Archive for January, 2008

A New Place, New Town

There are not many places in Williamsburg that I have not been since I have lived here for a few years and had a job that took me into many areas. But the one place I have not been to is ironically a place that many people who are visitors to Williamsburg probably visit and that is to New Town.
There are a few reasons why I have not been there. One reason is that I don’t live here any longer and I do most of my shopping in the town I presently live in. Other reasons that I have not been there are economic and political reasons. Since I am a poor college student for now, I only shop for items of necessity. If it isn’t a need, then I do without it. New Town is an outdoor mall of specialty, and probably overpriced stores. Exquisite chocolates, trendy clothing, and cigars are not on my list of must- haves so I have seen no reason to go. Being a student leaves me no time for movies which is another reason that I have not been there.
Another reason for not going there or to other mega-shopping centers is a philosophical political reason. George Ritzer, a leading sociological critic of globalization, calls mega-shopping centers “palaces of consumption”. I have joined the less is more crowd and shun the idea that I have to have a lot of things. And if I need things, I first try to find in at my local thrift store or reasonably priced somewhere else preferably a local small family owned business. So it is not that I haven’t been there because I feel uncomfortable or out of place, but due to personal decisions.
The whole area had a very pristine but daunting appearance to me. There was a hardness and coldness to the area with a lot of hard planed surfaces, glass windows, the buildings themselves and the pavement. Like much of Williamsburg, New Town has a very manicured look and I wonder is someone would come immediately if I were to drop a piece of paper and sweep it up. I would have liked it better if there were more plants to soften the hard edges and maybe there are more plants and greenery in the spring.
Those that use the area are probably middle- and upper- middle- class people which tend to be the people that are drawn to high-price brands and specialty stores. Everyone I saw there was white and middle class. I also saw a few retired couples walking around and window shopping.
I consider what I would do in a place that I felt uncomfortable. Though I did not feel uncomfortable in New Town, I am daily in places that do make me feel uncomfortable and I am very aware of my “differentness”. What is it about a place that makes me feel uncomfortable? A feeling of being out of place and of not fitting in is the main reason for feeling uncomfortable. Then the question is what I do with the feelings of discomfort. I daily feel a level of discomfort when I am at school. I feel out of place due to my age and level of intelligence as compared to the traditional students. This causes me some uncomfortable out of place feelings, but I tend to suppress the feeling s and carry on with what I need to do.

Map assignment

I am using the familiar folding street map by ADC and one that I found on-line called the Colonial Guide for this assignment. The ADC map also includes York and James City County. I am not able to trace all the boundaries for Williamsburg, the city, on this map. To the south the boundary is Route 199. I can find some of the northern boundary and to the east and west it doesn’t appear that the boundaries have been marked at all. I do note that very clearly the boundaries of the Colonial Williamsburg area can be seen because a bold colored broken line is used to designate the area and it can be easily seen. There is no doubt where this area begins and ends. They also include an enlarged inset map of Colonial Williamsburg and vicinity. This suggests to me that because this area is so well defined and easy to see on the map, that the Colonial Williamsburg and the vicinity are considered very important. This map also has an enlarged insert for Yorktown and the Colonial National Historic Park. The Map People make sure that this map is convenient for the tourist since it highlights all the tourist destinations by enlarging them. Also by clearly making the boundary of this area, and that it is almost in the center of the map also suggests to me that this area is considered the “heart” of Williamsburg. Some of the areas on this map are colored. Some areas are green, which according to the legend is a park a forest a recreational or wildlife area. These areas include to the west, Greensprings Plantation National Historic Site, Colonial Parkwayand to the north, Waller Mill Park. To the east is Water Country. Military, state or federal property is indicated by areas of gray. Hospital areas are colored in pink and include Eastern State Hospital and areas considered special property are in purple. Special property areas include, William and Mary and all other schools in the Williamsburg area, the Prime Outlets and Busch Industrial Park. There are symbols for marinas and boat ramps, a sail boat. An umbrella marks beaches and campsites and picnic areas are indicated by a tee- pee or a picnic table. There is also a symbol for swamps. This map also shows all the bodies of water in the area which to my surprise, are many. The ADC map is much more detailed and thorough than the other map and is one that I would keep with me especially if I was a new resident or a visitor to the area.
The other map that I used is a map that is more pleasing to the eye and “artsy”. The colors are pleasing and the map is made to look old, a little like a pirates map. It is a map that a person might frame and hang on a wall, whereas the other map has only a utilitarian look. The Colonial Guide map looks like an old work of art. To me this suggests that Williamsburg has a long history and may be trying to appeal to history buffs. This map however, shows no boundaries of the city of Williamsburg as they other map did. This map highlights all the shopping and entertainment areas in large red block letters. Clearly, these areas stand out and say “Notice me” on this map.
The Colonial Guide map is not as detailed, and does not include a legend. I usually use maps to find my way around an area so while the one map is appealing to my eye; it is otherwise useless to me. Both maps are for tourists since they highlight areas that are tourist destinations, entertainment and shopping.

