Archive for October, 2010

Mas

What it is: A restaurant serving a varied menu of Spanish tapas (small plates), focusing on slow food, and organic and locally sourced food.  Located in Belmont at 501 Monticello Road.  Check out there menu here:

http://www.mastapas.com/tapas/

Why it’s rad: I have never felt sad when eating something at Mas.  From the start of the meal (always a plate of assorted olives), to whatever dishes I end up selecting, I never feel let down.  Their dishes are unique and good quality. I don’t want to eat food in a restaurant that tastes like I could have made it.  Anything beyond that, atmosphere, appearance, are all superfluous, really, but I must admit, I love the dining style at Mas.  You order as many small dishes as appeal to you, and they are put on the table and shared by everyone, which is arguably the best way to eat–it’s intimate, casual, and lets everyone enjoy whatever dishes they like most.

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Last Minute: William ‘Upski’ Wimsatt at Random Row Books

TONIGHT!  Author and activism William Wimsatt will be reading from his new book Please Don’t Bomb the Suburbs at Random Row Books, located on West Main Street, across from the Greyhound station.  There will be a public workshop at 5:30 and a reading at 7:30.  A reception to follow.

Please come out if you can.  It should be a good time.

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Daedalus Bookshop

What It Is: A three floor bookshop that has been open for 37 years.  It houses about 120,000 books, all organized into sections such as fiction, drama, political science, history, foreign language, fire, philosophy, etc.  Located just off the downtown mall at the corner of Fourth Street NE and Market Street.

Why It’s Rad: This huge and winding bookshop was not named after the maker of the labyrinth on accident.  I kept taking pictures, but they all look more or less the same, because EVERYTHING IS COVERED IN BOOKS.  It’s not Barns and Nobel–you have to go look for the books you want, nothing is cataloged, and the closest thing to a computer is a battery powered calculator.

Going into this place as a fourth year, I can see at least half of the books I’ve ever had to read during my college career, and for much cheaper than I bought them for, even if I was lucky enough to find them used.  They don’t carry textbooks, but you are guaranteed to find classic readings like Marx, Joseph Nye, Max Weber, Primo Levi, and almost any fiction you would need.  Open seven days a week.

Blue Moon Diner

What It Is: A hipster-fabulous restaurant parading as a diner, with a solid selection or burgers, sandwiches, and breakfast foods.  Located on West Main Street (not too far from the ABC store, maybe you’ve seen it.)

Why It’s Rad: I have to confess.  There is a part of me that hates this place.  It’s the shameful, secret, hidden hipster part of me.  A “diner” decorated with retro editions of board games, local art, and vinyl galore and too much chrome, AND serves PBR AND hosts local musicians for small, intimate shows?  It’s all too telling.  Blue Moon Diner reflects too clearly what I am and what I enjoy,* and I am ashamed.

All that being said, it’s a goddamn adorable place.  Just look at this picture, which is poorly representative but still manages to be appealing enough:

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The Bridge

 

What It Is: The Bridge PAI (Progressive Arts Initiative) is a nonprofit arts organization located in Belmont at 209 Monticello Rd (across from Spudnuts.  You know where that is, right?)  But you can and should read all that on their website:    http://www.thebridgepai.com/

Why It’s Rad: On a superficial level, this place is rad because it hosts movie screenings, poetry readings, rock shows, art gallery openings and dance parties, usually for either a small donation or nothing at all.  The people who volunteer and frequent The Bridge are some of the better people I have ever met in Charlottesville.  They are motivated, doing things, interesting things that will make you wonder why you’re wasting your time at school  It’s a completely honest and real place that cares about what it’s doing.

On a community-building-touchy-feely level (which is sort of what I’m all about, deep down, other than mocking things), this is one of my favorite places in Charlottesville because it focuses so much on diversity and community.  While there are some local organizations that present themselves as “community-oriented” and as “bringing people together,” I find that a lot of our arts organizations basically consist of fancy rich Charlottesville people donating a lot of money to an organization mainly consisting of those same people, who then put on plays for, yet again, the fancy rich people.   Not that these organizations are exclusionary, but they certainly work to get people involved the way The Bridge does.  And if nothing else, you get to support an awesome organization while watching a rock show and drinking booze.

The point is, I am pumped about The Bridge PAI.  You should come and hang out, or hey, get an internship or something productive for your college career.

Boomtown.

I am a fourth year student at UVA, but I am also what is commonly referred to as a townie.  And I’m okay with this.  Because the only people more snobby than UVA students are UVA students who grew up in Charlottesville.  We scoff at you when you say stupid things like “You mean the Pavillion in Newcomb?” or “I didn’t know there was a dumpling shop downtown too!”

It’s time for you get beyond grounds, beyond the corner and the frat houses.  Not just because as UVA students we are a part of this community, but because Charlottesville is rad, and you have to see this shit.