Staycationer’s Guide to North Woodside

Sights to See: Natural Wonders, e.g. “The Niagara of North Woodside,” viewable whenever the sky really unleashes.

Want to know where some famous people grew up? Which house still has an old horse hitch and well in back? Where the hidden stream flows? Where to find some delicious guava, mango, or soursop ice cream on a hot and sultry day?

Discover the humble wonders of our very own neighborhood in The Staycationer’s Guide to North Woodside. Written and organized like a tourist guide book—Sights to See (Natural Wonders, Historical Sites, Botanical Gardens), Things to Do, Where to Eat, and How to Get Around—the guide’s 27 pages contain almost 60 things* to see and do around the neighborhood—something for all ages and staycation inclinations!

How to Get Around: By bike! Need a tune up? Contact Freewheeling Bike Tune-Ups, a free service of North Woodside resident Manuel Vera.

The guide was a fun little summer pandemic project a couple years ago for North Woodside resident Anna White. This summer it may be of particular interest to any new neighbors wishing to get to know their new home better, anyone who’s had their vacation plans scuttled by airline cancellations or Covid, and parents and caregivers of young children looking for ideas for simple, fun, and creative activities to pass away downtime.

North Woodside residents and NWCA members who are subscribed to the neighborhood listserv can access the guide in the listserv’s online file section (Click on the “Fun” folder). A digital or hard copy can also be requested by sending an email to the NWCA Communications Coordinator.

Enjoy the Local Art Scene: Check out the painted stones around the neighborhood!

Thanks again to all the neighbors who provided information for the guide!  If after skimming through it you’d like to suggest additional North Woodside-related history, places, things, or activities to include in an updated version, please do!

For a few more things to do and see listed in The Staycationer’s Guide to North Woodside, see below.

* Note: A few listings in the guide are now out-of-date.  Likewise, there are a number of brand new neighborhood sights to see and things to do that are not listed and may be included in a future revised version.

Things to Do: Peruse Used Books. Visit one of the four little libraries in North Woodside. Above: Children read books found in the Philip F. Welsh Memorial Library.
Participate in the Local Art Scene: Color in a North Woodside Coloring Page. Neighborhood resident Barry Galef created one for each of 12 neighborhood scavenger hunts that took place Spring 2020. The one above was for the Scavenger Hunt #1 (One-of-a-Kind Decorations).
Sights to See: Historical Sites, e.g. Houses That Mirror the History of Residential Architecture. Can you find the above Sears Kit House?
Sights to See: Botanical Gardens. There are many small and beautiful gardens to be found in North Woodside through the seasons.
Places to Eat: Tropics Ice Cream. The best tropical ice cream around!

Support Neighbors’ Businesses!

Carrie Carter (Kansai Treasures) works on a unique piece of jewelry.

North Woodside’s new webpage profiling neighbors’ businesses is now live!

Need the inside or outside of your house repainted? Got a chair that needs re-upholstering? Desiring some custom-made cabinets? Interested in taking cello lessons or an art class? In need of assistance resolving a conflict? Looking for a unique handmade piece of jewelry or hat?   There are neighbors who offer all these services/products and more!

Support Woodlin ES: Snider’s Gift Card Match and 2021 Receipts

New! Snider’s Gift Card Match

For the month of December, Snider’s is running a gift card special “Buy One, Get One, Support One” where you can purchase a $100(+) gift card, get a free $10 gift card, PLUS Snider’s will match and donate all $10 gift cards to the school of your choice, including Woodlin Elementary School. This is a new program they are starting that, if successful, will continue every year as a way to support local schools and their programs. So get your holiday shopping done at Snider’s and gift it forward to Woodlin!

Snider’s Receipts from 2021

The Woodlin PTA is now collecting Snider’s Receipts from 2021! Did you know for every receipt we collect, Snider’s donates 1% back to Woodlin? We are now collecting all Snider’s receipts dated from 2021 – please drop them off at 1914 Stratton Road (on the corner with 2nd Ave), or email woodlinPTA.fundraising at gmail dot com to arrange a pick up.

Help us out and collect receipts from your friends and neighbors!
**All receipts from 2021 must be submitted by February 4th, 2022.**

72nd Annual Tree Lighting

Singing following the lighting of North Woodside’s Community Tree on December 13, 2020

This year’s Tree Lighting program, organized by Holiday Committee Co-Chair Julie Lees, opened with an alto sax version of Let It Snow, followed by a small group of physically distanced singers blending their voices together for Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace).

After a few words of welcome by NWCA President David Cox, the Community Tree was lit and O Christmas Tree sung. Then it was time for a certain white-bearded man’s arrival to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. Neighborhood children came, by appointment, to greet Santa and pick up treats. The event was streamed live and can be viewed below.