Assignment #2

Emily Nuñez
American Studies
January 22, 2008

Williamsburg Vs Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg Virginia Visitor’s Map is a detailed map of the Williamsburg area. On one side, there is the entire map of the Williamsburg area. On the other, there are the detailed maps of Colonial Williamsburg and the Cultural National Historical Park. The college of William and Mary is also prominently displayed the map in bold red print under the Williamsburg heading. It seems to be the center or focal point of the map. I was not expecting the college to be the central point of the map. When I purchased the map, I assumed that Colonial Williamsburg would be the focal point of the entire map. On the second side, Colonial Williamsburg is definitely emphasized in a detail of the area. The whole Colonial Williamsburg area is highlighted in yellow for optimal effect, yet the Colonial Williamsburg name is small and hard to read, contrasting with the college area that is presented in a dulled light purple. Interestingly, the map draws attention to the various military bases found around Williamsburg, including the Naval Weapons station and Camp Peary, both covered in gray with bold red-letter names. The map also highlights the national parks in green. The rural areas of Williamsburg and the majority of the city’s residential areas are presented in boring white, seeming insignificant when compared to the tourist attractions. The map sticky with the tourist attractions also shows the local golf courses in Williamsburg and the surrounding areas.
The second map is essentially a true tourist guide to the Colonial Williamsburg area. This map is helpful to those who are trying to find the historic houses in Colonial Williamsburg. The “Historic Points of Interest” are marked on this map by little red houses. It is also a great guide for shopping, with prime shopping venues marked by yellow huts, as are restaurants and eateries. Needless to say, this map will help any tourist get around Williamsburg. The map is branded with the British Flag, keeping with the traditional era of Colonial Williamsburg. Meant for tourists, nothing about this map is surprising to me. From the outside of the map, which illustrates two players from the Fifes and Drums, to the illumination of prime shops within, this map is nothing but traditional tourist guide to Williamsburg.
My preference for the maps is the real Williamsburg map which I purchased at the visitor’s center. It is not only less biased about the Williamsburg area but is shows details of everything from the college to the military bases. It is not just a tourist guide to shopping but a guide to Williamsburg itself. It is the more useful, informative and practical of the two maps.

