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The house on green street

The house on green street

Terry Lilley’s son Isaiah mows the old-fashioned way—more practical in a small lawn space. We are living in a new age of green. All things sustainable, carbon-neutral and energy-efficient are hot; locally, new groups are forming to promote the green agenda and institutions like UVA and Albemarle County are making public commitments to sustainable construction. […]

Four Virginia Artists

Four Virginia Artists

art With Charlottesville turning its collective eye to photography via the Festival of the Photograph, the UVA Art Museum devotes a small space to a related exhibition that gives just a taste of four Virginia camera artists. This is a disparate quartet of heavyweights: fine artists and top-notch journalists including Sally Mann, Sam Abell, Emmet […]

Strange fruit

Strange fruit

“Personal” is a word often applied to Sally Mann’s photographs (along with others—“intimate,” “startling,” and sometimes that chestnut of wary critics, “disturbing”). And “personal” also describes the atmosphere of Steven Cantor’s documentary about Mann, What Remains,

Outside chance

Outside chance

It’s hardly news to anybody that the local real estate market has shifted. Whereas buyers a couple of years ago had to be happy with whatever they could find, now it’s sellers who are feeling a little desperate. What’s more, inventory is way up. When I asked Martha deJarnette, an associate broker with Pace Real […]

Capitalism on the commune

Capitalism on the commune

In August 2004, Derek Breen went upstairs to check his e-mail. “My bedroom was right above the hammock shop,” he remembers. At the time, just over a year into his Twin Oaks tenure, he was managing the hammocks business, the community’s biggest income source. Pier One was a longstanding and very sizable client—representing up to […]

Oakers among us

Oakers among us

Devon Sproule, perennial favorite of the Charlottesville folk scene, just might be Twin Oaks’ best-known local alum. (She grew up there.) But she’s hardly the only ex-Oaker, as they call themselves, to settle in Charlottesville. With the community only 35 miles away from our relatively cosmopolitan city, perhaps it’s a natural that Oakers leaving the […]

Making a living

… Plenty of outsiders come. They’ll pull off I-64 at Shannon Hill, then follow the calm roads a few miles north into Louisa County. Along the way is the usual rural mix of trailers, tiny frame houses, more prosperous-looking farms.

local food issues take center stage

local food issues take center stage

Along with peas and leafy greens, local-food talk is in bloom this early May. A mass mailing by the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), plus a pair of events connected to UVA’s Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, are attempting to jump-start local buzz about how food is produced, distributed and eaten around Charlottesville. “A number […]

Heart transplant

Heart transplant

“It had been coming for quite a few years.” That’s the understatement with which Janice Dodrill describes her decision, last summer, to redo the kitchen she’s lived with since 1980. Janice and her husband, Ernie, live in a brick ranch house in Earlysville, and if you talk with them about their home, you get the […]

Breaking ground on a planned utopia

Breaking ground on a planned utopia

Charlottesville may be a hotbed of green architecture—after all, it’s home to William (Cradle to Cradle) McDonough and legions of his followers—but it lacks actual green developments on a large scale. That’s the contention of Chris Schooley, who’s leading the charge by local development company Stonehaus to create a sustainable community nearly out of thin […]

Let down your hair

Let down your hair

‘‘This exceeded any expectations I ever had about a bathroom. We had visited [a house in Barbours- ville] that was life-changing. It changed our paradigm of what a house is; it sparked our imaginations. We said, ‘What if you put a bathroom in the top of a turret?’ The bathroom also has an unusual shape: […]

Stalking dozers late at night

Stalking dozers late at night

When local photographer Billy Hunt set out to record the strange, temporary landscapes that result from clearing land for development, he at first shot the sites in the daytime. “They were really not interesting to look at,” he says. “Just a lot of dirt.” Seems obvious, until you visit his show (up at Café Cubano […]

Shoplifting for resale

Shoplifting for resale

When I walked into the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail on March 21, I was in for a surprise. I was armed with a list of general questions about the black market—mostly street prices for drugs and prostitution—but had no idea who I’d be interviewing. A jail administrator had set me up with an inmate who […]

