We could describe Charlottesville as boasting all the charms of other well-heeled, near-perfect university towns--the kinds of towns invariably described as "nestled" in relation to one or another feature of the surrounding landscape. The picture is familiar: cozy atmosphere, scenic vistas, great coffee, and intelligent population. As someone once said, "it's the sort of place that you'll like if you like that sort of place." And people do like it. But if your heart is set on being in New York, Chicago, or by the beach, then you'll just have to come here for the Anthropology Department and let the town grow on you. Here are some reasons why it might.
More movie screens per capita than any other city in the country . . . four distinct, even spectacular, seasons . . . the Virginia Festival of American Film . . . outstanding restaurants . . . the next Seattle, according to a Time article on the local music scene . . . more people per capita read for pleasure than any other city except Seattle (where it rains all the time anyway and the music scene is yesterday's news) . . . if you have to be nestled in something, you could do worse than the Blue Ridge Mountains (it is remarkably easy to get out of town and into some beautiful country) . . . verandas, mint juleps, and space for a garden . . . Garden Week . . . bagels even New Yorkers respect . . . more bookstores per capita than any other city in the country . . . serious classical music . . . within two hours of Washington, D.C. (where, it seems, they hold the AAA meetings every other year these days) . . . the Dogwood Festival (and parade) . . . the Festival of the Book . . . First Fridays art gallery openings . . . free Fridays After Five outdoor concerts . . . a great University bus system . . . notable parks and neighborhood politics . . . the one place in the country that can claim to be both the northernmost point of the South and the southernmost point of the North . . . and an airport and train station for those who just have to get out . . .
If none of these amenities clinch the deal for you, we probably have to resort to our knock-out argument: half-a-million tourists a year can't be wrong. Just think, they come all the way here and don't even get a degree out of it. See you soon!
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