Great Food and Amazing People

People in today’s society tend to judge by appearances and make assumptions before they know another person’s story. My father is from Mexico and my mother is from Virginia with an Irish background. Perhaps for this reason, I do not stand out as being a Latina-American. When people look at me, they assume from my appearance that I have a more Anglo background. When my sisters and I go to a Mexican restaurant or an event with other Hispanic families, I am also sometimes perceived as nothing more than an Anglo, which often makes me feel uncomfortable, because that’s not who I am. I love Mexican food, not the Taco Bell variety but the kind my family makes, so I love looking for places with authentic Mexican food. Given this, I thought it might be interesting to visit an ethnic restaurant in Williamsburg. There are many ethnic restaurants in Williamsburg, so I decided to try something completely foreign, something I was not comfortable with initially. I decided to try an Indian restaurant, something I had never tried before. I was not sure I would feel comfortable in a setting that I had not experienced before. Even though I had never tried Indian food, I was sure I would not like it. When I think of small ethnic restaurants, I think of a family owned business that brings in the same people everyday. Nawab fits into this category. When you walk into the restaurant you immediately smell the different spices used. Visually, you are met with Indian artwork and thickly padded seats. On the back wall, there is a large painting of the Taj Mahal, and decorative peacocks abound. I think one of the main reasons I have never been to an Indian restaurant before is that I did not think I would be comfortable there. I thought that the other costumers would be mostly Indian and I would stick out as being an outsider. While the restaurant did have its fair share of ethnic patrons, there was also an Anglo family and a group of college students. Everyone appeared to be enjoying the experience. The patrons seemed comfortable and everyone was enjoying the wonderful food, which was absolutely amazing. When I was there, I felt very much at ease with the food. Perhaps it was the cozy booths or the great smells, but the restaurant staff itself had a way of making everyone feel welcome and well cared for. It is good to know that there is some ethnic diversity in Williamsburg and its restaurants. It is also good to know that I can overcome some of my own culinary discomfort and enjoy a new experience.

Assignment #1

Emily C. Nunez
American Studies
January 17, 2008

I was born and raised in Colonial Heights, Virginia. I grew up with my parents and three sisters. Colonial Heights is just over the river from Petersburg, Virginia, a city that is steeped in history, tracing its roots as far back as those of Williamsburg. While the colonial period is a big part of the history of Petersburg, the Civil War garners the most attention. For many of those who live in this area, the Civil War is still very important. Major battles were fought in Petersburg. Robert E. Lee for a time had his headquarters in Petersburg, and there is a picture of Lincoln touring a local cemetery where people can still be buried today. My family, being perhaps a little strange, would often visit the cemetery and look at the gravestones and monuments. As a child, I also remember going there to attend the reinterment of a Confederate soldier, done with much solemnity and ceremony by Civil War reenacters who took their job quite seriously. There is a Confederate Memorial chapel at the cemetery with beautiful stain glass windows by Tiffany, one for each state that was a part of the Confederacy.
Colonial Heights, first occupied by Englishmen around 1620, to a large extent shares Petersburg’s history. The first inhabitants of the area were Algonquin Indians, and Indian names and legends still abound. When my family was looking for a home, we were cautioned not to buy in a certain part of the city called Conjurer’s neck, because that is where the medicine men practiced, and evil spirits still roamed. My friends lived in a house that overlooked the river, and a sign in their yard reported that in 1781 Lafayette had his headquarters there, and from that overlook fired down and across the river on the British in Petersburg. This gave the city its name- Colonial Heights. During the Civil War, when Petersburg was under siege, Lee moved his headquarters to another house about a half a mile from us. People who grew up in the area, especially the older people, are very proud of this history. It helps shape their sense of identity.
My family came to Colonial Heights when my Dad accepted a pastorate in Petersburg. We had no roots in the community. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, which for a large part of my youth was my identity. The ministry is often transient in nature, and I knew we might move at any time. My parents chose to homeschool us, so I had no real connection to a school. Because we were heavily involved in competitive swimming, my sisters and I often traveled on weekends and did not spend much time with the other kids in our neighborhood. Although my Dad eventually left the ministry and we settled in the area permanently, I am really not that connected to the place where I grew up. I believe others in the neighborhood always to some extent saw us as outsiders. Most of the families in our area had strong generational ties to the community, and my large Mexican American family did not really fit in.
Although I am not particularly connected to the area I grew up in, I am connected to my family and when they are around I feel comfortable and connected to my environment, whether we are at home or on family vacation. Growing up home schooled played a huge part in the shaping of my identity. Being home schooled comes with many stereotypes from “socially awkward” to “inadaptable,” yet I grew up with two of my best friends in an environment where I felt comfortable and connected. I think being home schooled shaped the part of my identity that allows me feel at home wherever I am, either at school or at home. My sisters and I would always study in our rooms and I am the same way now. I can go to the library to socialize but I cannot study in the library. I study best when I feel a sense of relaxation and comfort, and I feel most comfortable in my room, just as I did when I was home schooled. I think to feel at home in a place you have to be able to feel relaxed in the environment and comforted by your surroundings. For me, that sense of comfort is more dependent on familiar things and relationships than on geographical location.

