Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Meet the New Year! Same as the old year? As C-VILLE’s journey through our archives comes to a close, it’s nice to know that the more our city changes, the more it stays the same. Case in point? You’re either a Gogol Bordello city or you ain’t—and Charlottesville, you most definitely are. New York City’s gypsy-punk act, which returns to perform at the Jefferson Theatre on New Year’s Eve (page 19), brings equal parts mosh pit and melting pot. It’s the sort of eclectic, cosmopolitan show that speaks as strongly of its audience as the performance itself. So when you toast to 2010, remember the words of another true original, designer Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Hear, hear!

Paging through the archives

“A gypsy violin and a punk guitar, the semiotics of an Eastern Bloc cabaret—Gogol Bordello’s Slavic- and Israeli-descended musicians have turned cultural bric-a-brac into a kind of post-something happening. But despite the plentitude of imagery and derivations, their message seems to be simple…denouncing cynicism as a capitulation of the spirit, Gogol Bordello subscribes to the concept of theatrical abandon as an instrument of psychic liberation.”

Harry Terris
November 19, 2002

 

Getting covered

 

February 15, 2005

 

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Ice, ice, baby—too cold? Too much? It’s been about 14 years since we received a winter wallop like the snow-smacking we got last weekend. And when C-VILLE revisited our coverage of the blizzard of 1996, we found that our city deals with nearly two feet of the fluffy white stuff the same way it did then. The Department of Public Works attacks main roads with salt, a few folks throw on their cross-country skis…and the rest of us? Well, we stay indoors and pick up a good read. Remember, readers: Much like the mail, C-VILLE must go through.

Paging through the archives

“And even as City crews scraped and hauled around the clock, residents began to complain. ‘The roads ain’t too good,’ an Angus Road man said, unforgettably, to The Daily Progress last week, summing up what everyone but an Inuit tribesman would conclude. The Virginia Department of Transportation, responsible for clearing County roads, took it on the chin as Albemarlians groused that the streets in their subdivisions remains winter wonderlands as late as Wednesday.”

John Blackburn
January 16, 1996

 

 

 

Getting covered

January 16, 1996

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Eight games into last year’s basketball season, former UVA coach Dave Leitao and his Cavaliers had a 4-4 overall record. One year and one coach later, new guy Tony Bennett and the Wahoos find themselves holding steady at the same spot. Throw in the recent announcement of new head football coach Mike London, and it’s enough to make any Virginia sports fan wonder if it’s true that the more things change, the more they stay the same. After all, we certainly haven’t seen any NCAA championships since C-VILLE covered the departure of head coach Pete Gillen in 2005. Then again, maybe big changes get our hopes up. In 1995, Restaurantarama weighed in on the tiny changes that made one local restaurant a persistent winner. Pick us up next week to see what else has changed in the last 20 years.

Paging through the archives

Restaurantarama, December 12, 1995

“Lately, observant [C&O] diners have noticed subtle architectural changes—each occurring without fanfare one after the other.

“First, about two years ago, floodlights showed up to enliven the facade at night. Then came a beautiful new heart-pine front door. Last winter, a brand new Tuli Kivi soapstone woodstove replaced the aging iron thing that had been trying to keep the mezzanine warm. Last year also saw a beautiful curved opening cut into a wall—so first-timers wouldn’t get lost in the twisty, turny interior. A few weeks ago, a wooden canopy went up over the door. Sound mundane? It’s not; it’s a beautiful heart-pine creation. With some artful curves echoing the tall bar stools in the bistro, it’s a Charlottesville original: Albemarle Art Nouveau.”

Getting covered

March 22, 2005

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Ancestral Ace



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Well before Governor Tim Kaine took an interest in your health, your friends at C-VILLE offered to coach you through the painful process of kicking cigarettes just because it is a sound thing to do. Now that a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants is in effect, you may want to heed our advice. Visit the archives on c-ville.com for tips on butting out. Likewise, walking is an idea whose time has come—or come around again. Six years ago, we reported on the alarmingly high percentage of third graders who were either obese or at risk of getting there. Walking was encouraged then, for the sake of their health. This week, we make a similar recommendation—for the sake of cutting fuel usage. Healthier kids, healthier planet: two positive outcomes from one simple step.

Paging through the archives

John Borgmeyer, April 22, 2003

Getting covered

January 4, 2005

 

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Purple pros

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Mike London is new head coach



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

In the 20 years that we’ve been hitting the streets over the winter holidays, we have not always taken a consistent approach. In 1990, for instance, we practically begged readers to turn away with our promise of a “Boring XMAS Issue.” But by 2006, we were fully in the spirit, putting Special Correspondent Sweet Cakes on assignment with gift giving suggestions that spell the word “generosity” in all caps. Stop complaining, and start giving back. That’s what we say now. And don’t forget to check back next week for more wisdom hard-won over the past 20 years.

