Friday, May 28, 2010

Marshview Mayhem

You know that gigantic chunk of land near Salt Marsh Point in Virginia Beach?  Right on Rudee Inlet?  Since the 80's it's been the Navy's official "Crash Here if You're Gonna Crash" site for jets - most likely saving it from becoming the dumping ground for 6,000 additional Land's End condos.  You know - these things...


The fact that a jet from Oceana could come crashing down in it at any moment hasn't stopped nearby residents and homeless folks from doing pretty much anything they wanted to do in it - get drunk, smash bottles, ride ATVs, shoot guns, scare people, jog, etc. - but, soon, all that unsupervised, secret fun is about to come to an abrupt halt. 

The City of Virginia Beach just made a real esate deal with the Navy and plans to turn the property into a "low-density" park.  Sounds like pretty good news, huh?  Well, Tidewater Log has obtained the final plans for the park and doesn't see how the term "low-density" applies to a 98 acre parcel of land covered entirely with trails and junk.  Check it out - click on it to see it closer.

I mean...uhhh...WOW.  I don't even know where to start on this wacky plan.  A "Kid's Zone"?  You don't mean a playground, do you?  A "Nature Museum" in the middle of what is currently a healthy, vibrant ecosystem?  A stage?  For what?!  Lewis McGehee concerts?  The "View Tower" might have been interesting - if you would have kept something natural to view down upon.  I simply can't imagine all the trees that are gonna be removed for all this crap.  Get ready for a mass exodus of raccoons and squirrels into the surrounding neighborhoods.  And what about all the construction chaos?  Yeeesh, that's gonna suck.  By the way, who is paying for all of this?  The city?  I thought we were in debt?!  Don't tell me there's gonna be an admission charge.  And a parking fee.  And "trail upkeep tax".  And a mandatory t-shirt purchase.

Of course, there's got to be a gift shop - it wouldn't be right without one.  Right on the small peninsula behind Shadowlawn.  Great idea!  And is that a bridge actually joining the end of Goldsboro Avenue to the park?  Ummmmm, you may wanna talk to some of the residents about that.  I think you'll be rebuilding that bridge a few times a year...unless you make it fireproof.  That can't be cheap.

And, I'm really curious about the trail planning.  Have you noticed that there are several existing trails already back there?  Has anyone from the city been back there?  I've been riding my bike on the property for years and, aside from having to clear some fallen branches or a hobo every now and then, the trails are quite good.  And logical.  Send someone back there.  Someone in a cheap suit with a pith helmet and mosquito netting.

The above, final design was made by someone - or, most likely, a team of overepaid, clueless doofs - with no knowledge of the property, no consideration for the people that live around it, and no common sense of aesthetics or ecology.

Change it.  Now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dome Stones

On Monday, July 4 1966, The Rolling Stones played the Dome in Virginia Beach during a U.S. tour in support of their latest LP, "Aftermath" (released in the States on  June 20) and their latest single "Mother's Little Helper/Lady Jane" (July 2).

Yep, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts probably swung into town around 3 or 4 in the afternoon after a 6 hour bus trip from a show in Asbury Park, NJ the night before.  I can't prove it, but they probably took the 2-year-old Chesapeake Bay Bridge instead of the more time consuming I-95 South route.  Before the show, they went t-shirt shopping along Atlantic Avenue, ate some salt water taffy, and jumped off the end of the fishing pier.  Well...I don't have proof of that either, but who knows what they did?   Did you go to the show?  What do you remember about it?  I've heard that they stayed at the Viking Motor Inn on 27th Street (demolished December 2010).  Can anybody verify that?  Any information would be appreciated.

Not only did concert attendee Tom Moore write down the set list (after the show)...

1) Not Fade Away

2) The Last Time

3) Paint It Black

4) Lady Jane

5) Doncha Bother Me

6) Mother's Little Helper

7) Get Off My Cloud

8) 19th Nervous Breakdown

9) Satisfaction
...he took pictures.

Neat, huh?  The only other picture I've found is from a 1998 Beacon...

The Stones didn't play the next day.  Their next show was in Syracuse, NY at the War Memorial Hall on July 6. Seems like Brian Jones wore an American flag as a cape during the concert.  Oooops.

The tour concluded in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 28.  It was to be Brian's final U.S. concert performance (introducing Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 doesn't count).  The concert was broadcast on Hawaiian radio and can be found on some bootlegs.  Listen to the disc jockey's introduction and "Not Fade Away" here.  Check here or here to download the whole show.  If those don't work, google it.  It's out there somewhere and probably captures how the Stones sounded in the Dome. 

The next time The Rolling Stones played in Hampton Roads was almost exactly 6 years away...on July, 5 1972 at the Scope.  Hear a little snippet of that show here.