Saturday, March 15, 2008

...another picture tour of my favorite city

Not that I ever want to live in Richmond, but it's a gorgeous city--run down, built up and falling to pieces in a genteel way, like an old Southern dame with heavy pancake. I couldn't go last weekend because it rained, and there's nothing worse than driving hundreds of miles in the rain.

Guess I've been distracted, because I forgot it was St. Paddy's day weekend. Richmond closed part of Main St. and there were bikers all over the place. I didn't take any pictures because I was busy doing the protective-mom thing, giving guys the "look". Nothing like three blocks of drunk people milling around chugging plastic dixie cups of green beer. They tried to give it a family feel by bringing in the twisty balloon clown, but the clown scares me too. Not just my kid. Something about the nose? We went to go check out the old train station instead.

A couple years back I had this thing about train-travel. Amtrak goes right through the heart of Richmond. The tracks are all elevated, like you're riding a hundred years into the past, past red-bricked buildings that look like something out of the Civil War. Whenever I think of Richmond, I think of old warehouses with peeling white-paint logos.

This is the old-entrance. It's closed off now because the wrought iron stairs are rusted.



...and the building itself, like some kind of rococo wedding cake fantasy from Budapest or something.



I went up to the clerk inside and said, (okay, so I gushed...) "this is such a beautiful building! You don't mind if I take pictures, right?" She sighed, but let me go up to the waiting room.





...the, uhm--atmosphere? Is real. All half-lit and gloomy, like there's some kind of door back to the Biedermeir period.

I got lost. I took the wrong turn and went into downtown when I'd mapquested my way to Maymont Botanical Gardens. Everything I had was backwards and twenty or thirty blocks off. I found Monument Drive by mistake, but I meant to get a picture of the Lee memorial anyway.



There's a lot of renovation, re-claimation, whatever you call it when the bad side turns into the good side, but for awhile, they all exist side-by-side. Another wrong turn took me down into the neighborhood Cowboy told me to avoid. I wanted to stop, but there were a lot of people hanging out, and it didn't seem like a good idea. Cowboy is big, and while I'm mean, I'm not that mean. I did slow down long enough for my kid to get a picture of Keegan's childhood home.



I don't know what I did before digital cameras...

8 comments:

Unhinged said...

When I saw you had a new post up, I said Yaay!

Love your descriptions, by the way. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were a writer.

(It's St. Paddy's Day weekend?)

I have a thing for train travel, too. I've never been on one, but I want to take a passenger train ride through the mountains one day.

The train station's waiting room is GORGEOUS. I love lots of wood, ambient lighting, and gloom. I love light and sunshine, too. Oh, contradictive me.

I snapped some photos last week of this dress shop I pass on the way to and from work. I hope the photos turned out well, because these dresses are something to SEE. Anyway, a girl who worked in the shop came out and told me to erase my photos. I was appalled. I ran.

Before digital cameras, my film wasted away in the film canister. I always forget to get it (shoot, what's the word) developed?

{{ Jodi and kid }}

jodi said...

lol--oui? Write something? Bite your tongue.

I love the train, I wish it was cheaper. Probably why people don't use it. It costs some serious cash. I might just shell out for a trip up to Glacier National Park this year. I'll have to see. The train runs right through the heart of it, a few hundred yards from the lodge.

(you ran?? Good deal. That means she didn't catch you. :)

Yeah, I had canisters of film too. I just finished developing stuff from a few years ago. Turns out it was from the time our garbage disposal blew up and they had to trench the kitchen floor. Ugh.

(((hugs back))

Alice Audrey said...

I know what you mean about the digital camera. These days I hardly ever use my film camera.

I love the atmosphere at the Amtrak station. I've taken the Amtrak from Wisconsin to California. It's great, if you've got a sleeper car.

Something about Keegan's childhood home looks familiar to me. I think I saw a house much like it in South Carolina years and years ago that had lots it's roof to Hurricane Andrew.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

These are AWESOME pics!!! Very inspirational.
And what a NOT NICE person, Andi!! She probably thought you were some dress designer looking to rip off her style or something.
Cup, when is Hot Contract coming out and is Drop Dead in the cupboard for now?

Alice Audrey said...

Unhinged, I'd have run too.

jodi said...

Hi Jen, HC comes out friday (whee! I have done almost no promo. Guess I'll wait until the paperback comes out) But I've been working on DG a little at a time. I know I have limited time here, so I've been getting all these pictures in for book four. Richmond is wonderful, but not worth flying cross country for. Turns out I actually have pictures of the wrought iron hanging staircases too. Thought I did. My kid tried to get on them, but they were gated off with big screens. I got to find and post them, lol.

HipFunkyJive said...

It was nice to drive through my old digs.......

Kaige said...

I'm so waiting for Friday! I love our digital cameras. I'd like to get a nicer one to replace my old heavy SLR, but I can't justify it yet. Have to make do with the idiot-proof one for a while longer.

Did I mention I went back and reread your blog from the beginning? Great stuff, Jodi, great stuff. And because of that, I have a little something for you over at my blog. Don't worry, this is a nice tagging. :)