Part 2: Williamsburg and You

Williamsburg is a strange place; it is a college town, a tourist venue and an old and respectable community. On the one hand you have Colonial Williamsburg which demonstrates the beginnings of our nations history, and on the other hand you have new developments like New Town, which epitomize the search for the perfect trendy community. Williamsburg is as old as our nation, yet at the same time pieces of Williamsburg are brand new. My mother, who has never lived in Williamsburg, often remarks that for some reason it feels like home. I feel the same way, though I cannot say why. In many ways, the city is an enigma. When I look at the colonial section of Williamsburg, it reminds me of a movie set frozen in time. It does not seem real. Instead, the Colonial Williamsburg we see is more like a façade that covers over the way Williamsburg was in the twenties, before the Rockefellers came and “remodeled”. Colonial Williamsburg, in my mind, is nothing more than a tourist attraction. The college town stands separate, even though connected geographically. The college community exists along side Colonial Williamsburg and as a part of the rest of the city, but it is a separate community. There is no shared history of place and geographical belonging, yet the two communities intersect and interact.
For me, Williamsburg starts in Colonial Williamsburg and moves out from there. I have no real sense of where the true boundaries are. Even though it is not where most people really live, the center of the town in my mind is mostly definitely Colonial Williamsburg. I love the excitement and movement of the place, and at the same time I have trouble with some of its more touristy aspects. I know that the real Williamsburg, the Williamsburg where people are born and grow and die, is probably very different from the Williamsburg that I experience. The Williamsburg that I am most familiar with consists of tourists that come and go but students who remain here for four years of their lives, forming their own little temporary families. Often in winter, after the holidays, Colonial Williamsburg seems almost deserted. There appears to be no one left except for the students and a few locals doing their jobs. As soon as the weather starts to warm up, herds of people flood to Colonial Williamsburg to experience everything that they think defines life in the colonial period. Colonial Williamsburg attracts a variety of people that contribute to the unique face that disguises the Williamsburg that often goes unnoticed. I would like to learn more about that Williamsburg. When I look at Bruton Parish church, I wonder what role faith has played in the lives of the people who call Williamsburg home, not just the white residents but also the African Americans ones. I also wonder how race has affected the way people experience life in Williamsburg, today and in the past.
I do feel connected to Williamsburg, to the college and to the area. Still, the Williamsburg I know is probably quite different than the Williamsburg that many local residents call home.

