image Joseph Talman
image Lillian Kafka
image Joseph Talman
image Bob Quirk
LOVE / HATE RICHMOND Richmond is a cement canvas, collaborative, stretching through history and potential. We who are so audacious as to call ourselves RVA Magazine would be reprehensible, if not criminally negligent, if we did not give the larger public a voice in this guide to our amazing, evolving, mutating, and often distorted city. And so, without editorial restraint (spelling corrections aside), here are the random voices of Richmond who felt strongly enough about their urban digs to write about them. Responses were pulled from our webpage after we posed the question on Twitter, Facebook, and rvamag.com: What do you love/hate about Richmond? -Preston
LOVE Richmond is an amazingly inclusive city for entrepreneurs. The SMCRVA and all of the incredible venues in Richmond encouraging innovation, networking, and information sharing are phenomenal! - K.Hall
LOVE The convenience of a small city so centrally located between mountains, beach, D.C., the river park, the old neighborhoods, at least some of the inventive music/art, new media like WRIR/RVAMag/RVANews, The slowly improving restaurant scene. The growing ethnic diversity, the seasons, the history, the ‘potential’. - S. Burger LOVE The geography of the city. Hills, parks, trains,trails, fields, and most importantly, the amazing James River that keeps this city alive. - Katie LOVE I love Richmond because it’s a neverending waterfall of PBR and pussy. You can stay trashed 7 days a week. - Anonymous
LOVE I love this city because it’s just stunted enough. Our history is stunted in a way. Richmond is old, but it was burned to the ground halfway through its life - and so we aren’t crippled by the weight of our history. Instead there is a kind of balance of looking back and being forced to rebuild and move ahead that I think is inspiring. We’re old, but not so old that every block is a burial ground. And we are young, but not so young that we cast aside all regard for the dead and permanence - like in Atlanta - that clusterfuck of highways! We’re alive, definitely, but not cancerously growing (except in short pump - that mini-Atlanta!). Richmond proper can’t grow so recklessly - because city limits in a commonwealth are finite. We’re stunted in a good way, I think. But what specifically? I love the wild, dead parts of town. I found a bridge that used to cross train tracks that no longer exist, and underneath there was a lot of amateur graffiti signed and dated from the 60’s and 70’s. I love how different every neighborhood is from every other. I love Hull Street and Manchester. But where can you start except the river? That’s where everything be-
gan - why we’re here. The river flows through the center of town, but it’s not blocked in by apartments and restaurants. It has not been “capitalized” on, like rivers in other cities, where rivers have long been recognized as prime real estate. I think it’s this recognition of a city’s assets - this kind of selfconsciousness - that can do most to destroy them. In an attempt to show off what is beautiful in a city, the beautiful things are polluted - and in Richmond we are just dumb enough to preserve our integrity. (We are a deadbeat genius! Who has the most beautiful ideas - never tarnishing them by actually bothering to carry them out. Forever uncorrupted by ambition!) We don’t show off the river here - we just show it: Here it is. There’s our island where we all hang out together. There’s our rapids and there’s the wilderness all around. That’s our river. (Did you know there are wild islands just a hundred yards from downtown that have been inhabited by homeless people since just after the civil war? There used to be moonshining, dueling and bear fighting out there - today they’re much more peaceful - the summer homes of a few long-time residents.* What
inspires me most are all of these forgotten places, just under the surface of the city. The uncharted, unseen places where people’s whole lives go on, without recognition from any travel guide or TV special. ) - Anonymous
LOVE The extremely influential scene. - Anonymous LOVE The fuckin’ Bonezone!. - Hank LOVE The local restaurant scene in Richmond, it’s amazing. Any type of cusine you could dream of, Richmond has to offer. You can hop on your bike on a warm summer night and pedal blocks up the street to a delcious meal, often used with local ingredients. Richmond knows how to serve food, and serve it well. They’re not afraid to be creative or mix flavors. Even the local fast food here is amazing. And do I need to even mention Edo’s Squid? Julie
HATE Some of the attitudes- “that
will never work here”, “you are not from here/I don’t know you therefore you do not count”, “I don’t care since I won’t be here long anyway”, “we have to save downtown no matter what”, “things will not change”, “the schools/ parks are not worth saving”....you get the idea. Crime, including white collar war profiteering/corporate welfare as well as senseless street crime, VCU administration that runs its propaganda machine and bulldozers nonstop, the lack of mass transit and good regional/ civic planning (no offense to Flynn, who has been a breath of fresh air). - S. Burger
HATE I hate how poor the public
transportation system is in Richmond. And to top it off, there are little to no bike lanes in the fan and on campus. - Jacob
HATE Of course I hate developers
that don’t respect the city and fucked up violence and poverty - but all of those things only encourage me to do more to help. What cuts the knees out from under me and makes me want to give up is when incredibly similar kids - kids from the same backgrounds and neighborhoods and schools - or the same cities in northern VA - waste their time fighting among each other, when tiny “scenes” and huge egos get in the way of coming together to do something (anything!) good. And what overcomes my discouragement is always remembering how irrelevant these big egos and tiny scenes are to this big city. Remembering how many amazing neighborhoods and forgotten spots they’ve never bothered to see. That this city doesn’t belong to them, or me, or to anyone. And finally, all of this shit I am spewing is a poor explanation of the irrational and incalculably deep connection I have to this city because I was born here, and grew up here and have been stitched
into the city with every memory of every person and place here. I honestly believe it is the center of the universe. - Anonymous
HATE I hate how the fucking cops
can’t act like humans to anyone. When you talk to a cop, they instantly turn into dicks instead of listening to you and working together to solve a problem.
HATE I hate the fact that there is not
Instead of getting illegal arms off the streets and stopping burglaries and break-ins, they are busting back yard parties and skate sessions.
HATE I hate that our radio stations
I hate how a cop will park on the sidewalk leaving his gas guzzling car running to go into Subway and order a 12” Italian hoagie and a large soda. - Anonymous
a cement skatepark downtown. - Anonymous
have been largely taken over by massive radio networks who have replaced local DJ’s with out of town DJ’s and automated muzak. They have a signal in Richmond, but they’re not representing RVA. - Anonymous
HATE I hate the fact that there is not a cement skatepark downtown. - Anonymous
HATE I hate that I’ve been here for
too many years, and going out to bars and seeing the same people every night. But at the same time, I love that I live in Richmond and I love the same faces that I see every night, because usually my drinks are on their tabs. - William
HATE Hate Richmond? How can
you hate Richmond? Of course every city has things that it wish it had, elements that it wishes it wasn’t lacking in, and piles of other crap that other cities have that we don’t. But there is plenty of other shit that we have that no city in the world has. I believe one of those elements that we are rich in is a stress-free lifestyle. I honestly feel that Richmonders live one of the most easy going, care-free, front porch, beer sipping, toes in the river, warm summer breeze, stress-free lifestyles out there. There are always going to be downsides, but look at all our ups. - Chris G.
The Wildlife Guide to RVA Volume 5 Issue 6 cover: David Kenedy
Publisher / R. Anthony Harris
Christian Detres, Marshe Wyche, Parker, Anthony Harris, Miles Quillen, Billy Gross, Jon Headlee, S. Preston Duncan
NEIGHBORHOODS OF RICHMOND
Advertising / John Reinhold
Won’t you be our neighbors? We take you through the ins and outs of a handful of the city’s coolest neighborhoods.
Managing Editor / S. Preston Duncan
THE WILDLIFE GUIDE
Editor in Chief / Parker Branding / Christian Detres
Ombudsman / Adam Sledd Guest Art Direction / Miles Quillen Guest Illustrator / Bryan Woodland New Media / Ian M. Graham Music Editor / Landis White Fashion / Casey Longyear RVA TV / Ben Muri, John Headlee Baylen Forcier Trusty Interns / Grant Shuler, Matt Ference, Anna Whittel, Alex Barrett
PHOTOGRAPHY Cameron Lewis, Thomas Fields, Lillian Kafka, Joseph Talman, Junkfood Bob, Ian M. Graham, Christian Hewitt, David Kenedy, Greg Wells
DESIGN Anthony Harris, Miles Quillen
A bloated and bloody tongue-in-cheek description of the cultural stereotypes that exist in the heart of our fair city.
THIS IS RICHMOND A small (but juicy) slice of some of our favorite places to play, eat, drink, and spend our hard earned cash.
ON THE ROCKS A look at where to hang out at our own, wet version of Central Park: The James River.
NATIVE SPACES There’s tons of great artwork in this town. Here’s our picks of where to go see the best of the best.
ADVERTISING LOCAL + NATIONAL 276.732.3410
DISTRIBUTION / Want to carry RVA Magazine? 804.349.5890
SUBMISSIONS RVA welcomes submissions but cannot be held responsible for unsolicited material. Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. DOWNLOAD RVA can be downloaded for free every month at rvamag.com RVA on facebook/RVAMagazine, twitter/@rvamag, myspace.com/rva SUBSCRIPTION Log your ass on to rvamag.com HEADS UP! The advertising and artciles appearing within this publication reflect the opinion and attitudes of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or editors. Reproduction in whole or part without prior written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. RVA Magazine is published monthly. Images are subject to being altered from their original format. All material within this magazine is protected.
JOSEPH TALMAN Photographer
MILES QUILLEN Designer
MARSHE WYCHE Writer
BRYAN WOODLAND Illustrator & Designer
Joseph Talman has been documenting our town for years and the wildlife guide was the perfect vehicle to get him more involved with RVA. He has a knack for searching out the “truth” in life on this side of the James and is one of our favorite dudes. Find him on flickr by his handle: talman84.
I don’t know what to call this guy. He is deinitely not human and has more energy than a crack head with a never ending flow of cash. The only way to describe him in two words is “wild”. Loves to blackout, run stop lights on his bike, trying to keep up with me, Billy Gross when it comes to drinking and partying. I nearly forgot he’s pretty sick when it comes to design. -B. Gross
Sassy and always classy, Marshe works damn hard toward lighting the fire under the culture of the city. This co-owner of Rumors Boutique has had her run-ins with the “law” or more specifically the now ineffective and outdated joke known as CAPS due to providing space for local and traveling bands to perform. Don’t forget to check out her underground mag, the notorious Ligerbeat.
