Charlottesville is great, we will come through here more times, and we may end up living here at some point. We feel we have to watch the situation. I have described the things we like a lot in much detail, and have described the things that trouble us. The rapid development is one of the big troubles. Virginia is odd, cities are separate politically from the counties that surround them.
Charlottesville is full of quiet, homelike neighborhoods, the mall, parks, and many activities. There is a consciousness about sustainable development – although this town really needs a better bus system, and better access for bikes – bike lanes show up briefly along streets, then vanish like wild mushrooms when drought hits. C’mon, Charlottesville!
The real issue is the madcap development in unincorporated Albemarle County – monster houses, streets without sidewalks, strip malls, traffic, traffic, traffic. The fact that there is more of this nonsense to come worries us. We have seen other places we love lose their character due to this situation – even Portland, Oregon is losing its uniqueness.
One sign of the changing conditions here is that a year ago everyone in town stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks, now maybe half the people do.So, we will be back in Oakland, where we do not feel at home any longer and will have to take a long, hard look at our options. The question is, where can we find a place where the impacts of globalism and neo-liberal are minimal? Or will we just have to be somewhere and be part of the community that says no to unbridled development?
Again, our problems are slight when you consider the issues globalization brings to many other people, but they remain our problems. I probably will not make it to a computer until we are home Monday night, this ongoing thought process will continue on this space. So long for now, C’ Ville, we will see you again.