Introducing Snapshots of RVA

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The James River in the foreground and the Richmond skyline are divided by the CSX train tracks.
Welcome to Snapshots of RVA! This is a new pictures-driven blog I’ve begun following my move to Richmond, Virginia in May of 2014. I moved to Virginia after growing up and going to school in Florida — first in Miami, then in Gainesville, where I went to the University of Florida.

During my first few weeks in Richmond, I learned the city has a lot that makes it unique — the city has a lot of personality, which you can see in murals all around town, festivals almost every weekend and RVA bumper stickers on almost every car you see on the street. RVA is the nickname for this city — and there’s a good chance you’ll hear “RVA” used more often than “Richmond” when people here talk about it. The pride people feel for this town is reminiscent of the pride people feel for a college in a college town — and it’s quite contagious.

In addition to that personality, there’s a lot to see here. Richmond is unique in that there is a lot of history here. Virginia played a role as one of the original Thirteen Colonies in the United States’s independence, and you can see signs of the founding fathers here — the Virginia State Capitol, located in downtown Richmond, was designed by and is known as an object of pride for Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. And the history doesn’t end there — Richmond played a part in one of America’s most difficult chapters as the capital of the Confederacy, and indeed, the executive mansion of the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, stands as a historic landmark just a few blocks from the Virginia State Capitol.

Richmond has the makings of an urban city and an industrial town at the same time. There is a financial center with several high-rises in downtown Richmond, and in south Richmond are the remnants of old factories and industrial facilities. Throughout the city, many buildings that were previously factories are being converted into loft apartments. RVA has evolved over time, and you can see that the town continues to evolve to this day.

But despite all the development over time and recently, nature is a big part of this area. The James River splits the city into two parts and is a big part of the city’s personality. The James is known as a popular outdoor attraction for swimming and kayaking. Part of river actually has rapids, which are rare in this region. Along the river are forested areas and nature trails. Walking those trails, it’s hard to believe you’re still in the city — but those trails and those natural areas fall within the city’s lines. It’s a remarkable combination of nature and development.

All of this combines to provide many picturesque scenes and sights. After I took pictures of a trip to Brown’s Island here, the idea occurred to me to post the pictures here, rather than just have them sit in my computer’s pictures file. (This is why this introductory post appears after some of the pictures posts. Think of those other posts as a soft opening of sorts to this blog.) As I document my adventures here through pictures, I’ll share them on this blog.

If you live in RVA and know of any neat places that I should check out, please feel free to let me know on Twitter: I’m @veryChrisP.

Cheers!

-CP

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