Part One: Richmond

September 19, 2016

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What would summer be without a road trip? For the long July 4th weekend, I drove north to Virginia to visit friends in Williamsburg. My first stop though, was Richmond, a city I had not visited before, but immediately took a liking to for it’s natural beauty, culture, and good food. Here’s a glimpse into my one-day highlight tour of Richmond, Virginia…

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My first stop was Libby Hill Park. Located in the Church Hill area, quaint brownstones line small streets leading to this picturesque park. It was a great way to get acquainted with Richmond because the Jamestown River and downtown cityscape can be seen from the same spot.

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By this point, I was in desperate need of coffee, so I stopped at Alchemy Coffee on Broad Street. Just down the street from Virginia Commonwealth University, Alchemy boasts a cool, local vibe complete with modern styling and baristas that know more about coffee than I know about #Hiddlesplit.  I grabbed a cup of dark roast and a seat by the front window and did what I do best: people watch.

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534 North Harrison Street | Artist: Ever

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620 North Lombardy | Artist: James Bullough

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11 South 18th Street | Artist: 2501

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11 South 18th Street | Artist: ROA

One of the highlights I was most looking forward to when planning my trip to Richmond was the street art. Recent projects like the RVA Street Art Festival and the Richmond Mural Project have produced splashes of color on buildings all around the city. So after my caffeine fix, I walked around in search of some of these beauties.

There are so many more I hope to see next time, including this one by the Liechtenstein-eqsue street artist D*Face, who designed Blink-182’s latest album cover. Geeky that I know this, I know…

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My next stop was the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, undoubtedly the creepiest museum I have ever visited. Comprised of four separate cottages that date back to Poe-era Richmond, this museum has a beautiful courtyard complete with two resident black cats. The creepy factor comes from the creaky doors and floors heard while walking the cottages. The museum was not crowded so there were times I was the only (living) soul in the building. Serious Tell-Tale Heart vibes, and it was in the middle of the day…

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Getting back to the lighthearted exploring I know and love, I made my way to Quirk Hotel. As I previously mentioned, this hotel is like something from a Wes Anderson movie and I was dying to see it in person. It exceeded every expectation…

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The coolest part of this place? It features an art gallery just next door to the hotel with events and workshops hosted on the regular. The absolute best part of this place? THE GIFT SHOP. I have never seen such a wonderfully curated collection of… stuff. From ceramics to books to local art to jewelry to sunglasses, this shop is amazing.

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Walking the streets of Richmond made me hungry, so I popped in Perly’s Delicatessen for lunch. This modern Jewish deli is small but very popular, so I grabbed a seat at the counter where I admired the mid-century inspired decor and plentiful plates being served all around me.

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I ultimately decided on the Modigliani, a toasted everything bagel with schmear, corned beef, and dressed salad on top, with a side of dill fries. Twas delicious. And it’s worth mentioning how friendly, quick and attentive Perly’s staff is.

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I decided to walk off my lunch with some vintage shopping. First stop: Rosewood Clothing Company. Truth be told, wearing someone else’s old shoes is not really my thing, but the selection of accessories, apothecary and art offered by local artists here is top notch. The young lady working the counter was incredibly friendly, and I dig their promotion of local, up-and-coming artists.

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My next stop was Circle Vintage. As a novice vintage shopper, this place was a true experience. They have everything you could ever possibly imagine including vinyl, cassettes, Pyrex casserole dishes (one of which I regret not buying!), and other quirky odds and ends. One example that made me laugh, was a bowl of old family photos 5 for $1. So random!

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My last stop of the day was the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked, so I saw the featured exhibition and then hit up my favorite collections.

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tiffanyThe modern art gallery is always my jam, and  I geeked out pretty hard over an extensive collection of Tiffany lamps and Frank Lloyd Wright furniture. The best part was the museum was practically vacant because it was so late in the day.

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The outdoor deck and sculpture garden are incredibly gorgeous and if I were a local, I would visit this spot frequently. So zen

outsideIt was the perfect ending to a fun day, and left me feeling inspired and recharged. Overall,  I had a fantastic day in Richmond. There’s so much more to see and do, and I’d love to go back for another visit when I have more time.

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