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The notorious B-A-G

The notorious B-A-G

Last night my husband and I stopped off at our neighborhood grocery store, the one where we do our last-minute shopping for essentials like beer and half-and-half. We did our usual quick circuit through the aisles, and landed at checkout in under a minute. The worker at the register was unfamiliar to me, but the other young woman sitting nearby is an employee we’ve seen many many times.

Damn the torpedoes! Full carbon ahead!

Damn the torpedoes! Full carbon ahead!

This is the object that Converse, the shoe company, sent me as a marketing piece recently. Why, I don’t know; perhaps my involvement with SUGAR, our women’s style and health section, got me on their mailing list. In any case, this is a big old pile o’ wasteful indulgence on the part of Converse, if you ask me.

Net zero house is coming together

Net zero house is coming together

At an undisclosed location in Albemarle County last month, I got to see an impressive number of solar panels being installed on the roof of homeowners Richard and Melissa King. Thirty-six panels, in fact. They nearly cover the south roof face of this 2,500-square-foot house, which is being built on a fairly ordinary lot in a small, quiet subdivision.

September 08: Tangled up in blogs

In real estate, just like the recently completed Olympics, it really is whether you win or lose. (Think Phelps would have had that look of beatific amazement if he’d bombed out on the eighth gold medal?) How you play the game is just a means to an end. And these days, some of the essential […]

September 08: To make heat

September 08: To make heat

In the fateful year of 1993, Tony and Trew Bennett had already put 21 years of sweat, tears and living into their Nelson County property. They’d bought it in 1972, two young potters from Northern Virginia, and they’d built a yurt for housing, as well as a two-story building with a studio and an efficiency […]

September 08: Party in the back

September 08: Party in the back

Ah, old houses! How do we love your handmade cornices, your characterful proportions, your charmingly slanted floors! Your size, not so much. An addition by STOA Design + Construction makes a decisive stylistic break with the 1930 brick house it expands. Plenty of local homeowners, given the abundance in Charlottesville and Albemarle of well-seasoned housing […]

Fresh shoes for the weary

Never before have I planned a trip to which people’s reaction universally included the word “crazy.” Well, this was the one. I was going to Death Valley in July. My father and his friend Kim—my childhood dentist with the tattooed forearms—were planning to run the Badwater Ultramarathon course, a 135-mile race that starts 282′ below […]

Winneba in line as new sister city

Winneba in line as new sister city

“Ever since I arrived in the U.S., I’ve always had my people back home in mind,” says Nana Akyeampong-Ghartey. The native Ghanan immigrated from Winneba, a university town, 12 years ago, and he’d like to do what he can to shorten the 5,300-mile distance between Charlottesville and his hometown on the West African coast. “I […]

Your lap of choice

Readers of C-VILLE, when you voted Monticello the Luxury House You Dream of Living In, you revealed that your idea of luxury is, well, complicated. No McMansion, this. No granite countertops, landing strip for private jet, or (in the vacuous parlance of our time) “entertainment center.” No, Monticello is a luxury house of the Enlightenment, […]

Farm Bureau joins the local food party

Farm Bureau joins the local food party

It was a steamy day for a hot topic. A dog-day haze hung over farm stands piled with tomatoes, squash and other high-summer goodies. August 6, at the Meade Park farmers’ market, the Virginia Farm Bureau was set to launch a PR campaign that would land the group squarely on the local foods bandwagon. “Save […]

Kluge-owned eateries close, file for bankruptcy

Kluge-owned eateries close, file for bankruptcy

Locally-connected billionaire John Kluge isn’t immune to a weak economy, at least in the sense that some of the restaurant chains he owns have had to close. According to the New York Times, the national chains Bennigan’s (an Irish pub sort of place) and Steak & Ale (beef and beer, we’re guessing) are facing dire times. Bennigan’s was shuttered Tuesday and has filed for bankruptcy, and Steak & Ale will also close.

August 08: One thing leads to another

August 08: One thing leads to another

“If you were to design a house, you’d be highly unlikely to come up with this design,” says Theo van Groll, sitting in the dining room of his home in Gordonsville. Indeed, the house’s odd form—low and oblong, spacious but somehow appearing small—is unusual, and that’s because it wasn’t meant to be a house at […]

August 08: Plugged in

August 08: Plugged in

Talk about full circle: Megan Huddleston now lives in a house near Crozet where, as a 15-year-old, she fed dogs for a neighbor and had permission to walk through the nearby fields whenever she wanted. A year ago, she and her boyfriend Ferd Moyse—he’s a member of the Hackensaw Boys and they both play in […]

Perriello keeps on truckin’

Perriello keeps on truckin’

Constituents in Virginia’s Fifth congressional district keep ponying up for Tom Perriello. According to his campaign, the Democrat raised $313,000 in the second quarter of the year, which is a record for Democratic challengers to incumbent Virgil Goode. However, Perriello’s campaign doesn’t mention that Goode himself raised a bit more ($390,000) during the same quarter.

Layoffs at LexisNexis

One of the larger employers in town, the local office of legal publishing company LexisNexis, has laid off 18 employees, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch article published today. The first wave of cuts saw 11 local jobs axed in May following an April announcement that nearly 300 positions across the country would be outsourced. Another seven jobs in the Charlottesville office were eliminated last week; those cuts were due to restructuring.

July 08: Star turn

July 08: Star turn

Quick: Where is the sun? Many people, caught off-guard by that question, couldn’t come up with the right answer. Whereas in earlier eras people would locate the sun to figure out what time it was, we 21st century types tell time by our watches, our computer screen clocks and our cell phones. Sunlight’s got nothing […]

July 08: Home at last

July 08: Home at last

Daniel and Kari Rothamel are house professionals. They’re in their fifth year selling houses, and Daniel writes a well-read local blog about real estate (realestatezebra.com). But it wasn’t until this February that the couple became first-time homebuyers themselves. That’s when they moved into a not-so-big house in Lake Monticello, a place with the kind of […]

UVA study: Humans skeezed out by snakes

UVA study: Humans skeezed out by snakes

Yes, it’s true: People are scared of snakes. This from two researchers in the UVA psychology department, Vanessa LoBue and Judy S. DeLoache, whose study gets some exposure in the July/August issue of The Atlantic. The pair asked 120 young kids and their parents to look at photos of snakes and flowers and measured their reaction times in picking out a threat (one snake photo among eight flowers) and a non-threat (one flower photo among eight snakes).

Farmers and foodies eat a royal local feast

Farmers and foodies eat a royal local feast

Last night, at the Toliver House restaurant in charming Gordonsville, about 50 people gathered to celebrate the bounty of food and drink that’s locally produced. The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) sponsored the four-course dinner, but attention fell mostly on the farmers (and distillers, winemakers and ice-cream producers) in attendance, and the food they’d created.