So what have I been up to in the two months I’ve been back? Well, I’ve been to the DC area a couple times to visit friends, done some touristy stuff around Richmond, spent a lot of time entertaining my parents’ cats, and have (unsuccessfully…) applied for a few jobs.
I’d told myself I would give Richmond another chance after having been so unimpressed with it pretty much my entire life. People seem to love it here. One of my best friends says she loves it and believes she’ll live here at some point before she retires; tons of people have those RVA stickers on their cars; even Frommer’s named Richmond one of its top 20 destinations this year in the entire world. I told my parents that and their response was the same as mine: “Why?”
Maybe I am going to feel eternally let down by my hometown because I’m from here and thus it will always feel pedestrian to me. Still, it’s been good to catch up with friends here and visit some old haunts (Casa Grande’s grande chicken quesadillas are exactly as awesome as I remembered them being) and try to find some new ones while I’m here (the salted caramel chocolate cake at Shyndigz is completely amazing). However, I am disappointed by the lack of decent gyms and yoga studios near me–I’m not driving 20 minutes each way to go work out! (The Gold’s Gym near me is nice enough but is big, overwhelming, and full of gym rats, and thus I’ll probably join the community center near me instead.) And with all the things Short Pump has to offer (Richmond’s only REI, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and some of the best upper middle-scale shopping in town, if you care about those kinds of things), the sprawl out there is so bad, Arcade Fire would write a song about it. What is now the monstrosity of West Broad Village (village, my ass) was farmland less than 10 years ago. It’s a massive shame, really.
Sure, there are things I like about Richmond. I have friends and family here. I love Maymont, although I haven’t been there in years. Hollywood Cemetery was pretty cool too. But one thing is still glaringly obvious to me: I will move out of Richmond, again. It’s just a matter of when and to where.
That said, I visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in February before its Hollywood wardrobe exhibit closed. I got to see one of Christopher Reeve’s Superman costumes and one of Christian Bale’s Batman outfits, as well as Indiana Jones’ getup and one of Beyonce’s dresses from Dreamgirls–pretty cool! I loved that exhibit (I wish I could have taken pictures!) and took the opportunity to explore most of the rest of the museum while there. I really enjoyed the South Asian art exhibit on the top floor, with a lot of it drawing from mythological influences. My feet were pretty tired by the time I finally got up there though, so I should definitely go back and see it again–after all, it’s free to get in (unless you’re seeing a special exhibit such as the movie costumes). It should be noted that the VMFA also has the distinctions of having been one of just seven museums in the world to get a big travelling Picasso exhibit in 2011, as well as having the largest public collection of Faberge items outside of Russia.
I have discovered some other interesting things about Richmond, some of which I didn’t know. For example, it has street art and dragon boat festivals. This past weekend’s Monument Ave 10K had over 36,000 participants from 44 states and even other countries and has become one of the biggest races of its kind in the nation. My friend who ran it says she loved the camaraderie and wants to make it an annual event for herself.
Hopefully, I’ll put my foot down and finally begin sifting through the 2500+ photos I took in Australia and post them to my Flickr. Who knows, I may also do some travelling just because I have nothing much else going on right now aside from the job search (which I admittedly could be working much harder at). We’ll just have to see.
Until next time.