Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Slice of...Richmond, Virginia!

Hey bloggers! Kara here from Once There Was a Tree. I'm a twenty-something social worker who enjoys long weekends at the river, camping, and going on random adventures. This summer marks my 3 year wedding anniversary to my wonderful husband and high school sweetheart (we've been a couple for 10 years total!), and hopefully we will be celebrating in our very first house this year (fingers crossed!). We have two dogs, Pete & Samson, who we treat like our very own children. My blog is mostly about everyday life and exploring who I am, what I believe, and where I am going. Come say hello! =)

So without further ado...

I live in Richmond, Virginia. A little city known by many names - River City... Cap City... Fist City...  this has been my home for my entire life and there is no other place like it! This little city is slam packed with history, art, shopping and music. We're also named the Tattoo Capital of the East Coast, and Richmond ranks #3 in top tattooed cities in the nation.


Richmond is full of history, which makes sense considering we were once the Capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Also, St. John's Church is right down the street from my loft - you know, the one where Patrick Henry gave his ''Give me Liberty or give me Death'' speech.

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Sometimes, my husband and I take a day off work and visit some of the local (and cheap or FREE) museums in Richmond. Our favorites include...

1. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum

2. The Virginia Holocaust Museum which, I might add... is every bit as moving as the larger one in D.C.... also, the Director was a Holocaust survivor and throughout the tour there are pictures of him and his family along the walls. There's also a life size model of his families hide-out, extremely emotional to experience.

3. The Virginia Science Museum aka one of the coolest places in Richmond -- this used to be an old train station and they hold free events such as ''Live Sky'' in their planetarium every month.

4. I've never really been in this one, but the Museum of the Confederacy is on my jogging route (for those of you out there interested in the war).

5. And finally, the Black History and Cultural Museum. There is a small fee for this one, but it's totally worth it!


I am lucky enough to live in the Art District of Richmond City. We actually live across the street from Art Works which is a small art gallery that features local artists - our wedding reception was held here, so it will always hold a very special place in our hearts. Everywhere you turn, there are galleries, sidewalk art shows, and murals. I absolutely love living amongst so much creativity!

We have a very strong graffiti culture here, and while some are annoyed by it... I happen to think it adds a little character to some of our abandoned warehouses and boxcars.

As I said earlier, we're a pretty tattooed city. I can literally count on my fingers the number of people in my life without tattoos... small shout out to my tattoo artist, Josh at Heroes & Ghosts!

Here is a picture of the quarter sleeve he just finished. Josh did it all by hand, and I can't wait to see him again for my next one!


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Anyone who knows anything about Richmond has probably heard of Cary Town. People of all ages flock to this strip for good food, street vendors, and really good stores. Some of my favorite places to shop in Cary Town include:

1. American Apparel, because who doesn't enjoy clothing that is made in America without the use of sweat shops? Plus... they make the softest tee-shirts. Ever.

2. For the Love of Chocolate -- seriously, every candy you could ever think of is located in this tiny shop! I can never manage to leave without spending at least $20 on goodies...

3. Bygones Vintage Clothing is my all time favorite place to shop for anything vintage! They have everything from vintage post cards to hats, cigarette cases, sunglasses, shoes, handbags, and dresses. It's seriously like stepping back in time -- my brother even saw Drew Barrymore shopping there last summer!

4. The Byrd Theatre is known across the nation and was built in 1928 -- you can feel the history the moment you step through the doors. Today it is a historic state and national landmark, and you can see movies here for $1.99... seriously a steal!

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5. Plan 9 Music is one of my favorite places to hang out, because 9 times out of 10 there is a local band playing a show right in the store, and the record section down stairs is to die for. My husband and I like to see who can get the most records for the cheapest amount - it's easy to find them for $1-$2 a piece!


Richmond loves to promote local music and it's not uncommon to find people performing in the streets or in restaurants (especially in Cary Town). I saw my first show at Alley Katz. Some other great music venues include: The Canal Club, The Hat Factory, and The National.

Because we live right on the canal, one of my favorite things to do is to walk along the James River and hang out at Friday Night Cheers in the summer. It's located on Brown's Island and they host a number of both local and national acts. Nothing beats a cold beer and good music!

I will leave you with a few links connecting you to my favorite restaurants in Richmond: Cafe Gutenberg, City Dogs, and Sine Irish Pub. These are 3 places that I could seriously eat at every single day and never tire of!

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So that's my city in a nutshell! I hope you enjoyed reading and were possibly inspired to come explore Richmond for yourself!


  1. Cutest. Boxer. Ever. Thanks for this lovely post!

  2. I live in this beautiful city as well and it is by far one of the greatest cities to live in. Loved seeing her post about it.

  3. Love Richmond :) We actually had our engagement pictures taken in Cary Town and at the Byrd Theatre :)

  4. I live in Richmond & I was so excited to see this post! I am inspired to get out & see some of these places! I've lived here for 10 years & have never been to most of those museums. Maybe this summer I'll venture into the city & do some exploring. Thanks for sharing! Makes me proud of this city :)

  5. This post makes Richmond seem way more exciting than it is. I think I need to revisit some of these places with a new outlook though... :)

  6. So glad to see RVA represented so well. There's really none other that compares. I wanted to shout out NEEDS in Carytown. If you ever stop by that's def a shop to visit. Carytown is also one of the best spots in Richmond to grab some coffee, sit back, and tattoo watch. The Diversity, Artistic expression, and Historical content truly make Richmond an amazing city!

  7. So excited to see a feature on my town! I've been to pretty much everywhere on her list :)

  8. aw i love the old theater. never been to VA!

  9. Love Richmond! My husband and I spent some time out there last summer. Loved spending time by the James River - so many people out and about. Great city with a great vibe!

  10. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, it's fantastic!! ;)

  11. Yay! Hello fello Richmondites!

  12. Hello, hello! I love seeing Virginia represented - I'm up in NoVA, so I don't make it down to Richmond very often, but you gave me some reasons to visit. :)

  13. Thanks for representing Virginia!! I live in Charlottesville, an equally awesome and artsy town, and Richmond is an hour away-- makes for a great mini vacation!

  14. Browsing the Net looking for a present for my wife for our wedding anniversary (which I nearly forgot), I came by chance upon this fantastic site called, based probably in Paris. Talk about the Louvre having a big collection of priceless masterpieces, this site has just about everything in Western art, but as digital files.
    What they do is to make good reproduction prints from your choice of work from their archive. I know that the prints are good because I ordered online, a print that was on canvas, like a painting. I specified the size and even chose a frame at their site.
    A bit awkward when the gift was delivered early to my door, luckily while my wife was not home. What did I choose? This glorious nude by the German artist George Grosz: and it's hanging gloriously large above our bed head now. Risqué? Sure. But my wife and I love it.