Last night the Mayor gave his State of the City address to a capacity crowd at the Hippodrome Theatre. The purpose of these status report speeches seems to be to elucidate all the great things the speechifier has done, allow the audience to clap, and to drop tiny hints of future plans and proposals. In this regard, the Mayor did not disappoint!
Last night the Mayor gave his State of the City address to a capacity crowd at the Hippodrome Theatre — which, by the way, looks fantastic (more on that later). I hear you can pack 700 bodies in the building before the fire marshall starts giving you dirty looks. And! there was nary an empty chair in the place! Well, except for the two seats to either side of me which were directly behind the wonderful backsides of various local TV camera men.
As with the State of the Union, the purpose of these status report speeches seems to be to elucidate all the great things the speechifier has done, allow the audience to clap, and to drop tiny hints of future plans and proposals. In this regard, the Mayor did not disappoint! That sounded too negative, I think. Really, it was a swell time.
The night started off with a skit performed by members of the Mayor’s Youth Academy and ended with all 700 of us singing Happy Birthday to the mayor. In the middle? Well, we learned the “state of Richmond is resilient, resolute, and positioned for future growth.” The Mayor name dropped specific awesomnesses going on around town: $981 million in active development projects, two new schools, and the much improved Broad Street corridor. The crowd favorites were easily the proposals for a new Colisseum and baseball park.
Mayor Jones can give a speech for sure. I think my two favorite quotes were these jabs at Charlottesville and our neighboring jurisdictions. Speaking on a new coliseum:
A new coliseum will help us reclaim shows that bypass Richmond for Charlottesville … or other places.
And mentioning that all of Richmond’s schools are accredited:
Not every jurisdiction in our immediate area holds that distinction.
After what seems like eons of endless jabber and renovations the Hippodrome is finally “open.” Quotation marks only because the official launch is still a couple months off, but last night the place looked pretty great. After the mayor’s speech I snapped a few pics in the theatre. I tried to make my way into the Taylor Mansion, but was denied access.
Below are some pictures of the place, in descending order of greatness: