Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 2:56 PM

+4 Former R&B heartthrob, Richmond native and Grammy-winner D’Angelo draws national attention for a long-anticipated release, “Black Messiah” — his first album in 15 years. Which by our calculations means you can expect a baby boom around September.

+2 The Martin Agency wins the Tic Tac account, with the ad agency’s chief telling Advertising Age that it will help the brand increase its interaction with consumers. But not too much interaction. Because you smell like garlic. Just kidding. But seriously, have a Tic Tac.

-5 Local outrage erupts over the appearance of a billboard calling homosexuality a choice from a group that supports therapy to treat the condition. Billboards are for telling us where to buy your wedding ring, not whose finger to put it on.

+1 The popular Cuban restaurant in the Fan, Kuba Kuba, decides to open a second location in the West End. Now that soccer moms won’t be denied their tres leches cake, all they need is a closer Ikea store and more hot yoga Groupons to reach complete Nirvana.

+3 The Richmond Ballet counts down the days to its weekend opening of “The Nutcracker.” Mom is insisting that we attend. Tried to change her mind, but you know her. She’s a tough nut to crack.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Score

A weekly rating of the city zeitgeist.

Posted on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 1:51 PM

+7 Thousands of lights are switched on downtown for the 30th annual Grand Illumination, with the Dominion Christmas Parade rolling through the city the following day. Yep, Christmas always comes early for the power company.

+2 Bon Secours Richmond Health System taps Toni R. Ardabell as its chief executive. And in a city with few women heading up board rooms, consider this a star of wonder.

-4 The T-D reports that more than 3,800 state employees make salaries below the federal poverty level for a family of four. And have you seen the budget outlook? At this rate, we’ll never be able to fully clothe that lady on the state flag.

-2 Piles and piles of damp leaves line neighborhood streets, awaiting giant city vacuums. Which explains the giant sucking sound you’re about to hear. Either that or we’re down to the last few drops of Hardywood Gingerbread Stout.

+1 Making her Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters, Henrico County home cook Beth Royals wins $1 million in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Even happier news: With her new windfall, she’ll never have to eat store-bought dough again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 11:11 AM

+7 Richmond celebrates Thanksgiving with food, football and leftovers. Yep, the only turkey that got pardoned around these parts was the mayor’s ballpark plan.

+3 The ice rink along Broad Street at CenterStage opens for the season, drawing skaters downtown. We haven’t seen this many bruises since the Renegades were in town.

-5 Police tell the T-D they’re concerned that budget cuts to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science will end certain trace evidence testing, such as fiber and gunshot residue. Well, we won’t be able to afford William Petersen, but we can get Ted Danson for cheap.

+1 Friends and colleagues hold a surprise party over the weekend for state Delegate Deloris McQuinn for her 60th birthday. Everyone was in such a good mood there was even bipartisan support for a hangover.

+4 The T-D reports that St. John’s Church, which holds re-enactments of the convention where Patrick Henry gave his “liberty or death” speech, finally is replacing its leaky roofs. So Patrick, you can stop ad-libbing “Give me liberty or give me black mold.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 1:24 PM

+5 Video Fan says it’s staying open after successfully meeting a fundraising goal of $35,200. It was a close call, but now that the VHS version of Patrick Swayze’s bouncer-philosopher classic, “Roadhouse,” is being safeguarded again, our faith in humanity is restored.

+2 Local media deliver good news for Tucker, the emotional-support pig used as a pet in a Brandermill household, who’ll be allowed to stay until the Board of Supervisors can decide its fate. Tucker was planning to throw a party to celebrate the delay, but his place is sort of a sty.

-8 After a shocking Rolling Stone story detailing a victim’s experience, the University of Virginia draws national attention for how sexual assaults are poorly handled on campuses across the country. Maybe this is one time we don’t have to follow Thomas Jefferson’s lead.

+4 With Thanksgiving ahead, tired and frazzled Richmonders see light at the end of the tunnel. And by light we mean a big fat drooling nap with football playing in the background.

+3 Gelati Celesti celebrates its 30th year of churning out decadent concoctions and opens a new store in Short Pump. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And it isn’t frozen yogurt.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 11:43 AM

+2 Ben Zywicki, a 26-year-old from Colorado, becomes the first American man since 2000 to win the Anthem Richmond Marathon. It should be noted that Colorado also legalized marijuana this year. You can't argue with data.

+5 Richmond kicks off Virginia Cider Week, joining the celebration across the state with workshops, tastings and special events. Just remember: Drink responsibly and always cab it home from the orchard.

-3 Viewers are stunned to see VCU point guard JeQuan Lewis take a hard fall during the men's basketball season opener against Tennessee, sustaining a concussion and being helped off the court. Get well JeQuan and be careful, guys. Leave the head injuries to Rodney the Ram. That's why we hired him.

-4 Modern and contemporary art curator John Ravenal leaves his post at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts after 16 years, becoming the fourth high-profile employee to depart in the last year. Is it possible he left for a job with more Monet?

+1 Organizers of the RVA Street Art Festival announce next year's location as the Southern States silo complex in Manchester. Blank, phallic-shaped canvases. This can only end well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM

+2 Long lines form for the much-anticipated holiday release of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery's gingerbread stout. You fools! It's made of elves!