B. Woods blew us away with his text based illustrations and design work at his Henry Gallery show a few months ago. A 2004 Communication Design graduate, B. just moved back to Richmond last November. “I draw from real life for authenticity. It’s more than the work, it’s the lifestyle. Every aspect has to be tight.” And “tight” it most definitely is. bryanwoodland.com
JON HEADLEE Writer / Filmmaker
THOMAS FIELDS Photographer
BOB QUIRK Photographer
CHRISTIAN DETRES Writer
We met Headlee through his work on the nearly finished documentary Identity: Richmond. Not content to watch someone unaffiliated with RVA Mag do such solid work cataloging our subcultural landscape, we lured him with promises of long hours and small pay into his current position as executive producer/director of RVA TV. We’re proud to have him share it in this issue.
The Captain, scoundrel of River City. He’s got more treasured photos than any online account could hold. Trained as a sculptor through VCU, his work with mixed media encouraged him to follow photography a bit closer. He’s got an eye for beauty, a taste for grime, and enough ghettostyle camera rigs to be considered Inspector Gadget. We’re glad to have his work in this issue.
I guess it’s really true when they say “It aint fun, unless the homies get some!” Bob’s not really the type to get all hype, so when I told him they needed a few words describing him for the photos he contributed for this issue, he told me to “lace it.” This is for all the homies! The JNKFD POSSE. Recycles BMX, Voice! WWW.JNKFD.COM
Back from NYC and being the regional media director at VICE, Christian couldn’t stay away from the gravitational pull of Richmond, VA. He has come back to work on his hometown rag and give his funny observations on the wildlife in The Fan. Don’t hesitate to give this chic, hippie-hating bastard the appropriate amount of shit for leaving, cause how else could Richmond say “Welcome home”?
3224 W CARY ST
Words by John Headlee
or those new to the area, allow me to first welcome you to Richmond - the First City, the River City, the Cap City, or just plain RVA. Richmond has many names and faces, a testament to its age, its heritage, and the swelling diversity of people who call it home. Consider this a modest sampling of what defines your new city, a guide to the first few chapters of your life as a Richmonder. Richmond, in many ways, is still mired in the cultural divide between North and South, between New York’s density, speed, and progress, and the
southern commitments to open space, patience, and tradition. As the largest city in the US that doesn’t belong to a megalopolis (a series of interconnected metropolitan areas), Richmond finds itself in the dead center of two of them: New York (the Northeast corridor, from Boston to DC) and Atlanta (the Southern Piedmont Region, from Atlanta to Raleigh-Durham). This divide isn’t a bad thing; rather, it helps fuel Richmond’s highly developed sense of independence. Nowhere is this conflict more apparent than when you stand in Chimborazo Park and notice the two statues there: a miniature
Statue of Liberty, staring at the ass-end of a Confederate soldier in Libby Hill Park. If that’s not symbolic of the two cultures we’re caught between, I don’t know what is. Besides having our own Statue of Liberty, Richmond shares New York’s organization into boroughs, albeit on a much smaller scale and with a Southern flair. Instead of the Bronx and Queens, we’ve got the Greater Fan and the River District. Instead of Brooklyn, there’s Manchester and Southside, and instead of Manhattan, there are the two wards, Jackson and Monroe, which, along with Downtown, form the City Center. Last-
RICHMOND FUN FACT “Shockoe” comes from the Powhatan word “Shocquohocan”, which translates as “Valley of the STDs”.
ly, there are the Hills – Oregon, Union, Church, Fulton, etc. – instead of Staten Island (which itself is coincidentally located in Richmond County). It would be impossible to do justice to all of Richmond’s neighborhoods in such a small space, so for the sake of concision, I’m going to utilize the analogy to New York’s boroughs. In the case of many of these neighborhoods, an entire issue could be dedicated to them, and it would still fall short of doing them cultural and historical justice. So with that disclaimer in mind, let’s jump into the Manhattan of Richmond – the City Center.
owntown is comprised of Jackson and Monroe Wards, which flank the downtowns strip of Broad Street. With all the civic buildings, banks, and corporate headquarters, you’d think that this was the earliest established part of Richmond, but the city’s beginnings actually lie in Shockoe Bottom and Church Hill. Nevertheless, the city center, which includes City Hall, the state capitol, government buildings, Bank Street, and the Convention Center, is still over two hundred years old (not the buildings, though, since Richmonders have a tendency to burn things).
Imagine what New York would be like if Manhattan was reduced to an empty shell of a neighborhood. This is the history of Jackson Ward, formerly known as the Harlem of the South and the Black Wall Street of America, now diminished to a highway exit for downtown and a mere afterthought, after many of the black-owned banks and businesses fled persecution and backlash from the civil rights movement to DC, Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, and beyond. The final dagger in the heart of this storied neighborhood was the construction of Interstate 95, tearing the neighborhood into disjointed parts. It’s on the road to recovery, but there is still much left to do before Richmond’s soul will be whole again. On the south side of Broad Street, Monroe Ward is being revitalized by VCU’s expansion. The biggest landmark in the area is an old mainstay, the Jefferson Hotel, built by tobacco magnate Lewis Ginter and host to presidents, royalty, and Elvis Presley. Examining the hotel’s namesake gives us a bit of insight into the Southern cultural ethic. It was based on the philosophy laid out by Thomas Jefferson for an agrarian society, and it’s this ethic that tempers growth and industry in Richmond. Jefferson’s primary political opponent, Alexander Hamilton, established New York’s mindset, and this federalist ideal of progress, expansion, and industry allowed the city to literally reshape
the landscape. Jefferson’s agrarian ideal of a spiritual harmony with nature would never allow such development, and the argument continues in Richmond with conflicting proposals and visions for the future of our city. Downtown is a vibrant place to be during the First Friday Artwalk, when thousands of people descend upon Broad Street to see the latest at the galleries, ogle at street musicians and fire-spinners, and socialize with their fellow patrons and starving artists. The Artwalk is helping, but the area is still a shadow of its former glory, when places like the Hippodrome pumped out live jazz to packed crowds every weekend, when “Bojangles” entertained thousands, and all walks of life came out to experience black culture at its pinnacle. The Second Street Festival is an ode to that tradition of cultural excellence in the African-American community, but alas, it only happens once a year.
rossing Belvidere, you enter VCU’s campus, the esternmost part of the Fan. The Fan grew out of Reconstruction after the Civil War. What were once just tobacco fields surrounding Richmond College (precursor to the University of Richmond) quickly transformed into a mixed neighborhood of luxury homes, rowhouses, apartment buildings, and burgeoning businesses. The construction of the Fan began Richmond’s westward expansion, and some people openly wonder if that process will ever stop. (see: Short Pump; see: me puke).
RICHMOND FUN FACT Fifty-seven percent of Richmond’s prostitutes speak multiple languages.
image Chris Lacroix
The Fan derives its name from the fan–like shape created by the pentagonal Monroe Park as it pushes Main and Broad Streets away from each other, continuing to the Boulevard. It’s a great place to live; with so many businesses, restaurants, hot spots, and parks packed tightly within walking distance, there are plenty of spots to get what you need in an urban setting that’s unquestionably more authentic than the Wal-Mart and Costco wastelands found in the suburbs.
A The Fan is a social epicenter, boasting an impressive nightlife and party-prone atmosphere for what is essentially a residential area. Nothing to do on a Friday evening, and don’t like going to bars? Check out Grape & Cheese for wine tasting, then hop over to Red Door Gallery to check out the art scene. More interested in your own creative juices than cocktails and gallery openings? Sign up for a class at the Visual Arts Center, and get a taste of what it takes to be an artist in a city where that label is frequently self-applied. RICHMOND FUN FACT Richmond and Baltimore switched names in 1836.
quick hop over the Boulevard brings you into the western portion of the Greater Fan. Part of the post-WWII expansion from the Fan, this area was the original West End of Richmond, but now it’s just west of the Boulevard. Carytown’s emergence began with the construction of the Byrd Theatre in 1928, and the subsequent debut of shops in Cary Court a decade later. On the Boulevard, the Museum District fulfills its title with numerous museums stretching from Grove Avenue to the Science Museum on Broad Street. Arts Center, and get a taste of what it takes to be an artist in a city where that label is frequently self-applied. Carytown is the primary in-city destination
for shopping. Most of your retail needs can be satisfied during a simple walk through the shops, but Carytown is best known for its eclectic bars and restaurants. There’s a spot for nearly every taste bud in this compact stretch of storefronts, and it’s also home to $2 midnight movies at the Byrd, the Watermelon Festival (which just finished its twenty-sixth annual event), a wine festival, and more. Plus, every December 31, tens of thousands of Richmonders come to Carytown for our own version of Times Square, though when we do New Year’s, we raise the ball and rock it out with fireworks. Take that, New York!
image David Kenedy
clubs, not to mention a farmer’s market that is still thriving, a canal walk through the historic parts of the area, and Brown’s Island, which features weekend shows and events during the warmer parts of the year. Venues like Alley Katz, the Canal Club, and the Hat Factory (formerly Toad’s Place) also give the region a diverse supply of live music, from punk to metal to hip hop and more.
he River District, which stretches from Shockoe Slip to Rockett’s Landing, has always been the heart of Richmond.
Whether it was the tobacco stores and manufacturing along Tobacco Row, the steady stream of fresh goods through the farmer’s market, or the massive slave trade in the early 1800s, Shockoe has been an integral part in Richmond’s history, even the parts some would rather forget. The importance Shockoe plays in Richmond’s life hasn’t changed at all. With its cobblestone streets and river breezes, Shockoe is one of the primary destinations for city dwellers and suburbanites because of the numerous bars, restaurants, and
rossing the river over Mayo’s Bridge, we enter Manchester, which is the Brooklyn of Richmond. Originally a separate city that grew into an industrial rival, Manchester was annexed into the city in 1910 (much like Brooklyn was annexed into New York a decade earlier). Manchester has a proud history, but neglect during white flight has left the area in a state of disarray. That’s slowly changing, though, and Manchester is becoming a hotspot due to its proximity to both downtown and the river.
