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View Poll Results: What do you think of the National Harbor in PG County?
I love it! It is fantastic!!! 10 17.54%
It's OK, and should get better as the economy recovers! 18 31.58%
It could be better...a whole LOT better. 22 38.60%
They should rename it "National Disaster". 7 12.28%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 10-27-2010, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Some T-1 Line
505 posts, read 498,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liliblu View Post
Erwin Peaal is a recent closure. I was thinking about an article I read this summer. No stores had closed at that time. I don't count the stores inside the Gaylord. Those aren't the places that catch most people's eyes.

I still don't believe that many of you have a realunderstanding of what the Harbor is becoming.
You are right. But, I don't think ANYONE has a real understanding of what the National Harbor is becoming...not even the developer.

I do not know how long you have followed this project, but the initial rendering of the National Harbor was as a MUD, primarily, not tourist destination. The initial rendering put out by Milt Peterson was people swimming in the water (no way) and jet skiing on the water (jet skiing, possibly). In fact Ann Taylor and some other mid-tier stores were slated to come in and, for whatever reason (my speculation was economic), they backed out. This was at the beginning of the development.

Again, I am not saying that it will not succeed. Again, my vote is that the National Harbor will improve as the economy recovers (whenever that is). I'm just an impatient man. But, I also see other developments (Waldorf, Arlington, Kingstowne, Tysons, Arundel Mills, Brandywine) that have taken a LOT LESS time in being a fully developed project.

You said it, yourself, in your very first post that you love the flea markets on the weekends. Well, what about the brick and mortar stores that are there every day? Not to be antagonistic or anything, I am just posing this as a question, but how regular do you buy stuff from the regular tenants of NH? Have you said, "oh, I need a dog bone for my dog. Let me run down to Tiki & Me and pick him up one." Or, when was the last time you said, "I need a new handbag, so let me run down to Fossil." Have you ran out of tea bags in your home and just had to run to Capital Teas to get one? How much shopping are you/the public doing in these stores, and weekend flea market vendors don't count because they are ad-hoc tenants.

I hate being long-winded, but you have to in order to convey the message that businesses rely on other businesses to succeed (complimentary or not). For example, the Wegmans in Woodmore Towne Centre has been packed since its opening, and people aren't just browsing through, looking at the selection of groceries and meats, and then leaving. The people who are going there are making real transactions. It was written in the paper that the Executive of the store said they got over 1,000 people on their first day. The people @ NH are sight-seeing, taking pictures and/or window shopping and going to the flea market. Beside Charming Charlie's, whom I interviewed, there are no real transactions going on with those businesses. [I digress] I am the reason why the owner of SimplySoles has responded to this blog because I, personally, visited the store and told the Store Manager about this thread and welcomed them to check it out [end of digression]. But, getting back to my point, without an anchor store, NH will be just a bunch of average stores that people will think second about going to (variety or not) because of lack of brand recognition/loyalty. The Wegmans @ Woodmore Towne Centre will cause people to notice the Best Buy, and the Best Buy lovers will cause the people to notice the Wegmans, and both of these stores will cause everyone to notice the Costco and all of the other, less-brand-recognizable names. When people shop, their favorite store, or the most brand friendly store, pops into their mind. They say, I have to run to Target for "x", then they wind up stopping at another store in that same area and, thus, the shopping spree begins. If you were attracting a major brand, let's say Neiman Marcus, to come to NH, the first question they may ask is "Well, what stores do you have committed to the development?" and they are going to base their decision to rent based upon the development, the sales of other stores, the quality/brand of stores that you have, etc.