Paging through the archives

“…darlings, darlings, darlings, it must be said: Sweet has enough stuff! Please give her not so much as one more lip-liner brush, nor a striped cardigan, neither another pot of Nars eye shadow and certainly no more cake platters! (That’s a family joke.)

“Sweet anticipates your protests. You want to give. Very good.… While they may not improve anyone’s silhouette, these gift ideas will upgrade your moral and social profile, your dearest narratrix assures you.

“Charity, lovelies. Philanthropy. That’s what Sweet is talking about. If you want La Cake to know how much you luff her, show her by donating to a worthy cause, something that, like Sweet, strives to make the world a lovelier, gentler place. (Send her a delicate, perfumed note telling her of your efforts. That’s all the gift she really needs.)

“Let’s say you’re artistic—and this is not hard to say as all of Ms. Cakes’ friends have what you might call cultural leanings. Please consider giving some cash in your dear friend’s name to the City Center for Contemporary Arts… “O.K., suppose you want something more do-goodery. The Free Clinic could always use your support. From what Sweet can gather some people go to the doctor for reasons other than elective cosmetic procedures—they need prenatal vitamins or to have their boils lanced or something—and the Free Clinic will take care of them, case closed.…

“Other ideas? Meals on Wheels, which for decades has been feeding the elderly and housebound just because it’s the right thing to do. How about the Music Resource Center, which keeps kids off the streets and in the recording studios where they belong? There’s always the SPCA, where Fifi gets a fighting chance to go home with a new fashion-conscious family.

“See, don’t you feel better already? Well, you certainly look better. Your skin is positively glowing from that magic elixir called Doing the Right Thing.”

Sweet Cakes
November 28, 2006

Getting covered

 

End of the Year Issue, 1990

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Phone-y business

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Freaked on the leash



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

It’s that time of the year again for two great traditions that go great together. We speak, ’natch, of the time-honored practice of lying about the status of your term paper. With finals looming, one corner of Charlottesville is teeming with procrastinators—the kind of people to whom we paid tribute 19 years ago for their many excuses for blown deadlines. Not that thesis-eating dogs are the only animals that deserve recognition in late November. Turkeys rank right up there—especially wisecracking ones like Tom “the Angry” Turkey, whom we “interviewed” four years ago, on the cusp of the slaughter.

Paging through the archives

“‘Eagles, Ravens, Cardinals. If football and Thanksgiving are a natural pair, why not the Turkeys?’

“‘Not to get all self-loathing on you, but have you ever seen a turkey? Interacted with a turkey? Even caught a glimpse of a turkey on TV? If so, you would know that there is nothing about a turkey to inspire thoughts of fleet-footedness, fear, or alpha-maledom—all of which are qualities football teams aspire to conjure when they christen themselves.

“‘That said, Virginia Tech apparently didn’t get the memo. Their HokieBird is derived from a turkey, which sucks for them for the following reasons: First, turkeys are hardly athletic. They’re so fat their wings can barely lift them half an inch off the ground. They’d definitely be picked last for a fifth-grade game of dodgeball. Second, they’re dumb as a box of rocks. While they don’t drown in the rain as rumor has it, when they get scared they all crowd together in a corner and the stupid animal at the bottom often suffocates. One can only hope for the sake of the species that Darwinian theory ensures that in each instance the bird that dies is the stupidest of the stupid flock.’”

Nell Boeschenstein
November 22, 2005

Getting covered

November 27, 1990

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Twenty years of music and arts in the spotlight

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Purple pros



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

The first time we can recall reporting on someone’s grand scheme to restore the Jefferson Theater as a performance venue, after years as the Movie Palace, was 17 years ago. Before the property was picked up at auction by a local newspaper editor who then sold it 14 years later to a local music promoter/band manager/real estate mogul, community theater director and producer Peter Ryan espoused hopes to convert it to a 300-600 seat performance venue. Well, capacity for the new Jefferson is projected at about 750, but otherwise the ideas are not too dissimilar. And, while we’re talking about things that fundamentally remain unchanged, let’s turn our sights to the 58th District, which this week re-elected Delegate Rob Bell for a fifth term. When John Borgmeyer sat in with the rookie legislator in 2004, the question on our minds was whether Bell could write his own ticket. For the next two years, at least, and judging from last week’s decisive victory, the answer is clear.

 

Paging through the archives

“…Ryan is interested in the Palace because the stage and theatrical capabilities are already there. The Movie Palace began life as the Jefferson Theater and was used for a variety of stage activities, including vaudeville. Behind the movie screen, a four story high flyspace looms above like a huge elevator shaft for scenery to be hauled up and down. With a backstage that is fifty by fifty feet, there is plenty of room for the workings of any theater production. ‘The Palace is really much like a Broadway house,’ Ryan says.”

