Good Morning, RVA: Richmond burns

150 years ago today, a defining moment in Richmond’s history.

Good morning, RVA! It’s 40 °F, and today, with its highs in the low-70s, looks wonderful! If you know of an especially sunny patio spot, today might be the day to take your happy hour out of doors. I’m expecting email invitations from all of you.

Water cooler

150 years ago today, Union troops began their march into Richmond as Confederates hightailed it to Danville, burning the place down on their way out. There’s a ton of stuff going on this week to celebrate the beginning of the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the beginning of emancipation in Richmond. Follow our Civil War columnist Phil Williams on Twitter today for as-it-happened tweets of one one of the biggest moments in Richmond’s history.

The coaching carousel part of college athletics is something that I do not enjoy and prefer to ignore until swirling rumors coalesce into something worth talking about. Last night, several folks reported that the Texas athletic director will travel to Richmond today to present Shaka Smart with an offer (that he can’t refuse?) to coach the Longhorns. They say UT hopes to introduce Coach Smart as their new head coach on Friday. Retaining or replacing Smart has always been part of VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin’s job description, even so, I don’t envy that guy’s next couple of days.

Richmond would not be the wonderful place it is today without Gallery5, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month. 10 years ago, every man, woman, and child with a creative idea in their head emigrate from Richmond to Brooklyn, because you clearly couldn’t do anything worthwhile in Richmond. Gallery5 helped change that–and the very vibe of RVA–and we should all be very thankful for their decade of hard work.

Hey, do you like vegetables? If so, you better learn to garden, because California is running out of water. California is where the rest of the country gets a massive amount of our produce and the only place we get things like artichokes, figs, and almonds.


  • Caps head to Quebec to take on the Canadiens tonight at 7:30 PM.

What to expect

  • 150 years ago today, the fall and liberation of Richmond begins.
  • Stephanie Ganz will update you on the past week’s food-related news, assuming there are enough pixels on the Internet to contain it all.
  • We will tell you which five things to do this weekend–a true challenge as the next couple of days looks especially rad.
  • Susan Howson met some amazing teenagers at Art 180 and lived to tell the tale.

This morning’s longread

What Prisoners Eat

Horror stories about prison food reach their unappetizing nadir in the form of one particular dish. Its official name on Aramark Correctional Services recipe card M5978 is “Disciplinary Loaf.” Inmates know it as “Nutraloaf,” a baked foodstuff with the express purpose of providing the required daily nutrients and calories, and nothing more. Flavor isn’t an afterthought, it’s discouraged.

Near the end of this wonderful article, author Kevin Pang goes into some of the ingenious meals the inmates create from junk food sold at the commissary–like sweet and sour pork made from “two bags of pork rinds, spicy Cajun mix, sweet corn, rice, and Kool-Aid tropical punch mix, not the sugar-free kind.” Incredible.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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