It’s a common joke among UVA students to ask someone “Did you see any horses?” after they’ve been to Foxfield, which speaks to the party atmosphere that occasionally eclipses the actual races for some attendees. Observant inebriates could have checked horses off their list early if they’d noticed this bucolic scene on their way to the event. These guys seemed rather languorous compared to their stressed out counterparts on the track. While we were stuck in traffic watching a parade of plaid, seersucker, and pastel stumble its way toward Garth Road, I jumped out of the car and ran over to a fence to get this picture.
When the brown horse with the blue jockey hit the top part of the last jump, splintering the log into two pieces and sending them flying, you could tell everone’s heart skipped a beat. The same thing had happened to a horse last year, breaking its leg and causing it to hobble over to the fence until the horse ambulance arrived. Little did we know that “horse ambulance” is a bit of a misnomer, and its purpose was evidently quite unlike that of a human ambulance. Suffice it to say things did not end well for the injured equine. Fortunately this horse fared better, and seemed to trot off unharmed, but for this 1/1000 of a second you can see the look in the horse and jockey’s faces as they realize something has gone wrong.
Between the Rotunda and the Corner at UVA there sits a building quite unlike all the others: Brooks Hall. This mysterious edifice was built in 1876 and seems to defy nearly every architectural convention present on the rest of the Lawn. You’ll find no Jeffersonian neo-classical columns here; only a Victorian Gotchic facade that sports creepy animal heads looking out over the windows and the names of natural historians in a stone marquee between the top two floors. Apparently the University thought it to be so at odds with the rest of the Academical Village that it was nearly torn down in the late ’70’s until public outcry stopped the demolition. I wonder how Jefferson would have weighed in on the subject?
Between each section of student rooms on the Lawn at UVA there’s a two-story Pavilion which is meant to house a professor and his or her family. Behind each of those is a garden, such as the one pictured below. It must be a great view to wake up to in the morning. I’m a sucker for symmetry, so this particular garden really appealed to me. Charlottesville is always beautiful in the spring and I can only imagine how great the grounds look down there right now with everything in bloom. On a side note, I’ve decided to move the posting schedule for this blog to Mondays and Thursdays. These pictures take a while to process, and recently it seems like there’s always something happening on Fridays that I’m late to because I’m doing last-minute photo editing!
Look left as you walk from McCormick Road toward the Lawn and you’ll see a fantastic tunnel effect leading down to the Chapel. Underneath these archways is what’s known as “The Range,” a section of housing for grad students, which is part of the original Academical Village designed by none other than TJ himself. Despite the uniformity of the columns and doorways that provide this visual effect, each threshold is made unique by the flyers, furniture, whiteboards, decorations, and random adornments of whoever lives there. One room is permanently protected by a large pane of glass and houses early 19th century furnishings – the residence formerly occupied by Edgar Allan Poe, until his gambling debts caught up to his tuition.