outskirts: life and times in charlottesville

…small town life

As the moon rises in the sky the vast majority of Charlottesville is sitting around watching it – due to a city wide blackout.

Worst hit areas I’ve seen are Hinton/Avon and Rugby/Oxford. UVA has power. Downtown mall has 2 blocks of power. Mas has power. That is about it.

Current estimate for fixing this vast disaster are 3-4 days at best, but psychological recover could take much longer. And I fear for all the restaurants that have no generators…that is a lot of food.

P.S. Why do no locals know the laws associated with non-functioning traffic lights. Learn to read, then try to learn. Skip the fish stuff.

This has been the hottest June in the history of the village, even if the temperature doesn’t get to 90 again this month. Luckily, the forecast is for 95ish degrees for the next 10 days, so there is no doubt we will bake.

Rumors have been circulating that the wind may blow, and that only means one thing…the power will go. Village elders haven’t publicly stated it, but there are rumblings that we are living on the cutting edge of power here in the village, and it may be getting worse.

During the rest of this summer they are thinking of doing rolling blackouts across the village to prevent circuits from blowing. Soon we’ll have power on the north side of the mall on even days, south side on odd. The ramifications of this disaster are unimaginable. Let’s face it, one side of the mall is good, the other is evil (even The Hook and C-Ville are on opposite sides). If I get forced to have to visit the evil side I won’t be happy.

The most dangerous part of this baked bean summer is trying to not get crushed by the falling IQ’s. They are falling all around. As locals wander around in this heat for their fourth cig of the morning the brain cells start to die from the excessive heat (plus cigs). It’s scary. Be sure to bring a brain cell umbrella with you whenever you have to venture outside (although being outside is not advisable until November when the weather changes).

historic bound horse
This horse may become a BBQ dinner in this heat.

We’ve had a bit of snow this year in C-Ville and the city likes to think it is doing a good job to help us citizens in this perfect town, but what are they doing to commuters? For some odd reason the city refuses to clear out the lanes where commuters park. They tell locals they can park in the parking ramps, and then bill them for it.

In this picture you can see the main road where hundreds of people park every single day. How many cars do you see? That’s right…none. Snow entirely covers ALL the parking for the downtown area.


Picture taken Tuesday evening…four days after our Friday storm.

On the weekend the city has been offering free parking in the ramps, but that always seems to end on Monday mornings. Apparently the city elders don’t care about this situation. They all have their parking spots in the ramps that the taxpayers pay for, and figure commuters will just park at Barrack’s Road Mall and spend 2 hours on a bus to get to their jobs downtown.

Several commuters told me that they have been talking with the city trying to get the free ramp times extended until the parking lanes are cleared. Apparently they don’t like that idea, since they don’t want the garage to become overly crowded (typically it is at 40% capacity during the day).

Others say that all the money they make during the day will be used to cover parking costs rather than feed their babies. They also can’t afford to pump any money into the local economy since they can’t buy food from local eateries.

Is this situation good for anyone? Local businesses are losing money, commuters are getting in extremely late which is destroying productivity, no one wants to shop on the mall, and the city is losing lots of money since police can’t write as many parking tickets.

Last night we had a dusting of snow. There are a few flakes out on the street and the city has declared a parking emergency so all streets are now a no parking zone, yet the ramps aren’t free. The economy will continue to crumble. There are rumors that this may be due to the tribal warfare that has started between the city and the surrounding county. C-Ville is trapped in enemy territory, and some think this might be a sneak attack at those that don’t live inside the sugar walls…but that story will be continued at a later time.

Village elders…listen to the public and make the parking ramps free until the streets are cleared. You can’t expect us to eat your tainted cake every single day (and babies don’t seem to like it either). And do you really want commuters to continue to crap when they see their daily parking options?

Update: Over the weekend the parking was free in the garages due to the 15 inch storm that started Friday. On Monday morning they began charging once again despite the fact that no streets had been cleared. On Tuesday at 1pm the parking ban (on streets which only have short term parking) started due to the storm of the day (a big 3 inches), and the garage became free again. On Wednesday at 2pm they started charging once again for the garage. As of Wednesday evening not a single parking spot on Garrett has been cleared. What are the chances the road will be cleared by tomorrow? Friday?

In recent months the ‘Kill Whitey’ graffiti artist has been enjoying their freedom of expression (I bet TJ would love to do a bottle of wine with him/her). Village elders used to take weeks to eradicate the paintings, but that improved with the most recent sketch.

