Answer, Man?

Ace, for one, was found on a dark and stormy night on the doorstep of Albemarle County residents Mr. and Mrs. Atkins, tucked in a wicker basket with a letter that read, “Answer me.”

Fry by night

Hi Ace. Bastille Day is coming up, and I was wondering: Can you, gourmand that you are, explain to us why French toast is neither French nor toast? And what are French fries, really?—She-Don’t-Use-Jelly-in-Charlottesville Why are carrots more orange than oranges? Why is Iceland greener than icy Greenland? Why does time fly like an arrow, […]

Independence DOA

Dear Ace: It’s well known that Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within an hour of each other on the Fourth of July in 1826. What other famous Americans expired on the holiday?—Patrician-Mortician-in-Charlottesville Ace wonders if every classic American patriot—statesman, war hero, spaghetti Western character actor, etc.—secretly hopes his life’s trajectory will end on […]

Radio Free Albemarle

Dear Ace: Surely you’ve noticed that rather large, frankly ominous structure that popped up recently at the southwest end of the Montalto Ridge, among all those glowing red towers near Carter’s Mountain Orchard? What is it, and should I invest in a tin-foil hat?—Inquiring Mind That hat sounds like a good start. Why do you […]

It takes a village

Dear Ace: What would we be if we were Charlottesburg? What’s the difference between a ’ville and a ’burg, anyway?—Anton Burgess-Deville To begin with, you’d be reading these words in the C-Burg Weekly, not to be confused with that other paper, The Harpoon. Maybe that would be the extent of the difference. Then again, Ace […]

Palimpsest patrol

Dear Ace: Who cleans the Free Speech Wall, and how often? I’m trying to determine when it would be likeliest that I would find a wide, empty swath of slate on which to hide an encoded message in plain sight.—Chalkboard-Collaborator-in-Charlottesville The 54′ strip of Buckingham slate that stands at the threshold of the Charlottesville Pavilion […]

Toasts of the town

Dear Ace: My little sister’s getting married soon, and everyone wants me to make a speech during the reception. Trouble is, I’m a mumbler, I’ve always been struck with stage fright, and my off-the-cuff jokes aren’t funny, they’re just offensive and lame. Won’t you help me work up some gumption, Ace?—Stuttering-Stanley-in-Charlottesville Two words, Stan: Open […]

Cradle to Camera

Dear Ace: I really envy the parents of the next Picasso. Chances are, all they’ve gotta do is let their kid find some paints, a canvas and a brush and she practically trains herself. Me, I’m raising another Federico Fellini, or at the very least a Bertolucci or a Pasolini. So how do you nurture […]

Another brick in the Mall

 Dear Ace: I hear the CCDC is running an exhibition about the history and design of the Downtown Mall. What’s up with that?—Pedestrian-Mallrat-in-Charlottesville Good question. Nowadays Ace basically lives at the Mudhouse, having learned to sustain himself on a diet of dried coffee grounds and free Wi-Fi, and like you, he wonders about what exactly […]

Separation anxiety

Dear Ace: I called my trash removal company today and they’re telling me that I don’t need to recycle, but that if I put all my trash in the receptacle, they’ll separate the recyclables from the garbage. This just seems too good to be true. What’s really up with trash removal and recycling?—Doubting in Fluvanna […]

Social climbers

Dear Ace: Spring has put me in a Nietzschean mood. Where can I find a giant rock face to climb?—Der-Überbergsteiger-in-Charlottesville Ace groks ya, Friedrich. Having put himself through the kinds of dramatic highs and lows that most people never see outside of Wagnerian opera, he knows a thing or two about living on the edge, […]

Boar'd Stiff

 Dear Ace: Is there was any connection between Charlottesville’s Boar’s Head Inn and the Boar’s Head Brand of delicatessen meats and cheeses? And if not, just what is it about the head of a boar that makes me feel so danged refined?—Glazed-and-Confused-in-Charlottesville To answer your first question: Nope. And even less so now, since Boar’s […]

Better, Faster, Stronger

 Dear Ace: I had no idea Google had a dietary branch, but if what I’m hearing around town is correct, they’ve come up with something called “Google Fiber,” and the city and county want to bring it to Charlottesville! What’s up with that? And will it obstruct my ability to purchase digestion-assisting whole grains, flax […]

