Good morning, RVA! It's 61 °F, and the weather continues to improve! Today, expect highs in the mid 80s, plenty of sun, and maybe some wind later in the afternoon. It's an excellent day to ride your bike to work, if I do say so myself.
The Grace Street Parking Tower, in its current form, is dead, says Ned Oliver. Remember, this is an ultra-valuable, mega-central, city-owned piece of property. Richmond should expect excellent (and multiple!) proposals from highly qualified developers when selling any of our property—especially for such a central piece of land like this one. If these particular developers want to build an 18-story residential tower with 800 parking spots, there are many, many privately-owned surface lots in the area where they can do exactly that! P.S. But even if they're buying private land adjacent to the Pulse corridor, I'd still say that's way too much parking for a part of town that is supposed to be focused on transit not storing people's cars.
Ned Oliver also has today's budget update! Council decided to scrap all of the proposed cigarette, meals, and admissions taxes, which means Council will most likely need to make further cuts to balance their version of the budget (due to a major increase in funding for police and fire salaries). Keep an eye on the secret $8 million found in the schools' budget and the unexpected $13 million found in the city's budget. The City can't fund operating costs with these big piles of cash and probably shouldn't fund one-time expenses, but, like, we need some more money, y'all. Also, the picture and caption accompanying this article are wonderful.
Jonathan Costen at WRIC talks to some of the City's first Black firefighters. The first integrated station, Engine Company No. 9, stood at the intersection of Duval and 5th and was torn down in 1968—I'm assuming as part of the demolition of Jackson Ward to make way for the highway.
A bunch of folks from Richmond Magazine toured the almost-finished ICA building, and here's what they had to say as it relates to all of their various writing beats. The pictures from inside the construction are so neat!
Over on /r/RVA, someone asks for restaurant suggestions with round tables. What a fascinating question.
As City Council and School Board work to finalize their budgets, you can hit up Ironclad Coffee in Scott's Addition today for a fundraiser supporting Building a Better RPS. Money raised goes to support volunteer efforts to make our schools a little bit better—stuff like cleaning bathrooms, replacing lightbulbs, and landscaping.
There's a ton of stuff going on nationally—cool Saturn space stuff, ACA repeal is back in the news, Trump's tax "plan," the end to the internet as we know it—maybe just spend some time on Vox.com this morning.
- Squirrels got canned by Bowie, 2-13. They've got the day off today.
- Nats beat Colorado, 11-4. They'll wrap up the series today at 3:10 PM.
This morning's longread
Whoa, an unexpectedly good read about writing, depression, and The Human Centipede.
I moved to New York for graduate school. I was in my mid-twenties, and what do we do when we’re in our mid-twenties? We move to New York with very little money and very high hopes. Like many, I entered into the nexus of love and wealth and fame looking for a piece of the glistering and transmutable dream itself. In short, I was here to write a book.