Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stellar Saturday Stroll in Jackson Ward

Hard as it is for me to accept, I know that there are people who only come to Jackson Ward for First Fridays.

Of course, it's their loss; they're missing out on experiencing an area of the city that has much more to offer than just one night's activities.

And while that's only my opinion, apparently it's also the motivation behind the newest reason to get you here, the Saturday Stroll.

Put aside your concerns because you'll be coming to J-Ward in broad daylight, but you're not going to be disappointed.

These strolls will take place on the third Saturdays of the month and feature all kinds of ways to shop RVA.

And don't we all want to support the local economy?

Businesses are open, artists and craft vendors are located all along the streets and in front of galleries and the restaurants and food carts are ready to feed you; here's your chance to try out the Belvidere @ Broad for lunch, a meal they don't normally serve!

Over at Gallery 5, Amanda's amazing cupcakes are for sale.

Of course there's music; do you have any idea how many musicians live here?

Josh Small was playing today, the hula hoopers were out shimmying and you could have a caricature done.

Galleries had doors flung wide open, inviting you to come in; there was even an artist's talk over at the Black History Museum.

There were artists creating graffiti projects on boards near Quirk Gallery. Bizhan from Gallery 5 was one of the artists spray-painting away and I teased him about going back to his roots; he was a fairly active street artists years ago.

He laughed and acknowledged that he was out of practice and his index finger was already sore.

The other issue was the limitations of the size of the board.

With street art, one tends to have a much bigger "canvas" to work on.

Next month, he's planning to add some wheat pasting to the painting he'll do.

And let me point out that it's really pretty cool to be able to watch street art being created since most of it is done late at night and away from the view of the public.

I only wish Richmond would designate some of its old and derelict buildings for graffiti artists to better visually.

Imagine what a win/win situation it would be to artistically improve the ugly facades and give artists an outlet for their large scale work.

Maybe someday RVA will see the benefit to the city in such an endeavor.

I saw lots of people I knew, neighbors and locals, but there were plenty of visitors, too, out enjoying a beautiful day in Jackson Ward.

Anything that gets people down here to see what we have to offer is a very good thing in my book.

And I know we have some convincing to do; not everyone is as sold on the 'hood as me.

One woman with a stroller suggested to her posse (another family with a stroller), "Let's go eat at Lift. They actually have good sandwiches."

No shit, Sherlock.

We actually have a lot of very good things down here and now there's an easy way for you to check them out.

Just save the third Saturday of the month and we'll knock your socks off, J-Ward style.

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