Mike Gruss Archive
There’s an idea in urban planning that is head-smackingly simple and goes like this: “A great place to visit is a great place to live.”
Mark Hering is Big Blue the way Christopher Reeve is "Superman," the way Mel Gibson is "Braveheart's" William Wallace. When you see one, you see the other.
When Hering moves his arms and marches with purpose, you don't see a graduate student with red curly hair and a beard; you see the Old Dominion University mascot Big Blue, the friendly lion who loves all things Monarch.
Lauren DesRoches says if you look back through the family pictures, from the time she was 6, you can see them in every picture. Her freckles.
Her mom has freckles. Her two younger brothers have freckles. Lauren has 898 of them on her face. She's counted.
And for as long as she can remember, her mother told her, the freckles were what set her apart. They were angel's kisses.
Youth peels OFF in flaky, disgusting moments of self-realization.
Maybe it’s a bum knee, a gray hair, the daily ration of horse pills. Perhaps it means leaving the bar at an hour well before a younger version of yourself would have arrived.
Or – like me – perhaps it’s the realization that you have become the guy who reads books about war.
The train to Washington, D.C., is arriving early.
Which is a good start for a train. Being early.
A few unlucky teenagers will have to yawn through a Career Day presentation I've been invited to give in Virginia Beach this week.
School officials encouraged me to bring a handout, maybe a list of writing tips. That will be easy; I keep a pile of advice in a boring manila folder in my boring ivory filing cabinet.
Last year I wrote about the delays in revamping Norfolk's Waterside Festival Marketplace. At the time, I said that if the plans were to feature a golden water slide into the Elizabeth River, it still would not be enough to appease impatient residents.
So you want peace and quiet?
Well, here it is – not far from luxury apartments still under construction near Towne Place in Chesapeake. Yes, here, where the sign out front says, “Float First.” This is where to find tranquility.
NEW YEAR'S EVE. That part of the dinner when everyone goes around the table and says what they do.
I work for the newspaper, I say.
One of the other guys looks at me, takes a breath and says, I gotta ask.
FIFTEEN MINUTES before the presentation was scheduled to begin last Saturday, a dozen or so people already were gathered at Elizabeth River Park in Chesapeake.
As they sauntered in, some had cameras dangling from their necks. Not cellphone cameras, but real ones, a sign that they were serious about capturing what they were about to see.
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