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Richmond vs. Williamsburg: Better Inaugural Venue?

Do I detect some sour grapes from Ed Slipek regarding the Virginia gubernatorial inauguration being held in the original capital, Williamsburg, rather than in Richmond ("Inaugural Insult," Back Page, Jan. 4)?

Contrary to Mr. Slipek's skewed version of history, for the first 130 plus years of Virginia's history, Richmond didn't even exist. While Messrs. Newport and Smith and their crew may have stopped at the Falls of the James, they didn't stay but wisely returned to Jamestown. In 1611 Sir Thomas Dale established the Citie of Henricus in what is now Chesterfield County, not Richmond.

In 1737 while William Byrd II and William Mayo were just getting around to setting up the street plan for the trading post eventually to be called Richmond, Williamsburg had been the capital of the Royal Colony of Virginia for almost four decades. I can give myriad reasons why Williamsburg is a better venue for the 2006 inauguration rather than River City.

Williamsburg has hundreds of upscale hotels and motel rooms within walking distance of the Colonial Capitol. How many hotels are there in downtown R-town? A handful to be sure.

The parade route down Duke of Gloucester Street will be much more pleasing to the eye than the boarded-up storefronts along Broad Street, not to mention "Doug Wilder's Hole" next to the forlorn Carpenter Center and derelict Miller & Rhoads.

I'm sure the politicos and lobbyists are looking forward to sampling some new eateries and bistros. Williamsburg's Blue Talon, Fat Canary, White Hall, Berrett's, Nawab, Chez Trinh, Le Yaca and, of course, the renowned Trellis can give any Richmond gourmet restaurant a run for its money. Besides, the capital gang will be back down in the Slip and Bottom soon enough.

A stroll through the historic campus of the College of William & Mary is much more relaxing than trying to negotiate Virginia Commonwealth University's urban conglomeration. And did I mention it's more photogenic?

After the inauguration festivities, guests can take a leisurely ride down the picturesque Colonial Parkway to Yorktown's Riverwalk for some shopping or dining. What does Richmond's Canal Walk have to offer?

That the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to move the 2006 inauguration to "a historical theme park" rather than hold it in Richmond speaks volumes. Maybe by 2010 downtown Richmond will be in a condition to be able to host the next inauguration. If not, there's always Norfolk or Roanoke.

John Kurec



Corrections

We misspelled the name of Matthew P. Geary, chief deputy commonwealth's attorney ("Test of Strength," Cover Story, Jan. 11).

We printed an incorrect price for Tivoli Radios sold at Blue Oasis Audio in Home Style ("Home Front," Jan. 4). They cost $120.

Style regrets the errors.



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