Atkins



Street smarts

Dear Ace: Any time I take a scenic drive around Charlottesville, the street I’m driving on inevitably goes through about 15 name changes. What’s the deal?—Jane Jing Lane Yes, Jane, Ace must concur—Charlottesville street names seem to change names more often than Paris Hilton changes partners. But you should count your blessings—you could, after all, […]

Getting physical

Getting physical

Dear Ace: What’s the deal with the new ACAC Downtown? When will it finally open?—Ivana Wehrkaut

Dear Ivana: Good question! The ACAC’s new Downtown workout spot has been a subject of much discussion in the ever-exciting world of local development, and Ace is all too happy to fill you in on the deal.

Chain reaction

Chain reaction

Dear Cy: Oh, Ace sure does hate being hassled by The Man! And, ever the libertine, he certainly understands your deep-seated desire (or narrow-seated desire, as the case may be) to flout the laws of the land, and to pedal wherever your heart leads you. Yes, Cy, you and Ace are the last cowboys-he free men of the range who spit in the eye of authority and invite all others to eat our dust.

Piercing Questions

A: That’s a pretty sharp question, Needling (sorry, Ace couldn’t resist). But seriously. Ritualistic piercing has been a part of the “body modification” menu since at least 1979, when Fakir Musafar, known in some circles as the “father of the modern primitive movement,” presented his personal piercing work at the first International Tattoo Convention. On […]

Winging it

Dear Ace: I was running through the UVA campus recently and passed a statue of a naked man with wings I’d never noticed before. What’s his story? —Marc U. Ray Dear Marc: While Ace admires your commitment to fitness, he must say it’s a pity you didn’t stop! The particular bronze you breezed by is […]

Sign o’ the times

Dear Ace: I’ve always set my watch by the SunTrust Bank sign on Rt. 29, but it’s been dark for almost a month now. What gives? —Oudda Thyme Dear Oudda: Ah, SunTrust—official bank of NASCAR, guardian of Coca-Cola’s original formula… What don’t they do? As of right now—for local residents, at least—the answer would be […]

YRU SOVN?

YRU SOVN?

Dear JST: Ah, the vanity plate. Nothing makes a bolder statement about a person’s individuality and relationship with his or her car—except, perhaps, the fake bullet hole decal-han the vanity plate.

A smashing success

A smashing success

Dear Ace: I’ve often driven by the sign for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Ruckersville, but I’ve never been in the facility. Can the average Joe take a tour? I’d love to see some car crashes!—Tess Dumet

Cross words

Cross words

Dear Ace: As I drive up 29N, I always see people trying to hoof it across those eight lanes of high-speed traffic. I can’t believe that there’s not a single crosswalk anywhere on this stretch of highway! Are there any plans to remedy this alarming situation?

Double Vision

Dear Toby: Cut-throat competition, aggressive audience recruitment, and leg-breaking requests: Yes, it seems that local theater is quite the perilous industry. But blatant show-stealing?

Deer reader

Deer reader

I was driving through the countryside yesterday and I noticed three cute little deer in the road. I was appalled, however, to see that they were not crossing at a designated deer crossing area.

Train in vain

Train in vain

Dear Lyna: Ace must agree: Nothing is worse than being kept up by noise on hot summer nights like these… unless, of course, you’re the one causing that noise. (Ace is looking at you, Advice Goddess, you salty minx!)

News from lake glow-be-gone

Dear A. Tom: Ace positively radiates with joy when he can answer readers’ questions, and yours is no exception. And so, to really melt down to the core of your query, Ace snapped on his triple-ply gore-tex gloves and dug into a heaping, radioactive pile of the truth.

Goodbye to U

Goodbye to U

Dear Ayla: Yes, the John Paul Jones arena, which has been under construction for the past three years, is finally set to open in a matter of weeks. This means its venerated predecessor across the street, University Hall, will no longer be home to Virginia basketball games.
To track down this particular answer, Ace went straight to the top dog: Craig Littlepage, UVA’s director of athletics. According to Littlepage, “University Hall will stand for seven years or so. The horizon may be for five to seven years or maybe even longer than that.”

American graffiti

Dear Lou: What\’s the deal, you ask? You\’ll forgive Ace if he\’s reluctant to play societal psychologist, since he\’s more at home with a pen and a cold one than leather couches and weird dreams about trains and cigars.

Meter mad

Meter mad

Dear Irving: Ace sorely wanted to get the word out about the sweet free parking spots around the Downtown Mall, even though his editors vowed to defenestrate him if he did.

Pipe down

Pipe down

Dear Punjint: “The deal,” as they say, is that hookah smoking is simply awesome, in the way that only a communal activity whose health risks haven’t yet been fully assessed can be.

Bagged down

Bagged down

Dear Barry: First off, Ace reminds you that you can always reuse your bags. Shoppers who use their own bags at Whole Foods get a nickel back for each bag they carry (though they are warned not to abuse the system—so no showing up with 200 bags shoved down your shorts). At Rebecca’s Natural Foods, one worker told Ace that she “always appreciates it” when customers use their own bags.

The river wild

The river wild

Dear M. Pure: Well, if there’s one thing Ace appreciates as he gets on in years, it’s fishing, swimming and canoeing… and drifting lazily downstream in a raft, drinking beer and ogling women in bathing suits, of course. Fortunately for Ace, the Rivanna River allows him do all of these things. But is it safe?

Selective service

Dear Ace: I ordered tickets to the “Wetlands Revival Tour” concert at the Pavilion, but the show has been canceled because Wynton Marsalis has an inflamed lip. I got an e-mail from the ticketing company saying they would refund the cost of the ticket, but not the service charges. I paid for these services to attend a concert that is now not being presented —why should that cost me money?—Nick L. N. Dimed

Who knows?

Dear Cyranose: If by “it” you mean your solitary state, if by “it” you mean the endless nights you spend alone even when entwined in the arms of another, if by “it” you mean the existential state of emptiness that eventually crushes everyone…no, it’s not your nose. It’s your species. Enter by yourself, exit by yourself: That’s the way we do it around here.

A soldier’s tale

Dear A.B.: Ah yes, the Vietnam Graffiti Project. Ace has more than a passing interest in this fascinating endeavor himself, as his father also served in Vietnam. Here\’s the deal: Around 1997, local military artifact historian Art Beltrone was helping with research for Terrence Malick\’s World War II epic The Thin Red Line. One of his assignments involved shooting video of the troop compartment of the venerable General Nelson M. Walker troopship (affectionately nicknamed the “Okinawa Express,” due to her frequent trips to Japan). The Walker was the very definition of a military workhorse, having seen active duty in WWII, the Korean War, and the opening years of the Vietnam conflict (she was deactivated in 1968, and eventually laid up in the Navy\’s James River berthing area).