PortFolio Weekly

PortFolio Weekly
July 19, 2005

100 Best

by Jim Newsom

note: these are from Port Folio Weekly's "100 Best People, Places and
Things in the 7 Cities" issue

84. Dr. Mason Andrews --- Dr. Mason C. Andrews may well be the Johnny Appleseed of downtown Norfolk’s rebirth. As the downtown renaissance continues apace, many who are enjoying the fruits may have no idea how important a role Dr. Andrews has played. A Maury High School graduate born in Norfolk 1919, Andrews went into private ob/gyn practice in his hometown in 1950 after graduating from Princeton and Johns Hopkins University. He quickly became involved in community affairs and, as president of the Norfolk County Medical Society, dreamed the dream that ultimately became Eastern Virginia Medical School. After that dream became a reality, he was personally responsible for bringing Doctors Howard and Georgeanna Jones from Johns Hopkins to EVMS, where they established the first in-vitro fertilization clinic in the U.S., and where Dr. Andrews himself delivered the first American “test tube” baby on December 28, 1981. He served on Norfolk City Council from 1974-2000, including a term as mayor from 1992-94. He’s the guy who brought Jim Rouse, developer of Boston’s Fanueil Hall and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, to town, resulting in the Waterside Festival Marketplace in 1983. As councilman and civic activist, Dr. Andrews was also instrumental in championing Nauticus, a Norfolk campus for TCC, and the MacArthur Center. Buildings at both EVMS and TCC bear his name.

79. Town Point Park --- No one would ever confuse it with Manhattan’s sprawling Central Park but, nonetheless, Town Point Park on the Elizabeth River waterfront is a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the midst of downtown Norfolk’s noisy resurgence. Whether it’s a lunchtime walk along the river, throwing a Frisbee with the kids, kicking a soccer ball around with a bunch of semi-competitive pals, or enjoying some music at a Festevent, the park offers a respite from the go-go-go madness of the real world to just about everyone.

65. Living in northern Suffolk --- Though it will never be considered “real Suffolk” by the natives, north Suffolk has much to recommend it, primarily its geographical location. Centrally positioned between the Peninsula with its shipyard and downtown Norfolk with its financial/business district, the new housing developments along Route 17, primarily clustered in the Harbor View subdivision, are the ideal location for a two-income family going in opposite directions. Time will tell if the area develops a character of its own or simply becomes another faceless suburb indistinguishable from Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

18. Norfolk Tides/Harbor Park --- With reserved seat tickets just $8.50 and box seats only $10.00 each, the Norfolk Tides are the best entertainment value in the Seven Cities. Even when they’re not having a first place season as they are this year, a Tides game at Harbor Park is an affordable and enjoyable way to spend a few hours on a summer night. And for a banker, accountant, attorney or corporate exec working in downtown Norfolk, the mid-week mid-day games offer a great excuse to scarf down a footlong dog with peppers and onions, drink a beer or two, and conduct a little business on an extended lunch break.

copyright © 2005 Jim Newsom. All Rights Reserved.