My interpretation in italics.

Dear Valued Residents Dear Suckers,

As you all know we are planning renovations of the property and apartment homes here at [the apartment building]. We said so in June. Finally, a critical number of you have decided to move out in the next 30-60 days because of our deplorable actions. Renovations on the vacant units are scheduled to start on Monday, September 19th in certain areas of the building. It will be all over the building, starting directly next to your bedroom wall. Construction hours are 8 am – 6pm on weekdays. After about three days, they will start hammering at 6:15. There may be some weekend construction days as well. Hope you don’t plan on sleeping in. Ever.

Additionally, we will be making repairs to the roof because the buckets of water on the third floor and a second-floor light well are kinda ridiculous. In order to ensure that all homes are waterproof, this work will be done in sections each day. Note that we don’t give times for this. You better go to bed  at sunset.
Be aware that this may be a noisy process. This is a pre-emptive “Stop complaining.” Due to this, construction will be limited to the above hours to help limit disturbance to the residents here at [the apartment building]. You know and I know this is a total lie.

If you are interested in transferring into an updated home, send an email to [us]. If you haven’t decided to move out, now’s your chance. I will be more than happy to schedule tours of the model once it is completed. Your rent is going to SKYROCKET. Seriously, you’ll find a better deal somewhere else.

Beginning on Monday September 19th, office hours will be Monday – Friday from 10am – 6pm. Now that the riff-raff has started to move out, we’ll actually start having customer service instead of saying 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and not showing up.
If you have any follow up questions, please do not hesitate to contact the leasing office at [phone number and email]. We’ll actually start returning calls and emails, too. Our new tenants, who most likely will not include you, deserve the best!


Actually, I’m looking forward to how this building turns out. It was one of the original lofts in Manchester and never got completed properly. There is a lot of unused space downstairs, mostly because of the tactics that led the original developers to go to federal prison. We tenants came in here knowing of the shortcomings, so it’s a little disappointing that someone wants to come in and do the job right but encouraging us to leave was part of the equation.

Them’s da breaks.

(At least our new place is awesome.)

remember how i always say i hate shockoe bottom?

Well, I’m going to be living in Shockoe Bottom.

At least it isn’t on 18th and Franklin.

Actually, I wouldn’t count where our new place is as Shockoe Bottom, but there’s really no other way to describe it, hence the city lumping it in with the city’s most concentrated bar district.

I’m excited. We get the keys on Oct. 8.

Meanwhile, the front door of our current building has been broken since Friday and there are some other issues, like the noisy and smelly renovation of the apartment next door that came without warning.

As I’ve said, this place was great. It had that grittiness we were looking for: the raw, exposed brick; the hardwood floors; the high, timbered ceilings. We don’t have amenities, but I considered being mere blocks from the James as an amenity. I considered being a 40-minute walk to work an amenity. I considered being able to stand in my free(!) parking lot and see the downtown skyline an amenity. Or new property management company has been disappointing that the flaws in this building we were willing to ignore no longer were worth enduring.

Although I’m excited about our new place, I am a little sad about leaving this place. I actually like this apartment a lot.

But we’re off to bigger and better things.


Expect more photos from Great Shiplock Park.

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.

brief hiatus

Currently, I have no satisfactory place to set up my typewriter, so no Noiseless Words for a while. I’m almost completely unpacked, but we need new tables, a chair and a dresser or two.

Oh, and a futon for the office/my closet/guest room.

Also,my bookshelf broke, so now need two new bookcases. Or a gigantic one.

Our goal is to enjoy the city next weekend and have some things in place so someone could come over and, for example, have somewhere to sit.

And I’m still commuting to Charlottesville for work.

That said, I don’t really have time for anything during the week, and when I do, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer or TV. I’m so behind on things on those media.

But, once everything is settled, it will be well worth it.

the return

Somebody pinch me.

For the past few hours, I’ve been unpacking my Charlottesville life in an apartment with wood beams and original hardwood floors, exposed brick and insanely high ceilings.

Oh, and it’s in Richmond.