Arts Watch (anon.)
January 22, 1992

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting covered

February 24, 2004

 

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Twenty years of music and arts in the spotlight



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

This year’s Virginia Film Festival, “Funny Business,” will not inaugurate a new era of Virginia Film Festivals wherein funny things—and celebrities—happen. (Onetime local Steven Soderbergh popped in 16 years ago, for Cripes sake!) Things have always tended to get a little funny when Tinseltown’s A- through C-listers come to town. As we reported 10 years ago, the good news then was that Sigourney Weaver was not dropped from a spacecraft into an intergalactic penal colony filled with murderers with YY-chromosomal anomalies. (Alien 3—rent it.) The bad news, however, was that the badly dressed badass’ “flights were screwed up,” and the alien annihilator was late for VFF’s opening gala. Even when Weaver finally showed, those who didn’t catch her in the flash of the cameras likely didn’t catch her at all.

From the archives

“‘She,’ of course, was Hollywood mega-star Sigourney Weaver, aka Ellen ‘Get away from her, you bitch’ Ripley, the badass space heroine of Alien, Aliens, and Alien: Resurrection. Weaver’s high-tech characterizations actually date back to the slime-shooting days of Ghostbusters, but as the minutes ticked by, there was growing trepidation that anything but time-travel would get her to the Bayly on time. Apparently her flights were screwed up.

 

“Video artist Daniel Reeves was delivered to reporters as a sort of human coming-attraction, and the press tolerated his quiet musings on alternative exhibit spaces (his work was on display at the old train station) until the call went up ‘She’s here!’ at which point Reeves was dropped like so much stale popcorn.

“Alas, she was not here, and the ever-hungering press corps was left to salivate after the forbidden plates of battered chicken and quesadillas that festival partiers brought outside.

“The lights started flashing again when a Jayne Mansfield lookalike made her way up the path, preceded by a helium bosom and followed by gawking stares. Too bad, she was ‘nobody,’ and the Sigourney vigil pressed on.

“And then, as if in a movie, the leading lady graciously walked into the scene. Fair and tall in a green see-through overblouse and knee-high suede boots, she was reassuringly lined of face and charmingly lucid of thought. Yes, she loved working with [Stan] Winston on Aliens; yes, it was lovely to be at last on terra firma; and yes, she’d love to talk about her new movie. A Map of the World was a ‘real acting experience,’ she declared. Performing in sci-fi stuff, by contrast, was fun but left no lasting impression.

“She took a few more questions as the crowd pressed closer. She shook a few hands. And then, in a flash, she was gone.”

Cathy Harding
October 26, 1999

Getting covered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 3, 1993

Posted In:     News

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Thievery Corporation; Charlottesville Pavilion; Thursday, October 29

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Northern exposure



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 20 years of covering Charlottesville, it’s this: Folks here are political animals, but they’re not always electoral animals. Consider that seven years ago winning a measly 11 percent—11 bleedin’ percent!—of city voters was enough to land a new guy on City Council. We’re hoping that the pollsters are wrong when they assume that last year’s robust turnout was merely an Obama blip. Instead, can we rally for healthy participation, so that, whoever leads Charlottesville and Albemarle next, we can all believe in the results? And, while we’re at it, here’s a reminder that sometimes the political process is ruled by fate, such as the sad turn of events eight years ago that ultimately landed Creigh Deeds at the top of this year’s state Democratic ticket. If you miss Emily Couric, honor her devotion to civic duty and get to the polls. 

Paging through the archives

“On May 9, 2002, Rob Schilling sat at his home computer and created a pair of posters lettered with the words

‘Thank You.’ With his wife—and constant companion—Joan, he then spent the sunny Thursday afternoon standing on the corner of McIntire and Preston, waving the signs and smiling at rush hour traffic.

“Two days earlier, Schilling had defeated Democrat Alexandria Searls for one of two contested seats on Charlottesville’s five-member City Council. He won 2,169 votes, 359 fewer than the overall winner, incumbent Blake Caravati. Only 11 percent of the City’s registered voters had cast their ballots for Schilling, so out of the hundreds of motorists who saw his posters, probably only a handful understood the message. The rest had to wonder, who are those people?”

John Borgmeyer
July 22, 2003

Getting covered

October 23, 2001

Posted In:     News

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Meet Gwendolyn Whiting

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Many theories abound about when exactly Deeds lost the race



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Welcome to the 42nd week of our year-long trip through two decades of C-VILLE archives. Here is your table. Here is your napkin. Your server will be with you shortly. In the meantime, please peruse this menu of C-VILLE’s previous coverage of food and drink. You’ve got your Food Issues—our annual Food & Drink spectaculars that have, since 2002, spotlighted what’s tastiest from local restaurants, farms and wineries. And you’ve got your food issues—the many times C-VILLE has devoted ink to the politics and economics of eating. We’ve been on the eat beat for quite a while, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the buffet!