Maybe the Peterson Co. is charging too much for rent and it is not cost effective for a lot of people to come there @ this point; therefore, they are opting to go to Woodmore Towne Center or Ritchie Station. Or, maybe they are being too selective. We will never know, unless we get an Executive position within the company to be privy to this information. So, you are right...I don't have a real understanding of what NH is becoming, but nobody does - not even Milt Peterson.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Some T-1 Line
505 posts, read 498,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
Pentagon City is has minimal issues now? That's good, because I remember when riff-raff frequented the place back in the 90s. I limited my visits there. I understand that closing the movie theater there improved things. Same for Union Station. It's better to exercise prevention than to react.
Agreed. But, it has never stopped anyone from shopping @ Pentagon city IN MASS NUMBERS and Pentagon City is, still, a nice venue with nice stores that services a diverse group of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
Riff-raff do more than rob. They can intimidate and harass and even hurt people or engage in gang activity.
Agreed. But, I never defined the term "riff raff", and that is why I put it in quotes because "riff raff" needs to be defined because the word can mean so much to so many people. Hell, walking around in hip-hop gear could be seen as riff raff, cursing in public could be seen as riff raff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
Easy access (whether by metro or foot or bus) coupled with attractions that appeal to them are going to increase their presence. A shopping venue has the right to take the steps necessary to prevent troublemakers.
Agreed. That has been the point I have been trying to make all along. Here is the problem, bowian. You may not be familiar with the area, but Oxon Hill, Southeast, DC, Temple Hills and Ft. Wash are all around National Harbor. Being as though this is the suburbs, don't y'all think that thugs have access to cars? And, "riff raff" are attracted to the same stores that we all are. They like tourist destinations, too. So, what makes people think that thugs won't come down there just because NH has a bunch of fancy, high-end stores when NH is within a 3 mile radius of all of these areas?

My stance has been just as you said, build it, but lay down the wrath of God if anyone gets out of line. This may sound awful, but I remember when I was young, when me and my friends would go to the mall, the mall security would tell us we could not walk in groups of more than 2!?!? They profiled young blacks. Maybe that is what needs to happen. You see someone who fits the "description" of riff raff and have security harass and follow the heck out of them until the word spreads that this place does not want our "kind" down here. Now, I am not saying that this is the way it should be handled, but the enforcement is going to have to come because they chose to build NH is an area close to some cities/towns that have been known to have trouble. Great water location, just wrong side of the bridge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
A viable county should have upscale and mid-scale shopping. Not all one or the other. PG has more of the latter and lot of low-scale shopping as well. The county is trying to bring in more upscale shopping and increase viability. I support that initiative.
Agreed. But, going back to marketing 101...why would you build a multi-billion dollar project next to Oxon Hill, Southeast, DC and other surrounding areas; market it towards upper-middle to upper-class whites in their upper 30s when those are the very people who have a negative perception of PG County and live in gentrified DC, VA or Mont. & Anne Arundel counties?

Just my opinion, but Bowie residents are not going to drive 30 minutes down the road to shop here unless you put in something they do not have because it is not convenient. It does not make sense to pass up the locations they have, or Annapolis or Arundel Mills, to come to NH unless you are going to Ovo, you have a conference to attend @ NH, or you decide to get a room for the weekend and stay @ one of the nice hotels.

Again, Wegmans @ Woodmore will attract people from 30 minutes away because it offers a different experience and it is unique. There are only 2 in the county. There is nothing unique about NH's stores except the Gaylord, which is a hotel, because there is not another in the area.

Finally, I agree with you in regards to high-end shopping. But, do it right. You cannot tell me that you have seen a project go "live" for 3+ years and offer so little in terms of shopping. Brandywine's new development has more shopping opportunities; it went up in 1+ years, if that. Waldorf continually builds things in a 1+ year time frame. I don't even know when Woodmore Towne Centre started, but it wasn't years and they have 3 anchor stores open (Wegmans, Petsmart/Petco, Best Buy), and you can do more shopping there than you can @ NH.