We’re hoping to get all our possessions out tomorrow and at least start the final cleaning process. We’ll have to hit it hard and fast, because the new tenant is anxious to move in.

And then it begins a long slog, because I still work in Charlottesville, you see.

Let’s hope it’s not for much longer.

But, whenever I think about that hour drive, I look around this apartment. This Richmond apartment. I’ll take photos once we’re properly unpacked and we decorate.


I can't remember I took a photo this abstract

Exposed brick and hardwood floors.

So …


I’m going to be living in a converted warehouse in Manchester. Because I’m of course I am. I’ll be there in two weeks, but I’m officially counting things on Nov. 1.

The apartment has almost everything I’ve wanted in a place — exposed brick and hardwood floors. The only thing missing is a killer view. Our new place faces a light well. Whatever. The second I go outside, it’s a short walk to where I’ve taken most of my downtown skyline shots. And there’s a community terrace on our floor.

Why am I leaving Charlottesville, you ask? My wife got a new job in her field. The first reason is that I dragged her to Charlottesville, so it wouldn’t be right for me to make her commute all the way there. The second reason is why I moved to Richmond in the first place. I want to be there. A good chunk of my friends are there. At night and on the weekends, I’m already there.

I’ll be at home.

Back in September, I was pretty certain we were going before the end of the year. I even wrote an acrostic on it.

What’s an acrostic? Something that makes my inner English major hate you because you don’t know.




Here’s a bonus song. My favorite movement of a No BS! song starts about six minutes in. Their newest album comes out in November, and I’ve heard it. I think my new favorite song is on it.

slowly, surely

We both had normal work schedules this week so getting unpacked and settled hasn’t been fully manifested yet. I was off Friday, so I was able to build a bookshelf and put those away. My books aren’t in order like they were in Richmond but the name of the current game  is get these frigging boxes our of here.

Also, our bedroom is the wrong room. Again. Our neighbors have a floodlight on the side of their house. It beams into the bedroom like the sun, even with the blinds closed. We either need to buy blackout curtains or swap with our office.

I want a new table for the office and a reading chair. When I go to my mom’s house, we’re going to see if a newish recliner she decided she doesn’t want can fit in my car.

The living room looks nearly presentable. We have a makeshift coffee table for the time being and there are piles of things that are either getting donated or don’t have a home yet.

I’ve been able to get the drawers of my warped dresser closed (it got jacked up when it had to serve as a counter for our microwave and coffee maker). I plan on using it as a counter for things like my glasses and cell phone in the bedroom. The downside from having a late ’40s house is that there are only two outlets in the bedroom. I can’t put the “nightstand” where I really want it because of that. That’s another problem with the office: There is only one outlet in there and the bed would most likely cover it. Blackout curtains it is.

I met the people downstairs a few days ago, Tammy and Andrew. I think we’ll all get along, but our schedules most likely will make interacting difficult.

I’m enjoying the sunlight, multiple rooms, having a porch and a deck, being able to lift my arms over my head, the ceiling fans and the art deco doorknobs.

After a year, it’s great to be somewhere that feels like home.

we’re in

After a marathon nine-hour move and cleanup, we are in our new place.

Body parts I didn’t know I have are in pain.

To recap, the previous tenants here couldn’t move when they wanted to because the closing date for their house got pushed back thrice. Additionally, they had some problems with moving out. I had three days off, the third of which was their original move-out day. The new tenants are coming at some point today, so I was going to start on Thursday or Friday and slowly move and clean throughout the weekend.

Instead, I got to start the moving process at about 2 p.m., more or less alone. As in I got help moving the bed and the couch. Everyone who was going to help me had to work yesterday BECAUSE IT IS A MONDAY. I was lucky that I was able to take the day off to take care of everything. That probably would have been impossible if I had any other job or weren’t in management.

I got whacked in the head with the bed frame. Another part of the bed frame slammed into my right thumb. I have what feels like a lightly sprained ankle. I had a hard time going to sleep because, if I turned certain ways, I would have pain in my back. I had to go to work this morning at 10:30.

