Good morning, RVA! It's 70 °F, and today you should expect hot, sweaty highs in the 90s. Continue to expect this throughout the weekend. Stay hydrated, y'all!
Uh oh: the ICA announced that they'll not open this fall as previously planned, but shift that back until spring 2018. Construction complexity is given as the reason for the delay.
Michael Paul Williams advocates for the construction of a new downtown arena to replace the Coliseum. I frequently ride my bike through the concrete wasteland that is the Coliseum, and there definitely are about a billion ways to improve that space (like reconnecting the street grid!). Additionally, if we're going to build a brand new place to host Big Time artists, I'd like to have a conversation about lowering the admissions tax. Yeah the Coliseum is slowly crumbling into the ground, but taking 7% off the top certainly doesn't encourage promoters to bring top-shelf acts into town either. Charlottesville does not levy an admissions tax at all.
Jackie Kruszewski definitely has the best lede of any Coliseum-related articles, so tap on the link just for that. But she also looks at the history and money behind Richmond's various downtown arena proposals and ends with a question opposite of MPW's stance: "Do we need a coliseum at all?"
Got a crap alley? Richmond is ON it. The City is working to repair and re-gravel some 1,300 alleys over the summer, WRIC reports. I just had a crew come through and redo our alley, and it looks amaaaaazing. Thanks Public Works! Now if I could just get the giant Zika breeding ground hole in my street fixed...
RVA Mag's Amy David has a piece about Jam Sandwich, a music festival coming to Mayo Island this Saturday. Mayo Island used to be the spot for concerts a while back, but has basically sat unused for the last couple of decades. I may have seen Voodoo Glow Skulls (or some similarly ska-oriented band) there in my youth.
Talk about burying the lede, BizSense! The Nick's Deli building has sold for $1.1 million—but the Deli itself is moving out to the near west end! GASP!
Read the governor's response to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission asked for the name, last four digits of their social, address, date of birth, political affiliation, and voting history for all registered Virginia voters. TIME says they want to make all of this information public? Is this information already public? This sounds...terrible? I can no longer tell what is an absolutely bananas request from this president's administration and what is standard operating procedure. And I guess that's the point.
- Squirrels begin an away series with Reading tonight at 7:05 PM.
- Kickers take on Bethlehem Steel FC this Saturday.
- Nats split the series with the Cubs with a 4-5 loss yesterday. They've got a game against St. Louis tonight at 8:15 PM.
This morning's patron longread!
From reader Kate comes this longread right outta Richmond Magazine about artists who took over the Masonic Temple building at Broad and Adams (now the Renaissance Center).
On Nov. 15, 1973, during preparations for the move-in, Puig, a sculptor, jimmied open an elevator shaft and fell one story to his death. This almost halted the temple migration. But the artists needed a place to work, and for a decade, securing a studio at the temple became a rite of artistic passage. A boxing ring on the third floor hosted bouts on Wednesday nights. Pigeons flew in through broken windows and made their deposits. Dead birds fell to the ballroom floor. A pay phone never stopped ringing. Toilets clogged. Derelicts lounged on the front steps.
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This morning's longread
It's been a while since we've had a New Yorker longread, and this one is way New Yorkery.
McWhorter’s début as a public intellectual came twenty years ago, when a fracas erupted over a proposal to use Black English—then often called Ebonics—as a teaching tool in public schools in Oakland, California. The idea was roundly ridiculed. Ebonics, people said, was simply a collection of “slang and bad grammar”—not nearly enough to make a language. The TV talking head Tucker Carlson, in a typically nasty flourish, called Black English “a language where nobody knows how to conjugate the verbs,” McWhorter recalls. The pungent reaction baffled linguists, who had long appreciated—and begun to seriously study—the “languageness” of Black English and other informal speech variants, such as Jamaican Patois, Swiss German, and Haitian Creole. McWhorter, who is black, was then teaching at nearby U.C. Berkeley, and he had a long-standing scholarly interest in black speech. He became—by dint of his race and his physical proximity to the uproar—the most prominent authority on the validity of Black English as language.