Friday, December 15, 2017

Beautiful Richmond Part III: Civilized Commerce

Richmond, for reasons that I'm not exactly sure, has quite an inventory of beautiful commercial buildings downtown. Was it that, for many years, the city was so forgotten in time that no one cared enough to tear stuff down for urban renewal? Or was it is that Gilded Age architecture was so massive and extravagant that people couldn't bear to wreck it and it would cost too much anyway?
Living downtown, I'm reminded of childhood trips there around Christmas to Thalhimers, Miller & Rhodes, Berry Burke and others for presents or to visit Richmond DOR poo-bah Aunt Sarah. For years, these blocks were a blight but now, one by one, they appear to be coming back. Some of the monumental bank facades now house condos and apartments now while Miller & Rhodes is a Hilton. Old stores and restaurants are gradually being occupied by new restaurants but I must admit that retail (ironically) has lagged in this old commercial district. A grocery store or Target would come in very handy and there are some lovely buildings that could house them!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Beautiful Richmond Part II: I've Found a New Barbershop!

Just as I found a quality $10 hair cut back in my hometown, I came across this gem a block or two from my apartment. Housed in the ancient  John Marshall hotel (there are MANY such buildings in downtown Richmond), the barbershop dates from the 1920s and has retained most of the fixtures including throne-like barber chairs and stations holding Barbisol disinfectant and neck towels. Nothing to hoity about it, the long-time owner is quick with a handshake and friendly greeting and barbers that know how to cut hair. Not bad for $20....Hey, I'm in the big city now!
Many of the towering buildings in the downtown financial district are a century old. In the subterranean level of one of these beautiful buildings are rows of store-fronts from back when retail space was a little more in demand. These are beautiful storefronts but the only one occupied is a lonely time capsule of  a barber shop, open when the owner feels like it. In a way, its even more cool than the John Marshall shop!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Trailer Trad Living: How Could a Business Called 'Proper Pie Co.' Not be Trad?

The Proper Pie Company in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond has a little kiwi in its appealing pie logo. As if that's not cool enough, they tout their wares as representing the New Zealand style of pie making. The small pies are half savory quiche, half pie. Flaky crust pies that you can smell baking from across the street. Draws you in.
These kids are cool, yet not too hipster cool....yet.

Trad aesthetic and philosophy + wonderful, savory light meals + reasonably priced  equals Trailer Trad culinary gold.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Trailer Trad Living: Dudes Should Have a Hobby....Like Model Railroading

I happened upon the Richmond Railroad Museum on one of my enjoyable walks around Richmond lately. You know me. I'm a sucker for cool old junk and nostalgia and this pleasant stop had both. One great feature is a very large room filled with model train displays. Believe it or not kids, before CGI and other fakery, people carefully crafted three dimensional representations of reality (or fantasy) with THEIR HANDS. 

A beautiful example of this model railroading. The perfect paleo-dude hobby, it requires creativity and imagination while cleverly concealing them within the task of building buildings and making trains run. Pretty fun. Check it out. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Beautiful Richmond Part 1: The Newly Refurbished Downtown Train Station

I've relocated back east in the beautiful city of Richmond, Va. I didn't realize how much lovely architecture was preserved downtown until I moved downtown recently. Here's the first example; the downtown train station. An Edwardian tour-do-force, it has just been reopened and it has kept the best of the old with innovative new uses for the space including nice art gallery space, retail, and a large open area for concerts. Can't wait for it to kick into high gear.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Trailer Trad Collecting: Glen Echo Estate Sale Picking

Glen Echo, the close-in neighborhood in DC, sure has changed since I was in the area back in the 90's. Case in point, this estate that I went to recently was loaded with cool stuff. I grabbed a pair of french architectural finials at a good price. Great fun looking!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Trailer Trad Attire: The LPGA's New Dress Code? --I Hope So!

In light of the current controversy regarding the dress codes on the LPGA tour, I took it upon myself to research the topic as a loyal fan of TV golf. --Granted, I normally hate watching women's golf but I was willing to make the sacrifice!
In the course of my research, I came upon the beautiful Lexy Thompson's brilliant photo shoot for Red Bull in 2016. A departure for Red Bull to say the least, the whimsical photo shoot featured the pro golfer decked in vintage and it produced some really stylish images. Maybe the golf attire seen on a blond pro longer on legs than on talent is sexier. But seeing a vision like Lexy attired thusly approach you on the links would surely be enough to knock any gentleman into the tall stuff, flailing in futility to escape.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Trailer Trad Collecting: Fredericksburg Picking!

I'm back on the East Coast and I'm glad to say that I've really enjoyed being able to hit the estate sales recently. On a Sunday, I can get to downtown DC pretty conveniently and its been fun to hit regional estate sales then to get the last day, 'bottom feeder' finds. 

Last Sunday, I went to a favorite haunt, downtown Fredericksburg, to attend church and to hit the last day of a really great estate sale. The beautiful, historic property was a great one. The lady of the house had classic 'FFV' taste; plenty of elegant Federal period furnishings and beautiful vintage clothing. You could really feel the Old South in the place. There was still a great deal left, pretty reasonably priced. I left with only a yellow Fiestaware dinner plate, but I was good with that.
 After looking for bargains, I had to choose between the three historic churches situated a few blocks from the estate sale. In the sultry summer heat, it felt exactly like Charleston!