RICHMOND FUN FACT The Byrd Theater was built by visiting Amish farmers over the summer of 1928.
tality – except it’s substantially populated by students, musicians, and devotees of Richmond’s thriving bike culture.
The revitalization of Manchester and Southside centers on the reemergence of a legitimate arts scene south of the river, and a rush to redevelop some of the vacant buildings in the area. At the core of this is Plant Zero, which is also the home of Art Space and ArtWorks, as well as studio space for numerous artists. A block away is the OneTribe gallery and workspace that specializes in tribal art and history. Nearby, Scoot Richmond screens movies in its parking lot the fourth Friday of every month. Further out is Plaza Bowl, a duckpin bowling alley with a full stage. The site of the first day for Best Friends Day this year, Plaza Bowl is an up-and-coming venue with a great lineup of shows streaming through.
Oregon Hill is also a great spot for outdoor activities. Holly Street Park is a comfy spot for a nice game of basketball or bike polo, while the adjacent Hollywood Cemetery provides a perfect location for those into the macabre. Just watch out for the vampire that is rumored to lurk amongst the graves. And lastly, Oregon Hill overlooks Belle Isle, in the middle of the James. There’s even a bike path down to the walkway for easy access to the bridge.
Heading across the Lee Bridge from Manchester, we find ourselves in Oregon Hill. This is another neighborhood that grew out of Reconstruction. Filled with mostly working-class citizens, most of the residents worked at the Tredegar Iron Works below the hill, and lived far enough from downtown that it was joked they “might as well be living in Oregon”. Times might have changed, and Tredegar may be just a museum now, but Oregon Hill retains that working class menGreg Wells - www.flickr.com/photos/deadrichmond
RICHMOND FUN FACT Mayor Dwight Jones has no middle name.
outside of Church Hill, Poe’s Pub, at the bottom of the hill, has great live music on the weekends, and is the perfect combination of a southern dive bar and an Irish pub.
n the other side of the city, we find ourselves in Richmond’s oldest neighborhood, Church Hill. Made famous by Patrick Henry’s “liberty or death” speech at St. John’s Church, Chill Hill is names for the numerous churches throughout the neighborhood. Through the historic district is confined to a relatively small portion of town, the Greater Church Hill neighborhood includes Union Hill, Oakwood, Chimborazo, and Fairmount.
One conspicuously missing element of Church Hill is a vibrant live music scene, though you can occasionally catch a show at the newly reopened Robinson Theatre (named after Richmond’s great Bill “Bojangles” Robinson). Although technically
One thing Church Hill isn’t lacking, however, is its wealth of great views and parks. Whether you’re taking in the sweeping vistas of the James at Chimborazo Park and Libby Hill (where the view of the river bend is identical to the bend of the Thames at Richmond, England; according to legend, whence our city’s name) or a breathtaking view of the city skyline at Taylor’s Hill and Jefferson Avenue Park, Church Hill has some of the best vistas in the entire city and quality parks for your enjoyment. That, my friends, is Richmond in a nutshell. Is it fair to compare it to New York? Perhaps not, but consider this: there have been three national capitals in American history: New York, Washington, and Richmond. New York became a worldwide cultural and financial center; DC is still the nation’s capital; and what of Richmond? This is a city of squandered opportunities and great possibilities. It’s DIY. It’s been millions of things to millions of people. It will shape itself around you and your ideas, and it will change you more than you can possibly imagine. Welcome to RVA – now what will you make of this place we call home?
BLACK HAND COFFEE 606 N. SHEPPARD STREET 804.855.0800
j fergeson gallery 311 North Main Street Farmville, VA 23901 434.391.1066 jfergesongallery.com Tuesday-Saturday 10:30-5:00 pm and by Appoinment To Those Who See: New Collagraph Prints by JJ Eisfelder October 3â€“31 Artist Reception Saturday October 3 5-8 pm
Hey everyone! Howsabout a mean-spirited, crotchety and elitist description of every style tribe in our diverse uptown artsy fartsy neightborhood? Yes, you say? You enjoy making cruel fun of people you don’t understand or care to be seen with? Hey, me too! Ah, the Fan. Its streets radiate out of Monroe Park to tickle the fleeing posterior of the West End. It’s alternately beautiful (Monument Avenue) and ugly (my apartment), and has some of the best people-watching a local can afford. My best advice on how to experience the area is to walk its tree-lined streets with a cold tallboy can in a brown paper bag to keep you company. Most of the neighborhood is a gorgeous treatise towards quasi-urban living and needs to be seen at a pedestrian’s pace. Break out your sneakers and this field guide and check off the entries below as you encounter them. It won’t get you into the Audubon society, but maybe one day you’ll be able to discover some new breeds and add them to this list.
The Aging Punk / Hipster Proud, blue-collar punks still “denying the Man their complicity in the system” claim their neck and finger tattoos have nothing to do with the fact that they’re un-hirable. Mix that with some creative amorality, post-juvenile delinquency, and an exquisite talent for looking down their nose and you’ve got half the people at Helens and Empire. What’s strange is that they’re actually much better than the other half. They will drink you under the table and look cool doing it.
The Crusty Punk Figuring these people out is like dissecting a three-week-old puppy corpse. Kinda’ like I don’t want to. They party with their own kind mostly, but will go to your house party and steal beer, hide their own to prevent sharing, and break your stuff with reckless abandon. They’re like drunken, nihilist Cats in the Hat that took all their fashion cues from Mad Max movies and smell like a bums’ taint. Their saving grace is that they are so incredibly oblivious to their solipsistic behavior, they make you laugh enough to consider
the beer in your fridge “stealing beer” and the ones behind your bed “yours”. Drink that shit fast because they will find that stash too. The Fan shares these not-so-merry pranksters with Oregon Hill, so much so that you can consider them the bridge tying the two communities together.
cute little tea party-esque gatherings where they all get to move around a little faster than me walking on the sidewalk. They do so with a little style however – customizing their rides (not exactly East LA Papi Chulostyle, but close) enough to let you know they mean it, but not enough to make you want to throw rocks.
Moped People Anchored by the Richmond Moped “Gang”, the Hell’s Satans, these Crusty Punks/ skaters-turned-mechanics have something down that I’m somewhat jealous of. Okay, they look like punk/metal/skater rejects (they embody all of those lifestyles at once), party with wild abandon, ride almost-motorcycles, and have a hobby group that doesn’t get laughed at. bridge tying the two communities together.
Bike People Just like the Moped people, these green activists (DUI victims) have an actual community called “the Cutthroats”. Again, tough name, dorky hobby, but cool as shit. I don’t own a bike (see Bike Gnomes) or a moped (see Bank Account), but simply envy their
Bike Gnomes I hate these people. I once had a bike for four hours. FOUR HOURS before one of these troglodytes decided my lack of transportation was worth a $10 crack rock. There is an inner circle of hell waiting for them where they start off with a lot of cool shit and day after day things go missing until they’re naked and clueless as to how it all went wrong. The police don’t give a crap and these Übersuccessful thieves are sneakier than Batman. Who the hell knows who these people are? They may very well be a family of Sasquatch for all I know. Fuck them. Fuck them in their stupid asses..
RICHMOND FUN FACT Dog punching was outlawed in 1938.
Blank Slates These impressionable yung’uns litter campus like so many cockroaches. You notice them by their non-committal fashion choices, darting eyes always seeking approval, and an overwhelming desire to hang on the fringe of your lifestyle like a fucking lamprey. Don’t worry, they’ll be starring in your stories and experiences when they tell their friends back home. You can find them anywhere other people have developed an identity. They’re kind of cute though. I declare “Fuck A Freshman Day” an official holiday. Help these kids out, sooner or later they’ll be looking down their hipster noses at your old ass.
Crunchy Granola Shitpiles What smells like shit, looks like shit, and has politics only applicable to Candyland? If you said “hippie”, you win. I could write volumes about this group of walking abortion ads. They come in various flavors of crap. You’ve got the lazy frat boy – sandals and Tech hat (even though they go to VCU), full-blown – patchouli and rats-nest hair (and unfortunately, no death warrant), “where’d the last thirty years go?” – acoustic guitar and pony
tail (and foul breath to hit on you with), and the odd, sincere environmentalist that makes you wonder how everyone else missed the point. They fester in joints like Cary Street Café and their own dirty living rooms.
Zombies Okay, they’re not really zombies, but the mentally ill (not the saintly ones who need our sympathy and love, I’m talking about the whackjobs who curse at you and show you their genitals at whim – you PC fuckstick) and crack/smack/junkie/winos are everywhere. They tend to crowd the Meadow and Broad intersection and wherever people don’t unfortunately have any change. They don’t take plastic but they do take purses, so watch yourself. Wouldn’t it be cool if they actually dressed as Zombies though (believe me, a very short makeup session required)? I’d brave a stray testicle and a demand for a dollar if the entertainment value were there…
RICHMOND FUN FACT Sodomy is illegal, owning a .50 caliber sniper rifle is not.
The Artistes With VCU reaching out its tentacled arms and gobbling everything in sight, these fey fuckers dominate the scene. Unable to hold down a steady job and unwilling to shut their mouths about whatever half-baked retard project their working on, they stylistically cross a lot of boundaries. Everyone’s an artist until they meet an honest person that laughs at them, so every substrata of Fandwelling cliché is represented here. They will play in shitty bands and fuck your girlfriends as if they were being paid to do it. They go through a recycling extinction as epiphanies of worthlessness set in on the old and delusions of competence soak into the young. It’s sad really - but they do get laid.
