Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Looking for Chain Free Shopping This Christmas? Look No Further

. . . than Charlottesville's downtown mall! From today's Washington Post:

Outside, even in the chill, there are flowers and children's laughter. Inside, there's my own. At a toy store named Alakazam!, I wind up a five-inch die-cast school bus; it zips down a counter, crashing into a box of sheriff badges and Cowboy Bandages. The nose-ringed, color-dreadlocked, spangly-nail-polished clerk doesn't even blink.

I'm on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, an eight-block pedestrian magnet. Visitors often bypass it for the better-known University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson's other architectural creation, Monticello. Jefferson is said to have watched the building of his university from his hilltop home. I like to think he'd pan over to the mall now, too.

Yea, that's pretty cool. But the writer could have at least *acknowledged* the miles of linear-chain-monstrosity that is Route 29, a-k-a jam as many krogers and cars as you can within a two mile radius. And it's not like the downtown mall is completely chain-free (CVS - hello? Where all my independent pharmacy / drug store / places-to-buy-milk-at-below-market-prices-at?). Still we think it's pretty cool - especially on the heals of the NYT Travel Piece ("36 Hours in Charlottesville") - takes the sting out of a five and seven season . . .

No complaints on the new layout either, that means everyone must like it, right?

Merry Christmas! (& Happy Chanukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, Eid, Tet, et seq.)

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