Wednesday, July 30, 2014

About Monument Avenue . . . .

Monument Avenue might be Richmond's crown jewel, but its early years were fraught with uncertainty. In 1893, just three years after the statue of Robert E. Lee was erected near what is now Monument Avenue's eastern boundary, a nationwide economic depression brought the construction of Richmond's grand avenue to a halt. For the next dozen years, the statue of Lee stood in a vacant field beyond the western edge of the city, surveying a large empty span. As the economy recovered, though, construction on Monument Avenue resumed with the first houses going up in 1902. The model was straightforward.

After the Civil War, a wave of admiration of French art and culture swept over the U. S., and Monument Avenue's planners wanted a street that would convey the grandeur of Paris's Champs-Elysees. Instead of the Arc de Triomphe, we have the Lee Monument forming the focal point of the vista. The tree-lined avenue was originally just three blocks long, but over the course of several decades, it extended further west. It now spans five miles from North Lombardy Street in the city to Horsepen Road in Henrico County. Likewise, the number of statutes on Monument Avenue grew to six. The newest monument, which honors Arthur Ashe, was unveiled at the intersection of Monument and Roseneath Road in 1996.

All of Monument Avenue awaits you right outside the doors of Maury Place at Monument, which is located directly across the street from the Matthew Fontaine Maury monument.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Monday, July 28, 2014

Richmond "By the Lists"!

Recently, Richmond has been gaining national recognition as a city noted for its many historic sites, a growing restaurant scene, local breweries, outdoor activities such as cycling and rafting, many outdoor festivals, and a thriving arts and culture community. As one of the fifty most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S., Richmond is a frequent "list maker." If recent rankings are true, Richmond is a world destination teeming with tattoo covered hipsters, marathon runners, and outdoor lovers!

One of the most touted recognitions came from Frommer's travel guidebook. The city's rich history and the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War were cited as key reasons the Richmond region was named one of the 14 best places in the world to visit in 2014. CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg in May noted Richmond as the most affordable summer driving destination because it is a one-day trip for 60 percent of the U.S. population and has a wide array of activities from the history to the Canal Walk.

Richmond's other rankings include: "Millennial Magnets," cities with more 20-somethings than teens by USA Today in April 2014; "Top 5 Affordable Cities to Buy A Home," by in March 2014; "Most Creative mid-Sized Cities in America" (3rd of 10) by Movoto Real Estate in November 2013; "Top Places to Live" (58th) by in October 2013; "10 Up an Coming Cities for Entrepreneurs" by Forbes in September 2013; "Best Street Art in the World" (Top 14) by BuzzFeed in August 2013; and "Top 10 Cities Where LGBT Singles are Looking for Marriage and Kids" (1st) by in June 2012.

That's a lot of lists!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Meet our New Maury Place Pup "Roscoe"

After our loyal Lucy passed away in December, we took a little break to grieve before adopting a new dog.  Last week, we ventured to the SPCA and came away with Roscoe! Roscoe, who strongly resembles Lucy, is between five and seven years old. He is well behaved and mild mannered. His entire body moves when he wags his tail--which he does most of the time he is awake! Welcome, Roscoe!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Richmond on the Silver Screen

Richmond has served as the filming location for many movies and television shows. Perhaps the most prominent movie almost entirely filmed in the Richmond area is Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," which was nominated for several Academy Awards in 2012.

Other well known movies filmed in Richmond include "The Last Detail" (1973), "My Dinner With Andre" (1981), "Doc Hollywood" (1991), "True Colors" (1991), "Dave" (1993), "G.I. Jane" (1997), "The Jackal" (1997), "The Contender" (2000), "Hannibal (2001), "Cold Mountain" (2003), "Iron Jawed Angels" (2004), and "Evan Almighty" (2007). Now casting in Richmond and scouting locations is the Tom Hanks produced movie, "Ithaca," which will be directed by Tom Hanks' former co-star, Meg Ryan.