High end is fine with me; I can afford it. But, high-end does not keep out "riff raff" when the development is within a 3 mile radius of less desirable neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
The issue really isn't excluding certain people but excluding behavior.
AGREED. Again, that is the point I have been making all along. You exclude behavior with enforcement. Again, using my old analogy, you do not prevent yourself from having a nice home or car for fear of attracting "riff raff". You make your house as nice as you want, you get the car of your dreams, and you put "riff raff" on notice by getting the proper security equipment, a nice "peacekeeper" with some hollow-points to go along with it, and you put the fear of God in them.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:25 AM
 
Location: 10 Years Later from ...
8,003 posts, read 5,450,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liliblu View Post
Erwin Peaal is a recent closure. I was thinking about an article I read this summer. No stores had closed at that time. I don't count the stores inside the Gaylord. Those aren't the places that catch most people's eyes.

I still don't believe that many of you have a realunderstanding of what the Harbor is becoming.
Why don't you count the store inside the Gaylord? There was plenty of foot traffic near the store, since its in between all of those restaurants. The problem with the pajamas store is that it doesn't make sense. Really you think people are going to come there to buy pajamas? If the store had something else to offer than it would be a different situation but it was just a horrible idea. Have you ever seen a store in a mall that just sells pajamas?

As a matter of fact a few of the stores in there and out in the Harbor don't make sense. I don't see people spending thousands of dollars now to buy crystal sculptures, or buying robot figurines. Some of it just doesn't make sense. They are trying to keep the riff raff out, but they don't have anything that attracts anyone to come. When my in-laws come up, they don't really come to shop, or to see certain sites, they come to stay in the Gaylord Hotel. That's the only attraction down there that really is drawing people. The lure of staying at a luxury hotel is the only thing and after that there's nothing else that brings people back.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Some T-1 Line
505 posts, read 498,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatkins View Post
Why don't you count the store inside the Gaylord? There was plenty of foot traffic near the store, since its in between all of those restaurants. The problem with the pajamas store is that it doesn't make sense. Really you think people are going to come there to buy pajamas? If the store had something else to offer than it would be a different situation but it was just a horrible idea. Have you ever seen a store in a mall that just sells pajamas?

As a matter of fact a few of the stores in there and out in the Harbor don't make sense. I don't see people spending thousands of dollars now to buy crystal sculptures, or buying robot figurines. Some of it just doesn't make sense. They are trying to keep the riff raff out, but they don't have anything that attracts anyone to come. When my in-laws come up, they don't really come to shop, or to see certain sites, they come to stay in the Gaylord Hotel. That's the only attraction down there that really is drawing people. The lure of staying at a luxury hotel is the only thing and after that there's nothing else that brings people back.
THANK YOU, MEATKINS, FOR COMING BACK...THANK YOU.

Now, meatkins does not agree with everything that I say, so I am not throwing him extra kudos for that. But, he and I both live down here and are looking @ this in its totality. As meatkins states, you can't exclude what stores are in your assessment; a store is a store - if it closed down, it closed down.

I hear people keep going back to "PG needs high-end", "it's a great tourist destination" or "National Harbor is not finished yet", but won't talk about what it currently offers the people when it has been open for 3+ years and there have been other developments that have offered significantly more in the same amount of time when they were first built.

Finally, I agree with meatkins. The crystal sculputures and robot figurines do not make sense - not for the price. The Rita's, the Pretzel and Hot Dog kiosks are nice additions. This provides proper BALANCE. Not everyone wants a veggie burger (Elevation Burger), or a sit-down restaurant. Sometimes, you just want some cheap, American food. Even rich people love bargains or ordinary stores. Meatkins and I aren't saying to ghetto-ize the place, but you have to take your environment into consideration.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:49 AM
 
1,679 posts, read 2,252,783 times
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Quote:
ust my opinion, but Bowie residents are not going to drive 30 minutes down the road to shop here unless you put in something they do not have because it is not convenient. It does not make sense to pass up the locations they have, or Annapolis or Arundel Mills, to come to NH unless you are going to Ovo, you have a conference to attend @ NH, or you decide to get a room for the weekend and stay @ one of the nice hotels.

