Charlottesville, VA Archives

June 25, 2008

Serb And Folly


#3 seed Novak Djokovic was bounced out of the second round of Wimbledon in straight sets today by Marat Safin--admittedly a very dangerous floater for a top player to face so early in the tournament. This development detracts a bit from the three-way rivalry emerging at the top of the men's game. Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer all made the semis in Melbourne and Paris in the year's first two majors. I'm still hoping for another Federer-Nadal showdown in the final!

Cavalier Country


No doubt Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia. This is clearly a college town, and UVa is at the heart of this place. I've settled on campus and we have an opening reception and dinner this evening.

Russian Roulette


I'm still processing Marat Safin's upset of Novak Djokovic earlier today. Probably not a total surprise that a former U.S. and Australian Open champ turned out to be capable of such a strong result. But Safin's play in recent years has been so sporadic, it was hard to see this coming. It will be interesting to see how far he advances now. Certainly Roger Federer won't be sad to see the Djoker, who beat him in the semis in Melbourne and again was in the same half of the draw, bounced from the tournament.

June 26, 2008

Mr. Jefferson's Academical Village


I am staying just a stone's throw from the famous rotunda at the heart of the UVa campus. My room is right on The Lawn (room #5 on the west side) between Pavilions I and III. Pretty nifty location! These rooms are prized berths for senior honors students and campus leaders during the school year.

The overhead ceiling fan keeps things pretty cool in spite of the heat. Last night I slept with the shutters in the doorway (rather than the door) to get some effective cross-ventilation with the open window. I was perfectly comfortable. Though electrical outlets in this nearly 200-year-old room are few and inconveniently located, there is an Ethernet connection! Shower and toilet facilities are shared, but there is a sink in the room. It does feel a bit like living in Colonial Williamsburg.

The Supremes And The Second Amendment

Big news out of the Supreme Court today: in the final day of the term, the High Court struck down the D.C. handgun ban in what is already being billed online as a big victory for the NRA and its allies. Now I'm generally sympathetic to gun control, but I don't see this ruling as a disaster. First of all, I believe the Constitution does, in fact, grant individuals the right to own firearms. But I also believe that right, like all others, is not unlimited. The D.C. law was probably far too broad in its scope. I think that in the name of public safety, the Court will demonstrate it's far more amenable to less sweeping restrictions on handgun ownership.

That Way Madness Lies


I finally got to see a staging of King Lear tonight. Though I've become quite familiar with the tragedy, having taught it easily more than half a dozen times now in my "Use And Abuse Of Power" course, I am embarrassed to say I had not seen a production before this evening. Seeing the play on stage certainly brought to life many aspects of the drama that are far more obscure on the page. The show was quite good, and the ASC troupe has some real depth of acting talent.

In the past few months, I've seen productions of Shakespeare's three greatest tragedies: Macbeth with Patrick Stewart on Broadway, Hamlet in Central Park last week, and now King Lear.

June 27, 2008

Black Thursday


Pretty tough day at Wimbledon yesterday for a handful of contenders: Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, and James Blake were all sent packing. This represents a particularly brutal showing for American men at The Championships; only little-known Bobby Reynolds remains alive in the singles draw.

June 28, 2008

Strict Statutes And Most Biting Laws


Today's play, Measure For Measure, was a matinee, so our last night in Charlottesville we have free. The American Shakespeare Center's production was again quite well done. The Blackfriars is a terrific venue and seems to attract top-notch acting talent. It's been quite a thrill to see three Shakespeare productions in the course of as many days. I was entirely unfamiliar with this play, having taught and/or seen the other works. There are certainly some disturbing elements in Measure For Measure, which isn't quite so neatly categorized a comedy as, say, Twelfth Night. Very much worth seeing, though.

Fall Is On Its Way!


Got the 2008 summer training website for Choate Cross Country up and running and my first newsletter out to the boys. Two months until the fall season!

June 29, 2008

On The Road Again


One final class session for the Shakespeare Seminar this morning, then I will visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, before leaving Charlottesville. My plan is to stop in Philadelphia this afternoon and then get home to Connecticut late in the evening.

July 17, 2009

Back In Charlottesville

Had a nice time in Charlottesville tonight--once my delayed flight got here, anyway. I connected with a 2005 Choate alum (and recent UVa grad too) for an enjoyable dinner and a few drinks on "the corner" just off the university campus. It was absolutely pouring for a while here on an otherwise pleasant summer night.

July 19, 2009

Blackfriars III: Titus Andronicus

The third of the three ASC Shakespeare plays I saw this weekend was the "hook" that brought me down to Virginia this weekend. Titus Andronicus is not performed very often, so I jumped on the chance to see it done at one of my favorite theaters by one of my favorite acting companies. Clearly this is not a show for the squeamish, as there is plenty of gore as well as psychological horror on display on stage. This has a reputation as being one of The Bard's worst plays, but when done well--and it was today--it was pretty gripping stuff. The bad guys here are about as bad as they get in Shakespeare--even Iago and Edmund and the Macbeths are (somewhat) more sympathetic. But the "heroes" don't get off lightly either. Glad I made the trip down from Connecticut for this.

Kindle Screen Savers

kindle screen saver.jpg

One of the cool features of the Kindle is the variety of portraits of writers (and occasionally other book-related graphics) that appear whenever I turn off the power. I don't know how many there are, but I haven't yet noticed the same one twice.

About Charlottesville, VA

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