The JPA Bridge: A monument to thoughtful planning– and seemingly interminable planning. The new bridge is supposed to reopen in September– a whopping 18 months after the old one closed.
Peter Chang: Our newest celebrity. We're not sure if he actually lives here, but since 2009 he's been drawing crowds from across the East Coast with his unique Chinese cuisine. His eponymous restaurant at Barracks Road opened in 2011.
Weddings & wine: The new backbones of Charlottesville's tourism industry– along with scads of restaurants and those two traditional favorites: Monticello and the University of Virginia.
Downtown Mall: An oasis of hipsterdom and a rare urban success story. Built in 1976, expanded in 1985, crossed by traffic in 1995. It's where the action is– at least on warm Friday evenings.
The Dave: Used to be the bartender at downtown pub Miller's until he threw it all away to start a band. Whoever heard of a violin and sax in a rock group, anyway?
Fridays After 5: Free summer concert series held at the east end of the Downtown Mall. Audiences used to sit on a grassy hill that was bulldozed in favor of the 3,500-seat cement-floored nTelos Wireless Pavilion.
The Grounds: UVA doesn't have a "campus," it has the Grounds. (And it wasn't built by "TJ"; it was founded by "Mr. Jefferson.") And there's no such thing as a freshman. It's "first year," please.
The Lawn: The original grounds of UVA. Streaking the length of it is considered a rite of passage for students.
JPJ: This has become the standard moniker for UVA's 16,000-seat, $130-million John Paul Jones Arena, opened in 2006. No, it's not named for the Led Zeppelin bassist. Instead, the man who said we should all be "elated" by the ouster of UVA President Teresa Sullivan, Paul Tudor Jones II, promised $30 million for the project and got the building named for his father, a Memphis attorney and UVA Law grad.
The Corner: Five blocks of fun. According to historian Coy Barefoot, students began using this moniker for the intersection of University Avenue and the central entrance to the University Grounds (where the fancy "honor" gate was erected in 1915) by 1902. The name stuck, and now it's also the name of the radio station at 106.1 FM.
Timberlake's: The town's olde tyme drugstore downtown. Still delivers. Still has a lunch counter with homemade soup and real ice-cream sodas. The fireplace is a local gathering spot in winter.
Garrett Square: The old-school name for the low-income housing complex near the Downtown Mall now called "Friendship Court."
Recycling: Next to the water wars, our biggest civic dispute. At the center is a soft-spoken guy named Peter van der Linde, who upset the apple cart in 2009 by quietly opening a "dirty MuRF," a place that lets your trash man collect everything in one giant bin before it gets sorted. Since then, he's been sued under RICO, vandalized, and now the his biggest competitor claims he's contaminating the waste.
Louisa: We never really knew much about you (beyond Lake Anna and Jack Jouett) until August 23, 2011, when a 5.8 tremor struck near the town of Mineral and reverberated across the East Coast.
Three Chopt Road: Also known as Three Notched Road, this Colonial version of a highway is essentially the path of today's Route 250, including such historic stretches as the Downtown Mall and West Main Street.
Sacagawea: According to National Geographic, she's the subject of more statues than any other American woman, including the local one with her crouching on West Main Street with the two best-known members of the Lewis & Clark expedition. (We're still holding out for a statue of York, the Albemarle-based slave on the trip.)
Blue Hole: The dreamy little swimming spot on the south fork of the Upper Moormans River. This idyllic place suffered a vandalism in mid 2012 that could lessen its status as what lawyers call an "attractive nuisance," the buzz-saw removal of the tree that held the rope swing. Perp unknown.
The Omni: Built by City Council vote and lots of taxpayer dollars in the mid-1980s, it's simultaneously a symbol of government excess and a really nice place to stay if you want to stroll the Downtown Mall. The owners recently got outbid on the shell of the next place (see below).
The Landmark: What should by now have been a fully realized luxury hotel remains a hulking skeleton looming over downtown as former owner Halsey Minor battled it out with banks and a former business partner. Will it ever be built? In June of 2012, a Waynesboro-born man made the high bid on the shell with plans to move forward.