The Cocaine/Grey Goose/ Striped Button-down Shirt Assholes These anti-charming, self-important, pimple-faced, spiked-hair-gel fiends will spend a fortune on a Saturday night at Star-Lite and Three Monkeys and leave a musk of desperation and Axe body spray (redundant?) everywhere they go. If you can get one of
these idiots to regale you with an experience that doesn’t start with “One time I fucked this girl” or end with “I was so wasted” you deserve a prize. If you are hanging out with one of these people long enough to have them tell you that story, you deserve a punch in the face.
The Frat Kids I almost don’t want to dignify this group with a comment, but they are here to stay, like the Herpes your dad gave you. If you’ve ever met one before, you’ve met them all. They’re the same in Alaska as they are in Hawaii and if you talk to them God gets angry with you for wasting oxygen. Sadistic, non-breastfed losers that so often turn into hippies for a couple of years before marrying their dads’ lawyer friends’ daughter. Dudes, chill with the visors and flip flops – we get it, you’re relaxed. Maybe in another life mommy won’t pay for the BMW with the spoiler kit and you’ll have to worry about something other than pledge week. I know where they hang out but will not mention these fine establishments for fear of besmirching their good names. You got to hand it to these Abercrombie and Fitches, though: they will find better jobs than the rest of us, and generally look like they play soccer and laugh a
lot more than your average cynic. The girls generally look like extras from The Hills at varying degrees of attractiveness – from broad shouldered tranny suspects to giggly morsels of privileged obliviousness you know you have to have (at least once anyway.)
Soccer Moms and Khaki Shorts Dads These people are made of one part tapioca, one part yogurt, and two parts yawning and Volvo. You just know they have a wicked sex swing in the basement of their million-dollar row house though. They hang out in very safe places and somehow find “Jumping in July”, “Friday Cheers” and the “Watermelon Festival” interesting. You could replace each and every one of these people with mannequins from Eddie Bauer and no one would notice until no one came to pick up your rent check from the dirty tenement apartment they lease to you. Like finding a leprechaun in an Exxon bathroom though, there are gems out there. They’re sometimes old scenesters that gave up puking on the Lee Monument years ago buy sigh and reminisce when you do. God bless ‘em,
The Peter Pan Kids I don’t believe that any of the Utopia families on Hanover Avenue ever age. Fox Elementary (mind you, one of the best schools in the country) is the gathering place for the tousle-haired TV commercial children that never grow up. Their moms look like they muse about crazy days in cheerleader camp over a fine Chianti on their porch swings. As long as I’ve been in the Fan, I’ve never seen a teenager in this neighborhood. Strictly 12 and under. Walk down Hanover Avenue at dusk on a Spring weekday and have your faith in humanity restored – even if it does make you want to burn the whole area to the ground. Your mom’s lazy Ramen dinners never made you so angry before…
The Film “Community” Really just a couple dozen film school graduates that haven’t seemed to received the memo that Richmond is allergic to success. As the measure of success in these fields is adulation, fame and exposure, and its capital being focused talent, hard work and good ideas, I’m calling on a mass Jonestown massacre of their dreams. That is, unless
they decide to make their incomprehensible, badly lit and horribly edited vanity projects somewhere else – anywhere else. Truth be told, one of these days someone’s going to make something vaguely watchable and we’ll all rave about the film scene like it’s been percolating for decades. It hasn’t.
Dance Party Kids Expensive sneakers and flat brimmed ballcaps are the clues to finding these tight pants wearin’ ass, um, young adults. Jumping around in a hot sweaty basement while they hear the same DJ set from last week is evidently considered a great use of time in their book. They drink Joose, Sparks and Tilt and have found a way to enjoy it. How, is beyond me.
The Richmond 500 These are the gems in the sea of toilet floaters. They are genuinely nice, have a million relevant experiences to any topic at hand, will let you crash on their couch but yell at you lovingly for being a fuck-up, and make you want to be their little brother/sister. They most likely bartend at your favorite bars and have a knack for never being romantically available. That’s because they have awesomely cool girl/boyfriends and will never break up with them. The best you can hope for is a two-week window of rebound fucks before they reunite with some other member of this group. They are most likely aging hipsters and sometimes a (very rare) wise old hippie. In contrast to the rest of the greasy cumstains of the Fan, they leave you with a feeling that they’re too good for New York, Chicago or LA, but they’ve most likely lived there at some point and have returned because there’s no place like Richmond – and they’re right. They’ve put up with you and me and all the rest of the living cliché’s on this list so long they can spot us a mile away and love us for the tiny spark of humanity inside. They make dealing with everyone else on this list worthwhile. With perseverance and an open mind, you can be one someday.
RICHMOND FUN FACT I’m standing right behind you with a sword.
9 0 1 W. M A R S H A L L S T . 648-1300 B RUNCH, L UNCH, & D INNER S E V E N D AY S A W E E K
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an independent boutique, an art space and currently the hippest pre loved shop in town with sweet ass records. Stop by and hear what’s happening in town. Dirty Punks and their dogs are welcome. Real recognize Real.
FANTASTIC THRIFT 1914 W. Main St. / 804.358.7164
Imagine Richmonder’s without clothes, all you would see is tattoos and tan lines.
Fashion; you either have it or you don’t. Copy it and thrift it away. Richmond is it’s own little mecca of fashion. Styles from the dirty south meet the fashion forward few. We have better boutiques then New York and the south side of the city is a thrifters paradise. We’ve come a long way from worn Avail shirts and cut off jeans.
Fantastic Thrift is a huge thrift shop located on Main Street. I worked there when I first moved here, and it was the worst job I’ve ever had, but aside from that they have a huge collection of thrift items. I’ve had some great finds there. Original Johnny Cash records, bright red Doc Martens for five bucks and the complete set of The Outer Limits for ten dollars.
DOMINION SKATEBOARDS 3008 W. Cary St. / 804.359.7384 dominionskateboards.com
Exile is a punk paradise. Everything you ever ordered online as high schooler in Northern Virginia is in this building. They have Manic Panic, studs, weird goth rings, indie-punk fashion and a variety of vintage houseware. There’s something for everyone. The owner, Mimi, is an old Richmond head. She’s crazy, talkative, full of gossip about old Grace Street, and a stone cold foxy woman.
Rumors carries recycled and preloved clothing for men and women. They buy and trade over 100 items daily, no appointment necessary. New items arrive numerous times a day. Mix Empire Records with Breakin 2, poor a bottle of PBR on it and give the two owners, a Sparkxx and you have the brainchild RUMORS. It has been many things, a venue,
935 W. Grace St. / 804.358.3348 myspace.com/exilethestore
404 N. Harrison St. / 804.726.9944 rumorsva.com
Dominion Skateboards has been around since 1994, that’s over 15 years running the skate game in Richmond. What started off as a small “back door” shop is now the place for skate essentials. Don’t be nervous heading in there, the only person you need to be afraid of is Maury and his mean stare. The shop has put out 6 feature films highlighting the best skateboarders in Richmond and they don’t seem to be slowing down one bit.
117 N. Robinson St. / 804.358.1311
Halcyon is a friendly vintage clothing store with reasonable prices and a constantly changing selection. Halcyon is very affordable and they have one of the best men’s vintage sections I’ve seen in Richmond. If you are a sharp looking dude or a snazzy country chick, you will fall in love instantly. Best part is, they have layaway.
2916 W. Cary St. / 804.353.1919
Bygones has been one of Richmond’s favorite vintage shops since the early ‘70s. They carry clothing and accessories from the 1900s-1970s. It is conveniently located in Carytown. Many women have boasted about buying their wedding dresses and prom gowns there. Let your inner Dita von Teese out there anyday.
HARRISON ST. CAFÉ
3010 W. Cary St. / 804.767.1825
402 N. Harrison St. / 804.359.8060
212 W. Broad St. / 804.344.5315
Henry Nelson McKinney. A mens, womens and new age hipsters with their parents credit card apparel shop for hip people who are just tryin’ to keep it cool. Henry is known for sweaty dance parties and their sweet ass kicks. Whenever I’m boning a new hottie who’s worth not kicking out the next morning, I always head to Henry to get him fitted properly. Henry carrries items from Adidas Originals, Stussy, Mishka, aNYTHING, The Hundreds and Cheap Mondays. It’s not hard to leave there looking fly. Items range from $20-$100.
Need Supply, located in Carytown, started in 1996 selling a unique collection of vintage Levi’s jeans. Over the past decade their selection has evolved from an eclectic mix of hard-to-find vintage apparel to a well-edited selection of premium streetwear and contemporary brands. Nylon Magazine named them one of the best denim stores in the world, Richmond Magazine calls them “the best place to buy premium denim”. I call Need the best place to harass employees. If you are a hip hipster with a little bit of cash to flex and you know every word to Lady Gaga, then I suggest you strut your skinny jeans up to pay them a visit. Items range from $30-100.
Food is an essential part of a Richmonder’s diet. Beer is the desert.
Food and Drink: Even the poorest kid in Richmond has to go to brunch every weekend and take advantage of the insane amounts of drink specials our city has to offer. Our city has bars that offer half off beer just for riding your bike there. The Fan is a vegan and vegetarian paradise.
Harrison Street Cafe is a vegetarian restaurant and coffee shop. They have a beer-battered tofu sandwich that you would sell your firstborn child for. The shop is adorable – it’s covered in discarded books and ‘zines. They have weird hours, but everything awesome in Richmond is that way. They also offer a brunch every morning that includes vegan French toast.
111 E. Grace St. / 804.649.2779
Perly’s is a really well-known breakfast and lunch spot. So wellknown, in fact, that the Queen of England requests to go there whenever she’s visiting Richmond. There’s a very vast menu and a beautiful throwback diner setting. Perly’s is famous for their comfort food and their homemade biscuits. They stop serving breakfast early, so be there by 11, and the prices are amazing.
