Monday, April 24, 2006

Life Sciences Building

Unfortunately this enormous "man" is not painted on the wall, but I think he's really interesting. This is VCU's Life Sciences building, which is named after the current univesity president (Eugene P. Trani). VCU is my alma mater and this opened right around the time I graduated. The school has done some amazing things for the neighborhood--twenty years ago no one wanted to live in Richmond's Fan District because of crime and dilapidation and VCU provided much of the catalyst that makes this neighborhood as cool as it is today. I will say though, they wrought havoc on the parking situation!

Posted by mea at 7:03 AM 12 Observations

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Carillon Star

I posted photos of Richmond's Carillon before which was constructed to honor the men who served in WWI, but at the foot of this amazing bell tower lies another monument. This large gold star honors the Gold Star Mothers from WWI. It's a really interesting group that still exists today to provide support for mothers who have lost a child to war. The name comes from the gold stars that families used to hang in their windows after the wartime death of a soldier. I think it's particularly appropriate that this waits patiently at the foot of the soaring 240 tower representing their fallen children.

Posted by mea at 9:20 PM 3 Observations

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Happy Haircuts

Don't you think this chair would make your next haircut so much more enjoyable? A little small perhaps...

Posted by mea at 8:31 AM 7 Observations

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bird's Nest

"Whores don't live in company of poor men, citizens never support a weak company and birds dont build nests in a tree that doesn't bear fruits." -Chanakya

Posted by mea at 7:05 AM 4 Observations

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Museum Expansion Encore

Another picture from the Virginia Museum of Fine Art Expansion. Progress is coming along and I liked the worker carrying all of his plans and things. Only moment before he was struggling to keep ahold of all of the papers. Also, this is the huge black fence that I sneaked a peek around to bring you this post.

Posted by mea at 10:50 AM 1 Observations

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rachel Weeping

Today, 43 years ago, Waffen SS soldiers attacked the Warsaw Ghetto. You can read more about it here, but it was a heroic/bittersweet moment for Jews during WWII. I chose today instead of Holocaust Remembrance Day because of a story I heard on NPR this morning. I like the story of resistance.

Called "Rachel Weeping for her Children", this statue was dedicated in 1987 and tucked into the side yard of the Sacred Heart Cathedral. It's the the only public Holocaust memorial in the USA to be commissioned by a Roman Catholic diocese, as well as the first in Virginia. The cathedral is located within Virginia Commonwealth University's campus and I vividly remember the first time I noticed the statue. I was moved to tears.

You can read more about the statue's construction and symbolism, as well as view a full picture on Linda Glissen's website (the artist).

Posted by mea at 7:12 AM 6 Observations

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hula Hooping

Nothing better than public defacement with a sense of humor!

Posted by mea at 9:55 PM 5 Observations

Monday, April 17, 2006

Manic Monday

Cloudy, rainy day here in Richmond today according to the weatherman, so I thought I'd post a picture of the beautiful weather we had here this weekend.

I know I said that there's nothing like coming home after vacation, but there is nothing like going back to work after a vacation either--except that it's entirely different ;).

Posted by mea at 6:55 AM 6 Observations

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

A little bit south of Richmond today--at Mom's for Easter. I thought I'd share her fabulous spread with all of you! Hope all is well for those of you celebrating today.

Posted by mea at 2:33 PM 5 Observations

Saturday, April 15, 2006


There is nothing like coming home after vacation. Thanks to everyone for the comments while I was gone and again a big thanks to Nicola for her help!

This shot was taken along Monument Avenue, which Jeopardy! has the Champs-Elysées of the South. Full of amazing private homes, churches, and monuments to Confederate heroes (and Arthur Ashe, but that's a story for another day). I thought these ladies personified exactly why the original architects put porches all across the neighborhood!

Posted by mea at 12:28 AM 3 Observations

Friday, April 14, 2006

Residential Renovations

The last shot in my Urban Renaissance series is another sneaky construction site shot. This is the hallway of an apartment building that is currently undergoing complete renovations. It's a very typical style for the neighborhood with the molding in the hallway and black painted wood paneled doors set on an angle.. This hallway curves a little to the left and there are probably 3-5 other doors just like this one. Cutting into the shot on the left you can see the stairs going up to the other two stories, in the Fan almost all of the apartment buildings are three stories.

They're doing a much more thorough job than many of the "renovations" that I've seen in the neighborhood. All new windows and doors (authentic to the original styling) and you can see they've completely reframed the interior walls and ceilings.

Thanks again to Nicola of Wiesbaden Daily Photo for her help while I'm out of town!

Posted by mea at 8:43 AM 2 Observations

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I thought I'd take a day out of my Urban Renovations series to honor Jewish Passover. Tikvat Israel is a beautiful synagogue located on Boulevard and Grove Avenue across from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Again, thanks to Nicola of Wiesbaden Daily Photo for her help while I'm out of town.

Posted by mea at 7:30 AM 6 Observations

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mall Repairs Part Two

Here's part two of the Will Lawn Mall renovations. I liked the orange and mustard colors together and I really thought this would be a useful tool for when we paint the outside of our house here in a few years.

Again, thanks to Nicola of Wiesbaden Daily Photo for her help while I'm out of town.

