The Colonial Theatre Tea Garden

The beauty spot of downtown Richmond was, in 1921, the Tea Garden of the brand-new Colonial Theatre. Herein, we recreate the essence of elegance, joy and hauteur that was once found in Virginia's first real picture palace. Bathtub gin is available at the top of the grand ramps.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Ah, September, and my thoughts turn…not where they SHOULD, which is my as-yet unplanned 12th grade class tomorrow, but to movie-perfect views of a new school year and fall. (Oh, to hell with the 12th graders, they’re basically going to help me build this new course from the ground up anyway, whether they want to or not. And as for the 9th graders, all they have to do is smile and conjugate verbs.)

I’ve always been amused by Hollywood’s innate belief – what do you expect of people from the Land that Seasons Forgot? – that September is brisk and populated by pert girls in sweaters. These people have obviously never SEEN September weather, because they don’t see any weather at all. September in Los Angeles, as I have gathered, is not markedly discernible from July or February in Los Angeles. (I understand that it rains at some point or another, but not enough to actually provide water for the nine zillion square miles of suburban grass-watering.)

I had my first classes today and, in a 1955-vintage building with marginal windows, September is brutal. It is not fall. It is summer’s last vicious gasp. Maryland’s broiling, wet heat is fine—even sultry and possibly delicious—as long as you don’t have to DO anything. When you’re trapped in a draftless, shadeless room trying to explain gerunds to sweaty 9th graders, it is abysmal.

Therefore, rather than planning for the hapless 12th graders, I am thinking about happy fall things. I’m airing out my sweaters—quite prematurely as there are probably still moths lurking around—and thinking of where to put which oriental rug when the summer rugs get rolled up again. And I’m looking forward to football games and tailgate parties. W&M’s Homecoming seems to transpire over Halloween weekend, which should be most entertaining, and may actually (gasp) ensure reasonably cool weather. (Not necessarily, though; I’ve seen some awfully hot Halloweens on the Peninsula.)

Three more days of swelter for the week.