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November 03, 2011

With all the restaurants that makes Richmond a foodie heaven, you’d think we’d be packing on the pounds.

Not so, according to a Gallup survey which ranks America’s 31 fittest cities. While Richmond isn’t in the top 20, being No. 21 on the list isn’t that bad. According to the rankings, Richmond resident are more fit than those in Raleigh, New York City and Orlando, Fla. 

The No 1. town? That would be Denver.

You can click through the list here.

(Photo by P. Kevin Morley/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

October 03, 2011

Add the Byrd Theatre Byrd signto the latest plaudits for Richmond.

USAToday has ranked the venerable theater as one of the 10 great places in the country to see a movie. Other theaters on the list include the Ziegfield in New York and the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

Here’s what USAToday’s travel website had to say about the Byrd:

This 1,300-seat theater, designated both a state and national historic landmark, opened in 1922 and is now run by a foundation. The building has changed little over the years except for upgrades in technology. Patrons love the grand setting, and the bargain prices: $1.99 for second-run films.

You can read more about the other great places to see a movie in the United States here.

(Photo: Byrd Theatre Foundation)

September 21, 2011

top storiesWell it looks like Facebook is up to its old tricks — stepping into a steaming pile of user discontent by changing the news feed for what seems to be the 100th time in the last two years.

Gone is a chronological news feed, replaced instead by one that divines which posts its considers most important to you. As Facebook explains in its blog:

But it’s not just the people you hear from that make your News Feed interesting. It also matters how much you visit Facebook. If you haven’t returned in a week, you may want to see a summary of top stories first. If you’ve already visited several times that day, you probably care more about recent news.

There’s one big problem, though. Top stories appear at the top (natch) of the news feed, which means you have to scroll through a lot of meaningless posts from your college roommate and Aunt Gladys before you reach the most recent ones in your feed. Not good if you rely on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.

To counter that, Facebook has added a ticker to the right upper corner of the page to keep up with you friends and pages in real time. While far from the ideal solution, it is an improvement — at least to me — over those annoying event and game invitations that used to reside there. (Instead, they are located below the ticker.) The ticker is kind of like a miniature version of the news feed, but without the top story juju applied to it.ticker

Not all the changes are bad, though. You can now decide how many updates you want to receive from a friend: all, most or only important. You can also unsubscribe from a friends updates, which blocks their posts but doesn’t unfriend them. You can resubscribe to their posts whenever you want.


Facebook also has changed the way photos are displayed — now they are bigger and more prominent in the news feed, a marked improvement over their previous iteration.


As expected, the latest Facebook changes have unleashed a flood of criticism from users.

I asked fans of the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Facebook page what they thought of the changes. Of the more than 30 people who responded, most were emphatic in their dislike for them. Here are some of the comments:

Susie Massey: Don’t like it…. I just want stuff in chronological order no matter how relevant FB thinks it is.

Tina Cashman: They are deciding what is best for each of us … not digging that. We are adults … this isn’t MySpace, after all! (Nice burn, Tina!)

Kathy Burton Boseman: AWFUL AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t like it and mobile is awful. I don’t why they keep messing with stuff … you should have a choice.

Cynthia Neal Stewart: Learning what they all are but so far I like them.

Personally, I’m not wowed by the changes. But I know I will soon get used to them, just like I’ve become accustomed to all of Facebook’s previous changes.

As one of my Facebook friends said today: If you hate these most recent changes to Facebook, think about how much people in countries without running water or access to food must feel about them.

(Photos: Mashable)

August 24, 2011

Sure, we all took to Twitter and Facebook when yesterday’s earthquake hit. But some Richmonders also took to YouTube to talk about their experiences. Here are some of their videos.

August 23, 2011

A 5.9 earthquake hit Virgina on Tuesday afternoon. It was the strongest quake in Virginia since 1897. It was felt as far away as Canada.