Again, Wegmans @ Woodmore will attract people from 30 minutes away because it offers a different experience and it is unique. There are only 2 in the county. There is nothing unique about NH's stores except the Gaylord, which is a hotel, because there is not another in the area.

Finally, I agree with you in regards to high-end shopping. But, do it right. You cannot tell me that you have seen a project go "live" for 3+ years and offer so little in terms of shopping. Brandywine's new development has more shopping opportunities; it went up in 1+ years, if that. Waldorf continually builds things in a 1+ year time frame. I don't even know when Woodmore Towne Centre started, but it wasn't years and they have 3 anchor stores open (Wegmans, Petsmart/Petco, Best Buy), and you can do more shopping there than you can @ NH.

High end is fine with me; I can afford it. But, high-end does not keep out "riff raff" when the development is within a 3 mile radius of less desirable neighborhoods.
So many good points. You are so right on the money. I live in Bowie and I know I'm not going all that way except for a special outing, or a whim kind of day. And I never even thought much about the fact that the project has been up and running for three years and still only has what it has.

And I have to admit I wondered about the 'surrounding areas' negatively affecting the success of NH. "I'm just saying...."


Quote:
Why don't you count the store inside the Gaylord? There was plenty of foot traffic near the store, since its in between all of those restaurants. The problem with the pajamas store is that it doesn't make sense. Really you think people are going to come there to buy pajamas? If the store had something else to offer than it would be a different situation but it was just a horrible idea. Have you ever seen a store in a mall that just sells pajamas?

As a matter of fact a few of the stores in there and out in the Harbor don't make sense. I don't see people spending thousands of dollars now to buy crystal sculptures, or buying robot figurines. Some of it just doesn't make sense. They are trying to keep the riff raff out, but they don't have anything that attracts anyone to come. When my in-laws come up, they don't really come to shop, or to see certain sites, they come to stay in the Gaylord Hotel. That's the only attraction down there that really is drawing people. The lure of staying at a luxury hotel is the only thing and after that there's nothing else that brings people back.
Speaking of the pajma store.... and stores that sell one kind of item, or that has a super speciality limited inventory.....I was in Columbia mall and stumble on a store called "everything but the Water." and I thought 'what the,?'...wondering what the store sold. So I walked closer to the door peeked in and it just sells BATHING SUITS. I didn't go IN, so I didn't see all the inventory, and what other related secondary items it might sell. But basically it just sells bathing suits. And I'm thinking and wondering. How the heck does a store stay in business and just sell bathing suits? I'd never heard of the store. So I don't know whether it was new this year, or how long it had been in business there -- and granted I was in the mall in the spring and summer. But I still wondered about retail outlet having to pay the kind of rent that location must demand -- and being successful only selling bathing suits. And this store was in a mall with great foot traffic, not a hotel, where you have go be IN the hotel to even know it's there.


Quote:
I hear people keep going back to "PG needs high-end", "it's a great tourist destination" or "National Harbor is not finished yet", but won't talk about what it currently offers the people when it has been open for 3+ years and there have been other developments that have offered significantly more in the same amount of time when they were first built.

Finally, I agree with meatkins. The crystal sculputures and robot figurines do not make sense - not for the price. The Rita's, the Pretzel and Hot Dog kiosks are nice additions. This provides proper BALANCE. Not everyone wants a veggie burger (Elevation Burger), or a sit-down restaurant. Sometimes, you just want some cheap, American food. Even rich people love bargains or ordinary stores. Meatkins and I aren't saying to ghetto-ize the place, but you have to take your environment into consideration.
We'll just have to see what happens.

I know that you aj live in that area because that was advantageous for you. But your comments and dilemma just drive home the point to me, that if I'm upper middle class or upper income, then that's the kind of area i want to LIVE in, and those are the kinds of neighbors I want. Because part of the reason you all don't have any shopping areas is the perception -- and reality, to some extent -- of the kind of people and neighborhoods you are living in or surrounded by.