Although I’m not a graffiti artist expert (although I have played one on TV), I think he/she may have been back at work during our recent snowstorm. This lovely art is now up on a building near the Avon Street Bridge where the historic buildings were bulldozed.

Construction Zone Art

Zooming in a bit gives a great sense of the importance of the art.

Bang.

Is the image trying to show sadness and despair for the destruction of history, or is the artist feeling suicidal due to the fact that his/her work continues to be erased from the planet? I guess that doesn’t really matter. All that matters is how long will it take the village to eradicate this latest artwork?

Although I had to kill a bear to stay warm, I managed to get back home after snapping a few photos. One thing of interest is the state of transit in the village. Things were still moving early in the afternoon, but not much seemed to be moving later.

I also found it fascinating to watch people just walk in the middle of the road (on main roads) and totally ignore the fact that vehicles are allowed to drive in the road. On several occasions motorist tried to explain this to people and voices became raised.

A few shots are here: Flickr 2010 Snowstorm

Here was the before/after on the transit station (1pm and 4pm).

Transit A

Transit B

Earlier story: C-Ville Snowpocalypse 2

C-Ville has been decimated by yet another blizzard to end all blizzards. In this photo you can see that only a few have ventured into the total whiteout situation.


View of downtown mall at 11 am

Whatever you do, stay inside. Single digit temperatures are sure to freeze locals to lampposts as they lick them (they never seem to learn around here).


Image of local who tried to lick this post at 8am this morning. He is still there (this reporter does news and never interferes with the circle of life.

I’m putting on my parka gear. If I survive the trip I might get a few snapshots posted later today. If not…may the wolves enjoy a good snack.

Also, for those that have read this far, you should note that the downtown mall has been converted to the main road through town. This is because it was plowed and no roads have been. Cars have also started parking on the mall since they can easily walk in to the three stores that have remained open. Most storefronts have just become smoker hangouts.

There is a chance of snow this weekend. Local authorities are urging you to get out now and buy your guns and beer. They remind you that these are the two key items to life.

Now go buy. Remember to never drink (more than two cases) and drive. The guy in this photo (I think it is TJ) is ready! Are you?

Local police and riot squads are preparing for an estimated 25,000 people that will be paying $50 to have their picture taken with a true American hero, Joe The (unlicensed) Plumber.

Joe The Plumber

Be sure to stop by Arch’s Frozen Yogurt to have your picture taken. Local resident feel that he is the best representative for this region since he is so similar to Thomas Jefferson in philosophy and their long lasting sociopolitical importance. To top that off, they both enjoyed a few smokes (although TJ had his own “cigs” if you know what I mean).

There is a rumor that Joe might even drop by the downtown mall to try to get the fountains working once again.

Time to go beg for a few bucks so I can get my picture taken! See ya’ll there. Authorities suggest you use mass transit rather than drive due to lack of parking on the corner, and the potential for snow covered roads.

No, I’m not talking about response time to dealing with snow (although we may find out tonight when up to one inch may fall) – I’m talking about dealing with the ‘Kill Whitey’ graffiti artist here in C-Ville.

Kill Whitey Flower

This one was first spotted on Tuesday morning, and at some point during the day of Thursday it was eradicated. It is now just a lovely gray rectangle.

Not only is a 48 hour turnaround impressive, it is even more amazing since it is cold as hell outside. How on Earth did the artist and the cover-up crew manage to paint with these extreme temperatures?

I wonder when the artist will strike once again. If anyone knows, feel free to pass it along. I’ll keep my frozen eyes peeled.

As we know, C-Ville is a place of friendliness and peace, especially during the holidays. That is why I’m wondering what exactly this graffiti means. It has been up on the lovely Garrett Road wall since the day before Thanksgiving. Hundreds of commuters see this every single day.

Kill Whitey

Here are my best guesses.

Kill Whitey is a new band in the area. We know how musical this place is (or should I say “think” they are..since DBM is really not music..it is crap). So, has anyone heard of Kill Whitey?

Whitey is in the kitchen with Mrs. Plumb playing with a candlestick, if you know what I mean. Someone is about to get killed.

Someone meant to write Bill Whitey, but they smoked a lot, so didn’t know how to spell their own first name.

Anyone else have a guess? I’m just wondering why it has taken so long to paint over this one. Probably everyone is so busy with the holidays that no one really cares who gets killed around here.

A look back at the wall: Frenchy, French Fried, Hoof Hearted, This Way is Better, and Smiley Face Gang.