Posted by mea at 7:53 AM 2 Observations

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mall Repairs Part One

Willow Lawn is the mall closest to Downtown Richmond and it is undergoing massive renovations. I thought his bright red trash bags were a great color.

The new trend in Richmond is open-air malls designed to mimic the "Downtown" feel. They're great in the Spring and Fall, but in the rain/snow/heat they're the worst of both worlds. You've sacrificed the individuality and quirkiness of the downtown for corporate schlepping and you don't even get climate control in return. It's my understanding that they're trying to turn Willow Lawn into one of these downtowns in the suburbs malls, but at least it will be renovated.

Again, thanks to Nicola of Wiesbaden Daily Photo for her help while I'm out of town.

Posted by mea at 7:57 AM 2 Observations

Monday, April 10, 2006

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Expansion

This is a second photo of The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is expansion. Yesterday's picture would be directly to your left and this will be the site of the new parking deck, gardens, and gallery space. Some of it is supposed to be finished this year, but they still seem to have a lot of work to do!

I would have really liked to do a panoramic, but they have black construction fence in front of this (I sneaked the camera in through a crack).

Again, thanks to Nicola of Wiesbaden Daily Photo for her help while I'm out of town.

Posted by mea at 7:32 AM 3 Observations

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Expansion

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is expanding! They're adding a sculpture garden, a 600 car parking deck, and 100,000 sq. feet of gallery space. You can see the original building here as well as the proclamation that they are certainly still open for business!

Again, thanks to Nicola of Wiesbaden Daily Photo for her help while I'm out of town.

Posted by mea at 7:45 AM 3 Observations

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Dump Truck

To start my series of Urban Renaissance, I thought I'dhonor the most necessary tool for renovation: the dump truck. Isn't it funny that we must start with such dirty things in order to renovate and make things new?

Again, thanks to Nicola of Wiesbaden Daily Photo for her help while I'm out of town.

Posted by mea at 12:06 AM 2 Observations

Friday, April 07, 2006

Spring Break

Today is my last post before I head off to Spring Break in Montreal! I thought I'd leave you with a summery picture. Our weather has been beautiful here and all of my students are breaking out their summer footwear. Turns out these aren't just for the beach and shower any more!

Note: I'll still be posting this week while I'm out of town. Look forward to an Urban Renaissance series.

Posted by mea at 12:33 AM 10 Observations

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lucky Number 13

This lucky apartment, #13, is located on Richmond's Boulevard. Basement apartments are are a cheap way to live on a pretigious street, but I'm sure I'd miss the natural light.

When I was a kid we lived in Northern Michigan and my father was obsessed with a local house that was built entirely underground. The house was extremely ugly; it looked like an unfinished foundation. He'd go on and on about the great insulation, cost effective heating, and just the general cool factor. It turns out he's right about the cost efficiency, but I'm going to have to go with a no on the "cool" factor.

Posted by mea at 12:02 AM 3 Observations

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My Fair Richmond

It's good to know that Audrey Hepburn, one of my favorite film and fashion icons, inspires my fair city. When I spotted this young lady waiting for the bus, her style really caught my eye (had to be the scarf!). I did a little editing to add ambiance to the shot, let me know what you think (you can also check out the original).

By the way: Did you know that Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels?

Posted by mea at 12:05 AM 16 Observations

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Thunder Rolls...

We had our first thunderstorm of the year this evening and I got to try out the "Quickfire" setting on my camera. I was on the wrong side of town to catch the wicked bolts, but I thought this made an interesting series showing just how bright it was. My little dogs were deathly afraid, but I really enjoy a good storm every once in awhile, how about you?

Posted by mea at 12:08 AM 10 Observations

Monday, April 03, 2006

Warning Parents!

I found this sign in the window of ZohaR Gift Gallery (formerly Jack B Nimble Candle Shop). ZohaR is a shop that sells exclusively Judaica and is the only commercial store of its kind in central Virginia. As you can see they carry some beautiful items...just keep track of the little ones!

Posted by mea at 7:04 AM 5 Observations

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mom's Siam

This is a shot of the bar in Mom's Siam's new building. They had a busy weekend since they're right across from the Byrd Theatre. We ate there the other night and had a good waitress and great Thai food (mmm, drunken noodles).

I really like this mural as well. The buildings in the back are a stylized Richmond skyline and the bridge is a train bridge (the CSX Mainline bridge) that runs parallel to the Powhite Parkwary to southside. I've really been wanting to shoot this bridge, but haven't figured out how yet. The only place I've seen it from is a highway bridge, so I can't exactly stop and shoot, but this summer when school is over, I should have time to find a way.

Posted by mea at 6:30 PM 0 Observations

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Byrd Theatre

Richmond is home to the VCU French Film Festival, the biggest film French film festival in the United States. It's held every year at the Byrd Theatre, a Richmond Landmark in and of itself. The theatre is well known for it's extravagent decor and was built in 1928. It's never been remodeled and the original pipe organ still rises up out of the floor and is played every Saturday night.

There are a total of eleven chandeliers, this being the main one. It is over eighteen feet tall and weighs two and a half tons. It was lowered most recently in 1997 to be cleaned and relamped and the Byrd Theatre website has some really interesting photos of the process.

This is another desktop calendar page. If you click the image the resolution should be right to use as your desktop background! I have a few pictures of the rest of the building as well that I'll post sometime soon.

Posted by mea at 9:08 AM 10 Observations