Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Quote the Pogues

"If I should fall from the grace of God..."

If plans had gone acccording to my plan this spring, I would be groin-deep in murky James River water right now, wondering where in the heck my car had washed off to.

In the job timeline, I was interviewing with a position in Richmond with Cavalier Communications. While I had travelled through Richmond dozens of times, I had never really explored Richmond before the interview. With this job being based in Richmond, it seemed like a good time to check it out. And what a charming city it is - I had no idea Richmond was so hip, inexpensive and liveable. It's just Northern enough to be not sickly Southern, and just Southern enough to not be so bitterly Northern.

If you can put up with a very cigarette-friendly environment, Richmond's a fine little city. Reminded me of Des Moines but cooler. And closer to the beach.

And, after Tropical Storm Gaston yesterday, the beach just got closer to Richmond.

Initial reports state that about a foot of water was dumped on an already-saturated area, really damaging the Shockoe Bottom and Downtown neighborhoods. Full of neat little restaurants, bars, shops and apartments, Shockoe's where I would have moved. Found an apartment there I'd have moved into a New York Minute.

And my would-be apartment is on Richmond's News Channel 8 getting condemned.

Some of the footage looks like the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isabel in Baltimore and Annapolis last year. My old employer in downtown Annapolis had about 8 inches of water. The bookstore/coffee shop next door kept making high water mark signs, only to watch more water come in. Ego Alley Bar stayed open, and suffered 10 grand in electrical system damage. Hope the drinks were worth it. Juice It Up was 50 feet from the City Dock, and never bothered to pick up flood insurance. The morning Izzy hit, the owner of Juice It Up laughed at his neighbors who sandbagged and duct taped their store fronts. How could the water get this high, I head him ask aloud.

Good job, Nostradamus. Isabel was no joke.

I hope the folks in Shockoe heard and heeded the warnings as much as possible. Once the water dies down, I hope to take a quick day trip there. The businesses that remain will need the tourist dollars.

And I might find a good deal on an apartment.

- me


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