Getting covered

 

October 21, 2003

 

September 21, 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 18, 2005

 

August 1, 2006

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2006

 

October 17, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 23, 2007

 

July 10, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 25, 2007

 

April 1, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 17, 2008

 

August 18, 2009

 

Posted In:     News

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Ridge/Cherry corner gets nod

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Thievery Corporation; Charlottesville Pavilion; Thursday, October 29



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

We’re 41 weeks into this year-long archive search, and with this issue the theme is musical entertainment. First, what has become the perennial question of which music venues will survive: We asked that last week with the shuttering of Is, just as we pondered it 12 years ago, as Trax started to unravel. Then, the matter of the UVA Pep Band. We grant you, some might argue whether it was musical, but it was certainly entertainment. When, in a gesture six years ago that ushered in the era of the Cavalier Marching Band, this week’s cover subject, John Casteen apologized to West Virginians for a Pep Band skit that had gone too far, we were not amused. For that the UVA Prez earned from us a year-end Cheap Shot award.

Paging through the archives

“Despite holding three degrees in English, UVA President John Casteen must have never learned the definition of the word ‘joke.’ Maybe he’s never seen the ‘Award-Winning Virginia Fighting Cavalier Indoor/Outdoor Precision Marching Pep Band,’ either.”

John Borgmeyer
December 30, 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting covered

September 23, 1997

Posted In:     News

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New D.C. passenger train makes first local stop

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Meet Gwendolyn Whiting



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

“If music be the food of love, play on,” says Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a local production of which we praised in 2007 for its direction, musical numbers and actors—one of whom happens to be the subject of this week’s cover story. Local thespian Clinton Johnston is directing the Four County Players in Othello for the next few weeks, giving us another reason to highlight his talents. And speaking of talent, with the closing of Is last week, we were reminded of Gravity Lounge, another venue that closed earlier this year. Join us next week for another backstage look at C-VILLE’s history.

Paging through the archives

“Though Clinton Johnston and Eamon Hyland are a brilliant pair as Olivia’s ‘drunkle,’ Sir Toby Belch and his protegé, Sir Andrew Aguecheek (by way of Jaleel White’s ‘Steve Urkle’), Allen Van Houzen’s turn as Feste the Fool binds the three, through an unflinchingly giddy, quick-tongued delivery of even quicker puns.”

Brendan Fitzgerald
August 13, 2007

Getting covered

February 17, 2009

Posted In:     News

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U2; Scott Stadium; Thursday, October 1

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Ridge/Cherry corner gets nod



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

We know that for years you’ve been seeing other people—and we’ve been watching you watching them. That’s right, we’re talking about TV. Eleven years ago, we celebrated the rise of cable-access wunderkind  Trevor Moore, who went on to a Hollywood career from Covenant High School. And speaking of D-Listers, we subjected C-VILLE TV critic Eric Rezsnyak to hours of Kathy Griffin’s show, “My Life on the D-List,” which included among its episodes her visit to Charottesville to, er, perform at the Paramount. He captured some of what might be called the highlights of that segment. To be clear, Rezsnyak watched a screener. It’s our understanding that when the show finally hit the airwaves, the classic medical moment was no longer on view. Pity, that.

Paging through the archives

 

“2. After the show, Paramount impresario Chad Hershner informs Griffin that, ‘I have a group of about 20 gay guys who have stayed to see you…’ Charming.

 “1. Dr. John Hong (who is, at the very least, among the 20 gay guys Hershner alluded to) pays Griffin a backstage visit. The moment he crosses the threshold into the D-lister’s dressing room, the internist/ medical columnist/ice dancer ceases to be a human being and, for the next five minutes, more closely resembles a cartoon caricature of a human being. Seriously, it’s like Griffin is acting in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? as Hong literally hops around the room just squealing with excitement that he’s getting to meet this woman, the tertiary lead on ‘Suddenly Susan.’ He tells her she is his favorite comedienne of all time, is ‘so hot’ and ‘so sexy, baby.’ The viewer ponders what might happen should he meet, say, Nicole Kidman, but quickly forgets all that once he starts inquiring about her gynecological health and busts out what I would propose to be Charlottesville’s new tourism slogan: ‘If you ever need a Pap, come over here to Charlottesville. Dr. Hong.’ Can’t you just see the billboards?”

Eric Rezsnyak
May 30, 2006

Getting covered

 

May 12, 1998
 

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Law and order is a great deal more complex than any 60-minute TV show can convey. It’s not just evidence and a verdict, that’s for sure. And that’s one reason we’ve looked at it from many angles over the years. From the gulf between the ideals of community policing and the funding it requires, to the programs that aim to help inmates see themselves in a new light, to this week’s cover story on the challenges of getting free—even with all that and more we can barely untangle the criminal justice system. We expect to visit this topic many more times in the next 20 years. Sadly, we expect that even so, we’ll still only scratch its surface.

