Looking back on 2014: October, November, December

We wind down 2014 with a look at a “short” protest, Alton Brown devouring the city, and a whole lot more.

October began with a glimpse inside the homes of some of the city’s best designers, and a look at what the new crop of VCU men’s basketball players might bring to the court this season.

We learned a new Starbucks and beer retailer are joining hands. Speaking of beer, we tapped into Triple Crossing for insight into why they’re so effing awesome. The Planning Commission OK’d two special permits to try and lure Stone Brewery to town (spoiler: it worked).

Students at Maggie Walker put themselves on the short list for best protest of the year, and the local couple behind the oft-read Young House Love blog tabled their site indefinitely.

We learned Bon Air has a growing indie family dining scene, an Empire fell in the Fan, and Short Pump was voted one of the fastest growing communities in Virginia.

The Altria Theater refinished its basement in a musical way, and we got wind of what just may become a new New Year’s Eve tradition. Nesbit shuttered its doors in a way that ruffled feathers (and hair), and we learned the history of Hanover Avenue’s kick-ass Halloween festivities.

October ended with news of a new grocery store on a long dormant Ukrop’s site, and the recipe for Jason Alley’s pimento cheese.

November kicked off with Alton Brown eating his way through RVA, us getting the goods on Foo Dog’s ramen Kung Fu, and hearing news of Shoryuken Ramen’s temporary pop-up.

One of the most popular installments of our 100 Days to a Better RVA posts was on the green gorilla in the neighborhood. We learned the site of next year’s RVA Street Art Festival, the downside to VCU’s rapid rise, what Complete Streets look like, and why local regionalism is in order.

We peeked inside a Fan home that sat condemned for 10 years, looked back at previous InLight exhibitions with a pictorial retrospective, and salivated ahead of Southbound’s opening.

Willow Lawn continued to thrive, Shyndigz continued to give the city’s collective sweet tooth a reason to rejoice, and we looked back at Civil War hospital rats

December arrived with glad tidings of local Christmas music and a local take on the contrarian Christmas celebration that is Krampusnacht. Food wise, a Short Pump resident won a $1 million Pillsbury bake off prize, and we realized we can…or can we?

VCU med students held a die-in and VCU freshman Antravious Simmons decided to transfer. We looked at volunteer opportunities beyond the soup kitchen, and, speaking of do-goodery, we talked to a local, mega awesome guy with the Midas touch.

We wondered what smelled funky in the Museum District and heard one plea to make Bindford Elementary community-supported once again.

On the food front, Restaurants expanded their footprints, Jerry Seinfeld asked what’s the deal with Buzz & Ned’s barbecue, we deconstructed RVA menu designs, applauded Saveur’s for putting three Fan spots on its “don’t miss” list, and geared up after learning growlers “to go” are a go on the Boulevard.

Finally, to top off the year, we learned bike sharing should be rolling into town next year and got caught up on the City’s major plans for 2015 and beyond.

That’s it for our recap. It’s been real, but it’s time to bid adieu to 2014.

Now, let’s work to make 2015 bring out the best in all of us.

Photo by sandy’s dad

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Nathan Cushing

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

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