There’s this map of Richmond that breaks up the city by stereotypes: we live questionably in cross section between Rich Renters and Vegans, Tattoos, Curly Mustaches. Once I shared it with Cazey, he then giggled about how we should make up a map of every memory we had across Richmond. Since I was in email training at the time, we never really spoke of it again, but the thought made me pretty sentimental.
I’ve lived in Richmond for two years now, and with Cazey, my roommates and other friends, we’ve gotten to experience a ton of bizarre, wonderful, simple, comfortable and spectacular places and people within the city. In no particular order, here are the little labels I’d want to put on our own Richmond map:
- The bar we sat in dripping wet (it was raining) with no shoes on (well, just me since my shoe broke and they let me in barefoot) after taking one Fireball shot at each bar along our self-declared bar crawl.
- The trails we took across Belle Isle on a hike that ended with us sitting on the rocks and wading into the water for a picture-perfect post-work workout.
- The secret party location where Cazey and our friends gathered to bring in the first of two New Year’s together.
- The balcony we’d sit on late at night and chat about life.
- That same balcony where we once did 40’s on a Wednesday because I was unhappy at my job and my roommates wanted to cheer me up (nothing makes a person appreciate their life more than a luke-warm $3 40).
- The little diner right by our house we’d crawl to hung-over for some damn good omelets.
- That bar where we accidentally ordered too many Long Island iced teas and had to abandon my car for the evening.
- The Cupboard Over the Stairs where I spent a year of my life sleeping (it was by no means small, but had all the staleness of living in Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs).
- The Cavern Triplex where we hosted a random post-game with a large group of travelers from Ireland.
- The smoker’s bar where we’d turn up with a huge group and turn it into a dance party.
- The convention center where we’d go for an all day drink fest (aka beer expo and wine expo).
- The monument a block from where we lived where we once took a total tourist group shot after the Watermelon Festival.
- The couch on the side of the road that we passed for weeks while walking to the karaoke bar (that we went to all. the. time).
- The dive bar I was retrieved from to bring me to the karaoke bar after leaving work at 2pm to then continue to drink until 2 am.
- That same dive bar where I returned a PBR because I didn’t end up liking it…you know, because anyone actually likes the taste of PBR.
My list could probably go on endlessly, as every weekday and weekend seemed like it became an instant classic memory when I first moved to Richmond. Every stumble along the way only led to a great night/story. Every hardship of moving away after college seemed to be drowned out in a medley of booze and laughter. And a lot of these memories happened on Grace Street.
After two years in two different houses on Grace Street, it’s weirdly difficult to say goodbye to Grace Street. Yeah, you don’t live on Grace Street for the bars (there aren’t any), or the neighborhood pristine (we’re no Monument), but Grace is perfect in its own beautiful way. Not perfect in the sense that the houses were well maintained (they weren’t) or friendly, but that they were perfect fits for our lives. For those two years, we loved Richmond – and Grace Street.
As I move .3 miles down the road, the journey is by no means a geographically taxing one, but an emotionally charged one, as I say goodbye to Grace.
Goodbye to the first street I permanently lived on in Richmond.
Goodbye to the lower rents with bigger rooms, better parking and questionable yards.
Goodbye to the friendly, crazy homeless man who only ever wanted a cigarette.
Goodbye to the 7-Eleven’s within a block of us at all times.
Goodbye to the roommates I first tackled adulthood with (only goodbye in the sense that we're not living together, not that the friendships are over...I hope).
Goodbye to the home of many of my fondest Richmond memories.
You were good to us.
XOXO -- Gossip Girl (Just kidding, it's me, Sara).