Prominent television programs filmed in Richmond include the mini-series "John Adams" (2008), "Killing Kennedy" (2013), and the AMC Revolutionary War spy drama "Turn," which is currently in production.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July! Fireworks Galore in Richmond!

Richmond seems to have more than its share of opportunities to see fireworks this 4th of July. On Thursday, July 3, RVA Fireworks on the James draws thousands to Brown's Island for free fireworks and family friendly performances. There will be food vendors, but you can bring your own picnic to see the 360 degree views of the fireworks display designed and fired by Fireworks by Grucci. Other viewing sites include Oregon Hill, Manchester, and Chimborazo Park. Bring a blanket and chairs to watch the display. Entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. with fireworks starting around 9:15. Rain date is July 5.

Dogwood Dell's annual Independence Day Celebration occurs on Friday, July 4, and begins with the oldies vocal group Bak N Da Day at 5:15 p.m., followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 6:30, a concert on the Carillon bells at 7, and patriotic and pop music performed by The Richmond Concert Band at 7:30. Fireworks, designed by Pyrotecnico, start at about 9:30.

Fireworks watch parties are also occurring at local breweries. They break down into two categories: one on July 3 for RVA Fireworks on the James and the other on July 4 for the fireworks at the Diamond. Head to breweries near the river--Blue Bee Cider, Legend, and Triple Crossing--to see the fireworks on July 3. On July 4, Hardywood offers its "Brewdependence Day" watch party opening at 3 p.m. with special music and food trucks.  Stick around to watch the fireworks after the Squirrels game at the Diamond at Isley Brewing Company and Ardent Craft Ales.

The Richmond tradition of Fireworks at the Diamond continues this year on Friday and Saturday nights. Richmond's Flying Squirrels take on the Reading Fighting Phils this weekend, and a fireworks extravaganza will follow the games on both nights. The first game of Friday's double header starts at 5:05 p.m., and fireworks will go off at the conclusion of the second game. Saturday's game starts at 6:05 p.m. with fireworks following. Tickets to the game are $7 to $11.

Maury Place at Monument will be surrounded by fireworks this 4th of July! Happy Independence Day to all!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Richmond is a Movie Theater Town!

      As most everyone knows, I am a huge movie fan, and I enjoy going to all of the many movie theaters here in Richmond. The closest movie theater to Maury Place is the Byrd Theater in Carytown, which opened its doors on December 24, 1928, and was Virginia's first movie theater equipped with a sound system! In 1978, the theater was designated a Virginia Historic Landmark, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The theater's Mighty Wurlitzer organ was installed when the theater was built to accompany silent movies. Current organist Bob Gulledge plays the organ every Saturday night before the evening shows. The Byrd shows second run movies for only $1.99!
     The Westhampton Theater on Grove Avenue is just a short drive from Maury Place. It opened in March 1938 as a single screen movie theater with a balcony. In the 1980's, the balcony was converted into a second screen. Today, the Westhampton shows primarily independent releases and foreign films. It is located in a charming shopping area on Grove Avenue referred to as "The Avenues."
     The Carpenter Theater at Richmond Center Stage on historic Grace Street was originally a Loew's Theater movie palace. The theater was built in 1927 and designed by architect John Eberson. It opened in 1928 and today is a venue for live stage performances.

     The Hippodrome Theater on Second Street in historic Jackson Ward opened in 1914 as a vaudeville and movie theater. In the 1930's and 40's , "the Hipp" was the place to see legendary performers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong--and later, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Nat King Cole. The theater has been fully restored and reopened in 2011 as an entertainment venue.

    Perhaps the newest movie theater closest to Maury Place is Movieland at Boulevard Square. Movieland is a 17-stadium movie theater located near the Diamond on the Boulevard. The building was originally a locomotive assembly plant before Bow Tie Cinemas renovated the building and opened it in early 2009.  So buy some popcorn and enjoy a movie at one of Richmond's landmark movie theaters!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument