Density Digest #005 | Return of Small Town Lovin'

Density Digest #005 | Return of Small Town Lovin'
Photo by Derrick Brooks / Unsplash

March 6, 2024

March is here, folks!

I turn 35 in less than 10 days and March has always felt like this wave of renewal. As history continues to repeat itself, this March kicks off with me making an appearance as owner and operator of Shades of Moss in Richmond Magazine! Sharing the story behind our plant & vinyl record shop with my hometown in this way is special.

This week I'd like to revisit our 'Small Town Lovin' segment from our old platform and address "artwashing".

Now let's get right into it!

What To Read:

Richmond’s New Shockoe Project Will Memorialize the City’s Role in the Slave Trade
The Shockoe Project will create a comprehensive, experiential destination that places Richmond at the center of the American story by recognizing the history of enslaved and free Africans and people of African descent.

I am in love with the momentum behind this project. I can't wait to take my kids who will be 12 & 14 when the ribbon is cut prayerfully in 2037 when Richmond turns 300.

Muji Has a Prescription for the Loneliness Epidemic in Japan
The iconic homeware company is working with a developer to lure new business and younger residents back to Japan’s aging housing complexes.
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.

If you needed any proof car culture has gotten out of hand, here ya go.

What To Watch

Following the news of Richmond's Staple Mill Station being deemed the busiest train stationing the Southeast (by a landslide by the way), I felt this video was quite fitting.

Bonus because WOW

Small Town Lovin' | How Virginia Capped Their Main Street Potential

This may seem like a follow up to last week the more I thought it through so bear with me as I make the connection.

One thing I miss about North Carolina is stumbling upon a small, quaint Hallmark card of a downtown. You know what I'm talking about, the "Main Street" with the perfect benches for people watching or the tiny shops spelled like this, "shoppe". As I was writing out last week's piece it dawned on me that there are very few "main streets" near Richmond and thought, "how much does this have to do with Virginia's independent cities?"

In Virginia, the thirty-eight incorporated cities are like independent-minded individuals, marching to their own political and administrative beats, regardless of the counties they rub elbows with. Just like counties, they're all about asserting their uniqueness and keeping their own house in order, never bowing down to the influence of their county cousins or anyone else for that matter.

This sound pretty awesome until you don't have the revenue generating to revitalize your downtown, repair your roads or add transit lines. When I think 25 miles out from Richmond, Virginia there are only a few cities with a center or downtown core reminiscent of old mill towns. Petersburg, Ashland and Hopewell are the few that come to mind, all independent cities that again do not have a county to lean on, so now what?

How does a city like Hopewell become as active as Danville?

We'll keep the dad jokes to a minimum. No spam, ever.