Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Beautiful Day and Night in Richmond

My daughter's cheerleading team didn't make it to the final 5 last night, but that's ok. She's ok with it too. They're just happy to have made it, for the first time, to the state championships. It was crazy indeed. VCU Siegel Center is pretty nice, and almost identical to William & Mary Hall actually. I rooted for two teams: My daughter's team (Princess Anne H.S.) and my alma mater (and my sister's also), Bethel H.S. Bethel came in 3rd in the end, so I'm ok with that. They were pretty good. I never thought I'd get "into" cheerleading competition, but when your kids get into something you pretty much get into it also.

We parked and walked about a mile out from Siegel Center, through the Fan district. I love that area. VCU has certainly grown in the past ten years. Amazing transformation. New halls and buildings, new roads and parks, new everything. Even Broad Street near the center has transformed. There's still the expected homeless crowd, but they're infused with college kids and tourists. Where it was once desolate and abandoned store fronts, there are now rows of Qdoba, Starbucks, Tropical Smoothie, Barnes & Noble and so on. One of the most striking scenes was five college kids sitting at a Starbucks outdoor table on the patio, with three homeless guys sitting directly in front of them on the curb, drinking from brown bags. I wish I had my camera ready for that moment.

I've thought about moving to Richmond several times, who knows. There's a lot to like about it, depending upon your leanings. I've always liked cities like Boston, New York and Philly. Maybe it's the row-house feeling with crumpled sidewalks and trees, or the abundance of pubs and shops within walking distance, or the abundance of "stuff" and people to encounter. My sister once referred to it as the "richness" of things. There's more feeling of closeness and community in these northeastern cities. Nothing like the sprawled out, socially detached suburban feeling. Who knows. I'm just emptying my head after drinking wine all night. It's a fantastic morning, sun is bright, sky is totally clear. I have a cup of strong coffee and nothing to think about besides typing thoughts.

Oh well, I gotta get ready to head back home in a little while. Back to reality. Back to work.
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