Central Va., East Coast recovering from 5.8 quake
By: STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS Published: August 23, 2011 Updated: August 23, 2011 - 7:48 PM One of the most powerful earthquakes in Virginia history rippled from its epicenter in Louisa County throughout the eastern United States, but injured few people and caused little major structural damage.
Virginia’s biggest earthquakes
Before today’s quake, Virginia’s largest earthquake was a 5.9 temblor that hit in Giles County in 1897 and was felt in 12 states, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
4.2-magnitude quake reported in Louisa at 8:04 p.m.
A 4.2-magnitude earthquake rumbled through central Virginia at 8:04 p.m. today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The “aftershock” quake came about six hours after a 5.8 quake with a Mineral epicenter rocked most of the East Coast. The aftershock was felt throughout the region, from at least southern Chesterfield County to Short Pump.
Report from Mineral: Residents starting to assess damage
In Mineral, as media flocked to the epicenter of the eathquake, residents were taking stock of the damage. “I was laying in bed looking at the soaps and i heard all this rumbling and shaking,” said Shirley Goode, of Mineral.
VCU postpones new student convocation
Virginia Commonwealth University postponed its new student convocation, scheduled for this afternoon at the Landmark theater. Author Wes Moore and VCU President Michael Rao were to speak. The university allowed faculty and staff to leave early to check their homes for quake damage.
UPDATE: Elderly residents to return to Richmond highrise today
Credit: Joe Mahoney — Richmond Times-Dispatch About 250 residents of Fay Towers, an 11-story highrise building for the elderly on the edge of Gilpin Court in downtown Richmond, were evacuated this afternoon after reports of buckling bricks and a damaged stairwell. The facility at 1201 N. 1st St.
6 students, 1 teacher injured at Louisa High School
About six students and at least one staff member at Louisa High School were injured during today’s earthquake. The school is between Mineral and the Town of Louisa, the epicenter of the quake. Schools Superintedent Deborah Pettit was visiting a Spanish class at the school when the quake hit.
Hospitals, health department respond to earthquake
The Virginia Department of Health activated its emergency control center in downtown Richmond this afternoon, while reports of minor injuries trickled in from one hospital emergency department. At the Virginia Department of Health, spokeswoman Maribeth Brewster said “We are monitoring the situation…watching and waiting.”
Ok Richmonders, can we PLEASE turn down the subwoofers in your cars as you drive by? We’re all a bit edgy right now #rvaquake
August 23, 2011
Is @PBR_USA on the official @USGS & @usnoaagov survival kit list? Please advise. #RVAquake #Irene
August 23, 2011
Virginia Tech seismologists investigate earthquake
Tuesdays earthquake had those who study them glued to their computer screens. John Hole, associate professor of geophysics at Virginia Tech, calls the 5.8 magnitude a *moderate* earthquake. He does not expect there to be widespread damage, but says rocks under the surface of the Earth allowed for the waves to be felt across many states.
Best Tweets About the Richmond Earthquake
Credit: and SXC Did you miss #rvaquake? Twitter didn’t. Read some of our favorite Tweets about Tuesday’s Earthquake and add your own. RT @heywren: It’s not worth having a Hellmouth in RVA if Spike isn’t gonna show up. RT @laureneubank: Good thing I had french fries at lunch.
4.2 #aftershock due to the 5.9 #earthquake we had earlier — NOT looking forward to this evening at all. :( #rva #cfield #rvawx #rvaquake
August 23, 2011
If anyone in #RVA is debating on whether to move to the west coast, they should’ve received their answer today. #rvaquake
August 23, 2011
6 students, teacher hurt at Louisa High School. #rva #rvaquake
August 23, 2011
RT @barksonQ: Why don’t they name earthquakes like they name hurricanes? I’ll call the #rvaquake Ned. No Extensive Damage. #rva
August 23, 2011
Confirmed: North Anna nuclear plant shut down. #rvaquake #rva
August 23, 2011
Never thought we’d need this. RT @RedCrossRVA: Hey #RVA: Check out our Earthquake Safety Checklist: #rvaquake
August 23, 2011
l was taking my Core exam @urichmond during the last #rvaquake. As if freshman year exams weren’t stressful enough… #Earthquake
August 23, 2011
#RVAquake summation: shaken but not stirred. #rva #backtowork
August 23, 2011
Good thing for Twitter and other real time news or coworkers would be debating: earthquake or HVAC on the roof breaking down? #RVA #RVAquake
August 23, 2011
Um, was that an earthquake that just moved our office Bldg?#RVAquake
August 23, 2011
. @mauraburroughs We’re OK in Glen Allen…just a little “shaken” no pun intended. #RVAquake #RVA
August 23, 2011
Everybody okay? #RVAquake
August 23, 2011
OMG…the earthquake just stopped! If it happens again, get under your desk! #RVAquake #RVA
August 23, 2011
@Linda_Sellers That was crazy!!! I remember the last #RVAquake was in 2003 I think!
August 23, 2011
#RVAquake today, #Irene expected this weekend. When do the locusts arrive? #rva
August 23, 2011
VIDEO: Scientists explain #VA quake. #rva #rvaquake
August 23, 2011
We’ve gotten a report that the post office in Mineral has collapsed. No confirmation yet. #rvaquake #rva
August 23, 2011


