Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Richmond Romps, Revisited
It seems like ages ago, at this point, that I visited two of my best and dearest friends, Katherine and Diana, down below the Mason-Dixon in Richmond, a town that is quaint yet full of energy and flavors, good shopping, and good, comforting eating. Both ladies were very gracious hostesses; Katherine allowing me to seek slumbering refuge at her apartment, both ladies willing to wine and dine and explore the nuances of the town. Unfortunately, Richmond is just far enough away, about six hours or so, that more frequent weekend trips would be rather trying, especially given my stringent work regime, however, I definitely want to return soon.
Katherine will soon transplant to the left coast, after spending all her years here on Puritan foundry; while it pains me to think she will be even farther away, I am so happy she is pursuing new emotional, romantic, spiritual, and professional avenues, and, naturally, cannot wait to head in that part of the country for another incredible visit.
I wanted to ask this young girl and man if their coloring was mere idle pleasure, or had some sort of greater import, but they were so intent with their chalk, I content myself with watching their movements for a few moments, then continued my meandering.
For some, still completely unknown reason, following my wretched Chinatown bus journey to my desired destination, while enjoying a much needed relaxation libation, I found this bathroom lamp compelling; perhaps it is the lemon color, and the organic, floral structure. Or, simple delirium, onset incurred by public transportation pandemonium.
Friday afternoon, the girls and I had lunch at a small Indian restaurant in a bourgeois outdoor mall, which featured this incredible fully functioning train engine, complete with numerous passenger cars and a conductor. Much to my chagrin, adults, unaccompanied by small children, preferably their own progeny, were much frowned upon.
So many of the porch stoops were iconic Americana, with rocking horses and potted plants; I would love to flee from the frenetic frenzies and fevers of the northeast, buy one of these homes, and write poetry in complete solitude. Hopefully, my finances one day allow this to be a concrete possibility.
The decor of the Indian restaurant where we had lunch was positively schizophrenic, in a way that was both comical and laudable; note the dark deep crimson and bronze brocade-like wall, coupled with the crisp white and lime green lawn style furniture.
Second in my series of bathroom photographs; this waterfall cascade faucet was also inexplicably fascinating at the time.
Vintage dress shops always offer an array of chromatics, like light fractured, split to its individual components.
This clothing boutique Need Supply Co. was like walking into a Soho or DUMBO outpost, except, indeed, the Richmond location is the sole location; meticulously well curated, with appropriate nods to the appropriate trends, while being warm and southern and welcoming, without an iota of pretension. I found a beautiful top, and hope to post more about this brilliant place later.
Diana and Katherine, lovely hostesses for the weekend; we were enjoying some happy hour priced Manhattans and wine at the Jefferson Hotel bar.
I was really feeling the deep wood, with the clean white trim and cream background; an inviting environment to eat and drink.
Katherine ordered her Manhattan on the rocks, while I drank mine up; next round, we switched up.
Some delicious hand-crafted appetizers, prepared especially for our party by Diana's expert chef beau; he worked some cuisine magic with scallops, poached eggs, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and an assortment of other delicacies. It helps to know someone in the kitchen.
Bourbon and ginger, with some of the last surviving Virginia Gentleman; obviously, I decided to wear deep red lipstick while parading around the streets of Richmond.
A hamburger without crumbled bleu cheese, frankly, seems a tad pathetic.
During brunch, on the morning of the Rapture, I was feeling pretty good; my main man looks pleased as well, at least as much as can be expected while hanging out on a grocery store candle jar.
After an arduous night preparing appetizers, Diana's chef beau ate flan for brunch; I salute that decision.
Delicious Cuban sandwich and burrito with a side of corn bread and chorizo, dishes that should have kept us sated for the remainder of the day.
Saturday afternoon, the ladies and I decided to brave the overbearing sun, and the potential risks of melanoma and, a perhaps more immediate threat, premature wrinkles, and attend an outdoor food, wine, and beer festival. Overall, it was a tad lackluster, however, charged no admission fee, so was not completely disappointing. Also, while collecting our drink tickets, the three of us were likened to Sex and the City characters, hopefully, circa the first season. You can take the girl out of the north, but I suppose you cannot take the north out of the girl.
This man sliced potatoes into chips, using some sort of grinding machine gun-like contraption, allowing them to fall into a vat of boiling oil, soak for a brief moment, then pull them out for an ideal crisp. He then shared some of the spoils with us, which was mighty chivalrous of him.
Taking turns, smiling and posing, in between plastic Dixie cups of grocery store wine.
Elevated art and design elements constructed from empty, already drunk alcohol bottles; brilliant. They used some of the wine bottles as a cheese plate, which I found particularly clever, this time not being facetious.
Pork belly taco, which could probably make lame men walk, blind men see; we have already established that it was the Rapture, clearly I was still running a muck here, now you know why.
Enjoying the late afternoon sun by lazing around on Diana's porch with some strawberry margaritas and chips and salsa.
Delicious Thai food for dinner that night; after this meal, I felt as though I were a boa constrictor that had swallowed an antelope, given the amount of meat and rice and butter I had consumed throughout the day.
Eggs benedict, featuring lump crab meat; hailing from the Land of Pleasant Living, I am always on the prowl for some delicious crab.
In addition to being a gorgeous lady and overall swell gal, Katherine is a jewelry designer, who specifically re-uses and adapts recycled vintage materials. She constructed this necklace, which I found to be boldly alluring. While she sells her pieces on Etsy, as well as within a few of the local jewelry boutique shops in Richmond, she definitely enjoys showcasing her work on herself first.
Just before I had to head back to the Chinatown bus, for another delicious seven hours feeling as though I was a rotting sardine, Katherine swept me through this incredible vintage shop, offering predominantly costume jewelry. Hesitant after being scolded multiple times during my trip to Rhode Island, I covertly snapped a few photographs, though was not able to adequately capture the volume or the resplendence. Again, hopefully, I can return soon.