Saturday, May 10, 2008


I arrived in Charlottesville yesterday in the late afternoon. I knew I would like this town right away. It's an Ann Arbor nestled at the base of the Appalachians. The tourist office directed me to the only hotel in the downtown area. It's located right off a pedestrian mall lined with restaurants, outdoor cafes, and shops. This city has to have more bookstores per capita than any other. Not knowing when I would get to another town this comfortable I decided to take a lay-over day. Last night, I watched a local indie band give a free concert at an outdoor amphitheater before catching my first movie of the trip. Though in most towns I'll be limited to the summer blockbusters, the theater right outside my hotel was showing Mamet's latest movie, Redbelt -- definitely not a summer blockbuster. Unlike many of Mamet's movies, which involve intricate plot twists, Redbelt is a rather simple story of a man of code and honor fighting against a corrupt world. I agree with A.O. Scott, it's a good B-movie.

This morning I hit the city farmers market. I bought a pint of fresh strawberries (my first good fruit of the trip) and a fresh, piping-hot donut. After I tried a sample of goat cheese at John Cole's stand, pictured above, he started telling me about recent state legislation that disallows him from selling his non-pasteurized products. So now he gives away his cheese for free, though donations are accepted. As he said, score one for agribusiness. Unfortunately, by the time I got there all he had left were samples. I took care of a few errands, including shipping home 9 lbs of gear and buying dog spray. (I had my first dog chases yesterday, but none of the dogs turned out to be vicious). The only downside of staying in Charlottesville is that the mountains loom around the city. They're like a school-yard taunt that's going unanswered. I'll deal with those bullies tomorrow.


Sarah said...

i'm reading your blog like you told me to :)

Andy said...

Stock up on fruit - Walmart has the best selection. Nowhere sells fruit along the way into Kentucky and beyond!! Get as much as you can carry.

mav said...

oh gosh. piping hot donut?!!
this trip is going to have so many rewards. loving the blog.

Jaime said...

Your post made me nostalgic -- Ann Arbor nestled in the Appalachians. So similar and yet so different. Glad you had the opportunity to experience Friday's after Five and the local fresh fare at the farmer's market. That was right out my door every weekend.

Good luck on the hills of VA!