-4 The Wall Street Journal reports on Virginia's low turnout of 2.1 million voters, with exit polls showing that 68 percent of them think the country is "seriously off on the wrong track." On a high note, people showing off their "I Voted" sticker on Facebook was at an all-time high.

+3 During a visit to Richmond, Food Network star Alton Brown declares on Twitter that Church Hill's Proper Pie Co. makes "the best pumpkin pie I've ever had." Oh Alton, you probably say that in every city you bring your show to. Leaving cab fare on the nightstand was a nice touch though.

-3 Looking back on the summer, public health officials report a surge in beach closures and swimming advisories because of higher-than-normal bacteria levels. Which explains Virginia Beach's marketing slogan for next year: "At least we're still Ebola free!"

+1 The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile announces that it's visiting Richmond this week at local Kroger and Martin's grocery stores. This might be the only time posting "wiener selfies" will be sociably acceptable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM

+4 Halloween falls on a cold Friday night, filling local nightclubs with costumed revelers. It was so cold the naughty nurses had to thaw a few thermometers.

+6 Daylight saving time ends, giving Richmonders an extra hour on Sunday. Which on the Netflix-binge-watching scale equals an additional "Sons of Anarchy" episode.

-2 Candidates fill the airwaves, knock on your door and call you at home, pleading for your vote on the eve of Election Day. Because if you don't have the guts to interrupt family dinners, how do you expect to lead this country?

-4 Questions follow the explosion of an unmanned commercial rocket lifting off Wallops Island, which was carrying 5,000 pounds of experiments and equipment for NASA. It's also anyone's guess what those guys on the International Space Station are gonna use for toilet paper.

+3 The first Fire, Flour & Fork conference brings together chefs, food writers and diners for a weekend of education and indulgence. They've already signed up next year's sponsor, Tums.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM

+3 Winery owners, industry insiders and restaurateurs are drawn to the Jefferson Hotel for the Virginia Wine Summit. For one brief day, it was the only place in Richmond where people weren't drinking craft beer.

+7 The Valentine museum holds its grand reopening after a yearlong, multimillion-dollar, 16,200-square-foot renovation. Polished, roomy and looking good — even Robert E. Lee's old boots were deodorized with that new-museum smell.

0 Neighborhood mainstay Buddy's Place gives word that it's moving to the Devil's Triangle after more than 30 years at its corner spot in the Fan. Starbucks moves in, Buddy's moves out, yet another sign of the apocalypse.

-1 After nearly 10 years on the dial as the "We play anything" station, Liberty radio says goodbye, merging with Big Oldies 107.3-FM to form a new station playing hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s. The only hitch is finding a few sturdy gramophones.

+2 Last-minute Halloween shoppers start flooding local thrift stores and costume shops to gear up for a weekend of trick-or-treating. Or, if you're an adult and like us, bar-hopping under an alias.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 1:59 PM

-6 With a $2.4 billion gap in Virginia's two-year budget, the governor announces layoffs, cutbacks and a price hike on booze at the state's 350 liquor stores. And there's a monopoly for ya — create a reason to drink and then make you pay more for the privilege.

+4 Richmond's theater community gets gussied up for the seventh annual Artsies, a lively show that hands out awards from local critics and offers up musical highlights from the year. And yet again, City Hall is robbed in the best comedy category.

-1 Considering the Ebola threat, three state lawmakers write to the governor, urging him to use "the police powers of Virginia" to enact restrictions on travelers from Ebola-affected areas by air and sea. The letter was mailed from the cave in which they usually make legislation.

+5 The largest group yet, about 1,300 volunteers, turn out to tackle daylong projects for nonprofits across the city as part of HandsOn Greater Richmond Day. Which was way more productive than our Saturday a few weeks ago, when we observed ButtOn Tattered Couch Day.

+1 Perly's matzo ball soup wins the Souper Bowl at Max's Positive Vibe Café, as judged by the Soup Nazi actor from "Seinfeld," Larry Thomas. But let's be honest — the real winner is the guy who's getting paid 19 years after pretending to be an eccentric fascist chef on television.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Score

Posted on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

+8 Despite cloudy skies and a chill in the air, tens of thousands of people spend weekend time enjoying the 10th anniversary of the Richmond Folk Festival. The break dancers were a big hit. Then again, that might have been a group of guys just trying to stay warm.

+4 Gov. Terry McAuliffe toasts the decision of Stone Brewing Co. to bring its $74 million East Coast expansion to Richmond's Fulton neighborhood. One of Stone's flagship brews, Arrogant Bastard, is how the city is feeling right about now.

0 The ACLU applauds an opinion by the attorney general that says law enforcement officials are prohibited from using drones except for humanitarian reasons. They add that a drone sandwich delivery service would infringe on no one's civil liberties and they would welcome such airborne deliciousness.

+1 The Camel is host to a local band mash-up combining the pop of My Darling Fury with the hip-hop of the Photosynthesizers — called Darling Synthesis. It's the most fascinating mash-up since that drunk dude passed out in front of the kids playing the buckets in Carytown.

+2 A "Saturday Night Live" sketch starring host Bill Hader spoofs the commercials of Richmond-based charity ChildFund International and its television spokesman, Virginia actor Alan Sader. Now, for the cost of a cup of coffee, won't you consider helping SNL's ratings?

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