Once upon a time I ran a news site, now I just have opinions on the news. 

Good morning, RVA: Pollen, Pittsburgh, and pet names

Good morning, RVA! It's 59 °F, and this afternoon we'll see temperatures in the upper 80s. Some clouds here and there, but otherwise a solid spring day.

Water cooler

Alright, RTD Meteorologist John Boyer, you have won me over with this surprisingly interesting piece on pollen. I'm a sucker for microscope slides and hand-written records spanning decades! If you want real, live allergen counts (measured in grains per cubic meter...of air?) you can follow Richmond Allergy Partners on Twitter.

Robert Zullo, also at the RTD, has a look at what all the folks on the Chamber's intercity visit to Pittsburgh have been up to. The featured image of PNC Park, tons of chatter about sports stadiums, and this quote, "We basically said to the citizens, 70 percent of the citizens of Pittsburgh and region, 'We’re going to do it anyhow'," don't necessarily point to lessons I'd want our elected and business leaders to bring back to Richmond? I'd be interested to hear about what other things folks on the trip have learned about that aren't stadium-related—and also if they've ridden the funicular! Unique public transit, FTW!

OneVirginia2021, the group leading the way to redistricting reform in Virginia, had parts of their documentary shown on the dang John Oliver show! You can catch a screening of the full thing in Charlottesville next Wednesday.

Will I ever need to leave my house again to buy local beer? Amazon Prime Now says no, I will not.

The RVA subreddit points out that the names of the dogs up for adoption at Richmond Animal Care and Control are awesome. Bones Malone is a fantastic name for a dog, but Beans The Magical Fruit gives me pause.

This piece in the NYT from 2014 shows what 2,000 calories looks like in the form of meals from chain restaurants. Ten thumbs up to Sonic's Peanut Butter Caramel Pie Shake for redefining the concept of a "meal!"


  • Squirrels broke their three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over Bowie. That series wraps up tonight at 6:35 PM.
  • Nats beat the Braves, 14-4 and look to sweep the series tonight at 7:35 PM.

This morning's patron question!

Patron Erica asks:

In my opinion, the sunsets in Richmond are glorious and more multi-hued and radiantly red than many I have seen. What are some of the best, often-overlooked places to enjoy a sunset in Richmond? And secondarily, is there something meteorologically unique about Richmond sunsets or am I just crazy thinking they are really, really special?

OK, for the first part of the question, here are Ross's Top Five Best, Often-Overlooked Places to Enjoy a Sunset in Richmond:

  1. The Best Cafe or sculpture garden at the VMFA
  2. This specific rock in the middle of the James River
  3. The Virginia War Memorial
  4. The T-Pot bridge—it's new, so maybe you haven't thought about it yet!
  5. Suspended from the bottom of a drone

Don't come at me with the end of Grace Street or Libby Hill or whatever. The questions was about often-overlooked spots! If you've got your own favorite (and often-overlooked) sunset/rise spot, send them my way over on Twitter.

To answer the second part of the question, I turned to former RVANews weather man and all around excellent dude, Weather Dan. I asked him if there was something magical about Richmond that made our sunsets amazing. Because he's a literal scientist, he gave me a real, science-based answer that did not include any references to magic. Disappointing.

Great sunsets happen when there's stuff in the air to alter the light—clouds, aerosols, smoke particles, etc. There's obviously a balance to that, too—some of it has to do with altitude and concentration. You don't think of smog-heavy cities for their sunsets. Like with the Force, there must be balance.

Based on those sciencefacts, I'm going to say that the reason we think Richmond sunsets are really, really special is that we think Richmond itself is really, really special. Beauty is in the eye of the etc!

Oh, also: Dan directed me towards SunsetWx, a website that forecasts how awesome your sunset or sunrise will be, which is really fascinating and can totally let you know whether it's worth getting off your couch to go Instagram the sky.

Many thanks to Weather Dan for helping out with this question!

If you’d like your question to show up here, go chip in a couple bucks on the ol’ Patreon.

This morning's longread


I know I'm only amazed by this because I'm an old person. But still!

Making music on his phone is mostly about the simplicity, the convenience. It’s a little about skipping the traffic on the way to the studio. But there’s one other advantage: since it’s all in his pocket, Lacy is ready to play his stuff at any time. Which was particularly handy last fall, when Lacy found himself in the studio with Kendrick Lamar.

Good morning, RVA: Old newspapers, Westwood Tract travails, and barcade details

Good morning, RVA: Police, numbers, and storefront churches