Maps and a Place Discourse vol. 2

2 Boys and a Neighborhood

Riding our bikes down Lafayette Street, Cody and I decided to take a left on a certain Capital Landing Road. We found ourselves in a residential neighborhood, one which we had coincidentally never been to. We pulled up next to a huge house and, deciding to explore on foot, hid our bikes in a patch of evergreen conifers on their lawn. There seemed to be a steady stream of evening traffic and we figured that the road was regularly used by people who didn’t live in the neighborhood. Looking at a map of Williamsburg when I got back home, I found out the neighborhood harbored a major intersection between route 5 and route 60 (Capital Landing turns into route 5 after intersecting with route 60). It was an interesting street because every house was completely different, both in terms of architecture and size. Most houses were medium sized, some were huge, and a number were rather dwarfish. One house seemed particularly Southern with a screened front porch with a swinging bench on it and a proudly displayed American flag. Across the street and down a couple houses was a sort of fake log cabin that almost looked like it was made of plastic. Every house varied in its own unique way.
There were a number of kids playing in one of the side streets and many of the houses had children’s bikes and other paraphernalia of fun (little soccer nets, trampolines, hoola-hoops, etc.). This brought us to the conclusion that we were walking through a family-oriented neighborhood, much different from ours further up Lafayette Street, which consists mainly of college students and elderly folk. This didn’t make it uncomfortable to be in, but I probably would have never found my way into the neighborhood if I hadn’t been out to explore. Seeing the kids and being in a residential neighborhood, we began to talk about the neighborhoods we grew up in and went on reminiscing for awhile. It was different from most neighborhoods I had been in because each house seemed to have its own character, rather than most houses being uniformly manufactured in the non-distinct style. Each home seemed to have been built during different periods and some even looked ancient. The neighborhood didn’t remind me of anything really, like the Audioslave song.
In terms of why I would have never been there, it’s probably because it was so far removed from the campus and I wouldn’t have any reason to travel that far west into Williamsburg. Upon reflection though, maybe that’s what made it such a prime location for families. The neighborhood had its own nook in the town, where it wouldn’t have to deal with college students, tourists, or any of the resulting incontinences. It was near a fairly busy crossroads, but that’s just a by-product of living in a fairly small town. Reflecting even further, I pretty much jumped to every conclusion I’ve drawn about the neighborhood. I have no idea who actually lives there, what the social dynamic is really like, or why people have chosen to live there. I’ve only been able to draw conclusions from the various things I saw from the sidewalk on a twenty-five minute stroll. I was only experiencing it like a tourist, judging everything at first glance, and only having a first glance to base my conclusions on. All I can really report is what stood out to me in the area and why I thought it might be important.

Two Maps and a Boy

I bought two maps with Williamsburg in them and taped them up on the wall side by side. The map on the left was specifically of Williamsburg and featured the town dead center; I found myself looking at this one first. For as long as I’ve been here, I have never actually studied a map of the area. Two things immediately struck me as different from my previous understanding of the town: Williamsburg was a much smaller area than I imagined and I had always pictured it as circular. Colonial Williamsburg and our college completely dominate the town, the two of them being located in the middle of everything, stretching almost completely across the town’s latitude. The town has a northern peninsula that forms around Richmond road, which serves mainly as a business district, accommodating a number of restaurants and hotels located in the area. The southeast portion of Williamsburg is populated by a couple of golf courses and a lot of open space.
In terms of defining the town, the map draws a clear line between Williamsburg and the surrounding area. Outside of the official town are a number of street clusters (attempting to section them off, I counted nine, excluding Fords Colony). Looking through Google Earth, many of these places seem to be residential areas, which I would imagine are tied in heavily with the local economy. Having been to a few of these places before, I always thought that they were within the town’s boundaries. One interesting aspect about this is it seems that Williamsburg has developed a sort of metropolis around itself. The map also shows that a good portion of land to the east of Williamsburg is owned by the United States military, particularly the Navy. In terms of an implicit purpose to this map, I had trouble finding one; it seemed more or less a simple definition of Williamsburg and the surrounding area.
The next map was of the Virginia Peninsula, which followed route 64 from Williamsburg to the Hampton shore. It’s interesting to move from the smaller map of Williamsburg to this one. It’s as if someone zoomed the camera out so the entire Hampton Roads region of Virginia is revealed. It becomes clear that Williamsburg is just a small town dwarfed by the much larger ones of Newport News and Hampton. I had never thought of Williamsburg’s size compared to these two, but its impossible to notice when they’re represented in the same scale. Williamsburg’s location along the James River becomes much clearer. This map was clearly of a much more generalized nature, the center being the borders between Hampton and Newport News. Williamsburg was just a tiny town on the left corner of the map.
Interestingly, though, the map had a note that a closer view of Williamsburg was offered on the back. This made me think about the map makers and the clear emphasis put on Williamsburg. It was clear that Rand McNally© envisioned that a large number of people would be buying the map with the intention of using it to navigate to or through Williamsburg. So, despite its relatively homunculus-like form next to Newport News and Hampton, a special place for Williamsburg was saved, explicitly catering towards the tourists and implicitly stressing its importance within its larger area.

