East Rockville: Bauer Stores
Bauer Shopping Center: A Perfect Enclave Site?
A note to all, from late November 1999: this page was composed under extreme duress, and is here mostly for historical purposes. Exceptionally bad things happened to me here for a while. I was quite at a loss to understand it. To some degree I am still at a loss to understand it. Actually, I have a fairly good explanation; at the time this was originally composed, about late 1995, the region was in the grip of some sort of mania. I was pretty "mental" myself, at the time, but I was not part of what seems in retrospect to be a global mass-psychosis in the surrounding communities. After this paragraph, with the exception of the "notes in closing" at the end, this page remains essentially unaltered.
All images are placed with north to the top of your screen.
This is a satellite view of the Bauer Shopping Center, about two miles east of Rockville Maryland. This is a fairly old photo, from about 1973 if memory serves I grew up here, and I've been watching the place Change.
The bridge at the upper left corner is the Route 28 bridge over Rock Creek, which is located about a mile south of Lake Bernard Frank. The Rock Creek valley is rather deep here compared to the adjacent land. The road angling up from the bridge is Maryland Route 28. The road angling down from about the top-center of the picture is Bel Pre Road, which divides the English Manor subdivision from the Manor Country Club division. Manor Club is not accessible from Bel Pre road, with the exception of one small street at the far end of Bel Pre, which is not shown in this image. Bauer Drive is the road which intersects Route 28 forming the intersection at which the stores are located. Note the enclosed neighborhood created by Sycamore Creek to the south, Bauer Drive to the east, and Rock Creek to the west, with the northern apex commanded by the Bauer Drive stores and the intersections of Route 28 and Old Baltimore Road. Bauer Drive snakes through the steeply-rolling hills of English Manor, intersecting with Arctic Avenue towards the bottom right of the image. Arctic connects with Aspen Hill Road, a fairly major thoroughfare which originated at Georgia Avenue to the east and Viers Mill Road (Maryland 586) to the south and east, also crossing Connecticut Avenue in the Aspen Hill neighborhood. West of Bauer Stores along Route 28 is Gude Drive, where office parks housing such firms as Genetech, Vitro Laboratories and several other firms of extreme industrial and defense importance are located. The other shopping center in the area is the Aspen Hill/Northgate Center, which had by 1995 come uncomfortably to resemble a staging area for foreign invasion.
Please obtain a topographic map from the United States Geodetic Survey, and examine the terrain. Immediately to the west of these stores, one sees the land fall rapidly into the Rock Creek defile, which runs north to south and which contains a "bike path" running from Lake Needwood to the north all of the way to the Potomac River in Georgetown, Washington DC. Note that there are, within six miles of this location, exactly six bridges across the Rock Creek defile, two of which routes are directly controlled by this high-point, and four of which could easily be controlled by artillery from this high-point. One of these bridges, the one across which Route 28 runs, would be irreplaceable outside of peacetime. The Old Baltimore Road bridge is after all a simply pass-over atop a ford extant since colonial days and could be speedily replaced and should it become necessary to invest the Bauer Enclave strongpoint, highly recommended as the strategic emplacement would offset almost any losses. I presume that this strategic advantage is the reason that it was targeted for acquisition through insurgency.
This is a close up of the Bauer Stores while under construction. It should be noted that the half-circle seen at the bottom of the close-up is some of the highest ground in the area. The three-story buildings placed on this promontory are low-cost housing for parolees, indigents, refugees and displaced persons who, at the expense of the State of Maryland and Montgomery County now occupy the commanding view of the entire region. More low cost housing, primarily for the elderly and the disabled, is across Bauer Drive, nearly vertical in both images. Not shown in this image is the recently-added northern wing of the Bauer Stores complex, which converts the facility into an eminently-defensible "C" shape. There are only two driveways leading from the parking lot at present, which lead onto Bauer Drive, which is heavily-trafficked during daylight hours. Also not shown in this image is the fairly large Bauer Recreation and Community Center, built in about 1980, which has a full-sized gymnasium and many meeting rooms. It is located in the space between Earl B. Wood Middle School, across Bauer Drive from the stores, and the low-income housing at the corner of Bauer and Route 28. Behind the stores, on much lower ground, one can see the Old Baltimore Road branching off from Route 28, winding down to the Rock Creek Valley.
If you want to have extremely bad things happen to you, walk into the Safeway located on the south side of Bauer Stores. It is recommended that you dress down; this enclave is served by the Montgomery County number-48 Ride-On bus, which also serves a homeless shelter and mental-health services outreach facility. The insurgents evidently feel that they are doing a good thing by attacking anyone not wearing their uniform of yuppie ostentation. If you want to have even more bad things happen to you, walk into the adjacent beer and wine store. If you're a bear for punishment, try being a repeat shopper. If you want discover for yourself, for a fact, that the Bauer Shopping Center is an enclave of vicious and oddly-armed insurgents (or equally-likely, a self-reinforcing local subculture in the grip of some mass-psychosis or religious-delusional state), walk in and look alert, like you might be slightly suspicious, and remark to anyone at all that you think the place is weird. Walk into the CVS pharmacy, and act like a normal human being, and see what happens to you. Interested parties will intercept low-power communications alerting enclave staff to the presence of an outsider.
But please, before you do this, make out your will. Make sure that someone who does not live in the area knows when and where you're going, and be sure your insurance is paid, and be prepared to leave the region before you can receive medical treatment for the horrors that the Bauer Insurgency Enclave will inflict on you. As for me, if you're there at the right time, you might be lucky and be a witness to the horrors inflicted on someone else, who will probably turn out to be me. Don't say you weren't warned about the proactive paranoid sociopaths who have evolved extremly effective and highly technical means for defending their enclave, making the common mistake of proactive paranoid sociopaths: attacking any innocent who bumbles into their domain. It's how they're usually discovered. It's also most unfortunate that by the time the Insurgents reach this level of psychopathology, they've generally gotten really very good at killing, or worse, have adapted medical technologies to the ends of witness prevention and mayhem of intruders.
Oh, by the way, look carefully at the edges of the property of the stores and you can easily discern that the entire facility is mounted on pilings. When construction was completed on the adjacent housing, the rather large volume beneath the stores was finally concealed, but to the best of my knowledge, it remains.
Sometimes I wonder if it is, and if so by whom, occupied.
End Notes, 1999 November -- Recently construction began, or more properly destruction began.
In the image above, almost all of the parking lot visible between the stores and the highway has been built on; and almost all of the buildings of the former stores have been demolished. Hopefully this will put a long-deserved end to the local culture of psychotics, religious delusionals, or possibly infiltrators which had come to control the place and turned it into a special gateway to Hell awaiting anyone who matched the description of whatever triggered those people to act as they did... Whoever it was who took the essential steps required to stomp this enclave of evil weirdness, you have my undying gratitude, assuming that the place can be prevented from being re-occupied. I will endeavor to keep the world informed.
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