Change your own oil, till your own garden, paint your own nails. It’s all too much to keep up with—throw some money at the problem and move on. Here’s who readers say top their list for good help, from car repair to pet hotels.
REAL ESTATE AGENT
Runner-up: Sasha Farmer
Honorable mention: Paul McArtor
It’s hard to resist an accent. And while we’re sure that’s not the only reason London-born Jamie White is going home with the gold this year, we can’t discount its appeal. White’s clients say it’s his sharp wit and fine-tuned negotiation skills, too, that help them with all aspects of buying or selling a home. Runner-up Sasha Farmer takes second place with her five-person team and her deep appreciation for all things Charlottesville.
HOMEBUILDER Latitude 38
Latitude 38 predicts what’s in store for local housing. The answer? Togetherness!
Will humans even be here in 1,000 years? Current global conflict, natural resource limitations and the recent successful entrance of Juno into Jupiter’s orbit, further compounded by my 5-year-old daughter innocently asking when the Earth will die, all led me to think that the probability of continued human success is finite.
But the idea that these incredibly adaptive unique creatures in the universe—humans—could be around in 1,000 years seems very possible, if not likely. I feel special to be one tiny cell in an expansive, ever-morphing collective body made up of millions of quotidian lives responding to their changing surroundings. And every one of us lives in a home. Some humans are like wasps, using wood to create a proverbial custom hive of rooms. Some humans are like hermit crabs, walking alone, finding homes no longer needed by others and adapting them to their needs. Some are like sociable weaver birds, who build massive hanging apartment buildings out of sticks and grass to stay warm during the cold seasons, huddling together for strength.
Humans will be no different in a thousand years. We will continue to adapt to our surroundings, using the materials we have available to build shelter that keeps us warm and dry and meets some inner calling of beauty. There will always be variation in taste, leading to a continued mix of detailing from simple, clean lines to ornate craft work. The skill of delivery will vary, too, depending on the demand of the user, which I estimate will generally increase across society, but could just as easily become more egalitarian or more stratified.
I feel pretty strongly that we will figure out creative ways to harness solar, magnetic and kinetic energy once the demand on natural resources makes them competitive with renewable energy. Already, model track home developments in the United States are being built to run on solar energy. This is not too far away. But, overall, homes will really not look that different from today.
What will likely look different, I believe, is how houses are grouped. There could easily be double the population we have now. In Charlottesville in particular, density will become much more accepted as people realize that community interaction can be regenerative. Large swaths of parking lots are not an efficient use of space, and I predict more and more consumer goods and services will be purchased remotely, reducing the need for travel. Social upheaval reverses the trend of seeking residence in urban areas (thus making the suburbs more attractive), but as we continue to work toward positive ways to commune with one another, we will move back toward the city center. I don’t think this necessarily means mega cities or communes; it might produce cluster communities of smaller homes. Charlottesville, especially, draws people from all over, and we’re already striving to live closer to one another and drive less. If we continue to work together to address our social failings, we will only want to enjoy our collective body more.—Joey Conover, co-owner of Latitude 38
Runner-up: Craig Builders
Honorable mention: Southern Development Homes
CAR REPAIR SHOP
Airport Road Auto Center
Runner-up: Bob’s Wheel Alignment
Honorable mention: Settle Tire
What is there to say about a great auto body shop? Most of them run on word-of-mouth, and our readers’ endorsement again this year speaks volumes of the family-owned and -operated shop. In business since 1971, Airport Road Auto Center boasts perks like free Wi-Fi, coffee and a shuttle service. Back in town, runner-up Bob’s Wheel Alignment keeps your motor running.
LANDSCAPING COMPANY J.W. Townsend Landscapes
Springtime in Virginia means dogwoods and redbuds, but, says J.W. Townsend Landscapes’ Tiffany McCord, “Charlottesville and Albemarle County play host to a wide range of native trees that many consider to be quintessential to the Virginia landscape.” Here’s a list of local natives that, as McCord notes, “have been a part of the Virginia landscape since long before we arrived.”
Runner-up: Snow’s Garden Center
Honorable mention: Dos Amigos Landscaping
All Things Pawssible
Runner-up: Canine Campus
Honorable mention: Pet Motel & Salon
With three indoor and three outdoor areas at All Things Pawssible, there’s ample opportunity for Spot to enjoy his home away from home. The trainers love their campers—they remember everyone who walks in the door (even if it’s only their second visit) and they learn the dogs’ buddy preferences and pair them in play groups according to size and romp style. The best part? It’s open on the weekends, so you can drop your fur baby off for a day of play while you run errands. Over at runner-up Canine Campus, the facility’s training day camp teaches dogs socialization and how to be good canine citizens.