Solomon Alpert assignment 2

The first map I chose is the small paper maps available at Wawa on Richmond Road. The map is a road map designed for tourists. The entirety of the City of Williamsburg is highlighted in yellow, while other areas of interest in the city are highlighted in purple and green. The map is very obviously designed for tourists coming to Williamsburg by car, who may not be familiar with the intricacies of the roads but are aware of the names of the places that they would like to visit.
I decided to compare the aforementioned map to the flash generated, interactive map available on the Colonial Williamsburg official website. The site displays all of the sites one can see in Colonial Williamsburg. By clicking on a building, the user is able to see a brief description of each site. The site also offers a guide to events and allows the user to plan his or her itinerary directly from the site. Being that it is designed for flash player, it is only readily available for families who can afford more expensive computers and faster internet connections. The map is very well designed and gives a good graphical representation of Colonial Williamsburg itself, although the rest of the historic triangle is unrepresented.
In reading both of these maps, the graphical design of each of them caters to tourists. The first map is clearly designed for individuals driving or walking in the general area of Williamsburg, while the second map seeks to inform the viewer on all of the potential places to visit in Colonial Williamsburg. It also allows the viewer to simultaneously plan his or her trip. In general, the viewers for either of these maps are interested in visiting Colonial Williamsburg itself, but not necessarily anything in the surrounding area.

For my first time visit, I chose to walk to the Williamsburg Inn on the outskirts of Colonial Williamsburg. The Inn includes a bar and lounge, restaurant, hotel, and golf course. In terms of decoration, the Inn seems to take most of its design influences from the interiors of early American, wealthy households. The walls are lined with large portraits of wealthy, sometimes well-known individuals, and the wallpaper is pastel in color, with imprinted designs.
Overall, the general environment of the Williamsburg Inn gave me feelings of discomfort. Upon entering the restaurant the Maitre D’Hotel rushed over to make sure that I was not asking for a table, as I was not wearing nice enough clothing. Even before reaching the restaurant, the general environment reminded me of the country clubs (and other businesses catered to wealthy families) that I encountered while I was in high school. Perhaps my previous experiences with these types of institutions added to my discomfort, but I was definitely aware that I am not considered a desirable customer at the Inn.

new-twn.docWilliamburg Maps

It’s all in the details/Close-by yet far away

It’s All in the Details
On a printed map I picked up at the Barnes and Noble bookstore, the City of Williamsburg is demarcated as a yellow high-lighted area near the center. There does not seem to be much of a pattern for the boundary lines of the City. The shape is irregular and major roads do not necessarily follow the city line. An enlargement of Colonial Williamsburg is provided on the other side, though here the area is outlined in dashed blue lines. This area not only encompasses the living history museum of Colonial Williamsburg but also the College of William and Mary (up to the edge of Lake Matoaka) and extends to the East a little past 2nd St.
Continue reading ‘It’s all in the details/Close-by yet far away’

A Virginia Gentleman in Yankee Candle/Do You Know the Way to Williamsburg?

