I love this city. It wasn’t always like that. Back in 2001, I was itching for more out of where I lived. I felt Richmond was a stagnant city. It irked me that we were the capital and yet, we had nothing that motivated us except keeping barstools warm and reliving the confederate dream. So, I left. I went to New York and had a whole new experience, for about five years. In 2010, I came home. It was a frustrating acclimation. Adjusting to inefficient public transportation, an unfriendly heel terrain, and the general slowing down of all processes were just a few things that caused me angst. I admit, I was sad and it was hard. Then after the year was over, I began to witness Richmond transforming. I began to see neighborhoods change. I spent time walking around the city and there were more interesting events going on like burlesque shows and small theater productions, things that were attainable on a cultural and economic level. It was no secret that a lot of VCU students who came here to initially follow through with the token four years ended up beginning their adult lives hereafter, successful ones at that. Watching VCU grow from this scattered campus that housed the freaks and geeks into this monster of a university brought its own change to neighborhoods like The Fan and Oregon Hill and these days I’m finding more and more people with stories of fleeting trips to RVA who fall in love with its history and people and that is something I began to feel proud of.
A lot of my friends were changing too. Kendra Murden started with Ipanema and now owns some of the most notable restaurants in Richmond (Roosevelt, Ipanema, Garnett’s, Alewife, Laura Lee’s). My long time friend Tom Sullivan fed me delicious craft ales on my way home from my runs in the afternoons out of a Church Hill garage. He now owns, in my humble opinion one of the best breweries in all of Virginia, Ardent Craft Ales. I have tons of stories of these friends who began to inspire me in the wake of my creative hiatus and it lifted my spirits about living here. It got me excited for my friends and for this city. This city is a mecca for the arts, for food, for music, and for craft. When I pass by galleries, boutiques, local design studios, jewelry shops, and so on, I see our identity, I see our people. It’s everywhere. It’s in the pop-ups, the food trucks, the breweries, the salons, the studios and so forth. Good job Richmond, we have arrived.
When I decided to get into real estate, I decided I wanted to have a different take on it. I wanted to focus on community and local business because it’s important to know when you buy that house in that neighborhood, you are investing in this city. I also believe in supporting local business and I’m fortunate that I get to talk and run into a lot of passionate, amazing denizens of Richmond. So, each month I will feature some wonderful artists, boutique owners, non-profits, dance studios, jewelry makers, welders, and those individuals doing exciting things for our city because I want you all to really see what we’re made of and introduce you to some amazing individuals. Welcome to River City, we are Richmond Virginia.