outskirts: life and times in charlottesville

…small town life

Years ago a single list maker did a bit too much of what TJ used to do (you all know what I mean) and listed C-Ville as the top city in the United States. What a mistake. For years others have copied him and C-Ville stayed near the top but eventually people forget the idiocy of the past.

Money Magazine came out with their list of the Top 100 Small Cities in the US for 2010. Where do you think C-Ville is? Top 10? Top 20? Keep going. Top 50? Nope. Top 75? Still not there. Top 100? No. They are nowhere to be seen. They aren’t even listed in the “All Cities” which contains many that aren’t ranked.

Why? Let’s examine. Many might think the answer is clear, C-Ville is not a city (as I always say, this place is a village of the damned). If you look closely most of the top 100 had more than our 40,000 residents (if you exclude students it is more like 30,000, and if you include Albeeeehhhmarellleee County it is more like 80,000). Perhaps we were too small. Let’s look instead at the list of Top 100 Small Towns that came out in 2009 (many of the towns are below 10k, others are above 100k). Where are we? Nowhere. Entirely missing.

So the question remains, why are we not included in any lists? Is it our murder rate of hoo-ish things? Bike theft rate? The fact that we don’t have mass transit to our airport? The fact that there is not a single working water fountain in the main (lawsuit-enabled) park in the city (which has no bike lane leading to the it)? Maybe it is the fact that we killed 1200 geese the other day and didn’t let people harvest them for food. Or perhaps the fact that the main feature of our downtown is now a derelict half-built carcass of a luxury hotel where aggressive panhandlers pack it in for the night.

Typical scene on downtown mall.

Let’s get away from all those ludicrous answers and look more closely at what the city may have been up to. We’ve spent the past two months in 90 degree heat. Baking. No humanity can survive in this. I’ve watched brains leaking right out of heads. With all this heat the top issue at the most recent city council (aka village elder council) was snow and cold. The city is a bit upset that locals didn’t shovel 30 inches of snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours. The fact that this was the big topic should say enough.

Looking back on our record breaking snowy winter (we now have record breaking summer heat in progress) it is hard to remember how things looked, but I do. The city didn’t bother plowing the main parking area for the downtown employees. The spots were never plowed…they just waited weeks until things melted. A vast number of “city” sidewalks were never cleared until locals got sick of walking in the middle of the road. Another key factor is that the city loved to plow the entire pile of snow from the street directly in to your sidewalk 2, 3, or more days after the storm. Does that mean you have 24 hours from the time the city plows your street?

Since my brain has leaked from my head in this endless heat/humidity I can’t answer the question of why we aren’t listed.

Or maybe I can. We aren’t a Top 100 city of any size. When looking for a solution, go with the simple one.

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.


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?

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.

In the past year the number of pedestrians that have been attacked by careless drivers in automobiles have skyrocketed here in Charlottesville. Comparing the data* (obtained from the Charlottesville Police Department) of first four months of 2008 to the equivalent data in 2009 one can see that the number of times a driver of a car was ticketed for failure to give the right-of-way to a pedestrian has gone up by 500%.

Movie poster from Death Race 2000

Have automobile drivers become more aggressive? Have too many watched Death Race 2000 (or the remake)? Or is the local police department just writing more tickets than in the past?

I’d be willing to be it is the former since I actually walk on our streets and on a daily basis you can tell that locals really don’t understand the concept of a pedestrian (or driving in general). Since drivers are clueless (and have already killed two pedestrians this year) the local authorities are stepping up their efforts. We’ve gotten at least a dozen new LED flashing crosswalks installed during the past two months, as well as signs that indicate pedestrian crossings.

Time Yield

Next time you go to cross the road just remember what Nero the Hero said as he ran down the pedestrians, “Bye-bye Baby! Hello 70 points!”

*Thanks to Tipster K who obtained the data on number of pedestrian incidents from the Charlottesville Police Department.
pedestrian traffic data

brawl in belmont

There must have been at least a dozen police cars. Turns out there was a standoff with a person that was threatening others. I saw a ton of things getting thrown out of a second story window and a lot of officers swarming around the house. I would have gotten more photos, but the area got closed to the public and it was suggested I don’t take any pictures…if you know what I mean. So I didn’t.

Perhaps someone had heard enough stories about how perfect life is here in C-Ville. Or not. Maybe their stimulus package wasn’t large enough.

If you voted in the village your personal information has been stolen. Please contact credit authorities as soon as you can.

As is always the case, they claim our SSN were not included in the stolen info, but do you really believe anything said by the authorities in the village?

The village is all atither (what word am I looking for?) about a shooting on the UVA corner this morning. C-(I used to be a)Villain has all the scoop. Looks like the shooter is still on the loose.

This goes hand in hand with the report about crime in the area that came out just two days ago. Crime down, murders up.

Same o, same o. Nothing new here. Keep moving.

Interested in seeing the upside of the village and seeing the “can’t miss” parts of town?

From a tipster I got this info:

Just started mapping crime in C-ville. Thought you would find it interesting. Incidentally, C’ville PD has refused to share data even though they are going to do their own map sometime soon. I did this without any taxpayer money in three hours.

Not sharing data. Hmm….why doesn’t that surprise me.

Map of crime in C-Ville
Map of crime at UVA (other than the football team in general)

Thanks for the maps!

Seems as if C-Ville is debating if they want a 4th sister city. Would you really want to be associated with a city that has been debating what to do about its water supply for decades, and has now decided to do nothing since we are bankrupt? We sure will be thirsty. I hope the other city accepts our refugees.

One of our other sisters is Bulgarian. Seems as if C-Ville wants to be a “democratic liberator” for that town. I can’t wait to see what happens when we teach them how to piss off all the locals by getting rid of their softball fields.

I could go on about how civilized this village is, but that would force me to ignore the fun things that happen such as stabbings in front of the basket supply store in our fancy mall, or multiple shootings at the U Heights (is that a new TV series?). I’d continue with the jump in moped thefts, the reduction in quarterbacks, and the confessions of the Sex-shuns (I think that was a band), but I’ve lost all my energy.