Paging through the archives

“He’d always liked drawing, so Kiheem Byers was glad to pick up some new skills in Lindsay Michie Eades’ charcoal drawing class. ‘She showed me how to make something look close if it’s close, or if it’s far away how to make it look far away. Or faces—how to balance it out,’ putting eyes, nose and mouth in the right positions…

 

“Some of the visions surprised him. ‘There’s a lot of talented people in the jail,’ he says. In Rose Hill’s class, one of his cellmates made a painting on a ceramic piece that expressed a kind of togetherness. ‘I was basically living with him and I didn’t know he was feeling the way he was. That was good.’

“Byers expects to be transferred to a penitentiary. ‘I hope to get into some art programs’ there, he says. ‘I hope to further my education, keep busy, do something positive.’ He’s glad that proceeds from the art he made in ACRJ classes will give other inmates the chance to experience what he did. ‘It’s good to give back. It’s a beautiful thing for people,’ he says.

“One thing he learned was especially freeing—that ‘there are no mistakes in art,’ he says. “I have a problem with perfection, so that was something new. My art was perfect in my eyes.’”

Erika Howsare
February 9, 2007

Getting covered

October 5, 2004

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

It’s amazing to us that a little less than 13 years ago, we sent a reporter to investigate a pending facelift in Belmont and he came back writing about the neighborhood’s “P.R. problem.” Sheesh, where did that go? These days, the place has an image too hip for its own good. At least that’s what it seems like when residents start yelling about yet another damn restaurant near the intersection of Monticello Road and Hinton Avenue, the same juncture where our reporter formerly discovered that “signs of life are few.” $55,200 houses? A dearth of white-collar residents? Not anymore, honey.

Nine years after that Belmont story, in December 2005, we brought you a different kind of development news: 18,725 new houses in the pipeline for Charlottesville and Albemarle. When it comes to growth, it’s just as we noted then: “The word alone is enough to start an argument. We need more! We need less! Hardly anyone seems to think things are just right as they are.”

Then again, as the intervening years have made clear, the real estate market always has the last laugh.

Paging through the archives

“It’s mid-morning in Charlottesville’s Belmont neighborhood, and signs of life are few at the intersection of Monticello Road and Hinton Avenue, an area nicknamed ‘Downtown Belmont.’ The buzz of an air drill can be heard in a nearby garage, while a few cars move down the narrow road lined with somewhat rickety mini-marts and frame houses…

 

“Still, Belmont’s disrepair has a gritty charm—a charm that many residents want to preserve, albeit with less grit. This year, City officials are spending more than $300,000 for a Belmont facelift…

“‘I’m excited about these improvements,” says architect Joe Celentano, a Belmont resident for 10 years and owner of a stucco and wood frame house on Belmont Avenue for the last two. ‘Belmont has a lot to offer in the sense of a neighborhood.’

“Celentano, a member of a City task force to improve Belmont, is just the type of person City officials want more of in the stucco-fied neighborhood.

“They want white-collar folks with families who see opportunity in rickety old houses; folks who enjoy a front-porch culture, where neighbors visit each other; and folks who don’t mind when the smell from Moore’s Creek Sewage Treatment plant wafts up every so often from the valley…

“Better yet, cool housing is affordable in Belmont for low- to mid-income folk: the median value of a house —mostly proud but repair-hungry frame houses dating from the 1890s and onward—is $55,200, compared to an average of $84,000 for the entire City, according to a local study.”—Jonathan Fox, October 29, 1996

Getting covered

 

“Recently Charlottesville has seen 477 new residential units go up, with places like Coran Capshaw’s Walker Square Apartments on W. Main Street, or Frank Stoner’s Belmont Lofts setting the tone for the thousands of new units that are on the way. Much of the city’s new commercial space will be combined with residential space, a trend known as ‘mixed-use’ development. Part of the City’s plan is for suburban refugees and Wahoos to be able to walk instead of driving their cars.

“In Albemarle, C-VILLE’s development forecast points to the designated growth areas: Pantops, Crozet and Route 29N will continue exploding with new apartment buildings, subdivisions and big-box shopping centers…

“The brew is percolating, so to speak, with recent news of one of the area’s biggest land deals ever. Last month the Breeden family sold its 1,353-acre farm, known as Forest Lodge [or Biscuit Run], for more than $46 million. Developer Hunter Craig, rumored to be backed by the giant Toll Brothers homebuilding company, purchased the parcel and could put nearly 5,000 homes just south of Charlottesville.”—John Borgmeyer and Nell Boeschenstein, December 6, 2005

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

This week’s feature story on Nelson County butcher Richard Bean fits nicely into the ongoing coverage of local food and drink that we at C-VILLE have been publishing for a number of years now. A lot of it’s been in a celebratory vein: introducing you to Virginia winemakers, giving shout-outs to the restaurants that list Keswick arugula on their menus, filling you in on the best ways to use those peaches you bought at the City Market (see our monthly ABODE section). But growing all that food is serious business, and accordingly, local farmers face serious issues. In late 2007, some of our local food coverage was a little less sweet than sour, as a legal battle engulfed Double H Farm. For some people, the case was a lot more disturbing than any hog carcass could be.

