Getting Out: Charlottesville, Virginia

Oh, college. I remember you sometimes-fondly, often not-so-fondly. See, I was bad at going to college. I got good grades and had friends, but I loved Charlottesville, Thomas Jefferson, and the idea of UVA more than I loved College: The Experience. Toward the end there, one of my peers described me as less a student and more a “townie who takes a lot of classes,” which I think was supposed to be an insult but was definitely true. I lived far from Grounds, worked far from Grounds, and cultivated relationships with long-time Charlottesvillians. I was glad I did that then, and I’m glad I did that now.

This guide grows out of an email I initially wrote to my friend Gill entitled “places for your to go and see and be and do in charlottesville, the nicest town in the entire world.” Gill was trying to impress his U.Va. grad wife by taking her to some places she hadn’t been in Charlottesville, and apparently this list helped.

This will be your face the whole time you're there.
This will be your face the whole time you’re there. It was my face for most of it.

I have virtually no photos from when I lived in Charlottesville that aren’t of my friends and me in younger, thinner, drunker, more beautiful days, because I left there in 2010, before the spread of smartphones. I’ve been back many, many times, but the photographs from those trips, too, are just a nostalgia binge. I’ve dug up a few good ones for you, and those are with the tips I’ve wrangled for you after the jump.

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Snacks on Snacks on Snacks, Part Deux: Poptarts

I thought,” you know? This has been a good week. I love y’all a ton. Y’all deserve TWO snack recipes. Y’all deserve my poptart recipe.”

Get in my mouth, heavenly beings.
Get in my mouth, heavenly beings.

In grad school, there was this amazing bakery that had homemade poptarts sometimes, and whoa, were they good. I would buy all of them when they made those. When I moved away, I just figured out what to do. You can make any kind of poptart your little heart desires. Look after the jump for the starting point.

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Moving In: True Stories

This movie, more than anything else, defined my teenage years.

True confession: I was a teenage hipster dirtbag.

To be fair, I grew up into an adult hipster dirtbag, so I guess this is at least representative. My friends and I found this DVD at the bottom of the Wal-Mart $5 bin and were like, “hey, I’ve heard of the Talking Heads, I wonder what this is.”

And oh, what wonders were contained within. You’ve got John Goodman singing karaoke, you’ve got a lot of broken fourth wall, you’ve got a half-joke about how weird and wonderful Texas is, and a lot of bizarre filler, all set to an amazing soundtrack.

The look is pretty 80s, but the liberal use of colors and weird shapes can be easily updated– check it out after the jump.

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Dixieland Jazz Blues

This morning, I got nostalgic for New Orleans. I used to spend a lot of time there, and now I don’t. Why am I so overrun with a need to return to Louisiana? It could be this:


But I think it could also be that I miss my friends and to go cups for my cocktails. I’m not going to rule out any of it. But, you know, you make do. I put on the Dixieland Songza station¬†and made myself some New Orleanian snacks.

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