One of my dear friends recently moved to Richmond- which makes me mucho happy. I've been friends with Maria ever since she and her roommate let me use their room as a sanctuary freshman year. I was pretty intimidated by her for the first months (I think I must have seen her get crazy with someone or something- or maybe she just has an aura of "don't mess with me"), but once we had a joke of an econ class together, we were pals for life.
She has shown me many of the finer things of life- how to avoid a pyramid scheme, where to find Lucy Ball memorabilia, how to prove you are a racist - and this weekend, she showed me hip, revitalized Richmond, specifically a little neighborhood called Careytown.
I was actually really surprised how cute the area was. Almost entirely non-chain eateries (with the lone exception of Starbucks... which I think we can all excuse) and one-of-a-kind boutiques lined the half mile of store fronts. Friendly yuppies and hipsters far cooler than I were the chief patrons besides ourselves, and there was an abundance of street musicians of a varying skill levels. I was affronted by one aspiring musician who was straight peddling- dude, you can't even sing a song for your $.50 donation? Really? And I saw my first street magician! Who knew?
We went to the coolest vintage store ever- beautiful dresses, along with a proliferation of old-timey undergarment illustrations that makes me very thankful for Victoria's Secret. We had a yummy lunch at a bustling French bistro (I can neither confirm nor deny that there were some cocktails involved...) and then we went to a darling local bookstore:
And then we went to a toy store that is seriously one of the most magical places I've ever seen. The toys were amazing and I got my niece some really fun toys for her birthday. And maybe we found some pretty sweet disguises:
Then we went back to Casa de Maria and watched some NCAA magic. You know, that nail biter between Morehead State and Richmond (cough). Maria then took me on a tour of Richmond that should have had a sub-title of "Places Where Someone Has Been Violently Assaulted/Is Likely To Be Violently Assaulted" and I convinced her to go to Cracker Barrel. Yes, it's a chain. Yes, it's too crowded. And yes, it was balm to this Southerner's soul.
There was enough fat and butter to give us a heart ache on the spot, but it was worth it. Help me, I love flour.
Anyways, I am so jazzed to have such a sweet friend nearby and I look forward to many more Maria/Frankie Virginia adventures!