Paging through the archives

 

“[The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’] avid pursuit has led to suspicions that VDACS has targeted Double H to make an example of the small farmer.

“‘It’s not up to us to decide what the law is,’ says Elaine Lidholm, a VDACS spokesperson. ‘We don’t make the law, we just enforce it. Right now the law does apply to everyone across the board.’

“‘If you’re asking if they’ve been treated in a discriminatory way, I would say no,’ says [Polyface Farms owner Joel] Salatin. ‘VDACS is trying to hold them to the letter of the law. If you want my feeling on if it’s a good law, that’s another whole discussion. The most critical issue here is that all of Richard’s and Jean’s customers who buy their food because it’s better than any place else are now being denied the freedom of food choice to decide to patronize their excellent products. That should raise the hackles of every red-blooded American.’

“One of those is Paul Kingston, a UVA professor of sociology who has been named interim associate dean for arts, humanities and social sciences. ‘I told [Bean and Rinaldi] the first time I ate one of the their pork chops that I considered it life transforming,’ he says. ‘I’ve been on a quest to find the ultimate pork chop and I found it.’”—Jayson Whitehead, October 2, 2007

Getting covered

Photo by Jason Lappa
November 6, 2007

“‘The average person eats 70 pounds of beef a year,’ says Joel Salatin over the caws of the hens parading around the people gathered on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, for the second annual Legislators on the Farm Day. Two politicians—one aspiring, the other an incumbent—stand behind him, waiting their turns.

“If there is one figure that has united the local food movement, perhaps even nationwide, it is Salatin. A third-generation farmer, he has become the focal point of a band of intensely devoted individuals who view as a fundamental right their ability to sell meat and vegetables they have raised directly to consumers. The fact that the government, the USDA specifically, must intervene in the middle of this process is an accepted but hardly tolerated evil.

“While Salatin has been at this for decades, he is at his most visible now, thanks at least in part to a 2006 book called Omnivore’s Dilemma. Lovingly crafted by author Michael Pollan, the tome details a litany of abuses wrought by industrial agriculture while balancing those against the efforts of indigenous farmers like Salatin. It has become a Bible for the movement and by placing Salatin at its center made him its messiah.”—Jayson Whitehead

 

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Stand up and be counted. When C-VILLE first started reporting on the best of what’s around here, we relied exclusively on our own wit and wisdom—earned from hours spent sitting in a cramped basement! Since then, we’ve gone the full circuit, seeking your insights over ours, dear readers, on an electronic ballot. This year we return with the rack of opinions you rely on to add spice to your votes. But you still get the final word. Send your vote for best “Best” cover to mailbag@c-ville.com.

Getting covered

 

February 27, 1996

July 8, 1997


April 7, 1998

April 13, 1999

July 18, 2000

August 27, 2002

August 5, 2003

August 3, 2004

August 2, 2005

August 8, 2006

August 14, 2007

August 12, 2008

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Temps have been cooler than usual, but one thing that has stayed hot for four summers running is our annual photo contest. The art director heads to the beach and we turn to you, dear readers, to fill in the picture. Though you share with us images from every imaginable aspect of local life, the winning pictures since 2006 have an obvious common thread—kids! Maybe it’s just a coincidence. After all, the panel of judges changes every year. Regardless, we like to think a youthful spirit pervades every issue of C-VILLE, whether children take the cover or not. Twenty years old and still keeping it fresh: It’s kind of an unofficial motto around here.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting covered

Photo by Johnny St. Ours
July 17, 2006

Photo by Helen Hamady
July 24, 2007

Photo by Sarah Cramer
June 24, 2008

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Certain mysteries remain unsolved, lo these two decades. To wit: Why did local musician Stephen Barling pen his music column under the name Cripsy Duck? (We know, but if we tell you, then we’ll have to serve you with fried rice.) Why do people keep coming back for more once they decide to move away from Charlottesville? While the answers remain unknown, we consider it our duty to pursue them anyway from time to time. If nothing else, it amuses, and that, among other things, has clearly been part of C-VILLE’s mission for the past 20 years. And so it shall be for the next 20 or more. Why? We just can’t explain it.

Paging through the archives

 

“Somebody’s yelling at me. ‘Crispy! Yo, man, Crispy Duck!’ I turn around and am confronted by a bullish man who’s found me out. Drat! My secret identity’s been compromised!

“‘Mission control,’ I’m whispering into my lapel mic. ‘ABORT, ABORT!’

“He’s babbling: ‘Hey man, when you gonna cover my band, man?’

“‘Did they tell you not to do anything on us? I believe they got it out for us.’