821 W. Cary St. / 804.649.1042
Richmonders don’t even know how lucky they are to have 821 Cafe. First off, the address is the name, so it’s easy for us wastoids to find it. Two, some of the greatest people in Richmond work there. Number three, vegan artichoke. sub. I can’t even explain to you how awesome 821 is. On a normal weekend day you are surrounded by metal bands from out of town, Nas playing on the speaker, and art on the walls that you wish you could buy, but you gotta spend that last ten bucks on a Billy Philly and a 40oz. Yes, they serve forties. This is the top of my list of places to go. Great food, good people, great art - it’s the chillest spot. Oh and order a mimosa, seriously.
733 W. Cary St. / 804.644.6676
Mojo’s makes the best wings in town. They’ve got cheese fries, pizza fries, Philly cheese steaks and handmade pizza. It’s everything an American could dream of, and it’s a great place to meet someone special and drink a lot of beer!
411 N. Harrison St. / 804.864.5488
Edo’s Squid is discreetly hidden above a sub shop. Climb up the darkly lit stairs and enter Italy. A busy restaurant full of Richmond’s finest teachers, students, politicians and musicians. Start off with the calamari and a bottle of house red. Get your waiter’s attention and order the oysters or the squid, or the steak - hell, order everything. The staff consists of some of my favorite band members and they make the food with love. They also offer great lunch specials and vegetarian options like the broccelleti. Prices range from $7-$35.
1601 Park Ave. / 804.355.8817
Kuba Kuba is an amazing Cuban bodega. Order a cub of Cuban coffee and stare at the eclectic menu until you finally decide between the paella (which is also available as a vegetarian dish) and the pineapple chicken sandwich. Prices range from $7-$18.
1618 W. Main St. / 804.355.1955
Rostov’s Coffee, located on west Main Street, is the coffee enthusiast’s coffee shop. They have
Richmond’s largest selection of fresh roasted coffees. At Rostov’s you can find 50 different types of beans. The roasting is done on site by using a Jabez-Burnz roaster from the 1940s. Rostov’s was the first coffee shop I went to when I moved to Richmond. Once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.
111 N. Robinson St. / 804.359.6544
917 W. Grace St. / 804.213.0190
309 N. Laurel St. / 804.225.5544
Nile was the first Ethiopian restaurant in Richmond. Ethiopian cuisine is like its people: diverse, colorful, flavorful, and complex. I love Nile, I love the family that owns this place, and above all I love the ginter martinis, which are like a double orgasm on the back of a galoping polar bear during a polar bear war. Nile offers wonderful vegertarian options such as Yemisir Wat, which is a split lentil stew made with flavorful berbere-based seasoning. You traditionally eat Ethiopian food with your hands, so it’s perfect for a sexy date.
Ipanema is a darkly lit underground vegan paradise. With an all-vegetarian menu, Ipanema is known for its night life and their hot bartending and wait staff. I think its mandatory for them to have a missed connection posted about them weekly on Craigslist to keep their job. But seriously, Ipanema is one of the best vegetarian restaurants I’ve been to in this country. My favorite items are the fried zucchini, the tofu caesar salad, and the vegan homemade pies. With monthly art shows, Monday night cheap pints, and a new Sunday brunch, it’s hard not to stop by here on a weekly basis. This is a perfect place for a romantic date.
Commercial Taphouse is my favorite place to get good beer in Richmond. They have fifteen brews on tap and just as many in bottles. They have a very knowledgeable staff who are also home-brewers. They specialize in imports and they offer cider on tap. Commercial Taphouse often has daily specials and the prices range around $7-$12. They also offer free jazz on Sundays and they have vegetarian food options.
119 E. Leigh St. / 804.421.0560
When Jackson Ward was hip and men wore gentlemen’s hats, couples would go to Croaker’s Spot and listen to jazz and blues while eating pure Southern seafood. Order the cornbread and come hungry. Prices range from $10-$30.
really begins. Tony Bitch was my boss for a year of my life. Seriously Tony Bitch was my boss. Working overnight shifts, making fun of hippies, eating icing, listening to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” while making hummus & charging bottles of red wine to your work account.
2527 W. Main St. / 804.358.4370
Helen’s is a double-faced beautiful lady. During the day she’s a five-star restaurant providing Irish cuisine, and at night she’s a wild child. Helen’s is always packed with some of my favorite people in Richmond. The martinis are strong and the bartenders are sassy. And of course they have wonderful specials.
THE VILLAGE CAFÉ 1001 W. Grace St. / 804.353.8204
ELLWOOD THOMPSON’S EMPIRE
727 W. Broad St. / 804.344.3323
Empire is a bar surrounded by bikes and mopeds that’s located right on campus. They serve pretty sweet food, and they have a kick-ass metal Sunday brunch. If you’re a cheapo that likes affordable food and cheap beer, then you’ll love the specials. Hunter plays metal on Mondays and you can get drunk for cheap.
4 N. Thompson St. / 804.359.7525
Vegetarians on tour have wet dreams of playing shows in Richmond just so they can eat and shop at this local market. When I moved to the city i got a job there dressed in a cut up pink Rancid shirt. I spent 3 wonderful years of my life there working under Tony Bitch, eating vegan classics and Tofuti Cuties from the deli. The food is amazing but the people who work there is where the story
The Village Café is a classic American diner (with Mexican employees cooking in the kitchen). They have a decent jukebox, amazing malts, drink specials for the college kids, and WiFi you can use while you try to look interesting and deep while you draw in your sketch book at 1am in the morning, drinking coffee and eating fries. The staff is great and the wait is short. Tom Robbins started writing Still Life with Woodpecker there. Their pizzas are wonderful as well.
6004 W. Broad St. / 804.288.8929
Mekong is an awesome Vietnamese restaurant, locatedin the west end. Do you like drinking liquor out of a vase sized fine crafted volcano, with triple sec flaming out the top with your most loved ones? I do. I also love pho, so I of course enjoy going there. Mekong is a great place to go with a group of friends for a birthday, or an important celebration like getting your wisdom teeth removed or getting engaged. The wait is short, the food is wonderful and there are many vegetarian options.
THE BLACK SHEEP
901 W. Marshall St. / 804.648.1300
Black Sheep is hidden away on West Marshall Street in a friendly building in Carver. It is a small restaurant, with homemade quiches and desserts. There is affordable
art scattered on the walls and the wait staff is genuinely sweet. Their signature sandwiches are called “Battleships”, and they’re HUGE. They kind of remind me of a guy I met when I was on a sabbatical in South Africa. I’ve never seen anyone finish one in a single sitting. Prices range from $7-$15.
501 S. Pine St. / 804.788.4205
myspace.com/mammazu When you walk into Mamma Zu’s, you feel like you’ve walked into another world. A world of West End rich people and punk kids. A world of beautiful authentic Italian food and sassy, completely uninterested wait staff. Mamma Zu’s is all food and no glitz. It’s located in Oregon Hill, the pride of Richmond - on your walk there you’ll pass house shows, Confederate flags, 10-year-old kids with dirt on their faces, and college kids drinking on their front porches. Order the delicious white pizza and a bottle or three of wine for the night.
ALL STAR MARKET
111 N. Lombardy St. / 804.342.5857
2232 W. Main St. / 804.358.7870
For all of you cheapos who love sushi and chilling hard, I would highly recommend Sticky Rice, our local sushi bar. This place offers a highly energetic night life as well as weekly entertainment including: karaoke, kung-fu movies, blingo, music trivia and halfprice sushi on Mondays. The bar is very packed so if you just want a bite to eat I would go across the street to their ToGoGo shop.
All Star Market is a local deli that makes sandwiches that will make you slap your mama. Great selection of beer & wine and they deliver on bicycles. That’s right - a cutie will ride you over a sandwich and a beer when you’re too high to realize that it is an asshole move to get someone to bring you food on a bike.
708 W. Grace St. / 804.644.2838
Four years after women got the right to vote, two Virginia women who met at the Woman’s Exchange of Richmond decided to open a kitchen together. The two ladies named their business “Sarah Lee Kitchen”, borrowing from their respective names. Their purpose, still the purpose today, was to produce a variety of
good things to eat made each day from scratch. Sally Bell’s is open from 10 to 4, and you can get a Southern lunchbox with potato salad. Imagine the best-cooking women in your family opening a cute shop, and there you have it.
kids and mod kids were there. I felt like it was my So Calle Life.
CROSSROADS CAFÉ 26 N. Morris St. / 804.355.3559
308 E. Grace St. / 804.648.3957
Are you a man that likes sleeping with men, or a woman who loves fashionable men who sleep with men? Love older gay rich men who are loose with their credit cards? Then head down to Godfrey’s and dance your ass off. They have the most famous Sunday brunch starring the best lookin women in Richmond. They aslo have a drag show college dance party on Wednesdays that’s totally free for you broke ass students. When I first moved here, everyone who was cool went to Godfrey’s on First Fridays, the hardcore kids were there, the metal kids were there, the mod was there, the people who hated the hardcore, metal
Crossroads is a great spot to grab coffee before work. With homemade soups, and baristas that have been making drinks and taking shots for years, you won’t leave unhappy. There are also veggie and vegan options. Their vegan double-chocolate pancakes with strawberries on top are an edible wet dream. The employees look like they are in a bad pop-punk band. On the upside, they have an outdoor park with Internet access, where you can watch cute students coming out of the VCU dance building.
506 W. Broad St. / 804.344.0644
The place on Belvidere and Broad that is not New York Fried Chicken. An adorable Jackson Ward couple opened the new hot spot in their own neighborhood. I am simply in love with this place and the owners. It is a mix between Ipanema and New York Deli. Well-lit, small dining with amazing, super cute, knowledgeable staff that remembers your name after one visit. PBR, martinis, and a long list of Virginia beer and wine. They offer organic, vegan, vegetarian, wheat- and gluten-free dishes. The owner comes out of the back and takes off his apron to thank you for coming. The first time I went there I got a full tour of the place and got to sample several dishes before I made my order. I went there for dinner
4 days in a row last week. They have cheap PBR on tap everyday. I would suggest ordering the Smoked Gouda Club with sweet potato fries. The crab cakes are the best I’ve had in this city. Oh, and the vegetarian lasagna, the tequila shrimp, and the mashed potatoes. The desserts are so wonderful, I licked my plate. This is the new place to be. If you haven’t gone, go. The other restaurants need to step up their game. The Belvidere is the only restaurant I’ve been to that actually recycles, so kudos to them for being health- and environmentally focused. Gluten-free bread. Seriously. Good job. A great meal costs between fifteen and thirty dollars. To get wasted on PBR and sides you’ll need about twelve bucks.
both birthdays and divorces. They offer affordable combination dinners for couples, as well as a few Greek options like Greek chicken and Baklava.
