Newport News Survival Guide, Part 3

Spoiler alert! This post has a much more positive tone than part 2!

While familiarizing myself with the town, I drove past a series of restaurants connected in the same building. They all had four stories. I thought that was pretty cool. “Wow, that’s a lot of seating!”, I thought. “They must have customers going through here all the time- to have a main floor and then three more floors.” Well, I did some driving around the perimeter, because it looked like an interesting, tightly-packed place. Turns out, that this is a college residence hall. How cool is that? When I was in college, (St. Mary’s College of MD) the facilities available were pretty good, including the food. We had a combination Upper Deck/Quizno’s (in addition to the standard all-you-can-eat breakfast/lunch/dinner room) which was nice to have. However, CNU students are living on top of multiple restaurants! Panera, Subway, Moe’s Southwest, and three others whose names slip my memory. How cool is that!

A view of the other side from this four story residence hall restaurant complex.

So this stuff about the place in NN with crappy parking goes full circle as I mention… this really fun place called the City Center.

I could describe this place to you and how much stuff is there, but you can look it up if you want. The place is designed to be walkable, it’s clean, and visually stimulating for anyone walking or driving by.

There we go. Newport News, my good friend, you are absolved.

I took a whole bunch of pictures of the fountain at the City Center. I hate it when somebody publishes a whole bunch of pictures of the *same thing*, so I’m going to live my principles and not give you a pile of photos of the same fountain. There ya go. This is not a top-level photo-stitching, cos, you know, Blackberry. Click on it for large size.

Such a great place, the City Center.

Holy crap! What’s a Waffle House? They do have every restaurant chain in this town. Oh, not just Waffle House. Waffle House, Wild Wing, Red Robin, Quaker Steak. Some personal favorites are Chesseburger in Paradise, Cici’s, and IHOP. And as a former Subway sandwich maker and current Subway enthusiast, I am happy to say there are a million and one Subways. But I think that’s EVERY town nowadays.

Okay, another fountain pic, sorry. Someone thought to accommodate ducks??? Never seen one of these before.

Okay, that’s it for my saga of geography personal expression!

Newport News Survival Guide, Part 2

The far far southern end of Newport News has almost nothing good to photograph. Except a ship yard with big big crane. But I’m not going to the south side for a crane.

It was much bigger than this one you’re looking at right now. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera when I saw it. This is a gov’t photo from Norfolk.

“YOU SHALL NOT PARK” came very close to being the title of this post. But it is certainly an essential theme. I have held up NN as a town where all the good stuff is within reasonable walking distance, AND there are none of those pesky one-way roads AND the businesses are not discouraging me from going there due to lack of parking lots. But, this perception did not take too long to lead me to mild disappointment.

Case in point, what are some nice places that I did not provide photographs of?

You shall not park!

Sorry no parking here.

Or here.

You get the point.

NN has trees.

Oh, more trees.

I’ll break the rhythm of my post and inject some comedy; I found computer store. They are so forward-thinking, they advertise if you’re ready for Windows XP and Microsoft Office XP.

Railroads go through this town.

Part of Newport News with one way roads. These roads are not adequately signed and so, naturally, as I turn into a Newport News one-way road for the first time, someone else comes in the road the opposite way. I can see I’m not going the wrong way, because there is a stop sign at the end of the road facing me. There is no room for two vehicles to simultaneously occupy the same place, but we avoided a collision when the other driver pulled his car into the one empty spot in the parallel parking zone on my left.

This is Christopher Newport University. They wanted me to pay to park as well. Thus no pictures.

Join me next week for part 3!

Newport News Survival Guide, Part 1

I recently moved to the Virginia Peninsula in search of opportunity, and, specifically, a job. A clear change in scenery. This the telling of my story. Town’s about six times larger than the one I lived in before.
Some spots are in good walking distance from one another. Some are not. Some areas are adequately supplied with pedestrian signals. Many are not. The town is full of sidewalks and I consider that to be good news. I have lived here long enough to pass judgement on my new home town of Newport News, and I say there are good things and bad things.

-A mall that actually is a mall (e.g. not a collection of stores sharing a same parking lot)
-Movie theaters (more than one)
-Easy access to the Interstate
-EVERY GOOD restaurant chain

For all of my SoMD friends, Newport News is basically La Plata, only larger area, and even more restaurants.

-Too many pawn shops
-Huge intersections that have lots of foot traffic but no pedestrian signals

There are pedestrian signals in this town, but their presence is not distributed proportional to the places they are needed the most, IMO. No signal here.

Big intersection, no signal.

Waited a long time to cross. When I made it to the other side, a driver told me, “good job”

Note that a lot of the photos are taken with blackberry because they are just personal photos. But the quality is crappy even for that. Now I know to use a real camera always, even for photos for personal use. Darn you, RIM!

This here is one of the better ones.

A big food store devoted completely to international food. There was a ramen row. Not a ramen section– a ramen row. A ROW. I made sure to secure photographic evidence. And keep in mind that these are not the only noodles in the store. Just ramen.

A motel is being destroyed. It looked like such mess, I couldn’t resist a photograph.

A pretty storm drain. Look at them ridges.


My observation that such a life-breaking concept was a sellable consumer good.

They have these poles on the entry/exits of the Interstates on the VA Peninsula, that I have never seen in other Interstates before. I have never seen them go down.

Another perceived oddity is that this town is full of these “you can go three directions from here” tree signs. And with that, I think I will end it here, stay tuned for part 2 on January 27th!