Archive for the ‘Richmond’s Best-Kept Secrets’ Category

Richmond’s Own Maymont Makes List of Top 10 Public Spaces

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

On Tuesday, October 4, the American Planning Association announced its list of 2011 Great Places.  The American Planning Association brings together thousands of people — practicing planners, citizens, elected officials — committed to making great communities happen through a professional institute for certified planners and through divisions and chapters as well as student memberships. And, the APA identified Maymont as one of America’s 10 Great Public Spaces in 2011.

What is a public space?

A public space, as defined by the APA, can be a gathering spot or part of a neighborhood, downtown, special district, waterfront or other area within the public realm that helps promote social interaction and a sense of community. Possible examples may include such spaces as plazas, town squares, parks, marketplaces, public commons and malls, public greens, piers, special areas within convention centers or grounds, sites within public buildings, lobbies, concourses, or public spaces within private buildings.

Maymont, of course, is Richmond’s own 100-acre estate near downtown, now a city park with free admission featuring gorgeous gardens, wildlife exhibits, and open spaces perfect to romp and play.

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It’s back! 2nd Annual Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont!

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Make your plans today to attend the 2nd Annual Richmond jazz festival at Maymont.

2nd Annual Jazz Festival in Richmond August 11 - 14, 2011

The jazz starts on August 11th and continues through August 14th, 2011. Last year’s event was a wonderful outdoor music event spanning two days; this year’s will span 4 days!

Jazz kicks off on Thursday August 11th at the newly-renovated Hippodrome in Jackson Ward with local Richmond jazz groups performing  a program titled “Homegrown at the Hipp.”  Doors will open at 6 PM and include great local artists: Joye B Moore, Sharon Rae North, Forte Jazz Band, Shanta “Bunni” Jasper, J. Tucker, Anhayla Stanley, Eric Stanley, and Secret Society. General Admission $20. The Hippodrome is located at 528 North 2nd Street.

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Purple Martins are Back!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

As dusk settles in Shockoe Bottom, an unusual flock of purple martins interrupt their migration to Brazil for a stopover for much of July and August.

Flock of Purple Martins

Their “hotel” of choice is the line of Bradford Pear trees just north of the market. The National Audubon Society is offering free walks and insight into purple martins on Wednesday, July 20, Sunday July 24, Wednesday July 27, and Sunday July 31. Gather at the north corner of the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, at north 17th street, just north of East Main Street. Be there at 7:30 PM!

The “Gone to the Birds” Festival will be held August 6, 2011 from 6 to 9 PM with its purple gelato and take home a gourd to house Martins in your own yard. This is the only urban bird festival where onlookers can experience the phenomenon of Purple Martins rushing to roost in the heart of the city!

Learn more about purple martins! Some of the restaurants around the market will even feature a purple martini!

What wine goes with chocolate?

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Here are some wine and chocolate pairing tips from Matt and Tim Gearhart of Gearharts Fine Chocolates, here in Richmond, Virginia.  Gearharts Fine Chocolates is the home of handcrafted confections of uncompromising quality made from premium chocolate, sweet cream and pure butter blended with top quality fruits, nuts, herbs, spices and liquors in their kitchen in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Matt Gearhart presented these tips during a seminar at the Virginia Wine Expo in April and agreed to share them with you.

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Kitchen and Garden Tour May 1

Monday, April 18th, 2011

If you can’t catch one of the Richmond tours during Historic Garden Week, there’s always the Fan Woman’s Club Annual Kitchen and Garden Tour.

Kitchen and Garden Tour in Richmond's historic Fan District May 1 2011 1-6 PM

This year’s theme, Urban Delights, offers a diverse selection of homes and gardens in Richmond’s historic Fan District. Discover how urban homeowners maximize every inch of space both inside and outside their homes. See how each home has been personalized by its owners who focus on blending historic architectural details with the functionality required by modern families.  The tour features homes across the length of the Fan District, from the 1400-block of Grove to the Boulevard.

The Fan Woman’s Club organizes this tour each spring as its primary fundraiser to support its grants to neighborhood non-profit organizations and its neighborhood improvement activities.  The woman’s club has upgraded park facilities with new benches and plantings and funded new period-appropriate street litter receptacles.  Houses are staffed by volunteers and neighborhood businesses sponsor the event.

The Historic Fan District is an 85-block turn of the century (19th to 20th, that is) residential neighborhood, named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as the largest intact Victorian neighborhood in the United States. It takes its name from its tree-lined avenues and streets that “fan out” from Monroe Park, adjacent to the academic campus of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Best described as architecturally diverse, the over 2,300 classic town homes feature bay windows, turrets, high ceilings, parquet oak and pine floors, mahogany woodwork, stained and leaded glass, and varied porch and balcony designs. Most homes are brick or brick and brownstone.

At the east end of the Fan, close to Monroe Park, sits a unique clapboard residence on a large corner lot.  Completed before the area gained popularity in 1869, on a parcel purchased in 1862, it is now Richmond’s premier bed and breakfast known for its hearty gourmet breakfasts. A stay in our urban inn is a better way to stay: to experience the Fan neighborhood like a local, to dine in neighborhood eateries, and to enjoy live theater, neighborhood entertainment and nearby museums and attractions.