Pasties and Picassos
In May, the same month that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts debuted its makeover, Velvet owner Sam Moore announced he would shut the doors of his Shockoe Bottom strip club. Just a coincidence? Maybe. But I'll be the first to shout "conspiracy" if the VMFA decides to promote the upcoming Picasso exhibit with giant searchlights and two Cubist-painted Hummers driven by bikini dancers with daddy issues.
A woman scorned
Oh, Mother Nature. This past year was quite a rollercoaster ride. It turns out that it wasn't just the heat or the humidity. It was also the snow and the drought and the tornadoes, too. Was it because we evicted "Connecticut" from his sacred home at The Diamond?
When potholes attack
They appeared after the wicked winter weather. Deep, dangerous pits in the asphalt that busted our tires, spilled our coffee and rattled our nerves. "We're filling them as fast as we can!" VDOT officials protested. And we believed them. But then came the news that an official audit turned up nearly $1 billion in unspent funds. That's a lot of money to find hidden under your couch cushions.
The Cooch is loose!
When State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wasn't attracting basic-cable ridicule for his personal crusade against Exposed Lady Bits on the state seal, he was taking legal action against a former U.Va. climate scientist and advocating statewide policy changes that completely ruined his chances at becoming the Grand Marshal of the 2011 Gay Pride Parade.
Richmond's wild life
Oh, boy, was it a great year for adorable spokesanimals! Adults and kids alike were charmed by the banister-leaping antics of Nutzy, the enormous, caped rodent mascot of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. And the editors of Adweek were so smitten with the Geico gecko that they crowned Richmond's Martin Agency the nation's top ad house. But, sadly, no love has been shown for Mack Mack, the dancing bulldog who helps people with bad credit.
Ukrop's gets bagged
For many, the exit of Richmond's beloved grocery-store chain felt like the loss of a family member. They experienced the full seven stages of grief and even sought comfort with professional counselors and therapists. Others simply continued buying their birthday cakes and chicken salad at Martin's.
The French Connection III
Here's a great idea for a screenplay: It's about this slick French developer, Justin, who finds a way — allegedly — to make millions in wonky real-estate deals. The movie won't have any car chases or special effects. What it will have? Historic tax credits. Dozens of them.