Reason #734 I love my neighborhood.
When I walk over to talk to a gallerist about the new show in her gallery, after dispensing with business we end up talking about the recent Psychedelic Furs show we both enjoyed so much and move on from there to discuss the documentary about the 1913 Armory show we both watched at VMFA Friday night.
Cold Richard Butler be any more attractive with that voice, those glasses, that agility? Could the film have been more poorly done with that Teddy Roosevelt impersonator, that inappropriate music, the absence of full size painting shots?
Not that I needed affirmation that the Furs' show was out of this world and the film trite and poorly done, but it's satisfying to dish anyway.
Walking back I almost trip over a couple I know coming out of Steady Sounds He's a musician and she's an artist and we walk a block together chatting about an upcoming show before they turn off.
Crossing Marshall Street, a car veers over and it's the Magpie's chef, Owen, saying hello. Half an hour later, I've heard about his trip to NYC to cook at City Grit and how impressed everyone there was with Richmond's emphasis on and execution of farm to table.
They raved about the Anderson's Neck oysters, the Autumn Olive Farm goat, the way he made up staff meals for everyone.
There's that gracious southern hospitality again.
Even better, we talk about the fabulous restaurants they stumbled on to eat themselves - a French place where most of the clientele was French-speaking, a Korean place where they sat on the floor on cushions and got what he called the best service of his life.
Midway through our conversation, I feel dogs sniffing at my sandals and hear a painter and former restaurant owner and friend say, "Hi, Karen!" as he strolls by with his animals and waves at me.
The chef and I linger longer as he regales me with stories about his hipster hotel (record player and pencil sharpener standard), astronomical bar tabs for very little booze and how glad he is to be gone from the Big Apple's Type A personalities, all of them on their phones constantly.
I feel certain he has impressed the big city types with his superb food and genial personality and he confirms that many people on staff told him personally that they plan to road trip to check out Richmond's food scene, of which they continue to hear so much good.
I go out to work on an assignment and end up talking to all kinds of talented friends.
Just another four block walk in Jackson Ward.