Jun 15, 2008

Rethinking Richmond

This past weekend I went up to the capital of VA to see Rachel. She was one of 15 people accepted to do bio-med research at VCU for the summer. That's right. Genius.

The first time I walked aimlessly around Richmond was years ago (hey Chip and Lauren). This time Rachel and I walked at least eight miles, scoping out Carytown, coffee shops and the History Museum.

Carytown: Your local strip with countless galleries, restaurants, boutiques, and shops. It's like an artsy, worn-in Franklin St. For the first time I realized how flat parts of the city were. All the indy VCU kids rode modified beach cruisers everywhere. It made me want to dirty up my vans and get more tattoos. But I did have Chacos. The architecture around Carytown was really something. Two to three story Victorian pads with only 5-6 feet separating them. From what I could tell, almost all of them were filled with college students. It was like San Francisco with, well, no hills.

Science Museum: Used to be an old train station. We must have been the oldest, youngest kids there. It was your basic hands-on kids museum with exhibits ranging from space travel to binary code. The latter was pretty funny. They had a "mezzanine" floor with 1980s exhibits on binary code. You could take a sheet of paper filled with 1s and 0s and find the letters of the alphabet. The interactive computer modules reminded me of computer lab time in elementary school. There were even a couple machines on that floor that didn't even work. Loved it. There went the 80s.

Baseball game: The Richmond Braves, or Ducks, were playing the Charlotte Knights. I was the only person cheering for the NC team, as Rachel donned an old Atlanta Braves t-shirt to the game. A lot people were almost injured. The "protective" net behind home plate was inadequately small, and foul balls were zipping into the stands. It really is a great way to encourage concentration at a game. Rachel and I would be talking and hear a crack and just cower. You never knew if you were next.

The same day we also went to see M. Night Shaymalamianans "The Happening." Very attention-grabbing, yet not very satisfying in the end. Okay, spoiler alert: there actually is no ending. It's like he gave up on climatic twists. If you want a seven word description of the movie, I'd suggest: "Gasp! What? Gross! Gasp! Awe. Gasp! And..." I'd wait for the dollar-fifty release if I were you.

What Rachel is doing: Researching, ahm, artificial... Okay, she is taking silk, from silk worms, spinning it (?) and putting it in people's bodies. Repairing torn muscles/ligaments with synthetic, silky implants. And taking classes. Far away classes.

So there's a little slice of Richmond! If anyone has any parcels to send to Rachel, I'll be making the trip at least 6 more times this summer...

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