Bodo's: Charlottesville's fastest bagels and slowest opening schedule. The former owner hung a "coming soon" banner on the Corner location in 1995 but didn't open the third jewel in his bagel crown for a decade. He later sold each restaurant to its respective manager.
Queen Charlotte Sophia: Wife of King George III, against whom the colonists fought the Revolution. Fourteen years before we waged war against the mother country, the General Assembly of the Virginia Colony named the seat of Albemarle County for this young lady.
The White Spot: It's just a restaurant, but no glossary of the town is complete without mentioning this Corner mainstay and its Gusburger and Grillswith.
Teresa Sullivan: Charlottesville's newest rock star was enshrined in the hearts of Wahoo Nation in June when two members of the governing board decided they knew best and forced her resignation. The ensuing outcry made headlines across the country and brought about her reinstatement after two weeks.
Farmington Country Club: Still considered the swankiest place to swing a club, but the past coupla decades have brought stiff competition from Keswick, Glenmore, and UVA-backed Boar's Head.
Jack Jouett: If there had been a southern poet as sharp as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, schoolchildren might be reading less about Paul Revere and more about this guy, who warned TJ away from death or capture when the British invaded Charlottesville in 1781. Camping out on the lawn of the Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa, he spotted British soldiers moving toward Charlottesville and took off on his trusty steed to spread the alarm.
Beta Bridge: Built over the C&O (now CSX/Buckingham Branch) tracks in 1924 as part of a city-wide public works improvement project, it's now Charlottesville's most famous site for public art. Memorable messages: "Hoos for Hokies," painted after the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, and 2012's "Sullivan– you are not alone" each remained for about a month.
Jefferson Cup: Designed by the man himself, this low-volume pewter goblet adorns many a high school and college graduate's shelf of unused drinking vessels.
Three presidents: Besides the ever-present "Mr. Jefferson," Central Virginia lays claim to at least two other presidents: James Madison, whose home, Montpelier, is in nearby Orange County, and James Monroe, whose more modest digs, Ash-Lawn Highland, sit just past Monticello on Route 53. (Just over the mountain, a fourth prez, Woodrow Wilson, was born in Staunton.)
Foxfield: This horse race on Garth Road has become a rite of spring for UVA students and was nearly shut down a decade ago for out-of-control drinking. Law enforcement has much more of a presence these days and race organizers have tried to discourage those who see the event as a drink-a-thon. Sundresses and hats are mandatory attire for co-eds, and pity those who forget their sunscreen.
Sally Hemings: TJ's love interest (and his property) under the crazy world that was the Colonial era. Probably buried under the Hampton Inn on West Main. City leaders opted not to rename 10th Street for her a few years ago.
The car bumper statue: That big silver statue outside St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on Alderman Road is actually made out of old car bumpers. Sculptor/priest Father Henry Mascotte created a statue of a meditating Aquinas in the mid-1960s by piecing together auto salvage from around South Bend, Indiana.
Biscuit Run: A state park that will eventually open on the southwest side of town. Also, the real estate deal that showed that the super-rich developers really do play from a special rule book.
Peter Jefferson and Martha Jefferson: Besides being an office park and a hospital, these are actual people from back in the day. Peter was a county surveyor who built a house in Shadwell in 1735 (which burned down), but his greater fame came from having a famous son. Martha was TJ's wife who bore him a daughter of the same name after whom the hospital is named. After the elder Martha died in 1782, Jefferson vowed never to remarry, opting to remain a widower for the next 44 years. His vow apparently did not preclude intimacy, however (see Sally Hemings, above).
Vinegar Hill: Considered a slum, this racially mixed but mostly African-American neighborhood of homes and businesses was bulldozed in the early 1960s when "urban renewal" was all the rage. (The art house movie theater by this name opened in 1976.)
"Rio," which means "river" in Spanish, was the name of long-gone mill complex on Rio Road because of its proximity to the Rivanna River. While the Spanish word is pronounced "Ree-o," locals have long opted for the long "i" sound perhaps because it fit with the local pronunciation of the "RY-vanna" river. No one knows for sure, but they do know this: it was never Route 10.