I've always said I want to be the poorest person in my neighborhood. Buy as high up as you can. Not that Bowie is "all that" by any means. But I really don't like the word being spread about how nice it is. Because I don't want more people -- who may or may not affect the enjoyment of my town -- coming here.

I rented in Montgomery County -- down town SS to be exact. And I don't REGRET buying in PG. But I sure as heck thought twice -- no three or four times -- about it. And the issues we've been discussing are why. I DO THINK more higher income people E V E N T U A L L Y will move here. It's close in and NOT as crowded as NoVa and MontCo. EVENTUALLY, and I think it's already started to SOME extent, people will realize the commute out Rte 66 AIN'T WORTH IT!

I confess I wonder how crowded NoVa and Mont will have to get! before people REALLY start looking at PG. Cleaning up our shopping and improving our 'demographics and socio-economics image' will help. So NH is good -- even if it is only ONE STEP.

Last edited by selhars; 10-27-2010 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:18 PM
 
Location: 10 Years Later from ...
8,003 posts, read 5,450,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Speaking of the pajma store.... and stores that sell one kind of item, or that has a super speciality limited inventory.....I was in Columbia mall and stumble on a store called "everything but the Water." and I thought 'what the,?'...wondering what the store sold. So I walked closer to the door peeked in and it just sells BATHING SUITS. I didn't go IN, so I didn't see all the inventory, and what other related secondary items it might sell. But basically it just sells bathing suits. And I'm thinking and wondering. How the heck does a store stay in business and just sell bathing suits? I'd never heard of the store. So I don't know whether it was new this year, or how long it had been in business there -- and granted I was in the mall in the spring and summer. But I still wondered about retail outlet having to pay the kind of rent that location must demand -- and being successful only selling bathing suits. And this store was in a mall with great foot traffic, not a hotel, where you have go be IN the hotel to even know it's there.
Yeah that's interesting and I have seen a similar store in other malls. I'm sure those stores know their clientele before they open up shop. In Columbia a bathing suit store people makes a lot more sense there, then it would make at The Blvd. A pajama store in the National Harbor or anywhere doesn't make sense. Pajamas aren't exactly a necessity in people eyes, as opposed to bathing suits. If you go to the beach you are likely to need a bathing suit and since there are a few beaches nearby, not to mention pools, they probably get booming business during the warmer months. Pajamas? Do people still wear them? I don't know, it doesn't seem like pajamas are the norm and even if people do wear them, why would they buy them there as opposed to all the other places they could go. Is there something special about their pajamas? You can get around buying pjs but not bathing suits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
I know that you aj live in that area because that was advantageous for you. But your comments and dilemma just drive home the point to me, that if I'm upper middle class or upper income, then that's the kind of area i want to LIVE in, and those are the kinds of neighbors I want. Because part of the reason you all don't have any shopping areas is the perception -- and reality, to some extent -- of the kind of people and neighborhoods you are living in or surrounded by.

I've always said I want to be the poorest person in my neighborhood. Buy as high up as you can. Not that Bowie is "all that" by any means. But I really don't like the word being spread about how nice it is. Because I don't want more people -- who may or may not affect the enjoyment of my town -- coming here.

I rented in Montgomery County -- down town SS to be exact. And I don't REGRET buying in PG. But I sure as heck thought twice -- no three or four times -- about it. And the issues we've been discussing are why. I DO THINK more higher income people E V E N T U A L L Y will move here. It's close in and NOT as crowded as NoVa and MontCo. EVENTUALLY, and I think it's already started to SOME extent, people will realize the commute out Rte 66 AIN'T WORTH IT!

