You Are Very Richmond If …

A 30th anniversary revival of a Style Weekly classic.

You know it’s not polite to make fun of Richmond unless you live here.

Around these parts, 30 years hardly qualifies as old. But after its debut in 1985, the reader contest known as “You Are Very Richmond If …” became a comfortable classic.

It turned Richmond into an adjective and offered readers an outlet to offer polite, pointed, sarcastic, self-conscious, adoring and sometimes cutting commentary about the city they called home.

Despite the contest’s retirement long ago — and a special comeback to mark its 25th anniversary in 2010 — we’re still asked about the issue, and you continue to hear people describe things as being “very Richmond.”

There’s something bless-your-heart special about something “very Richmond,” but we wondered how things might be spinning in 2015. So we asked. Hundreds of reader entries poured in. And here are the very Richmond results.

FIRST PRIZE: You’re very opinionated about where the new baseball stadium should or shouldn’t be, but still haven’t made it to a game. — Bill Smith

Adjusted Attitudes

You never forget where you buried the hatchet.— James Seay

You wish Civil War Richmonders hadn’t burned their own city down, but you see where they were coming from. — Matt Newman

If you think Eric Cantor lost his congressional seat because he was too liberal.— Chris Bopst

You believe everything you read in top 10 lists, as long as they mention Richmond. — Brent Baldwin

You reassure people that you weren’t a member of the Country Club of Virginia when it refused to let Arthur Ashe play there.— Brandon Fox

You think displaying the stars and bars is crazy, but you have no problem with an entire avenue dedicated to Confederate soldiers. — Abe Calhoun

You always try to be kind when you pre-judge someone. — James Seay

You know that you haven’t arrived in Richmond until you’ve arrived in Hollywood. — Jack Blanton

You like to play corn hole, but you’re embarrassed to say corn hole.— Janet Chenoweth

You love progress so long as nothing ever changes. — Evan Maxwell

HONORABLE MENTION: You love tubing down the James so much you’ve even done it once. — Dustin Correale

Around These Parts

You know that the “Lee Art” was to art what the “Lee Bridge” was to bridges. — James Seay

When someone mentions all the new murals, you immediately cross yourself and think of Princess Di. She left us too soon. — Jack Lauterback

You enter “RVA” as the airport code when booking a flight and wonder why the site is broken. — Aaron Roth

You call a small patch of pebbles a “beach.” — Joseph Weindl

You’re still not sure it’s a good idea for your child to move North/South of the river. — Christopher Link

You discuss “where is the new Diamond” going to be located. — Phyllis Andrews

You proudly tell everyone you meet that “Richmond is the third most tattooed city in the U.S.” — Maggi Beckstoffer

You think it’s only a matter of time before VCU completely owns the Fan and declares it to be a sovereign state.— Victor Gottlieb

HONORABLE MENTION: You have a mural tattooed on your bicycle. — Mike Dillon


Back in the Day

You’re still talking about how you used to see Dave Matthews every Wednesday night at the Flood Zone.— Dan Allen

You still refer to your folding lawn chairs as Fridays-at-Sunset chairs. — Casandra Broaddus

You know the difference between the Bliley Brothers and the Briley Brothers. — Tom Gayner

The Miller & Rhoads Santa Claus sang at your parents’ wedding. Really, 1957. — Cathy Churcher

You knew this contest would come back someday. — Janet Chenoweth

Full Hearts, Full Stomachs

You use Duke’s mayonnaise to brush your teeth, and the teeth of your dog, who is named Duke. — Brent Baldwin

You don’t hesitate to drop $9 for a local craft beer but balk at paying $7 for a show with three bands playing. — Karen Newton

The craft beer craze isn’t new to you — you’ve been drinking it in a hip outdoor space at Legend for 20 years. — Cameron Cutro

You believe that all of the best tasting bagels are doughnuts. — James Seay

You’ve recently written a business plan for a brewery — on a bar napkin.— Joel Smith

You ride your bike to go get doughnuts. — Robert Naglic

Getting Around

The second a drop of rain hits your windshield you let go and let Jesus take the wheel. — Nick Leveski

You are leaving town the week of the UCI Road World Championship. — Hannah Abbey

You’ve never been to the Metro Richmond Zoo. — Shamoniki Ellison

You think a roundabout is the time to arrive at a dinner party and not a traffic circle. — Bill Barrett

When the World comes to your town, you want to be anywhere in the world but your town. — Susan Cheyne

HONORABLE MENTION: You bought HDL stock because you thought it was the “good” cholesterol. — Victor Gottlieb


Origin Stories

Everybody that lives along Route 288 barely register as people to you. — Steve Howze

You tell someone you live in the North Side and ask if they know what that is. — Shamoniki Ellison

You came for art school, stayed for the PBR. — Sleeves Barnesafunks

You’re considering opening a craft brewery, brewpub, wine bar, yoga studio, massage clinic or strip club with your severance package from Capital One. — Nick Levay

Displays of Affection


You tape Gene Cox’s Style Weekly columns to your TV screen and pretend that he’s reading them to you on the air. — Victor Gottlieb

Your collection of Fan Parking Permits is so vast and impressive that it constitutes a safety hazard. — James Seay

You have relatives who were buried with their Ukrop’s Valued Customer Card in their breast pockets. — Wendy Martin

You know that the unofficial start to summer is not Memorial Day weekend, but the weekend of Richmond Greek Festival. — Mary Eovino

You wish that Fox Elementary School would go through grade 12. — Janet Chenoweth


Who You Know


You recognize the members of Gwar out of costume. — Greg Ceneviva

You are Tim Barry. — Brandon Favaro

You tell people you’re distantly related to someone in Lamb of God. — Summer McCarley

You are separated by only one degree from everyone you meet here. — Dee Demitriadis

You feel the need to protest what someone else is protesting. — Alan Vollmer

You were the only one who showed up to watch the Redskins train and when you caught a wide pass, they put you on the team. — Victor Gottlieb


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