Thanks to Snider’s for once again donating a box of oranges for Santa’s treat table.

Farewell Woodside Deli

The original Woodside Deli on Georgia Ave—a much-loved neighborhood institution for 72 years—closed suddenly in early October due to a disagreement with the landlord on renewing the lease. Many neighbors expressed shock and sadness over the closing on the neighborhood email list. A Woodside Deli memory from a long-time neighborhood resident:

When I lost to Doug Duncan in the 1994 Democratic primary for County Executive, he was nervous about who I might support in the November general election. The Republican nominee was a smart, popular elected official (in those times, the County GOP was a real player—we had Republican Councilmembers and our Congresswoman was Republican) and Doug ran poorly in this area of the County.

So after the primary election we met at the Woodside Deli to discuss specific issues we differed on, the coming campaign, and my potential endorsement. The Woodside was a popular spot for politicians and reporters alike and remained so to its very unfortunate demise. Just yesterday (October 10), I got an e-mail from a prominent reporter saying, “ Oh no, now where can we meet and talk over breakfast?”

I shall miss the Woodside mightily.

— Gus Bauman

Snider’s, Our Neighborhood Grocery Store

By Lisa Sanders

Save your Snider’s receipts! Find out why below.

Dave Snider has been in the grocery business for three-quarters of a century. The son of Lillian and Louis Snider, founders of the eponymously named grocery store located at Seminary Road and Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Dave and his brother Jerry began helping with the family business while in elementary school, after school and weekends. His dad ran the meat department and his mother worked cashier, says Dave, who turns 83 this year, while he and his brother “…did anything, everything. We unpacked boxes, bagged groceries, stocked items. When we got older, we drove trucks and delivered groceries – the sort of thing that Peapod does today. There was no set job; we just worked.”  

After school-and-weekend work morphed into their lifetime vocations. “Our family is not immune to work,” says Dave, noting that Jerry, who passed away four years ago at 80 years of age, went to the store his very last day.  Because Snider’s Super Foods is independently owned, located in the heart of Silver Spring, it has been very closely connected to the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Save Your Snider’s Receipts

Jerry created the Snider’s Receipt Donation Program as a way to generate business and to give back to the community, explains Dave. His three children attended Montgomery County Schools, including the former Montgomery Hills Junior High (now the Greater Washington Area Torah School), just up the street from Snider’s. The program has grown by word of mouth over the years to include 25 schools. But our neighborhood school, Woodlin Elementary, is the largest participant. This year Woodlin received $2,804 from Snider’s – a significant donation that will help pay for such PTA-sponsored efforts as buses for after-school clubs. “It was a way to say thank you to our customers, to give back to our community,” says Dave, a longtime North Woodside resident until a few years ago.

More Men Shopping

Chatting with Dave offers a  peek into our community’s changing tastes and cultural habits. “We never saw men  shopping, back then,” he says of his early days as a grocer. “Now men and women  both are in the store. We’ve always been known for the quality of our meat; we buy nothing but USDA choice [a cut that’s like prime, but with less fat]. Still, in our store, as in most, the meat counter is about half the size of what it once was. Back then, people built their meals around meat. In contrast, the dairy department is larger today.” That’s because the variety of milk, yogurt, and cheese has exploded. Other favorites?  “You can’t keep things on the shelf in pasta and beans,” says Dave. Snider’s carries around 20 different brands of sauces today. Wine, similarly, occupies much more shelf space – in 1946, when Snider’s got its beer and wine license, the store carried only six different types, and pints were big sellers. Beer choices were either locally made brands (Senate, from D.C., and National Bohemian, from Baltimore) or nationals like Pabst, Schlitz, and Budweiser.  

“Still changing,” says Dave, of customers’ tastes and the products appearing on store shelves. While Snider’s can be more flexible than many big companies in sourcing specific items if enough people request them, he notes, “even for us, there are some we can’t afford to carry.”  And some costs, he says, cannot be passed on to consumers. Consider a jar of Hellman’s Mayonnaise. “People have an aversion to paying more than $5.00 for it, even if because of inflation it costs us more than that.” Snider’s sells it for $4.95. 

Good Business for Benefits Woodlin

“It’s a good business,” says Dave, “but it’s a hard one. It’s been good to me and to my family.” It’s also been good to Woodlin Elementary. 

Next time you are shopping, please say thank you to Dave and many Snider’s employees (including his longtime bookkeeper, Liz) who help to keep the receipt program going. 

Donate your Snider’s receipts! List of neighbors collecting them