilling, wild, wild rovers. The bar is still there, it's just changed owners and got itself a new name. It's now known as Four Green Fields and has been bought by longtime Four P's General Manager, Frank Hughes. Part of the deal was on the understanding that the business name would be changed so as not to conflict with the Falls Church version of the Four Provinces.

So what do we call them? The Four G's? The Fields? Something tells me they'll be known far and wide as the Four P's for a while yet.