Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Laurel At The Movies - UPDATE

Thanks for all the kind comments on the recent audio podcast. It isn't me, Bob Bain is just a great interview. Click to listen to the BOB BAIN MOVIE PODCAST.

Kubrick's 2001 is a hot topic on the comments page.

We've also had a number of interesting stories as a result of our movie survey. See LAUREL AT THE MOVIES SURVEY

Here are the first stories posted:

  1. Going on my first date with a young lady and having the entire theater to ourselves... It was a Harrison Ford/Tom Clancy movie and it was at the old Laurel Lakes movie theater which I'm pretty sure now resides next to the washers and dryers at the Lowes... Fav Movie: Hudson Hawk
  2. Going to see Narnia on Christmas. We pre-ordered our tickets a few days before and went at the last minute to see the movie and got great seats. We also like that theatre because boston market is next door. We buy tickets then go eat. Movies are more fun when the kids are well fed!!
  3. Least favorite is MUVICO. Parking is horrendous and frequently kids are not behaved. This is important to remember as we deploy our new Laurel Mall to ensure it is safe, enjoyable and customer friendly.
  4. When I was 18 and my younger sister was 12 or 13, she wanted to go see "The Exorcist", which had just came out. I had misgivings, but agreed to take her. She spent virtually the whole movie at the top of the aisle, peeking through the doors into the amphitheater to watch. She refused to return to her seat because she was too scared, but did not want to leave, either.
  5. The balcony at the Laurel Theater when it was on Main Street. Favorite Movie Experience - Laurel High School Girls seeing Elvis Blue Hawaii Favorite Movie - Longest Day
  6. Watching "It's a mad,mad,mad, mad world" at Route 202 drive-in. African Queen.
  7. The first movie I saw in living color, especially the musicals. Favorite movie: Roman Holiday

Please let me know if you have an idea for an interview with you or your Laurel organization. Email me g dot rick dot wilson at gmail dot com. Please replace the dot and at with . @.

Thanks for reading (and listening) to the Laurel Connections Blog.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Laurel At The Movies

Joanne made me take her to a chick flick last weekend. Stosh was away skiing in Vermont and we were trying to see if we could learn to handle the looming claustrophobia of our empty nest. We saw Judi Dench in "Notes on a Scandal." ...Don't ask.

My tastes run to car chases, buxom Bond girls, palomino horses, spaceships and/or gun play. Dialogue beyond grunting and cussing is not really needed for me to enjoy a movie. Movies that combine all of these elements are usually my personal choices for an Oscar.

I've lived in beautiful downtown Laurel since May of 1980. I remember the Drive-In on Rt 1, the short-lived Hoyt's Theatres at Laurel Lakes and the Laurel Movie Theatre at Rt197 and Contee Rd.

Joanne's first-ever drive-in movie was when she went with me to see Spielberg's E.T on one of our early dates. She insisted that we take my little Honda 360T motorcycle. She said it made her feel safer. I felt pretty stupid with the speaker hanging from my helmet chinstrap.

Twenty-Seven years and many dates later, Joanne felt bad about the Judi Dench chick flick (don't ask). So she agreed to see the 40th anniversary showing of "2001: A Space Odyssey." Kubrick's 3 hour masterpiece was playing at the AFI Silver Theatre in downtown Silver Spring. The reverently restored, art deco, AFI Silver is one of our favorite theatres.

I was curious about Laurel's movie theatres so I called my neighbor Bob Bain. Bob grew up in Laurel and we've often discussed Laurel history. He was full of information. He explained that St. Nicholas' Church used to meet at the Laurel Cinema . I think the statute of limitations has run out on his hiding in the back after Mass and sneaking into the following matinee for free.

Here is an audio podcast of Bob's memories of Laurel's Theaters.

When the streaming page opens,youmay need to click the play button twice. Please let me know if you have trouble with hearing the podcast in the comments section. I'm still learning how to stream audio.

