outskirts: life and times in charlottesville

…small town life

Remember when the elders announced new signage for the downtown area? The total cost per sign is $7500. In case you missed it a new one went up at 4th and Water which highlights the best of Water Street. Nothing better than a parking ramp that closes early every night so that your car gets locked in. Nothing like spending big bucks to advertise a place to park.

Destination Sign

Of course the same crazy spending for signs seems to have taken a wrong turn down a one way road for the village hall due to ADA compliance. Details, smetails. A pity we can’t spend $100k+ for more signs. Nothing is more important than signs. Except maybe machines to neuter and dehorn goats.

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

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.

Hurricane Ida has been parked over C-Ville for the past three days, and needless to say, there is absolutely no milk or bread left in any stores. Supplies of other key products such as diapers are also extremely low.

A brave citizen sent this amazing photo showing the utter chaos that has erupted on the downtown mall.

Ida Hits C-Ville

The wind was so strong that the child was swept away from the parent just after this photo was taken. The aggressive squirrels of the downtown area (of which one attacked the photographer as this picture was taken) quickly dealt with the child in a way that can’t be described in this family-based publication. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Coverage will continue until this storm leaves the area. Unless the squirrels get me. I’m scared. Really scared.

As we all know, the village elders got together at tribal council and decided that we needed really special and expensive bricks to redo the mall. Seems the bricks may have been really special..in microbe growth.

Mold on Bricks

This was a rather humid spring and summer, and for those that haven’t noticed, the new bricks have become overgrown with a green substance. A few scientists at the local institution of higher learning were consulted and there was no consensus. One anonymous scientist said, “I believe it is an basic type of mildew, but I won’t dismiss the idea that it is extraterrestrial life or even a weapon of mass destruction.”

Others fear that it is a mold similar to that found in basements. A local real estate developer believes we may have to do an extensive cleanup. He feels that the Commonwealth may declare the mall a toxic waste area which could end up costing millions.

When asked about the origin of the bricks a tribal leader replied, “That is need to know information, and you don’t need to know.”

So have you noticed any odd symptoms when you get near the mall? Sniffles? Swine flu? Coughing (oh wait…that is just due to the multitude of smokers). If you have, please report all symptoms to the Tribal Elders Disease Production Division in the basement of the former A&N building (turn left near the mold).

I know C-Ville refused to admit it, but let’s face it…all is not well on the historic downtown mall. Issues arise (or not) as age advances, and TJ’s mall has seen better days.

Big Failed...

During the past week people have begun applying “things” to the structure in the hopes that enlargement will continue. Unfortunately, not much is happening, and it may be years or even decades before things begin to move again due to lots of chit chat among those with cash.

Can the village wait, or should it go out and buy a bit of “motivational” material to keep things going? When the Omni felt a bit down the village put a lot of money in a certain location and most think things turned out well (even better than expected…if you know what I mean). Perhaps the Landmark needs a spanking. Or a wrecking ball.

What do you think? Up or down? Ooh. Ooh. Baby.

Charlottesville continues to go through explosive growth with new developments going on all around us. Things such as our new landmark hotel (that will look the exact same way for years to come) rise above the city skyline and shout…I am woman hear me roar. Oh, wait…that is a song.

In any event, Urban Outfitters is getting ready to open up on the mall. Most of the work has been done on the inside, and the sign went up on the outside. The sign of The Hardware Store is still behind the new sign. I wonder if it will stay in memorial to the glory days of C-Ville.

Urban Replacement

In the total world of urban upheaval, the Martha Jefferson hospital is about to move out to the Pantop boonies as a way to escape from the shadow of UVA. To replace it will be a mixed-use project. (We know how those turn out. I’m still waiting for my new condo next to Target.) In the new mall there is talk of “a 15,000-square foot grocery store.” Should I believe that can happen? What about our stadium seating theaters? The urban legends never seem to end around here. Perhaps the urban outfitter will cause change. Starbucks is next…I’d lay money on it.

With a new supermarket I’d be able to run out and buy some pork. As we know, here in Virginia everyone should know how to barbecue their pig from scratch (so I guess we don’t really need the supermarket after all). Repeat after me…here piggy piggy. Cough. Cough. No..bad swine. Get away. Where is the new hospital? I don’t feel so good.

Charlottesville is very windy, but during the past few weeks it has been missing. It returned today. Sirens have been rampant in the downtown area throughout the entire day. At one point in the morning four fire engines went zipping up the hill on High Street (where someone once pulled a gun on me). But a few fire engines was insignificant compared to the near disaster on the historic downtown mall.

Wall collapse on mall

The sky had cleared after a four day stretch with rain, drizzle, and fog. The wind had been gusting since around noon. For those on the mall the gusts were causing visibility to become close to zero due to the sand that was getting blown away from the $7.5 million dollar rebricking project. I could barely see but I heard the tearing of wood. One of the construction walls designed to keep pedestrians safe was suddenly shifting in wild sways.

Two people were walking along the wall. As the swaying grew wilder they were lucky that they decided to leap to the side. The wall launched from its mounts and decided to lay flat on the lovely fresh bricks. Both the pedestrians had fallen to the ground as they leaped towards safety, but after the thunderclap of wood hitting the bricks they dusted themselves off and left the scene. I’m sure C-Ville is glad they decided not to sue (as of this writing).

The gusts have continued throughout the day. At approximately 7pm three other blocks had walls that had collapsed. Due to basketball-related events I was not around to witness the additional wall collapses, but one can just hope that breeder results were not compromised. I guess.

Will the mall be repaired by the time I wander around on it on a Monday morning, or will the devastation persist? I can only hope that the Valley of the Skeletor is back to normal in the morrow.

From a loyal reader:

Do the police routinely allow TV news vans to park illegally in Charlottesville? This evening I saw two WVIR vans parked illegally. One was on the brick of the Mall near the skating rink. The van was blocking the curb ramp at the crosswalk on Water St. A photo of that van is now on The Hook’s blog. The other one was on a side street just off of the Downtown Mall. That van is in the attached photo. It was parked right next to a sign reading, “No Parking -Fire Lane -Tow Away Zone”.

Cordially,

Kevin Cox

Parking News
Photo provided by K. Cox

I actually ran past the one that was pictured in the Hook’s blog and I almost tripped on the long cable that stretched from the van to the reporter. Of course I’m not going to complain since the reporter was cute 🙂

But seriously…I’ve never seen news vehicles obey any parking laws. The village wants good PR, so they let news vans park with no issues. Gotta keep the hand that feeds you clean (or some saying along those lines).