Cheers To.... The Mud House

>> Monday, June 9, 2008

When I first moved to Charlottesville, I distinctly remember wandering over to the Mud House for the first time as I was wandering around the downtown mall (you will find that most of the posts in the 'cheers to' series will involve wandering). I had this idea that the Mud House would be my new Murky Coffee of Charlottesville, given that the coffee was high quality and the ambiance was similarly eclectic. My first day was interesting, since I had plenty enough people watching to entertain myself for the couple of hours I hung out. I'm very touchy feely when it comes to things like coffee shops. I usually go to such places bc I'm searching for inspiration... for a dwelling with like-minded people who are searching for something pure and true. Mainly what I found in the Mud House was a bunch of intellectual snobs that didn't seem to have a desire for understanding the depth of other people unlike themselves. Moreover, the hippies were somehow without the warmth and openness that is often stereotyped upon them. These people actually seemed somewhat bitter. Needless to say I was very confused and surprised.


Now, this is still a cheers (not a roast) to the Mud House. In the year I have lived in Cville, I have realized that the discovery I made that day in the coffee shop was not unlike many discoveries I made all over the city and campus. Charlottesville is a snobby town, period. However, I've been pleased to find that I have a completely different mindset when I stop in the Mud House for a coffee and a couple of hours to chill. I have stopped looking at the arrogance in the fellow coffee shop inhabitants, but rather started seeing them as normal humans. So what if they are intellectuals? Most of the people in this town feel like they have to live up to a certain standard.. but many are begging for an excuse to relax and let loose. It's not really fair to judge this town on the surface. 

So here's to the Mud House.. they have awesome coffee. So does Shenandoah Joe's.  Hopefully Blacksburg will have at least 1 coffee shop with high quality espresso. It's pretty important in my book...



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A new 'cheers to' series...

>> Monday, June 2, 2008

I need a purpose for this blog for the summer. Since I'm leaving Cville (tear), I need to document the sites around here. Since my original purpose for this blog was to document my photography, I'll try to meet that goal as well.


Enjoy!

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Cheers to... Lake Sherando

I found this place randomly one day while cruising around the Blue Ridge Parkway. The first day I went there I remember being bombarded by hundreds of screaming elementary school students in the swimming section of the lake. I decided to take the little trail off to the side of the lake to see where it would go, and I distinctly remember having to walk briskly about 15 minutes before the voices subsided. There's something wonderful about wandering around in a new place and being guided by a path (that allows some sort of security to not get lost). I ran into several deer and they were surprisingly unalarmed. Years of living in a game reserve will do that I guess. 

Water is a calming element for me. I loved growing up on my grandparents' lake and wading in the pond barefoot despite my mom's orders. I could keep myself entertained for an entire day with just a 2 foot long fishing net. My 10 gallon aquarium found more than enough strange occupants in the near decade that I owned it. It's a good thing that my mom isn't squeamish or afraid of random creatures messing up the house. 

I think it's healthy for people to want to spend a certain amount of time alone. Many people choose to do so in nature since it's usually a place filled with minimal distractions, but I think a person can also find those places elsewhere. Right now I'm sitting in a coffee shop, listening to music on my laptop and still hearing bits and pieces of conversations around me. This has been a good day for alone time. Reading Into the Wild has been an interesting experience for me to consider the extremes of isolation. Some say creative people turn to isolation in order to collect thoughts. Others (creative or not) use it as a form of escape. Religious individuals may see that time as community with the divine. We all have our own reasons for wanting to step out of human contact for a period. 

Alone time should serve the purpose to make time in community more valuable... otherwise I would believe it is a mostly selfish act. We definitely need to feed our own needs, but only to the point that it makes us more, not less of a benefit to the community. Though...whether or not a person actually carries out that purpose is extremely subjective. 

Random side note: I am sooooooo excited to be getting my violin back!! 

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About Me

My photo
Tia Nicole Photography has launched this summer after many practice photo sessions and the encouragement of some dear friends and family ("Life Through Tia's Lens" was a recommendation of my good friend, Kristin, who has been an avid supporter the whole way through!). This blog has documented the process from the beginning and also dates back to some older rantings during grad school and football seasons. Feel free to get to know me and my work. I like to focus primarily on natural shots, true emotions and beautiful landscapes. I also absolutely adore kids and pets so you will find a good bit of my work in these areas. Feel free to contact me anytime! I love blog comments!

My pup, Rylynn!

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