304 N. Robinson St. / 804. 340.2884
Good things come in small packages. Racine is one of the great local bars in a busy, drunk part of town. Racine is located in a dark building on Robinson Street. You can find a varied mix of people there each night. You have your punk kids, drop outs, artists, bro-dudes, college chicks, and weird but interesting couples. The staff is amazing and they offer inexpensive cuisine and wonderful drink specials.
affordable menu. With brand new owners, Gutenberg takes on a whole new feel. New seating arrangements that offer more elbow room, and American cuisine made with local farmers market ingredients are available for lunch and dinner. They are known for offering an awesome selection of beers, including hand crafted domestic microbrews, unique internationals, and affordable beer for the cheapos. I recommend their brunch - it’s amazing. (And rumor has it that there’s a local male porn star working there.).
4013 W. Broad St. / 804. 355.6805
Good Ole Virginia sure can’t get enough of its Mexican restaurants. The margaritas are strong. The homemade salsa is delicious, and you never have to wait for a table. Su Casa is a great place to celebrate
1700 E. Main St. / 804.355.3559
In a huge mess of downtown restaurants opening and closing, Cafe Gutenberg stands strong with an amazing staff, wonderful coffee, and an
2621 W. Cary St. / 804.355.0166
Because paying for gas sucks.
MCCORMACK’S IRISH PUB
12 N. 18th St. / 804.648.1003
When you’re at Alley Katz and you need a shot, McCormack’s is the bar for you. If you are an older drunk who likes early punk music and being slightly sad, you should head down there and sit at the bar with my friend Matt Seymour.
In a city where your best friends, favorite restaurants, movie theaters and venues are all in a two mile radius it only make sense to arrive to all of them in the most earth friendly way. Scooter and bike crews rule this cities streets, and if you don’t believe me, then just ride through the Fan. Be aware though, Richmond’s twowheeled travelers tend to abide by a different set of traffic rules than our four-wheeled, gass guzzeling drivers. But as always, ride hard and ride safe, this city needs you.
A community-oriented bicycle thrift and repair shop that offers full service repair, used/thrift product, and new products as well. But it’s not just any shop. Re-Cycles and Chop Suey work together, running a non-profit called Books on Wheels. Books on Wheels drives around in a bright painted van repairing bikes and giving out books. If you’re in the Carytown area I would suggest becoming best friends with these awesome people.
217 W. 7th St. / 804.230.1000
918 E. Grace St. / 804.248.5878 www.bunnyhop.org
In this economy, trading in your car for a scooter or a moped can be very cost effective. (How does 100 miles to the gallon sound?) And it’ll also make you look hot. Scoot Richmond is central Virginia’s only dealership dedicated to motorscooters and mopeds. They also have monthly outdoor movies in their parking lot.
A bike shop owned by Richmond’s own Luke Stevens. You are not a Richmonder until you own a bike. Driving around the broken streets of Grace, it’s nice to have a place to go to replace tubes and flat tires. When something goes wrong with my baby, I bring her to Bunny Hop, knowing that she’ll be quickly taken care of. They also have various bikes for sale and hip Chrome bags that are affordable.
2709 E. Marshall St. / 804.612.0968
Cyclus is the new kid on the block, located up in Church Hill where I’m sure the community is loving every bit of their small bike shop. You can pick up spare parts, get a quick fix-up, and some great advice for making it up and down that big ass hill they’re located on. The guys there know what they’re doing. I like a man with a li’l bit of dirt under his nails.
Locations throughout Richmond www.ridegrtc.com
Richmond GRTC buses. homeless people, scared students, misbehaving children, drunks, modern slaves going miserably to work. Now that is the bus that I love. Off-schedule, rude operators, no schedules ever on the bus, waiting for hours in horrible
weather with no protection, Not being able to ride the VCU buses that have hidden passages as if the people upon them were attending Hogwart’s. GRTC may have nice bike racks and it is very convenient for those with physical difficulties but when I am on it I feel that I am living in hell. If you are not going somewhere on broad street then it is pretty much useless. The Main Street bus takes over 25 minutes to get from 1st street to downtown. The Westhampton is the best bus they have and they’re threatening to cancel it, when it’s the only bus that goes past Carytown, and the only bus that gets U of R students to the Fan and downtown. Richmond has a nonexistent transit system. I think it’s a ploy to keep poor people out of Short Pump. DId I mention that the bus stops running at 11 every night of the week? Ladies, if you have a late night, have fun walking home in the dark. There’s a reason that everyone rides bikes in this city.
403 Strawberry St. / 804.353.7891
Two of the coolest things ever.
In the digital and online world, music and literature are slave to the click of a mouse. Books are going digital and music is measured in file size. Richmonders, however tend to see these two elements in a different light. We love the ability to hold our music, touch and feel our books, and sit down in an old theater to watch a movie. We also love the shops and theaters in the city that still allow us to do that.
In a world of Netflix, our hero, Video Fan, stays strong. It offers a hand picked selection of independent and box office hits on DVD and VHS. The staff are movie nerds that will make sure that you’re renting exactly what you want. I’ve gotten lost for hours in the foreign film section. It’s also where I rented Beer Fest for the first time. Once I was forced, in a scavenger hunt, to rent a porn tape that I later lost. I currently owe them around $1000.
324 S. Pine St. / 804.344.8095
If the coolest kids you knew, with the coolest record collections, opened up a sweet-ass vinyl shop where you can chill, buy back patches, and shoot the shit about how good things used to be, it would look something like Vinyl Conflict. Head over and buy a bunch of records to bang your head too.
CHOP SUEY BOOKS
2913 W. Cary St. / 804.225.7323 www.chopsueybooks.com
In the spirit of individuality, underdog perseverance, and the freedom of speech, Chop Suey Books brings you a eclectic selection of everything you could ever need. Chop Suey is amazing. You can’t leave Carytown without picking up a book or comic from this shop. The store is owned by one of my favorite dudes in the world, Ward Tefft. He is our great, compassionate leader, courageously leading us to the light and unlocking the key to drunkenness and purity.
books on Eastern religion, healing, the occult, self-help books and they specialize in books on metaphysics. They offer classes that are frequented by people that love beads and stones. They also are the only shop in Richmond that carries Mala beads. You can purchase crystal skulls there and you can buy wishes as well. It’s pretty amazing.
5706 Grove Ave. / 804.288.9007 www.regmovies.com
Are you a true movie lover? Do you only watch foreign films in black and white? Do you think that anything produced after the 1950s is trash? If so, you’ll love the Westhampton. It is a indie film-lover’s theater. They also have a coffee bar with great fresh cappuccinos and espresso. I love going to this place on dates. It’s rarely packed and they are often the only theater to get select movies.
9 also offers a broad selection of used CDs, DVDs, video games, and collectibles. They are an active supporter of the independent music community, supporting local artists and their shows. They carry over 300 titles on consignment directly from area bands, and if you are lucky you can catch a live performance there. I saw Common and he smelled amazing.
PLAN 9 MUSIC
3012 W. Cary St. / 804.353.9996 www.plan9music.com
Plan 9 is from outer space. They carry all forms of awesome music, as well as a whole floor dedicated to vinyl and VHS. They have vinyl for $3 sometimes, which is awesome. They also carry an extensive selection of most musical genres, from bluegrass to hip-hop. Plan
3519 Ellwood Ave. / 804.353.5575 theaquarianbookshop.com
The Aquarian Bookshop is Richmond’s oldest and most eclectic metaphysical bookstore. They have
VELOCITY COMICS 904 W. Broad St. / 804.225.7323 www.velocitycomics.com
Velocity Comics is my favorite comic book shop in town. What kid doesn’t like comics? I can assure you, this one loves ‘em. They have everything: new comics, vintage comics, action figures, local ‘zines, graphic novels, posters of big-tittied superheroines, awkward dudes that won’t look you in the eyes. If Velocity sold beer, I would never leave. They also will order you anything they don’t have. If you are a fan of SpiderMan, tell the owner; he’ll talk your head off.
THE BYRD THEATER
2908 W. Cary St. / 804.353.9911 www.byrdtheater.com
The Byrd Theatre was built in 1928 as one of the nation’s grand movie palaces, and is both a State and National Historic landmark. The Byrd shows two movies daily at the low cost of $1.99. If you go on a Saturday night you can catch a night performance of the Mighty Wurlitzer organ prior to the movie. On Fridays, you can see cult classic movies like Labyrinth and The Goonies at midnight.
HIPPOLAND Brook Rd. in Northside
All the other awesome shit that makes the city great.
There are far too many amazing shops, bars, restaurants, and local businesses to fit the pages of this magazine. Richmond is a hole in the wall of paradise. Hidden book stores, a secret watch shop that I swear disappears during the day, look out point, gardens, vintage shops, tea houses, swimming holes, parks, and abandoned areas turned into treasures. The list is constatntly growing, and these are just a few.
THE TRAILS / Lower Fulton Hill
The mecca of skating in the city. Picture a deserted wasteland in Northside with a granite floor and nothing but skater-built terrain. Anything you ever wanted to skate is out here and there isn’t a single cop in sight. I promise you over a hundred hot dudes with skateboards hang out there and they raise a lot of money for good causes. Go there. Skate hard and try not to get hurt.
2201 Shields Lake Dr. / 804.358.7166 www.maymont.org
Maymont Park is a hundred acres of absolute beauty. I love going to the park and walking around the Japanese gardens, staring at the Koi. There is a waterfall and you can often see couples taking their wedding pictures there. It’s perfect for a romantic date with the person you love, and also a perfect place to read a book alone on a blanket. In the spring, irises bloom along the water’s edge.