In honor of Sunday night's Academy Awards and because I'm excited to welcome a super-duper movie theatre to the reborn Laurel Mall, I've also created a a new Laurel Connections Survey. Please let us know where you enjoy a movie and popcorn by taking the:


Thanks for visiting the blog. - rick

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Designer Barbie Dolls

The Just-Up-The-Pike blog has a hilarious story about the "designer" Barbie Dolls that Mattel is selling. The new dolls have a regional flavor. So Just-Up-The-Pike offers his take on Montgomery County themed Barbie Dolls.
Of course this is all in jest ...but I just couldn't stop thinking about the West Laurel Barbie, the OldTown Laurel Barbie, the Savage Barbie, the Developer Barbie, the Fire Department Barbie, the Rescue Squad Barbie and the Beltsville Barbie.
The Laurel Connections comments section is now open for business for your Designer Barbie Doll ideas.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A New Look

Welcome to our new look at the Laurel Connections Blog. We've been long overdue for a little digital spackling and some cyberpaint.

I've got a number of short takes today.

Joe Murchison at the Laurel Leader has a new automatic news notification service. Check it out at www.laurelleader.com

I know that the ice is hard to remove now, but have you seen how many businesses along Route 1 have not shoveled their sidewalks? Try walking to the Marc Station from Laurel Avenue. These businesses are simply bad neighbors.

Laurel's Public Works Department did another fantastic job clearing snow. I drove to Beltsville on Wednesday morning and Laurel's roads were 10 times better than anywhere else.

I must respectfully disagree with Councilman Mike Sarich regarding crime in the Grove. I have not seen the statistics for myself, however the statistics presented by Chief Crawford and the LPD do not warrant the crme wave label.

Mike Walls and Bobby Walters are appearing at Oliver's Old Town Tavern on Friday, February 23rd from 6-8pm. Joanne and I made it to the Mike and Bobby Show Happy Hour in January and we had a wonderful time. Hot nachos, cold beer, good friends and great music.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 10-2 and 5-7 pm, the Laurel Museum has a one day treat for those interested in African-American Memorabilia. Donald Conway, a local collector and resident will be at the Laurel Museum with his collection of African American collectibles. Stop by on your way home from work.

Thanks for reading the blog. Please let us know what you think in the comments section.

Friday, February 09, 2007

He's Doing Something About the Weather

He knows the difference between an isobar and a Manitoba Clipper. He reads weather simulations and models the same way most of us read the newspaper.

He also writes an amazing blog about our local weather called The Mid-Atlantic Observation. But the most interesting thing about William M., the accomplished author, is that he is a high school freshman from Montgomery County.

Here is an excerpt from William's latest article. Ted Dulaney and Laurel's Public Works crew need to be ready. William is predicting a big snow event for next week.

"Currently, the Canadian model has this storm coming from the gulf, across the southeast states and off the North Carolina coast. Models are suggesting excessive amounts of snow. Right now, the models have the DC metro area being the bull’s eye which is very scary 5 days out. Amounts could be in the 1-2 foot range in what could be a paralyzing snowstorm for the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. The main fear I have of not getting the storm is that the storm track currently modeled changes and gets suppressed due to the push of the arctic high being so strong that it keeps the main bulk of precipitation to the south."

Local TV weathercasters should be worried. This budding meteorologist is a fast rising star.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Laurel Dam - A Guest Opinion

Stephen McAdams recently sent sent me the following comment about the plan to preserve the old Laurel Dam. Steve writes the very handy Laurel web site http://www.laurelmd.us/.

"Recently it was announced that [funding was being sought] to determine what would be required to preserve the old mill dam. I've been there recently and am not impressed. A small portion of what was obviously a dam is still there, but it is hard to get to and would be totally inaccessible whenever any floodgates are open. Also, if there are going to be new homes across the street from the swimming pool. I cannot visualize any major effort to increase traffic to the site of the old dam. Perhaps any additional money could be better spent creating a model of what existed 150 yrs ago. A model that shows the location of the dam, the mills, the workers' homes etc. And build a facility to house the model. Just an opinion." - Stephen McAdams"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Want to save money?

The weather service is calling for snow and ice. Here is a handy quiz that might save you some money.

1. Do you live in the City of Laurel? (if yes, continue.)

2. Has the Mayor declared a snow emergency? (not sure? please see this link.)
3. Do you park on a snow emergency route? (not sure? please see this link.)

4. Have you moved your car from aforementioned route? (if yes, thanks.)

5. If no, please call the Laurel Police Department at 498-0092 to learn how to get your car back.