“Clearly, the beer has soaked through his paranoia buffer. I spend the next five minutes explaining that, despite conspiracy theories to the contrary, C-VILLE doesn’t have it ‘out’ for anyone. It’s not journalistically proper. And it wouldn’t be cool. Besides, it’s easy enough to generate animosity just by telling the truth.

“‘And by the way,’ I state in closing, ‘it’s criPsy, not criSpy.’ That always gets ‘em.”—Stephen Barling, aka Cripsy Duck, November 2, 1999

Getting covered

 

“We’re here because Charlottesville is a place where we can work and live and date and have friends and theoretically copy our files to computer disks without the computer eating them. In most places you have two areas of operation: you and your intimate associates—lovers, friends, family—and a nebulous ‘society’ out there in the distance—the stuff on TV, the stuff in newspapers. In New York, there’s your intimate circle and the untouchable myth of New York beyond. In Richmond, there’s your intimate circle and the untouchable myth of America beyond.

“But in a town of this size with a public space like the Mall, a middle ground opens up. A space where you’re not on intimate terms but still influential, a space between the near and the far. That means Charlottesville isn’t starkly divided between the Somebodies and the Nobodies. Everybody is sort of a Somebody, and nobody is entirely a Nobody. (The down side is that nobody is entirely a Somebody and everybody is something of a Nobody.) The Mall has grown so much in popularity it’s becoming more like a vague outer circle (You should have been here back before people like you showed up!), but you can still learn things about group behavior you can’t learn watching TV.”—Joel Jones. June 24, 2003

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Some bouts mean more than others. The struggle against bulldozers and development is no laughing matter. It concerns the look and temperament of a place, and if a battle is lost, hardly anyone can call for a do-over. What would that even mean? In light of major changes underway in McIntire Park, we consider the history of Vinegar Hill, which inspires in many people feelings of regret over a place lost to backhoes and notions of “improvement.” Those very emotions were captured a couple of years ago by William James, a local playwright who penned Vinegar Hill Revisited. Another kind of theater—and battle—earns our attention this week, too, but it’s far lighter in spirit than matters of road-building and urban renewal. We speak of CLAW, the Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers, that outlandish mix of circus and charity that sprang up monthly last year and will return for one time only this weekend. Whether it’s bouts between beauties or man against the machine, we’re getting you the story week after week. We’ve been fighting deadlines to do it for 20 years, and we’re glad to say, we haven’t lost one yet.

Paging through the archives

“‘I saw Zion Union as they tore away her bricks,’ begins a monologue by Mary Lou. ‘That beautiful Church was like a well-robed Lady, gorgeous.

They stripped her naked. We got to see her bared planks. What her bricks had covered for all those years, from 1907 to 1964 was revealed to the world. Then the Wrecking Cranes and the Battering Rams came to rape her! Threw her to the ground and penetrated her! She had stood before them helpless, humble and chaste; and they laid her down to the earth, prostrate and disgraced.’”

—Scott Weaver quoting William James’ play, November 27, 2007

Getting covered

Nov. 4, 2009
 

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

It’s a matter of precision. With the word “local” at risk of becoming a term as ubiquitous and somewhat meaningless as “green” or “organic,” as this week’s cover story illustrates, we remind you of the specific use of that term when we applied in our cover package from last year, “How local can you go?” In that piece, Cathy Clary introduced us to area farmers who participate in Community Supported Agriculture—the direct-to-consumer food movement. For CSAs “local” means “grown right here.” By contrast, for Wal-mart and other corporations, it seems to mean “sold right here.” Further, on the subject of precision, we will let you consider whether the ongoing Meadowcreek Parkway controversy still merits a war-like comparison (maybe you’d say, “Yes, more so now than ever!”). Meanwhile, we’ll continue our endeavors to cover local news precisely and meaningfully. It’s a course we’ve been on for 20 years, and much like a road that seems inevitable and a trend that keeps advancing, there’s no stopping us now.

Paging through the archives

“Current City Councilor Virginia Daugherty, who has voted to progress the project towards completion, is married to former City Councilor John Cover, who has changed his mind on the Parkway and has become one of its most vocal opponents.

“‘It just illustrates what a controversy this is,’ Daugherty says. ‘It happens even within the home—it’s like the Civil War.’

“And like the Civil War, Charlottesville will survive the Meadowcreek Parkway, whether it is built or not. Either way, McIntire Park will most likely be developed further by adding walking trails and perhaps a boating lake.”—Coy Barefoot, December 16, 1997

 

 

 

Getting covered

April 1, 2008


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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Roads. We hate them, we love them, we pollute them, we rename them. We cannot get very far without them, but still we cannot make our peace with them—perhaps for good reason. Few local issues rival the Meadowcreek Parkway for longevity and heat. With last week’s decision from Judge Jay Swett that the city of Charlottesville acted lawfully in transferring McIntire Park land to VDOT for the controversial road, the 40-year debate returns to the news. Three years ago we considered some of that very land in our occasional series “Places We’ll Lose.” John Borgmeyer described the nine-hole golf course that will be indelibly altered when the Parkway is finally completed (back then projections called for construction in 2008). “The McIntire course’s first hole affords a view that you can’t get anywhere else in Charlottesville (outside the master bedroom of a swanky condo, that is),” Borgmeyer wrote. “The tee sits below a canopy of gnarled trees; hit a true shot and the eye follows an arc through a wide blue sky, a path of lazy clouds that disappear over the forested ridge rippling to the east, dropping into a broad fairway of Bermuda grass among ancient old-growth oaks—some with trunks wider than a bundle of telephone poles.”