Autumn Trails Veterinary Center
Runner-up: Georgetown Veterinary Hospital
Honorable mention: Old Dominion Animal Hospital
Pet owners know sicknesses and emergencies never fall within normal business hours, which is why Autumn Trails Veterinary Center is open seven days a week, from 8am-8pm, in case something unexpected comes up. Not only does the center, which opened in early 2015, offer routine health checks, it also provides dental hygiene, an on-site laboratory, dermatology, microchipping and boarding for when you have to leave town. And urgent care services are for all pet owners (not just Autumn Trails clients), which generally means shorter wait times and cheaper exam fees than an emergency hospital. Georgetown Veterinary Hospital, this year’s runner-up, is a perennial favorite for its acute attention to preventative, surgical and critical care.
All Things Pawssible
Runner-up: Canine Campus
Honorable mention: Off Leash K9 Training
Undesirable behaviors, say the folks at All Things Pawssible, are often the result of a miscommunication between two species. That’s why, from puppy 101 to basic obedience, their classes are geared toward teaching you to speak Dog as much as they are teaching your dog to sit and stay (and stop eating out of the trash). Runner-up Canine Campus uses science-based, relationship-centered training techniques and specializes in problems and prevention to help teach your dog to make good decisions.
Tandem Friends School
Runner-up: St. Anne’s-Belfield School
Honorable mention: The Covenant School
With less than 300 students between its middle school (grades five through eight) and its upper school (grades nine through 12), Tandem Friends can offer kids something few can in this age of overcrowding: attention. And that’s what readers are responding to when they voted it No. 1 again this year. Tandem creates the feeling of a small community on its 31-acre campus, giving individual consideration to each student. In second place, St. Anne’s-Belfield School continues its more than 100-year pedigree for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
HAIR SALON Bristles Hair Design & Day Spa
Bristles has been the place to get coiffed for more than 15 years, and while its group of over 20 stylists still wield the scissors to dramatic results, the spa services and advances in specialty care are not to be overlooked.
“Our newest service and the products that are doing well is hair replacement, wigs and toppers for people with hair loss or just for fun,” says owner Cat Burton.
With approximately 400 clients per week, the Bristles crew stays sharp on the latest trends (lots of bobs and lobs) and even a bit of whimsy as proven by a recent hair coloring layered in red, white and blue.
Runner-up: Moxie Hair & Body Lounge
Honorable mention: The Honeycomb
Runner-up: Spa at the Boar’s Head Inn
Honorable mention: Signature Medical Spa
Steps from Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall in one of the oldest residences in the historic district, Cityspa is open seven days a week and offers a customized experience to keep you pretty and pampered. From massage to makeup, Cityspa earns its top spot with a relaxing lineup of treatments for individuals and couples. Just down the road at the Spa at Boar’s Head Inn, residents can channel their inner Thomas Jefferson. The spa there pays homage to UVA’s founder by using the same plants found in Monticello’s garden in its oils and moisturizers.
NAIL SALON Serenity Nails & Spa
Some of us seek out nature or a cozy spot to find our happy place—and then there are the legions finding it at Serenity Nails & Spa. “I am lucky to have found my bi-weekly sanity, where I can take a moment and relax in their calm, serene environment,” says customer Carrie Throckmorton.
Is a crystal powder set in order? Or maybe you prefer a pink and white? Even if it’s just a color change, the long and short of it is: These nail technicians are artists-in-demand.
Runner-up: Red Handed Nails Salon & Spa
Honorable mention: Happy Nails
HOTEL, INN OR B&B
Boar’s Head Inn
Runner-up: Oakhurst Inn
Honorable mention: Clifton Inn
The Boar’s Head Inn wins big in all the ways an inn should: beautiful guest rooms, a top-rated spa, an excellent restaurant. But it also goes a little further, with a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Boar’s Head is Virginia Green certified, using geothermal heating pumps and compact fluorescent lighting and partnering with a local organization to turn its wasted kitchen oil into biodiesel. In the runner-up spot, Oakhurst Inn charms guests with thoughtfully decorated rooms and a hidden-gem café.
HALL OF FAME
Oasis Day Spa & Body Shop
It’s a well-known fact that if you want to treat yo self—to let someone file your nails or wrap you in seaweed or exfoliate your face—you go to Oasis. Its very name suggests a respite from the stress and strain of everyday life and that’s exactly the experience that owner Kore Russell had in mind when she opened the downtown shop in 2001. Since then, Oasis has become synonymous with “relaxation,” with a modern interior and more than 20 lines of skin, hair and nail products to nab before you go home (though good luck recreating the feeling without any help).
There’s no shortage of places to board your pet in Charlottesville. From doggie daycares to overnight camp, there’s always a place for Fido to rest his head. But Pampered Pets, the more than 27,000-square-foot facility off Preston Avenue, offers even more than that. Drop your furry friend off for the night and he’ll be groomed, socialized, exercised—in a word, pampered. The pet hotel makes accommodations for special-needs animals and kitty cats, too. You might say this place is purrfect.
Want more Best of C-VILLE? Click through to…