August 15, 2011

RichmondThe folks at Bloomberg Businessweek have determined that Richmond is the 19th most-fun, affordable city in the country. (Which means forget such places as New York, Chicago or L.A.)

The plethora of locally owned restaurants, the number of bars and the area’s  housing prices helped push the River City into the top 20, above such towns as Hattiesburg, Miss., and Newark, Del.

Speaking of Delaware, any mention of the “First State” always reminds me of this:

The top city on the list? Ocean City, Md., home of saltwater taffy and delicious boardwalk fries.

But I’m a little dubious about the No. 2 city — I’ve never heard anyone refer to Honolulu as affordable.

Click here to see a slideshow of the winners.

(Photo: Andre Jenny/Newscom)

August 14, 2011

Croakers spotWe all know that Richmond’s Croaker’s Spot serves some of the best food in town. But now the entire nation knows it.

The Manchester eatery was named the best place for soul food in this year’s Hoodie Awards, which were presented Saturday night in Las Vegas. The winner was selected via online voting.

The Hoodies were founded in 2001 by radio personality Steve Harvey. The awards honor local businesses, religious establishments and community leaders for their contributions to their neighborhoods. Other award categories include best church, best church choir, best nail place, best barbershop and best barbeque.

(Photo: Alexa Welch Edlund/Times-Dispatch)

August 09, 2011

Fulton Gas Works(Photo: Fulton Gas Works, Daily Affair)

Richmond has plenty of abandoned and decaying buildings — and local photographers are flocking to them, preserving many of these neglected sites, such as the Fulton Gas Works in east Richmond.

Several blogs spotlighting these photos have recently appeared, most notably The Daily Affair and Decayed Richmond. Many of these photographs are fascinating — an abandoned warehouse, its walls covered with graffiti; staircases to nowhere; abandoned machinery and broken windows.

Decayed Richmond(Photo: Decayed Richmond)

Some of these shots — especially those taken inside the buildings — are the product of urban exploration that isn’t always legal. The Daily Affair even offers tips for those who want to explore on their own. Among the most important: Get a tetanus shot and always carry a flashlight.

Related links:

August 08, 2011


Consider it Richmond’s version of “The Bridges of Madison County.”

A blog post from rivercityweaves captures almost a dozen bicycles in cycle-loving Oregon Hill, ranging from the slightly rusty model above to a racing bike perched on a porch. Here’s what rivercityweaves had to say about the photos:

My dad and I like to make dates with each other to go out on “shoot ‘em ups”. What we shoot is our cameras. This past week we headed to Oregon Hill and took a short walk in some very hot weather and saw some beautiful compositions just waiting to be shot.

You can see more photos here.

A big tip of the hat goes out to Oregon Hill for uncovering this gem.

(Photo: rivercityweaves)

August 08, 2011

Country Style DoughnutsTwo Richmond eateries are among the latest to be honored as the best.

Country Style Doughnuts — a perennial newsroom favorite — has been named by Garden & Gun magazine as one of the best doughnut shops in the United States.

The only other Virginia doughnut shop to make the list is the White Spot restaurant in Charlottesville.

(What’s Garden & Gun, you ask? As our friends at explain: It’s “a Southern lifestyle magazine that’s all about the magic of the New South — the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people, and the ideas.”)

And PETA has named the Revenge sandwich at Richmond’s Strange Matter as the best vegan sandwich in the country.

The Revenge boasts vegan ham, tempeh and jackfruit between two dairy-free grilled cheese sandwiches.

Congratulations to both for making their mark on the Richmond food scene.

And a big tip of the hat to and Church Hill People’s News.

(Photo: Lindy Keast-Rodman/Times-Dispatch)


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