PAGING THROUGH THE ARCHIVES

“Yeah, it’s a free society, M.G. But there is a long list of things you’re just not allowed to do.

“You can’t yell ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater (although it probably won’t do much harm at a showing of Air Bud II). You can’t pay someone to have sex with you (unless you’re first willing to pay for a plane ticket to Nevada). And in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, you’re not allowed to put up signs advertising your business on any of the road right-of-ways (unless you want to fork over big bucks for a billboard).

“Which means the sign you’re referring to that has been out on Route 250 all summer long is definitely a no-no.”—Ace Atkins, August 25, 1998

 

 

 

GETTING COVERED


June 13, 2006

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Electric and Benevolent; The Extraordinaires; Punk Rock Payroll

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Splat



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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eurydice; Live Arts, in the Upstage Theater; Through June 27

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Judge Swett rules Meadowcreek Parkway land transfer legal



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

We cannot deny it. We’ve picked up some trade secrets in the past 20 years—at least as far as living local goes. But we’ve also done more than our fair share to make sure some things, like the City Market, remain well-known, public treasures. Year after year, we have compiled lists of summer must-dos and dressed them in…er, random…covers. Well, we’ve been at it long enough that there’s no reason now to limit our guidance and expertise to three months of the year. And that gets us to this week’s cover story, listing 25 essential and timeless Charlottesville experiences for true insiders. Stick with us, week after week, all you wannabe and getting-there locals, as we track through the reportage and insight that make us your indispensable guide to life in this here lively town. 

 

Paging through the archives

“I have a friend who won’t go out on summertime Friday nights. Why not? ‘I have to be at the City Market when it opens.’ Okay. This is one of the most happening spots in the city. I’ve seen doctors, lawyers, riff-raff, common folk, hoi-poloi cruising the flowers and produce. There are also crafts and a coffee stand for those who don’t do well at seven in the ayem. You know the place—Water & First Streets. You know the time—Saturday mornings from 7:00 until noon. You know the ambience—funky cool.”—Jenny Mead, May 27, 1997

 

 

 

 

Getting covered


May 27, 1997

 

Posted In:     News

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That's amore

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Electric and Benevolent; The Extraordinaires; Punk Rock Payroll



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1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight

Is there anything that won’t thrive in Charlottesville? In 24 weeks of looking back through our 20-year archives, the answer seems to be no. Whether it’s local rock or a rock-hard will to reconfigure local buildings and public spaces, people in Charlottesville get things done. Take Jessica Nagle, for instance. Her drive to remake Downtown Charlottesville has been on full display all month as the Festival of the Photograph, of which she is a co-founder, transforms trees and facades into screens and frames for outstanding pictures. But for more than 10 years, she has demonstrated her commitment to rethinking tired locales. Fresh ideas and free access? Sounds like a winning combo made for the pages of C-VILLE. Check back next week for more historical tidbits from this still free and still free-thinking newspaper.   

Paging through the archives

 

“On December 14, a ribbon-cutting was scheduled…at what had been something of a black-hole on the Downtown Mall, the former operations center for Jefferson National Bank.

“One of the biggest buildings downtown, the 52,000 square-foot beast will soon be home to the explosively growing SNL Securities…for this special renovation, the person calling the shots is…Jessica Nagle.

“‘She’s bringing life,’ says well-known developer Gabe Silverman, ‘to a building that was closed to the street.’”

—Hawes Spencer, December 15, 1998

“Even if their financial database company, SNL Financial, didn’t pump 275 gainfully employed people into the Downtown economy, Jessica and Reid Nagle would deserve commendation simply for the makeover they accomplished a couple of years ago. They took the hulking monolith formerly known as the Spy Building (and officially dubbed the National Ground Intelligence Center) and transformed it into something approximating a sleek, city-centric pillar of white-collar industry.

“It wasn’t an impulse born of aesthetics that prompted them to relocate to 90,000 square feet on Seventh Street from their chunky brick building on Fourth Street. No doubt the deal they brokered with the City of Charlottesville to rent the Spy Building at rates far below market sweetened their interest in remaining Downtown. But what was the bottom line? Their company had outgrown its home. Again.”

—Cathy Harding, June 21, 2005

 

Getting covered

October 11, 2005