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.


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.

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