Ok.. I'm a day early. But I couldn't think of a U post for today, and this one is worth having top billing for two days on my blog.
I live just outside of the small town of Ashland, Virginia. I lived dead in the heart of Ashland for six years. Ashland has got railroad tracks running straight down the center. Apparently this was one of the few stretches of tracks not destroyed during the Civil War (War Between the States, War of Northern Agression, yadda, yadda, yadda) so when they rebuilt the rail systems, a lot of it was tied into the extisting tracks. Ashland gets a LOT of rail traffic.
|Photo by R. W. Dawson|
Here's the music video Transmit Dopamine (I keep telling you it is Parkinson's Awareness Month!) which was shot primarily in Ashland:
Ashland bills itself as the "Center of the Universe". This is something Ashlanders... ites... tend to be quite proud of. From a certain perspective, Ashland does feel like it is the center of something. There is a college (RMC) smack in the middle of town, and if you live right there near the tracks you can walk to the post office, the grocery store (Cross Brothers, celebrating it's 100th year!), hear fantastic national acts at Ashland Coffee and Tea, get a nice dinner at the upscale Iron Horse, have your choice of bars to sit at with the Iron Horse, Trackside Grill, or Andy's, have some jewelry custom made, get a morning cup 'o Joe at either AC&T or The Caboose, shop at Train Town Toy and Hobby, one of the best stocked train and hobby stores in the southeast, attend a Friday wine tasting at the Caboose, which has one of the best beer selections I've ever seen, and hang out at the Libarary. All these places are within several hundred feet of each other. The Strawberry Faire and Train Day are huge draws.
The name Center of the Universe was apparently dubbed by a former mayor, Dick Gilis. As it was explained to me, when Dick heard at a lecture by a professor of astronomy at RMC that there was no objective center of the unverse, Dick said "then Ashland could be the center!". And so it is.
(My own personal take on it is that it is I, me, myself is the center of the universe, and every step I take sends the universe in rotation under my feet. Try it!)
Well, lately there has been a lot of talk about making central Ashland an "arts and culture district".
This is from http://www.vaartsandculture.blogspot.com/
"HB1735, initially sponsored by Chief Patron Delegate Shannon Valentine, proposed that all Virginia localities have the authority to create arts and cultural districts without individual authorization from the Virginia General Assembly.
The localities will have the authority to grant tax incentives and provide certain regulatory flexibility in the arts and cultural districts. The tax incentives include, but are not limited to, reduction of permit fees, reduction of user fees, and reduction of any type of gross receipts tax. The regulatory flexibility includes, but is not limited to, special zoning, permit process reform, and exemption from ordinances.
Arts and cultural districts are an increasingly popular economic development tool for local governments across the country. When theatres, performing arts centers, museums, art galleries, and artist studios are encouraged to locate in the same neighborhood, the neighborhood becomes a magnet for the general public."
|One of our talented interns adding finising touches|
|Hanging up to dry|