My devotion to Jackson Ward is legendary, both in this blog and among anyone who will listen to me go on and on about my neighborhood of the past five years.
Still,, it's nice to have my opinion validated in a place as lofty as the New York Times. The article about J-Ward in Sunday's paper, here, tells the rest of the world what I have been trying to convince anyone who lives in other RVA neighborhoods for a while now.
Ghostprint Gallery? I'm in there every single month for their opening preview to see what compelling show they've hung. It's one of two galleries I tell people never to miss on First Fridays.
Nate's Taco Truck Stop, while a more recent addition to the Ward, already feels like it's been there forever. I used to have to walk over to the Compass to score Nate's Frito Pie and now I don't even have to leave the 'hood to indulge in my favorite bag o' lunch.
Steady Sounds is a regular destination for me and I don't even own a turntable. I know people who do, though, and this is where I buy vinyl for them. And I've seen some excellent live music here (Alessi's Ark, White Laces, The Great Unknown, Bake Sale, Jonathan Vassar) leaning on bins in their intimate setting.
And Ettamae's Cafe? Shoot, I've been singing these guys' praises since the first week they opened, here, back last summer. That post even ended up on the press page of Ettamae's website and I've been back loads of times since. I find it hard to resist a place with terrific food and where the Chef not only kisses you but his co-owner yells, "Now the party can start!" when you walk in.
I've been a regular at Mama J's since March 2010, here, when a friend and I discovered Croaker's Spot had left the Ward (fools! but they're coming back) one cold evening. Since then, it's my go-to place for fried chicken and homemade cake, two staples of my diet P.A. (Post Apocalypse or after layoff, pneumonia, breakup or roughly February 2009 through the present). I have a friend I can call up and all I say is, "You wanna?" and he knows I mean we're doing lunch at Mama's.
So for a change, I am happy with the out-of-town press' take on my fair city. I've complained before that outsiders tend to mention the same old places (Mama Zu, Kuba Kuba, Millie's) ad nauseum. This time the NYT got it right, not even acknowledging the (IMHO) over-hyped restaurant that shall not be named in J-Ward.
On the other hand, if they do a sequel to that story, they should contact me and I'll bring them even more up to date.
J-Ward Girl knows of what she speaks.