WORLD OF MIRTH
3005 W. Cary St. / 804.353.8991 www.worldofmirth.com
Often described as the place where Pee Wee’s Playhouse meets Dr. Seuss, is Richmond’s truly unique shopping experience. They carry safe and fun toys for kids of all ages. It’s a great place to forget your age, collect figurines and buy spy gear. It’s the best toy shop in Richmond. It reminds me of the toy shop from Home Alone 2.
Remember when you were a kid and you got your first bike, and you’d make little dirt jumps in your backyard? No, I don’t remember that either because I was popular and had lots of friends, and my parents didn’t hate me. Well take that and multiply it by a billion. The BMX trails in lower Fulton Hill were
Gillies Creek Park
built with blood, sweat and beers. Rider built, 100%, and they are gnarly as hell. Everywhere you look there is another jump that leads to another jump. Guys will get lost for hours staring at other men’s sweat in the air.
1621 W. Broad St. / 804.353.4901 thecamel.org
The Camel opened up at just the right time. When the city was begging for a space to have music, art, poetry, video, political forums, cold beer, and vegetarian cuisine, it seemed the Camel came as an apparition in the desert. You may have seen me at several dance parties sipping on a Long Island Iced Tea in a Mason jar while mooching on some young hotties. The Camel is one of the few venues that has all-ages show and 18-and-up dance parties. Richmond’s No BS Brass Band has had several amazing shows there. It is a great place to host upscale affordable parties. They have a classy new bar. They also have 4
bathrooms for maximum smoochage without bothering people who need to piss. I’ve hosted several parties there. I’ve never worked with a friendlier or more adorable staff. The Camel is the official Richmond Ligerbeat party cave.
BELLE ISLE Belle Isle is the number one recommended destination for chilling hard. You have to walk across a long suspended bridge where you will view the beautiful James River. You will be greeted by Richmond finest tattooed hillbillies and cutoff jean shorts, drinking Natural Light and PBR. Chill out in the sun with your boo, friends or your dog. Swim out into the river and float downstream. Swim at your own risk, though, since there are Class 5 rapids surrounding the island. If you’re a fan of getting wet (I certainly am), you’ll love the rope swing hidden under the train trestles. Warning: you may have to wait in line with a bunch of untouchables.
STRANGE MATTER 929 W. Grace St.
The punks are back and they’re doing it legal. Twisters, 929, Nancy Raygun, Bagel Czar and many more before my time, this fabled location is now Strange Matter. Graffiti painted bathrooms, $2 dance parties, bloody noses, dance competitions, and vegan nuggets. A small group of the most involved musicians and promoters in our city are bringing life back to Grace St. It may not be as grandiose as some of the city’s new projects, but it’s the only one that I care about. I can’t wait for this. A smile spreads across my face thinking about how many good shows will be happening on a weekly basis. How much cheap PBR will be devoured. And the goddess Beth Gorley (who is solely responsible for me being in this city, after she kidnapped me at a Throwdown show in Virginia Beach while we were trying to fight the same girl) is putting tons of vintage arcade games in there. This place is going to be great! Strange Matter, fuck yeah!
523 E. Southside Plaza / 804.233.8799 myspace.com/plazabowlrva
The Plaza Bowl has become lost in another dimension. During the day it’s a quiet, vintage-looking duckpin bowling alley run by a sweet old couple. At night, it’s a venue full of wasted punks staring at strobe lights and drinking cheap beer. I saw Wayne Hancock there. Really, I saw Wayne Hancock there with over 100 people. If you’re a band looking for a place to play, you should hit them up and rock the fuck out.
the Buried and Me, GWAR, VCR and many others. I’ve seen girls throw themselves from the balcony during Atreyu in 2003. I’ve puked all over myself while continuing to drink PBR during the Best Friends Day shows. I broke my foot there while lamely moshing to Converge. All great memories. I love this place. The owner looks like an older, hot rocker whose motorcycle I need to be on the back of every night of the week. Beers, pizzas, trampolines, water guns, face paint, balloons, broken faces, broken hearts, and broken bones. It’s pretty fucking sweet. This is another place that people do not appreciate the way they should.
10 Walnut Alley / 804.643.2816 alleykatzrva.com
Alley Katz is Richmond’s version of CBGB’s. The first time I came to Richmond I saw Stretch Armstrong play there and it blew my high school mind open. Through the years I’ve also seen great shows by Municipal Waste, Strike Anywhere, Fat Benatar, Between
THE BIKE LOT 512 E. 8th Street
Holy shit, Holy shit! Someone from Richmond stopped complaining and created something amazing. A place to go for shows, to work on mopeds, to have a reliable safe practice space, to house books on wheels, it has a bowl to skate and
ride BMX in. I recently went to a “Day of the Dead” themed wedding there. The Bike lot is one of the best things to happen to the local art community in years. The bike lot gives all of us pigs a pen to play in. I personally don’t think the people who run the bike lot get the respect that they deserve. They make our city our city.
1307 W. Main St. / 804. 358.3100 capitolmac.com
We are living in the age of the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone. It is hard to take someone seriously who’s not working on a Macbook Pro. Richmond’s Capital Mac has been open since 1984. Their store is stocked full of creative and helpful tools. The staff is great at helping you figure out which item will be most beneficial and cost effective for your needs. They’re also very involved with the city, donating products to several organizations and fundraisers. They are located right next to VCU’s campus.
THE HAT FACTORY
140 Virginia St. hatfactoryva.com
One of our newest venues, the Hat Factory is now open in the building that used to be Toad’s Place. I myself haven’t been there yet but I hear they have cowboy country nights on Saturdays. That sounds wonderful to me. I love folk music and I love folking, too. Virginia loves its country music and I’m excited that there is a proper outlet for this genre to flourish in a city that appreciates it. They’re also open to working with the community and booking big shows. Check out their calendar online. The Wallers are playing there on the 24th and that show is going to rule. There is also a Guns and Roses tribute band as well as a Michael Jackson tribute band performing there in the next two months. There is so much more, but this should hold you over for now.
e v e r yTHURSDAY!
, E S K C Y o I A A S r E A D U V K LI M TUES
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Words by S. Preston Duncan Photo by Bob Quirk / JNKFD & Cameron Charles
The River. Nature’s singular vein and artery of the pulsating metropolitan heart. The River. Chalice of sunlight, the whiskey colored past and its slow melting rocks, smooth and gurgling in the mouth of every summer. The River. Rapids and rookeries, catfish and kayaks, fishing and skinny dipping, Richmond’s own beer cooler. The James River. If you haven’t been here, you haven’t been to RVA, so consider this to be the user directions for the soul of the city - or at least those portions most easily accessible from the Fan area.
BELLE ISLE Below the Belvidere Bridge, laid out like bleachers for the Hollywood Rapids and the cemetery beyond, you’ll find strollers and hippies strumming guitars, joggers and chain smokers with teamwork coolers, BMX bikes and drunken bums. Once a Native American settlement, then a Civil War POW prison, this parcel is now the Disney World of the James, and it is subdivided into definable districts catering to the diversity of demographic it attracts. If you’re lookin’ to party, turn right from the foot bridge and hit up Dead Rock. On top of the Steal-Your-Face logo (painted over
RICHMOND FUN FACT Richmond’s oldest natural enemy is the tiger shark.
by the city every year or so, and inevitably repainted by dedicated Deadheads) you’ll always find someone who just got out of jail, someone with an extra beer, someone who wants to fight you, someone who wants to fuck you, and someone playing Sublime on an acoustic guitar. The volatile combination of meat-heads and vegetarians attracts the police frequently, so be cool, man. If you turn left from the footbridge, towards the eastern point of the island you’ll find a sandy beach. More secluded, softer, and graced by the pop-up panoramas of the cityscape across the river, I’ve never had an unsuccessful picnic date here. I’ve fallen in love here. Twice.
One day a year in the steel structure at the end of the foot-bridge, Belle Isle is sieged by hundreds of bicyclists from around the country. They’re drunk, rowdy, and doing tricks on bikes. BMX bikes, tall bikes, bikes you can smoke out of, painted bikes, broken bikes, beach cruisers, fixed gear track bikes, bikes flying and falling. It rains beer. This is Slaughterama. The day after, most of your friends will probably change their Facebook profile pic to one somebody took of them passed out in the field next to the event. As you stumble back over the footbridge, you’ll probably find a group of people jumping off into the river below. There’s only one point at which this is remotely safe. Never-
mind, it’s probably not safe at all, but people swear by it, and you’ll occasionally find a group of little kids doing it, which is kinda like an inherent double dog dare. By the way, yes, the bridge is actually swaying, and no, you’re (probably)not that drunk. On the other side of the island, by the graffiti covered abandoned power plant, its crust punks and endlessly smoldering fire pits, is a mostly dry expanse of rocks where the river would flow if it weren’t dammed. This place has always felt uncomfortably haunted and inescapable to me, like a desert limbo walled off from anything alive. People do hang out here though, and it’s worth checking out at least once.
THE ROPE SWING
If you’re a little insane or drunk, there’s a rope swing that dangles like some taunting promise of unlikely glory from the train tracks on the way to the footbridge entrance to Belle Isle. There are two concrete tiers from which you can jump, one of which is moderately reckless, the other being fucking nuts. Some locals will even jump off the tracks. I’ve heard stories of people nearly dying on this thing, and I’m not ashamed to admit to lacking the gonads to go at it. But then there are plenty of other stupid (possibly incriminating) things I survived that involved the river and train tracks during my first few years in Richmond.
(pronounced “tay-haas beech” - okay, not really): Legend has it that this was once a haven for homosexual courtship, and at one point some maniacal homophobe decapitated two such revelers and impaled their heads on bridge posts. I don’t know if this is true and I don’t care. It’s almost a rite of passage to find your way here, and who am I to deprive you of the same clueless search I endured? A long network of winding paths and seasonally inaccessible islands, the river is wide here, the woods are deep, and both seclusion and company are readily and constantly available. It’s the type of place you have to explore, and there’s a lot of beauty and weirdness (is that really a wigwam?) to find.
