Friday, August 29, 2014

Charlottesville (8/26/2014)

On the road again this week after a long hiatus.  Thank goodness this road trip took me to a great city.  Somehow Charlottesville embodies a lot of what I like in a city: it has atmosphere, a city center and great places to eat.  Classes had just started at UVA (I think this was the first day of classes).

After a day of teaching, most of us involved with the training decided to go unwind on a terrace of a wonderful pizza restaurant.  Sitting there with a micro-brewed beer we talked about the class, work in general, people we had in common and life itself, we started noticing that a person jogged by at least every 30 seconds.  Being all men in our group, the scantly dressed women joggers were the most noticeable, but yes it was approximately every 30 seconds.

Siting there I realized what I missed so much now I live in suburbia.  Charlottesville is very much like the older European cities; but then Thomas Jefferson lived there, and good old Ton was a fan of old Europe, in particular France.  I live in the suburbs.  A major highway divides the area into smaller subsections and all the shopping is concentrated in mini strip malls and grocery stores along the main drag.  Walking and biking along the main drag is dangerous to your health (or should I say life).  There is nothing really going on and if you don't know where you are, you could be in a suburb in any town in the US.  Some readers will tell me that Yorktown has a few interesting restaurants and is a walking/biking community.  It is, but it is small, part is owned by the park service and the development along the water was planned for tourists rather than the locals to meet, great and entertain.  But it is the only thing we have and people hunker for it,  Activities in Yorktown are consistently well attended.  Now we are building town center like developments in Yorktown, but the first thing that went up was another chain restaurant (Subway) rather than a nice funky restaurant with outside seating and a fun place to hang out and go for a drink with your friends.  More in my posting for the next day about this.

I had to take this photo of the public transport in Charlottesville.  It's free.  Yes we have free transportation in Yorktown, from one tourist attraction to the next, but it is not like this.

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