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Posts Tagged ‘Paramount Theatre’

It was a chilly 3 degrees this morning in our neck of the woods. The wind has died down and there’s a peacefulness about this arctic/polar/vortex. Ms Bean sits at the kitchen door and looks outside resignedly. No hawks circling, no sounds of woodpeckers, just the gentle whoosh of gas fireplaces upstairs and down.

Speaking of a house divided by a staircase, let’s talk about the latest Downton Abbey episode. It was near midnight by the time I got home from our expedition to the Paramount Theatre on Sunday. On my way to Kay’s house (she was driving into town with 2 other friends), the woman directly in front of me hit a deer. The poor thing was just sitting wide-eyed in the middle of the road, while we waited for the police to put an end to its misery.

The incessant rain/fog coupled with such a morbid beginning made me wonder if venturing out so late at night would be worth it – but the season premiere of Downton, surrounded by so many other like-minded-Edwardian-loving women, proved otherwise. We feasted on a substantial array of English appetizers, swigged champagne, and thrilled to a lecture by Richard Will, Chair of the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia,.

‘The Music of Downton Abbey” and film scoring was on the docket before that hound’s white rump started wagging along to those famous opening notes. Will and two UVA students performed music of the 20s and 30s, explaining how American ragtime permeated Europe after the war. There was a tension between old and new, the Edwardian and the Modern age. Young women could be seen in a public restaurant unescorted, and all classes were mixing it up on the dance floor. The Jazz Age ushered in a staccato subtext to the romantic, sentimental music that dominated the turn of the century.

I’ll not ruin the plot for those of you without cable, but the new season is shaping up well. There is frisson between fathers and daughters, maids and lady’s maids, and one or two surprising losses. I for one, am still getting over the loss of Matthew, and have to remind myself that the actor is in fact alive and well and appearing on Broadway at the moment. Having just finished reading “Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey,” fact and fiction collide on a regular basis in my brain.

The only cure is take one of those Viking cruises and tour Highclere Castle for myself! Anyone else interested, maybe this Spring? http://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/index.html

Today I’ll cozy up with Ms Bean and search for a Corgi rescue and a good Highclere tour. Stay warm everybody! In the words of Al Jolson:

“Come on along, Come on along, Let me take you by the hand.”

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Normally, I’m not a scaredy cat. However, once my vision was affected by West Nile, I pretty much stopped driving at night. Which is why I’ll be car-pooling with some friends to see the first episode of Downton Abbey at the Paramount Theatre on the Historic Downtown Mall this weekend.

Added to my natural inclination to visit with friends and actually enjoy my Anglophile evening, is my revulsion at a local news story. A little past midnight on December 20th, a young couple leaving Millers was beaten severely right outside the Wells Fargo bank, a few steps away from the Paramount. This incident received national coverage when the victims discovered, nine days later, that the ball had been dropped by the City of Charlottesville PD. The woman took cell phone pictures of the beating and posted them to her Facebook page, initiating an investigation that has so far come up short on suspects.

The rotten part of the story is that the three attackers seemed to take great pleasure in kicking and beating the young man unconscious, and punching the woman in the head. They laughed, they joked and hugged each other. They didn’t take her purse or their money, even when it was thrown at them. The three attackers were Black and the two victims were White; which led some to call this another example of the “knockout game.”

“They didn’t want to rob us. They wanted to beat us. It was like it was enjoyable to them to beat us,” she said. “There was camaraderie to it.” http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/charlottesville-police-chief-orders-internal-review-in-mall-attack-case/article_87e5fdfa-71cf-11e3-a232-0019bb30f31a.html

This knockout game is just another example of a hate crime imho. Maybe it started when Brad Pitt made that fight club movie, or maybe it started as a gang initiation; pick an innocent victim and sucker punch them into oblivion. It’s caught on like wildfire around the country and states are trying to catch up – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2013/12/30/state-introduce-knockout-game-bills/4249987/

It would be a shame if this news coverage served to deter people from enjoying a night out on the Mall. But calls are coming in for more widespread surveillance and a beefier police presence on the Mall. Our former Mayor Dave Norris had this to say:

…One other predictable outcome: expect another big push for a public camera surveillance system downtown. The damage done by those three jerks to our sense of community, to our sense of safety and to our civil liberties is likely to far exceed the physical damage done to their two victims. I hope none of this comes to pass and that we in Charlottesville avoid the temptation to escalate and overreact. Given human nature, I am not optimistic. I sincerely hope we find these criminals and put them away. I hope their victims’ wounds heal quickly. I hope ours do as well.

I’m not against more cameras, let’s just put them everywhere like London has done. And btw, let’s also ban guns like the Brits, and legalize marijuana like Colorado. But while we’re busy day dreaming, I wonder how our latest single parents will be coping this season?downton-abbey-season-52

 

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