You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘The Wards: The Art & Soul of Richmond’ tag.

Some weeks lend themselves to getting out and about and appreciating the spring thing. This is not one of them, so I will cheat and throw in photos from a week or two ago when the Cherry Blossoms were in full swing down on Brown’s Island.

Pink Island

The weekday I was wandering around on Brown’s Island and Belle Isle I ran into at least 3 people I knew out taking in the spring splendor in the middle of the day. Playing hookey, perhaps. We couldn’t have picked a better place to do it though in my defense, I was working on a new and exciting route for Real Richmond, my food tours (& more) biz.  I even ran into a gal who had been on the previous week’s food tour of Shockoe Slip. She was there with her Goochland Elementary School’s 4th graders, taking in the Civil War museums at Tredegar and she told me that because our tour had taken her to TJ’s Capitol, she’d asked the bus driver on her school field trip to take the class there for a class picture. Hope they return for the full-fledged visit soon.

Old stuff is cool.

One of the flaws of the very worthwhile Tredegar area is that there is no place to buy snacks or lunch there. There’s space for a small cafe and perhaps one day it will appear, but until then, you will have to be resourceful like I am and either pack your own chocolate chip cookies or do what I won’t tell you you can do because I’m about to launch a new Real Richmond product that will be really fun but I can’t tell you what it involves quite yet. That is mean. Oh well. I’m really very nice and generous on our actual tours–but they’re only 2.5 hours, so that explains that. There are tickets available for this Saturday’s 2-4:30 p.m. tour of The Wards–April 2nd. If you email me at mentioning this blog post, you’ll get a two-for one deal, while supplies last.

You have seen the signs for Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site for years on I-95. If you live in Richmond, you might think you know the basics about her, so you don’t think there’s anything to learn: African American, female bank president. High school named after her.  Ok, good for you, but forgive me for telling you– you don’t know half of what’s amazing about this woman.

GO to the National Park Service site! It’s her home with her library, her furnishings, and most impressive of all, her story, and it’s all free!  How she did what she did when she did is fascinating and inspirational. Not enough people know the impact she had in Richmond and throughout the country in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Some day I will prove that she and I are related. She and my grandmother look like twins–and they both had Irish fathers. Perhaps that’s my next book. Nevertheless, get thee to Jackson Ward! The Park Rangers are so cute and knowledgeable–tell them Maureen said hi. And grab lunch at Ettamae’s Cafe on 2nd St. or Mama J’s on 1st St. to make it quite the outing.

Maggie L. Walker's home is on Leigh St., but the entrance to the site is on 2nd St.

After lunch, head to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center where the Pride over Prejudice exhibit about the Maggie Walker/Armstrong rivalry is ongoing.

At 00 Clay St. Admission is charged but see below about a great deal

It also has worthwhile permanent exhibits that put Maggie Walker’s life story into a larger context and introduce you to other lesser-known Richmonders whose stories deserve to be known. Don’t balk at paying admission–get the Court End Passport for $10 that gets you admission to the Black History Museum, Valentine Richmond History Center, and John Marshall House for a full year!

 There’s a new way to get to know Richmond, and you’re welcome to come along on Real Richmond\’s next food tour which will meander by Maggie Walker’s house and the Black History Museum, among other notable spots.  On Saturday, Nov. 20th at 2 p.m.   The Wards: The Art & Soul of Richmond spans both sides of Broad Street to take in the art, architecture, and history of Monroe and Jackson wards while we walk the neighborhoods and sample food from Comfort, Ettamae’s, Mama J’s, Chez Foushee and Lemaire at The Jefferson. Taste and see!

I’m back!