Saturday, January 19, 2013


I'm spending the weekend in Richmond and am blown away by all of the change I've seen today.

Usually when I come down I stay with friends and spend much of my time in their new neighborhoods as opposed to my old ones. This weekend I'm at a hotel, thanks to a soon to expire Marriott rewards certificate.

Staying with friends gives me more time with them, but staying at a hotel makes it feel like I live here again. In fact, my hotel room is a suite and is not that much smaller than the last two apartments that I lived in down here.

Tomorrow and Monday are packed with seeing lots of old friends, but today was my day to just enjoy being here. Basically a re-do of what a typical Saturday would have been like, many years ago.

I got down here in time for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, then I got my nails done at my favorite nail place. I went to a movie, checked into my hotel and then went out to pick up take out at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.

Yes, I used the word favorite a lot in that paragraph.

But in the midst of all of those old favorites I ended up being blown away by how much has changed since I moved away.

The shopping center with my nail place has been completely remodeled. Thank goodness I could still get a manicure for $14 that includes a back massage while your hands are wrapped in hot towels. The movie theater I went to was very close to my old apartment, in a building that was a steel plant (or something like that) when I was a resident of the neighborhood.

And then I got to the West End. A few months before I moved away two new shopping centers opened - one with a Trader Joe's, the other with a Whole Foods. Now in between the two is a "town center" type place. Complete with retail on the first floor, condos about and townhouses all around. I felt like I was back in Northern Virginia, not Richmond.

I'm not really bothered that things are changing around here, I think it bothers me more that I am missing out on the change. I love where I live now, but I also know I could move back here in a heartbeat and be really happy. I've seen changes here and there over the past four years when I've come to visit, but tonight, driving out Broad Street and seeing how much is different was a bit eye opening.

Not good or bad, just different.

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