Thanks Random Row

random row Big Blue Door would like to express our thanks to Ryan DeRamus for opening and running Random Row Books. We’ve had a great time performing our Telling True Stories class shows there. I was also very proud to produce (with Jen’s help) the touring show of Bread & Puppets there and Ryan even generously allowed the puppeteers to camp for the night. Mostly we’ve enjoyed browsing for books there.

At Big Blue Door we love books, we love community spaces, and we love public performances and Ryan and Random Row brought all three. People in Charlottesville talk a lot about innovation, the arts, community, social change, diversity, and so on, but no other institution has come close to providing the types of democratic, open, experimental and affordable experiences that Random Row Books did, from upstart bands to underground theater to political lectures to radical books, Random Row offered desperately needed voices. Not that the rest of us aren’t trying, but frankly you could combine Live Arts, The Bridge, and Big Blue Door together and you would still not reach the amazing variety, vitality and immediacy of Random Row.

That Random Row is being replaced by a hotel is an irreparable loss to Charlottesville. It’s downright sickening. Makes one wonder what’s wrong with the system. If only there was a place, a bookstore or a performance space perhaps, where one could go to try to figure it out…



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