17 months in south richmond

On Saturday, we applied for a new apartment. I really wanted to rent a house, but the search was terrible. We had two places we liked snatched from under us, and there was one I really liked but it’s currently occupied by a very cluttered family and all I could think about what godawful things have taken up residence there and will remain after they’re gone.

Anyway, this new place is on the north bank of the James River, which means I have spent a cumulative 17 months living in South Richmond. (Additionally, I have spent a little more than 4½ years living south of the James.) I think I’m going to miss it a little.

South Side is whole different animal. It’s markedly larger than the main portion of the city. Portions of it used to be a separate city. Large chunks are in the city because of a push to dilute the minority vote. Sometimes, it seems like City Hall forgets South Richmond exists.

If we get this place, we’ll be near downtown. It’s another loft-style place. It actually has amenities and energy-efficient windows, so we’ll have something facing the outside world.

But I will miss this place. South Side is gritty. South Side is changing. South Side is a hidden jewel. Given how most people flock to various North Side neighborhoods, South Richmond sometimes feels like the more Richmond part of Richmond.

But it’s time to go again.

The last time I lived on this side of the James, it established that I lived in the city and led to fulfilling years in Chimborazo. I’m hoping this South Side stint is another prelude.

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