High hopes

 Dear Ace: Every year, my husband and I celebrate the beginning of spring with an aerial tour of the renewed landscape. We’re new to Charlottesville, and wondering where around here we might find a private plane, helicopter, or balloon to give us a bird’s eye view of the area?—Fuselage-Fool-in-Charlottesville Would-be Charlottesville aeronauts have several places […]

Prospective benefits

 Dear Ace: Times are tight right now. What’s the history of finding gold in the area? And do you think it might pay off for me to hit the creek with some panning equipment?—Ain’t-sayin’-he’s-a-gold-digger-but-ain’t-messin’-with-no-broke-rivers-in-Charlottesville So you want to know whether your auric ambitions will pan out? Fortunately, there are several factors working in your favor. […]

Amusement Pride

Dear Ace: What’s up with that carousel at the east end of the Downtown Mall? I’ve never seen another one like it.—Merrily-Going-Around-Charlottesville That’s because, according to New York/London appraisers Masterson-Gurr-Johns Inc., the little blue carousel on our mall is “the last known kiddy carousel in this country of its type.” The attraction, featuring seven painted […]

Film festivities

Dear Ace: I’ve been on a cinema kick since crashing The Paramount Theater’s Oscar Night Party last weekend, and I’m jonesing to get back to the celluloid buffet. Sadly, the Virginia Film Festival won’t be happening again for a while. What other noteworthy picture shows should my fellow film buffs and I be aware of […]

Hostel territory

Dear Ace: Some friends of mine are passing through Charlottesville, but I don’t have enough room in my apartment to put them up for the weekend, and their shoestring budget—to say nothing of their enormous, shaggy beards—puts most local hotels, inns and bed & breakfasts out of their range. Where in this town might a […]

Ace on the hill

 Dear Ace: What kind of effect has all this snowfall had on Charlottesville-area snowsports? I’ve never tried any, at least without the vicarious aid of a Nintendo 64, but everywhere I look now I see these scintillating heaps of powder, and I would hate for it all to go to waste. What does it take […]

Holidazed and confused

Dear Ace: On a scale of “one” to “a sullen wintry gloom,” how disappointed are you about the apparent lack of Mardi Gras awareness in this town?—Carnival-Craving-in-Charlottesville Oh merde, that was this Tuesday?   Hey, look: Roughly since February 2nd, when Punxsutawney Phil predicted another six weeks without joy or hope, Ace had been encased […]

Village Vox

 I’ve been hearing more and more about these ongoing, semi-private house concerts in Palmyra. Apparently they’ve been happening regularly for a while, and it looks like they’ve been putting on some pretty solid shows—Charlottesville singer-songwriter Jason Pollock (remember Seven Mary Three?) did one in January, for example. So what’s the story, Ace? And how do […]

Time after time

Hey Ace: Have you seen those peculiar timepieces —the ones with the animated sun and moon circling around the screen—that have been popping up around the Downtown Mall? My little girl found a kid-sized version in one of the Virginia Discovery Museum play zones, and later I spotted another one in the Bank of America […]

Evergreen, or just lucky?

Hey Ace: Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an oak tree on the 250 bypass (heading east, on the left side of the McIntire Park interchange) that is still green and full of leaves. Driving west, it’s more of a greenish-brown. How does this happen in January, especially considering the winter we’ve been having?—Oak-K-Commuter-in-Charlottesville […]

Whatever happened to Naked Phish Guy?

Hey Ace, whatever happened to the “naked guy” at the Phish concert? Did they kick him out? (It was freezing that night!) Give him a jacket? Give him backstage passes?—Phishin’-in-Charlottesville   Although you’d think that streaking and the Phish live concert experience would go together like milk and cookies, the appearance of the naked guy […]

Ace Sustained

So Ace, apparently the UVA Medical School has a department devoted to reincarnation studies?—Sam Sarrah   For the record, Ace is skeptical about reincarnation. It’s not that he’s never had mystical experiences of a past life; it’s just that his seem to indicate that, once upon a time, he was either Sam Spade or Chubby […]

Blanket action

Hey Ace: During the snowstorm, I cleaned my house and went through some old things. I have a couple of blankets I no longer use, and was wondering how I might go about getting them to somebody in need. Which organizations collect these, and to whom do they distribute?—Giving-it-away-in-Charlottesville It really is a shame that […]