Trend Blog

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We trekked to the capital of Virginia and found that it’s turn-around time. Virginia’s state capital is rebounding—an example of the urbanization trend we’re watching as city centers are reclaimed and re-imagined. Some of the signals:

  • A surging food scene that serves up PleasureRevenge. From Alamo BBQ’s Trainwreck (cornbread, baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, plus the barbecued meat of your choice) to the lush cocktails at Saison and Dutch & Company, there is flavor to savor all around town.

  • Art pops up everywhere, from the GRTC Bus Depot’s immense spring-art murals to Ada, an artist-run contemporary gallery, on Broad Street. It's an example of our FantasyAdventure Trend in an urban setting.

  • Adaptive reuse: Creatively repurposing its infrastructure, Richmond has turned its old warehouse/industrial district known as Tobacco Row into a spiffed-up suite of loft dwellings, museums, offices, and restaurants. This is a smart way to be less FutureTense, as once barren, outmoded parts of the city are reclaimed into thriving hubs for the rising creative class, with advertising and design firms taking workspaces nearby.

  • Educational enrichment (our SaveOurSociety Trend in action): With 30,000+ students enrolled, Virginia Commonwealth University is proving to be an economic engine for the city’s rebirth, stimulating the growth of local shops, transportation, building, and services.

  • Retailing richness: This isn’t a town taken over by chain stores (yet). We loved the EGOnomics in action in Carytown, a neighborhood that is awash in cool, "just for you and your tribe" businesses. Among the ones we loved: the laid-back vibe at the excellent Carytown Bicycle Company with its pop-up Goatocado station serving quinoa bowls all days; For the Love of Chocolate, which has every variety of the sweet stuff from chai to potato-chip; and the home office of Need Supply Co., selling perfectly curated, Millennial-friendly fashion, beauty and reading material.