I confess I wonder how crowded NoVa and Mont will have to get! before people REALLY start looking at PG. Cleaning up our shopping and improving our 'demographics and socio-economics image' will help. So NH is good -- even if it is only ONE STEP.
Well that's the funny thing about it, Fort Washington is considered to be an 'upscale' area, but you would never know it by the reputation the area holds. The Tantallon subdivision is a quite reputable subdivision that is probably a step below the Woodmore level, but still has huge mansions, country clubs, golf courses, and a marina. It also has residents like Riddick Bowe, Gladys Knight (she owns/owned a house over there), and Delonte West. These are the little secrets about Fort Washington that never get out. The reason why Fort Washington isn't being considered for development over Oxon Hill is because it has inadequate road systems to support the number of people it has already in addition to it having frequent crime that occurs.

I do believe Fort Washington is going to 'the next big thing'. Have you noticed when you drive on I-495 in either direction towards Oxon Hill or if you drive on MD-210 they have signs that tell you how far you are from Fort Washington. I had to sit back and ponder that for a moment. I asked my wife, if she thought that was strange too, which she agreed. On the surface, Fort Washington doesn't really have any unique attractions to it other than the marina and a national park (which is beautiful), so why are they putting signs up to go to Fort Washington? Probably the same reason why you are hearing about proposal to change zoning laws to develop down there (which ended up being tabled). They are definitely trying to do something with Fort Washington. I don't believe those signs are coincidence. They know that Fort Washington has a lot of land, big income, and has long been desiring for retail. I believe it is only a matter of time before they get to Fort Washington. It's definitely coming.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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meatkins:

On one hand you say
Quote:
Fort Washington is considered to be an 'upscale' area, .... Tantallon subdivision is a quite reputable subdivision that is probably a step below the Woodmore level, but still has huge mansions, country clubs, golf courses, and a marina. It also has residents like Riddick Bowe, Gladys Knight (she owns/owned a house over there), and Delonte West. These are the little secrets about Fort Washington that never get out.
on the other you say
Quote:
The reason why Fort Washington isn't being considered for development over Oxon Hill is because it has inadequate road systems to support the number of people it has already in addition to it having frequent crime that occurs.
Those two things don't go together for me....upscale mansions, celebrity owners...and FREQUENT crime?
I'm puzzled?

When I think upscale (potomac, chevy chase, mclean) I think LESS, INfrequent or practically no crime, the exact opposite of FREQUENT crime

Last edited by selhars; 10-27-2010 at 07:00 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:58 PM
 
Location: 10 Years Later from ...
8,003 posts, read 5,450,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
meatkins:

On one hand you say on the other you say

Those two things don't go together for me....upscale mansions, celebrity owners...and FREQUENT crime?
I'm puzzled?

When I think upscale (potomac, chevy chase, mclean) I think LESS, INfrequent or practically no crime, the exact opposite of FREQUENT crime
No I'm not kidding, that's Fort Washington in a nutshell. We are still trying to figure it out ourselves. Now I don't want people to think Fort Washington's crime is equivalent to Capitol Heights' crime, because its not. It is bad, but not don't-go-outside-bad. The crime has remained a big reason for the lack of development. I don't know how they will curtail it, but there has been a push to get a police substation down there and it looks like it is coming soon. They maybe a start.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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I hate to hear that Fort Washington has the kind of crime you describe, because it just feeds into the stereotypes we all hear.

You say you're still tying to figure it out -- but we know the kind of explanations others will give, don't we?

And I hate to say it but when I hear things like you're saying it makes me want to agree with PG's detractors.

And forget upscale areas like Potomac, McLean, Glen Echo, Chevy Chase -- because I don't think Fort Washingto nis on THAT level.

But IF even areas like Savage Mill, Aspen Hill, Olney, Layhill, Sandy Spring or Burtonsville have less crime -- you tell me what's the obvious difference between those areas and Fort Washington??
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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ajsmith I said I liked the farmers market not flea market. I bought fresh produce, green beans, beets, sweet potatoes, peaches, squash, etc.
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