I won’t stray too far from the VCU campus with river access points, but this is one worth mentioning. Across the Mayo Bridge (take 14th Street south) there is a section of floodwall (because like all great and ancient cities, ours is walled) with a railed-in walkway on top. From here you can see the section of river where 800-pound Atlantic sturgeon come to lay their eggs in spring, the backs of which Native American boys used to ride as a rite of passage (see, finding Texas Beach isn’t so bad, is it?), a large and graceful congregation of great blue herons, and what is arguably the broadest, most inspiring publically accessible view of the skyline. At its
end you’ll find a meandering, ivy blanketed, butterfly anointed path to what was once the end of a train trestle, now a ruin hunched with history and habitually scaled by rock climbers. You can take the stairs, though. It’s a beautiful place to sit, and maybe write that novel you keep talking about.
THE LOWER JAMES This isn’t really an access point, but rather a section of deep river beginning in the eastern part of the city. Popular amongst fishers, there have been some notable developments lately. One of which is Rockett’s Landing, which unless you were born sucking that proverbial spoon, probably isn’t in your price range for dwelling or dining. The newly opened restaurant, The Boathouse, is undeniably baller, and one of these days I might save up enough to eat there. The other development has been the popularization of riverboat cruising on the Eagle Cruises boat. This is thanks to the smooth mofos who run Yacht Rock RVA, the girls at Rumors, DJ Pablo Escolar and Three Sheets To The Wind. Generally, partiers pay a flat fee (last time it was $65, and unquestionably worth it) in order to drink from an open bar, eat good catered food, see live music, and party on a motherfucking boat. Much to the chagrin of underage and angsty straight-edgers, it’s a damn good time. From what I recall.
PONY PASTURE Would you swim in a place with multi-lingual signs forbidding the use of the river as a soiled diaper depository? Of course you would! And so would everyone else and all their moms. Literally. Pony Pasture is a very, very popular Southside river destination, but is probably best reserved for putin or take-out on tubing trips. The James is kinda like a lazy river attraction at a theme park here, and a day spent floating sleepily downstream is like getting God’s day spa treatment. People ride ponies here.
RIVERSIDE DRIVE If you have a moped, scooter, or motorcycle, go for a ride here. That’s all.
WORDS TO THE WISE AND OTHERWISE There are other places, possibly better places on the river, but places that demand to be shared by either word-of-mouth or exploration. Take the time to find your own sanctuary/party spot. Keep in mind that the police have been cracking down on Belle Isle lately, from open containers to leash laws, people are getting ticketed heavily, so be careful. I heavily suggest wearing something protective on your feet when you go swimming, the river bed hurts and you don’t want one of those never-healing wounds we like to call “James river scabs”. Similarly, don’t swim with an open wound, it’s just kinda sketchy.
RICHMOND FUN FACT Richmond has been largely mutant-free since the flipper baby scare of â€™77.
A Brief Guide
to GALLERIES IN RICHMOND
words by S. Preston Duncan images by Grant Shuler
209 W. Broad St. hese walks speak. This is 804.929.7018 known and accepted. The paint steaked ishqgallery.com
voice of our urban time-ghosts orate subtle narrations of identity from the canvases we hang in these spaces. These are your galleries. These are the cavities from which our vibrant creative class emerges, and the places it is cultivated. This is what we look like.
As each of these spaces have their own unique atmosphere, stylistic proclivities, and levels of prestige (or pretention, you cynical bastards), it is impossible to provide all of them adequate description in the modest confines of this guide. As such, here are a few chosen for their significance in the arts community, their innovation, vision, and potential. And be sure that there are plenty of others in this town that share those characteristics.
Named after the Arabic word for the kind of pure love that unites all beings, the Ishq Gallery is kinda the new kid on the block, with an alternate identity as a textile studio. Featuring everything from urban abstracts to Islamic calligraphy, this place is where Rumi would spin in enlightened circles if he were still around and living in RVA. It’s about the universal, that harmony of life comprised of all our voices and their various media. And it’s about love, so go show them some
GALLERY 5 Bohemian freaks, community activists, graffiti artists, and Russian ambassadors. If Richmond’s creative underground were a subway system, this would be its Grand Central Station, its well-lit ascension into the arena of the larger public and their continental
200 W. Marshall St. / 804.644.0005 / gallery5arts.org
railways. Busting the stretchers and frames of conventional gallery protocol, G5’s broad arms are routinely presenting diverse audiences with concerts, film screenings, burlesque shows, theater, fire spinning, and community talks, in addition to providing a forum for
established and emerging, local and international, traditional and experimental art. It is one of the city’s greatest assets. Just go - it’s good for you, like veggies, but it tastes like beer (of which they have a great selection, by the way).
QUIRK 311 W. Broad St. 804.644.5450 quirkgallery.com
No elitist reference to obscure artistic concepts in this name. Nothing normal inside. Quirk features art that is, well, quirky, and the space has a general ambiance of accessibility, both economic and philosophical. Its got a kind of arts-market feel to the front of it, but opens up into a room that is an undisputable gallery, albeit a strange one.
1708 319 W. Broad St. 804.643.7829 1708gallery.org
One of the more prestigious galleries on the Broad Street corridor, 1708 is at times given to the hobnobbery of the creative community’s elite, but don’t allow this to detract from the well-sharpened work represented in this non-profit’s decidedly large confines. The space is given to transformative installation works, but does not
dabble in that realm exclusively. It gets crowded, so show up early on First Friday for a more leisurely view of their exhibitions, and their simultaneous proletariat and bourgeois appeal.
RICHMOND FUN FACT Laws prohibiting shopping and dating on Sundays were finally overturned in 1988.
PLANT ZERO ART WORKS 0 E. 4th St. 804. 291.1400 artworksrichmond.com
The developers of Manchester would like for you to call it the “Manchester Arts District”. It’s not there yet, but this place is certainly leading the charge of bohemification. A sprawling compound of galleries, studios, and apartments (and of course, as all artists require, a café), Art Works/Artspace at Plant Zero occupy one of the many warehouse structures standing in the transitional dust of this urban district’s metamorphosis. Art shows are generally held in larger common areas that feed into open studios and smaller galleries throughout the compound. I challenge thee to depart from the convenience and self-sustaining micro-world of the Fan and visit this place. There is more to your city than sleepy tree-lined streets and monthly exoduses to Broad Street. I promise.
1607 W. Main St. 804.358.0211 reddoorgalleryrichmond.com
ADA GALLERY 1829 W. Main St. 804.644.0100 adagallery.com
Superfantasticexperimentalbrowlessness. Shape-shifting color articulation. Collective WTF, adept craptastic, and technical prodigy. The ADA Gallery has an outfit for every occasion, and isn’t afraid to drop trou when it comes to outsider, experimental, and just damn strange art. Of course it’s not out of character for it to don slacks and feature traditional sculpture of mind-blowing craft, or paintings of indisputable technical precision. ADA has been waltzing with the idea of moving due to a variety of factors for a while now, but the shows keep coming. Stay tuned, kids, you never know when this place might pull itself up out of the sidewalk and saunter down to Main Street. And John is awesome.
RICHMOND FUN FACT The Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue commemorates the time he defended a church from zombie children while armed only with a tennis racquet and his wits.
GHOSTPRINT 220 W. Broad St. 804.344.1557 1708gallery.org
One of the more prestigious galleries on the Broad Street corridor, 1708 is at times given to the hobnobbery of the creative community’s elite, but don’t allow this to detract from the well-sharpened work represented in this nonprofit’s decidedly large confines. The space is given to transformative installation works, but does not dabble in that realm exclusively. It gets crowded, so show up early on First Friday for a more leisurely view of their exhibitions, and their simultaneous proletariat and bourgeois appeal.
If you’re down for the huck, stray from the Artwalk of Broad Street and head to Uptown’s Main St., which is becoming an art walk itself. There, one of the first galleries you’ll come to is the Red Door. While the name routinely reminds me of American Beauty, the art presented in this urban chic space continuously surprises me. Boasting a history of such renowned artists as Ed Trask, Matt Lively, and Christopher Stevens, the work presented here is an evolving showcase of consummately solid, if thematically divergent, art.
212 W. Broad St. / 804.344.5315 chasengalleries.com
6 E. Broad St. / 252.207.4677 toddshale.com
.31 E. 3rd St. / 804.232.6464
100 E. Franklin St. / 804.783.7000 lindenrowinn.com
102 W. Broad St. / 804.643.8876 turnstyleonline.com
3554 W. Cary St / 804.2041048 chasengalleries.com
1537 W. Main St. / 804.355.6151 mainartsupply.com
1305 W Main St. / 804 353.8343 uptowngallery.com
.2016 Staples Mill / 804.278.8950
119 W. Broad St. / 804.643.7125 metrospacegallery.com
1812 W. Main St. / 804.353.0094 visarts.org
VISUAL ART STUDIO
2305 E. Broad St. / 804.644.5005 ericschindlergallery.com
1625 W Main St. / 804.359.3633 pagebondgallery.com
208 W. Broad St. / 804.644.1368 visualartstudio.org
.12 E. 12th St. / 804.233.9957
107 E. Cary St. / 757.574 .4111
1514 W. Main St. / 804.355.6553 glavekocengallery.com
1620 W. Main St. / 804.358.1990 glavekocengallery.com
.1418 W. Broad St. / 804.225.0020
ART 180 0 E. 4th St. / 804.233.4180 art180.org
1708 GALLERY 319 W. Broad St. / 804.643.1708 1708gallery.org
319 W. Broad St. / 804.643.1708 1708gallery.org
RICHMOND FUN FACT It is now legal to raise chickens and goats within city limits.
The Toast of Richmond wRiR 97.3 FM richmond independent radio radio for the rest of us online at wRiR.oRg
Published on Sep 23, 2009