2012 in review: Q4

Tomorrow is the beginning of 2013, but before we plunge into the New Year, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to remind ourselves of what October through December was like.

Tomorrow is the beginning of 2013, but before we plunge into the New Year, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to remind ourselves of what October through December was like.

October began on a somber note as we learned the previous month was the deadliest in RVA since 2005. On the topic of crime, six robbery-related crimes involving a firearm took place around VCU in the span of several hours. Two men were later arrested in connection with them.

In more positive news, the much anticipated Heritage restaurant opened (right near the RVANews office, in fact). We also got a sneak peak at Belmont Food Shop, the culmination of the owner’s ten-year plan to start his own restaurant.

Other local businesses we looked at included Shockoe Denim, offering handcrafted denim in Shockoe Bottom, and the financial upswing that Diversity Thrift and the Gay Community Foundation had experienced. We also learned that drinking and science go well together at Science Pub RVA. Who knew!

Mother Nature reminded us that she’s in charge when Hurricane Sandy stormed through the eastern part of the country. Some time later, the Martin Agency created the RVA2NY event to help NYC recover from the devastating effects of the storm.

It was announced that a site behind the Science Museum of Virginia would be the location of the Washington Redskins’ new summer training facility. And speaking of the nation’s capital, President Obama visited RVA to stump for his campaign.

Art and design featured rather prominently in October. We talked with Steven Holl about architecture, as well as designing VCU’s new contemporary arts building. We also got a sneak peek at the Chihuly exhibit at the VMFA. Speaking of Chihuly, a short time later The Martin Agency and the VMFA released a cool iPhone app inspired by Chihuly’s glass-blowing.

For Halloween, we spoke with a medical examiner at the Richmond morgue. On a slightly more upbeat topic, two Richmonders created an event called BILL Conference to be the “yin to TED’s yang.”

November began with a Mitt Romney campaign video featuring former Bill’s BBQ owner attributing her business closure, in part, to President Obama’s economic policies. After the election, we took a closer look at RVA’s newly elected officials, and learned about VCU grad Jasmine Gore making history in Hopewell’s Ward 4.

We then profiled two facets of local history. First we featured a new exhibit at the Valentine Richmond History Center documenting local tattoos and then discussed the 125-year history of the C.F. Sauer company. While on the topic of history, we reviewed Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated Lincoln biopic. Unfortunately, we were less than thrilled by it.

In sports news, we heard from VCU’s biggest fan ahead of the men’s basketball team opening the season with a win, and City Council also approved the Redskins summer training facility behind the Science Museum.

In entertainment-related stories, we spoke with the drummer of Lamb of God, learned that Bow-Tie Cinemas would add a more independent-minded movie theater, the Landmark Theater reopened after completing its first wave of renovations, the VMFA announced a rare exhibit of Hollywood costumes would be coming to RVA, and JGL (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, duh!) brought his hitRECord tour to town.

We also brought attention to two surveys meant to find out why people live and work in Richmond, launched our on-going Two Twenties feature to showcase great restaurant deals, and looked at 34 VUU students that helped change Richmond history (for the better).

One of our most popular profiles of the year was about one newcomer to Richmond who is drawing RVA one cartoon at a time. However, the month ended on a bad note when VCU’s women’s volleyball coach accused VCU’s athletic director of not renewing his contract because he’s openly gay. Later, a University report found those claims untrue.

Shortly after we made it to December, Randy Blythe, lead singer of Lamb of God, was officially indicted by Prague prosecutors on manslaughter charges. Speaking of legal matters, 1st District City Councilman, Bruce Tyler, filed suit contesting the certified election results that ousted him from his Council seat (later a recount confirmed Baliles’ win).

Beyond politics, we chatted with the co-owner of the new WPA Bakery in Church Hill, learned that the Byrd Theatre would host a sneak-peak of Downton Abbey’s third season premiere, used the announcement of the Royal Baby to discuss when it’s the right time for would-be parents to divulge that they’re having a baby to the public.

On that note, we’re done recapping 2012. We’ve enjoyed covering RVA for you this past year. We love this city so much, and we appreciate you reading our articles documenting its day-to-day evolution. From all of us at RVANews, thank you and have a fantastic New Year!


Photo by: Bill Dickinson

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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