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Going to be showing off Richmond’s riverfront (even that phrase seems almost funny as I write it–Richmond hasn’t had a riverfront so much as a river in the backyard) with Off the Eatin’ Path: Richmond’s Riverfront starting this Sunday, May 6th at noon. We’ll start in Shockoe Slip and wander around the canals and Brown’s Island and wind up at Canal Bistro at Off the Hookah for lunch. 1.5-2 hours of art, architecture, adventure and me blabbing in between bites! The RVA Street Art Festival sure spiced up one section of our route with the fun (and possibly ephemeral if a buyer buys the Hydroelectric Plant and wants them removed) multiple murals that live there now. Get down there to see them one way or another, please!

see what's behind the scaffolding...

You know I’ll season the tour with lots of James River Park System info, ways to get out and enjoy the river and the creatures who frequent it–not all of them fitness-crazed people yelling “Hoo-rah!”–and several lesser known historical tidbits. It should be a relaxing yet exhilarating tour. The high school group who were my guinea pigs for this tour in March said I saved their lives by taking them on the tour. I don’t recall pulling any of them out of the rapids, but maybe I was so engrossed by RVA’s riches that I didn’t notice that part of the tour….

All Aboard!

On our typical food tours, I push the river as worthy of a visit all sorts of ways. I’m glad that on this route the James will get to speak for itself.

a flood of interest in the James these days...

I was lucky to be at a classy event last evening at The Boathouse at Rockett\’s Landing sponsored by Rocketts Landing and the Friends of James River Park. The event was a celebration of the James River and a welcoming party for the recently added 2,000 lb. cast iron sculpture, Deepwater Sponger, by Richmonder Charlie Ponticello. The Friends are usually the ones pulling half-empty beer bottles out of the mud in the park, so it was quite nice to mingle with folks overlooking the river with wine and beer in hand and sipping butternut squash soup instead of picking up trash.

He's a real hunk!

Charlie spoke a bit about his sculpture which is installed on the waterfront next to the Boathouse and perfectly suited for clambering on and posing.  Not sure if most people who will see it realize you are standing right across from the wastewater treatment plant. Let us remember that only a few miles upriver, the water treatment plant pulls river water in for our use. A river runs through us–and the city.

Anne Wright, Assistant Professor of Biology at VCU, board member of the Friends, and self-styled “insect geek” spoke about some fascinating research finds doctoral students at VCU are finding right here in our river. Mostly good things…evidence of insects who don’t tolerate pollution living right here in the city–even some varieties that typically are found only in the mountains. They love city-living, it turns out. And regarding the sturgeon’s comeback, she had the video of sturgeon sperm to prove it.  In lieu of caviar, I think.

Being suspended 25 stories above the ground with just a couple of ropes holding you just might though. I thought I’d let the suspense build here on the blog , but no one seemed to care, so here’s a photo: 

No photoshop here....

Take a look at a post with a photo by my pal Amy Trenz on the web site of Richmond Magazine to find out more of what I was up to on Friday afternoon.

The thought occurred to me just after I did the deed that I had now completed the (just invented by me) River City Triple Play. I’ve rafted the Class IV rapids through downtown Richmond on the beautiful James River, I’ve run (and completed) the SunTrust Richmond Marathon, and I’ve rappelled the second-tallest building in Richmond for Over the Edge. Now it’s quite possible that I’m not the only one who can claim this title, but I’m fairly certain that no one will ever complete the little known Richmond Grand Slam (since I just invented it on Friday, too). Complete the three feats mentioned above AND get your statue on Monument Ave!

I’m back!