How we wrote it

How we wrote it

We know you’re wondering: How did we find all this information about the black market? The short answer: by asking everyone we could think of who might know something. First, we thought of the cops. And, indeed, police know a lot about illegal commerce. It’s just that they’re not always willing to share that information. […]

Robin Campo and Cynthia Burke

Robin Campo and Cynthia Burke

art Realism is back—at least that’s the impression given by two shows, by Robin Campo and Cynthia Burke, currently at McGuffey. Within a postmodern context, the quest to faithfully represent the world finds two quite different champions in these artists, a sculptor and painter respectively. Campo’s show, “Offering,” tends more toward the deadpan, while Burke’s […]

Abode Features: The plot quickens

Sure, there are about a zillion gardening books and magazines out there—not to mention a plethora of websites where every last detail of plant propagation is scientifically presented. But people still like to learn gardening from fellow amateurs. And, when a wise and friendly neighbor is not available to dispense advice fenceside, many of us […]

A Room of One's Own: Sit. Good.

A Room of One's Own: Sit. Good.

Jon Bright bought his spacious brick house on Altamont Circle in 2000; he already owned the one next door. They’re both close to a century old, and together they’ve supplied Bright, an after-work do-it-yourselfer, with an endless series of refinishing and remodeling projects. (His approach: “I put out the worst fires first.”) One of those […]

“Landscape at the Limit”

“Landscape at the Limit”

art If landscape means nature through a human lens, “Landscape at the Limit” should be required viewing for anyone with a Sierra Club calendar at his desk. Instead of those pristine, perfectly framed vistas—the environmental equivalent of rose-colored glasses—this six-artist show asks what landscape looks like when it’s invisible, ignored, taken for granted or unrealized. […]

A Room of One's Own: So many books

A Room of One's Own: So many books

“Lucky” is the word you apply to Michael Williams as he leads you up the long flight of stairs to his apartment above a Downtown Mall bank. After all, most people don’t get to sit in their living rooms, looking out over the city’s bustling heart, above the fray yet deliciously within reach. But Williams […]

Abode Features: Hitting the wall

Abode Features: Hitting the wall

So you’ve decided to repaint a room or two—fantastic. Chosen a color yet? No? You’re sure to wind up in a position that’s both thrilling and terrifying: standing in front of the wall of color chips at the paint or hardware store. Knowing this position bewilders many would-be Picassos, I enlisted an expert to walk […]

Abode Features: Color my world

Abode Features: Color my world

“Perfect,” you’re liable to think as you pull into the yellow-gravel driveway of the little cottage in Free Union. It couldn’t be more quintessentially Albemarle: Set back from a winding country road in a yard with lovely trees and understated landscaping, it has a cute-as-a-button gabled profile, a sheltered porch in front and an open […]

“Cast Off Your Idylls! Cast Off Your Sloth!”

“Cast Off Your Idylls! Cast Off Your Sloth!”

art The Bridge is the artspace du jour taking a turn as foil to the well-funded and celebrity-approved galleries that occupy prominent Downtown Mall storefronts. And a welcome foil it is; let us rejoice that our art scene has the vital fringe it needs. (One might even call playful, non-commercial art the center, rather than […]

Supes: How to shrink Albemarle’s footprint

Supes: How to shrink Albemarle’s footprint

The green-building bandwagon is picking up passengers fast, and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors wants to reserve its seat. In a February 7 meeting, Supes eyed a wide-ranging series of initiatives that could become amendments to the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Among the ideas floated: easy stuff any bureaucrat could love (make a website with […]

Abode: Entertain this

Abode: Entertain this

Well, now you’ve done it. You’re throwing a dinner party in one hour. The soufflé is in the oven and well on its way to greatness, well-chosen wines are chilling or breathing according to their needs, and oh-so-tasteful music is cued up on the stereo. And your house is a frigging mess. Here’s how to […]