I had forgotten how bad living in the city could be. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ‘stuff’ associated with a city. There is variety. Variety of food, shops, cultures, events, and more. This, we love and have missed living in small towns such as Wytheville and Williamsburg, Virginia. They both have their charms and amenities. Wytheville was a great place to raise a child. Everyone knows everyone and your kid is safe at the neighbors. It was great. Williamsburg was great because it had the feel of Wytheville but the amenities of a city. Bookstores and coffee shops. The drawback was once you had seen and done everything, well, you had seen and done everything. We tried to go out for a late dinner after a movie one night and just about everything was closed up.
Richmond, VA is a city and it still has a hometown feel in some places. We were out and about this morning and met some great people. We stopped into a diner for a cup of coffee not realizing we were hungry because we had eaten around six a.m. So we looked at the menu and ordered breakfast. I had eggs, grits, and a large bowl of fresh fruit and hubs had a HUGE omelet, toast, and rosemary potatoes. While we waited, we struck up a conversation with an older lady (72), her son (we think), and grandson (we think – they weren’t really clear). They were awesome! Super nice and had lived in the area for quite a long time. Well traveled and culturally savvy. Once they were gone we spoke to our waitress, who happened to also be the owner of the 821 Cafe in Carytown. The restaurant was small but full and open and jostling with life. The food was great, too.
We moved on The Tech Exchange next door and left hubs talking tech with one of the workers. We bought a Lowe’s card at Martin’s to buy a weed eater at Lowe’s we had found online because when you did that you got 50 cents per gallon off of their store gas price. The girls accidentally gave us 61 cents off and said, “Welcome to Richmond!” We went to Lowe’s, they did not have the Black and Decker weed whacker and blower combo we had seen online but looked it up at another store, and we were off. At the other store, they had one but it was missing parts so the department manager gave us the next one up for the same price! We hunter gathered our other items and used our 10% off coupon (for changing our mailing address) and the Lowe’s card. The lighting manager helped us search for some items we couldn’t find and was super nice as well!
Off to Martin’s to purchase a few groceries and then fill up the tank with out 61 cents per gallon discount. We purchased just enough items that we earned another 10 cents off!! We loved the amount of gluten-free items available but were not really impressed with much else. Oh well. We went to get gas and paid 1.12 per gallon after the discounts!!
Once home, hubby had to play with his new lawn tools while I put away groceries and started dinner. We had been out all day. So far, loving the city. Hubs came in for dinner after weed whacking and blowing the lawn and we went back out to mow with the wonderful lawn mower my dad gave us. We live on a postage stamp and the management company mows every other week when they get around to it.
Here is the not so great part. While getting ready to mow the lawn a man rides up on his bike and offers to mow the lawn for free. Hubs thanks him and explains that we are doing it. The man leaves his bicycle in the middle of the road and approaches hubs. He becomes belligerent when we tell him he left his bike in the middle of the street. He is fairly intoxicated, asks for cigarettes, and calls my husband “stupid.” Hubs tells him to leave after being polite doesn’t work. He had to tell him a couple of times and threaten to call the police before he would move away. So he stood in the street yelling, “Mow the grass,” and calling hubs a “motherf****r” and “stupid.” He tried to adjust his shorts and they fell to his ankles. He stood in the middle of the street as cars drove around him.
That is the problem I did not miss living in Wytheville and Williamsburg. No drunks, no being accosted in your own front yard. I miss the feeling of safety I had living in those areas. I had no problem going out for a walk at night or driving to the store. I never felt that I needed my husband to keep me safe. I am having those feelings here. I did not feel that way when I lived in San Diego, Seattle, Jacksonville, Tampa, or St. Pete. I feel that here. Maybe it is because of the racial divide I feel is in the air here. If you haven’t figured it out, I am white. I come from a multicultural/racial family as does my husband, but we are white, no doubt. I feel that I am being judged for that right now. My neighborhood is mixed, whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos. Seems like white is bad these days. If we looked like our ‘white’ neighbors in the neighborhood (tattoo’d, vibrantly colored hair, shved heads, etc) we would probably fit better. We look like someone’s parents. Middle class white people. No tats, no funky hair, rings, nothing distinct. Kind of funny these days. Being ‘normal’ is bad? I guess in a city like Richmond it is.
I am hoping to find my niche and get along with my neighbors. So far, most have been welcoming. If you need an apartment for a really good price, check out Atlantic Beacon. There are two units in the 1913 quad we live in across from a great park undergoing renovations. I am putting in a garden in the back yard, which doesn’t belong to the quad but the church attached to the backside of our unit. We worked a deal with the minister, we cut the lawn and they’ll let us garden back there. If you’re a gardener, it is a great spot!