Pulling into the nearly empty parking lot, the Yankee Candle Factory appears to be three separate buildings standing together – a yellow wood paneling, brick in the middle, and blue wood paneling. Three separate entrances gives the consumer different options from which to enter. A gentleman sat on a rocking chair talking into his cell phone in front. I entered through the central entrance, hoping for a symmetric layout. Upon entering, the olfactory takes over sorting and trying to place a name on the familiar scents.
I’d always been meaning to go, but never found the time. I’d heard stories from friends about their Saturday afternoons when they had nothing else to do. “You should go. Don’t skip the Christmas room; it snows!”
It was like entering a town, ironically within a building. The ceiling is painted to look like the sky, building facades are in place to entice customers, all centered around the town clock. It was all very reminiscent of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Surveying the place, it seemed as though the complete idea was to recreate Anytown, U.S.A. in the “good old days,” where things were simpler and happiness was free.
On the left hand side was the register and home goods. Following the indoor road, a fudge shop seems out of place. Home goods and the Christmas area are just around the corner. The Christmas area is dimly lit, trying to capture the anticipation just before the big day. Decorated trees surround you as you cross a miniature bridge complete with a miniature train chugging above. Curiously, no candles have been sold in any area yet – just knick-knacks and ornaments. Next to the Christmas area is a toy shop. They sell typical toys that could be found anywhere. There’s a general store and then the candles. I realize at this point the music playing above. I back track to see if each area has its own music and sure enough, it does. The Christmas area has Christmas music, the general store has big band playing, and the candle section plays light music – Paul McCartney and Wings, Michael Buble, etc.
As I peruse the vast candle section, the largest section of the store, I take note of the candles arranged by color, creating an aesthetic for the eyes and nose. The scents mingle together into one giant lump of smell. I look at the names of the products they sell – Clean Linen, Festival of Lights, Macintosh Apple.
There was a feeling of appealing to the child within each customer, especially since a third of the factory was devoted to Christmas and toys. It was a welcoming environment with no feelings of hesitation or unease. In fact, the framing and structure of the place felt oddly familiar.

I purchased a detailed from WaWa – “ADC: The Map People, Williamsburg, Virginia Visitor’s Map.” In splendid Technicolor, it details Williamsburg from Busch Gardens to James City County District Park. The center of the map shows the College of William and Mary precisely where most students would place the College anyway. The surrounding yellow shows the historic area, much larger than I knew to be.
The reverse of the map shows more detailed areas. The inserts of Colonial Williamsburg and the Colonial National Historic Park highlight their importance in the area. This map is designed for tourists since these two areas are on display in addition to the title “Virginia Visitor’s Map.” The back also has a descriptive list of Points of Interest discussing the Governor’s Palace and various landmarks of Williamsburg and Jamestown.
The other map I obtained was a free map from Colonial Williamsburg. The map is not as colorful as the first. In fact, it resembles the design of a colonial map, perhaps intended to engage the visitor into the spirit of Williamsburg. The only color on the back is reserved for specially highlighted attractions and necessities – bathrooms, telephones, shopping, food, and points of interest. Interestingly, private homes are given no color. In this instance, they just blend with the background gaining no attention from visitors. They won’t point to such a building and ask “What’s that;” they’ll simply glance over it. Duke of Gloucester street is the central point of the map showing most of the points of interest are either on the street or branch from it. The right hand side of the map writes out the ticket deals available and a list of customs and courtesies the park wishes patrons would follow.
The weekly schedule of events is on the reverse. This map is reprinted weekly to update details. In fact, the cover writes the map is specifically for the week of January 14-20. Events are listed by day and time so visitors can plan accordingly and efficiently. The rest of the map is scattered with ads drawing attention to specific programs and exhibits.
Both maps were printed on a fine glossy paper. While they will wear down, they’ll last for some time. The Colonial map is less bulky than the Williamsburg map. I noticed most of the visitors in Williamsburg would have the map in their back pocket for easy access. The Williamsburg map would be hard to fit in back pockets. As a tourist, I would prefer the Colonial map, but the aesthetic of the Williamsburg nice is more appealing to me. Yet, its girth and the difficulty of refolding it make me care less for both maps.

A deli way past its glory days

Over the years, I had heard the rumor that there was always a “fourth deli” to be added to the beloved triumvirate of the College Delly, Paul’s Deli and the Green Leafe. This mysterious place still exists–no, it was not in that abandoned lot next to Paul’s. Rather, it is Mama Mia’s, the odd looking place on Prince George Street that very few people I know ever venture to out of fear and the horrible feeling of awkwardness. Continue reading ‘A deli way past its glory days’

Next Page »


The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

Add Users

If you want to add yourself to this blog, please log in.