Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The South will rise again

When going out of town for the day, Washingtonians' will usually hone their GPS systems in on the following locations:

- NYC to get their culture on
- Charlottesville to get their crunchy/prepness on - OMG, Dave Matthews used to live there!
- Annapolis to ogle sailors
- Baltimore to sport their thrift-shop lunch boxes and/or Ravens jerseys
- Philly because they know people up there
- Jersey same reason
- Outer Banks to procure an "OBX" bumper sticker for the Volvo
- Williamsburg Dudes in knickers. And tri-corner hats.

One reply I almost never hear: Richmond.

I always wondered why. Why is Richmond seemingly the least-appreciated state capital this side of Pierre, SD?

{ed. note - technically, that would be "commonwealth capitol."}

Today I actually got to drive around a bit and see a bit of Richmond. And what I saw perplexed me even more. Because what I saw was cool.

- The Jefferson Hotel. Open the door to step into an endless foyer of Christmas lights, holly, grace and gentility. But first stand up straight, fix up your hair and makeup and ask yourself, Are you classy enough for the Jefferson today? Really?

- "Uptown/downtown" - That's the nickname a local gave me for the neighborhood around Broad and Grace streets with great old vintage buildings and signage

- The funky shops by Virginia Commonwealth University - These include the Tea Co. coffee and tea house, a Caribbean restaurant, another storefront indicating Ghana something or other (here I was gawking from the road with other cars blocking my view), plus perhaps the world's largest Barnes & Noble

In short, what I saw was enough to tantalize for a second visit and further investigation.

Next post: Whither Wilmington?


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