But, I have some of my art up. Renée wants real art in the living room and she’s right. I want my typographic map of Richmond, my broken Honeywell plant photo and my vintage PBR ad in our office, which I have dubbed the Clair Hanks Huxtable Memorial Room because it’s mostly my stuff. Most likely, it’ll just be a room we rarely use, like the third bedroom in the House 245 because, now that we’re somewhat settled, I’ve noticed that I’m spending an awful lot of time in the kitchen because it’s not, as I described downstairs earlier today, a hallway with a stove in it. Additionally, I think the house had a fireplace at some point because there’s a weird architectural piece between the kitchen and the living room that is the perfect height to be a standing desk.

It would be a perfect standing desk if my feet didn’t still hurt a little from yesterday. And my ankle didn’t hurt.

But anyway, I’m happy where we are and it already feels like home.

Mostly because I was able to add this little gem to what I guess was a rail to hang a tapestry (aside: I was allowed to have this).

The photo on the left is the shattered photo of the Honeywell plant in Hopewell.

I don’t think I get delivery this way.

I’ll take more photos when it looks more presentable. Or, if you live in/near Charlottesville, come visit.

nothing runs smoothly in the life of elliott robinson

So …

Not that So.

But so …

Our neighbors upstairs planned to be moved out fully today, which would have meant my landlord was going to do whatever he was going to do upstairs Friday (minor stuff like steam clean the carpets because the upstairs was renovated about two years ago). The closing on the neighbor’s house has been pushed back for the third time so they’re here till the 30th unless my landlord tells them to get out now.

If they are here till the 30th, that means I move on the Oct. 1, which helps because I’m about to start a stint of working 40 hours in the next four days. Note that today is the third day in a row that I’ve been off and there is little I can do because you reach a point in packing where you can’t really pack any more unless you’re moving in the next 24-48 hours.

The problem with this is that the new tenants in my current apartment were supposed to move in Oct. 1.

This all could still work but the chance that no one will have a chance to thoroughly clean a space before leaving bothers me.

Then again, the new folks downstairs most likely aren’t moving in Oct. 1 because it’s a Tuesday. If that’s the case, that will give our landlord enough time to do stuff upstairs and for us to do stuff down here before the transition is done.

The cable/Internet downstairs gets cut off Sunday. There has been no response from the landlord yet. He has been doing this for a while and of course it falls apart when I’m trying to move.

I fully expect this to just be a complete cluster for the next few days.

I know it will be fine but I’m more than a little annoyed at this whole situation.

if you were curious


This will rank as one of the shortest moves in history.

Here is the new place. It’s also the current place as I live underneath this place.

Another interesting tidbit about this house I’ve noticed is that it’s identical as far as its shape to the house where I was renting a room in Jacksonville.


The major difference between the two is the layout. Otherwise, it’s exactly the same. I think they’re even the same size, minus a spare room where we’ll have a  deck. It took me a year to notice this, probably because I never really looked too hard at upstairs because I didn’t live there.

Additionally, I have to park on the street and said street is too narrow for me to 180 my car swiftly, unlike life on North 33rd. I’m still annoyed.

Could be worse, I guess. This street is, for all intents and purposes, a cul-de-sac.

Our landlord has begun a near-endless stream of prospects looking at our current place, which spurred me to pack up nearly all my things. Although I’ve been on my own for more or less seven years, I’ve never had to experience a showing. It’s very weird and I hope to postpone going through this as long as I can.

I planned on doing absolutely nothing today (which I wound up doing) but I couldn’t exactly because a future building-mate was supposed to come today. He or she did not. It’s a good thing too because I really need to finish doing the dishes and put some stuff in the recycle bin.

As I waited for someone to look at our currently spartan rooms and envision their own belongings there, I wanted to sit in the living room in a dirty T-shirt, surrounded by beer cans.

“I’m moving upstairs; won’t ya be my neighbor?” I would have said before burping.

That would have been hilarious until my landlord set the lease aflame.