Good morning, RVA! It's 61 °F, and today we’ve got highs in the upper 80s on tap. This weekend, temperatures shoot up into the 90s, so please remember to stay hydrated.
Michael Paul Williams takes the time today to explain how to work the floating parking next to the almost-completed Franklin Street Cycle Track (aka two-way bike lane). It’s pretty simple: Just don’t park in the bike lane. The big news for me, though: The City plans to open our newest piece of bike infrastructure next Friday! There is so. much. cool. stuff. coming online this year that I kind of can’t contain myself. We’ve got the Pulse, the redesign of the bus network, the Franklin Street Cycle Track, a second phase of bike share, and the fancied-up Monroe Park. 2018!
If my calculations are correct, today is RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras’s 100th day on the job. He had a pretty intense 100-day plan (PDF), and while I don’t know if he knocked each item out, I do know that he definitely checked off a bunch of them. Here’s just a few that I’m aware of: Visited every RPS schools, held nine district town halls, launched the RPS Direct email newsletter, launched a teacher recruitment campaign, launched a _The New Jim Crow_ book study, walked the Richmond Slave Trail, launched a strategic planning process, engaged the Council of Great City Schools to conduct a budget audit, and launched the RPS Shines staff recognition program. Like I said, I have no idea if he knocked out all 30 items in his plan, but he seems like the kind of guy who will let us know either way over on his twitter.
The RTD’s Mark Robinson has a recap of last night’s Monument Avenue Commission meeting. Nothing much new to report other than some intense quotes from either end of the spectrum.
Don’t Look Back, the taco spot descended from Nate’s Taco Truck (no relation to Nate’s Bagels), will soon reopen in Scott’s Addition after a fire shut down their Carytown location, and Eileen Mellon at Richmond Magazine has some details. I remember having a transformative chicken-skin taco experience at the taco truck one day, so I’m glad to see them back up on their taco feet.
It’s Wu-Tang Sandwich Week at Brewer’s Cafe, and I’m a terrible person for just now telling you about it. Stop by the Southside spot (1125 Brainbridge Street) and try out an Old Dirty Bacon, Inspectah Island, or the Ghostface Griller (lol). Proceeds benefit Richmond Public Schools.
- Squirrels topped Trenton, 3-1, and hope to keep the momentum going tonight at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available online.
- Kickers host the Tampa Bay Rowdies tomorrow at 7:00 PM, and those tickets are also available online.
- Nats beat Arizona, 2-1, and will continue that series tonight at 9:40 PM and through the weekend.
- Caps face the Lightning tonight at 8:00 PM in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.
This morning's longread
Read this longread about John Henry and post-Civil War protest music (with some not super positive Richmond mentions). Then watch Childish Gambino’s incredible new video for “This is America.”
Given the fact that John Henry was black, probably a convict, and existed in the unrelieved racism of Reconstruction-era South, the first people to sing about him were almost certainly African Americans. And so there is a hidden history to “The Ballad of John Henry,” in which the protagonist demands to be treated like a man, not a slave, and who may very well have murdered some of his white overseers. A slight but telling version of the lyric quoted above—one which circulated privately in the black community—goes like this: John Henry told his captain / A man ain’t nothing but a man / Before I’d let you beat me down / I’d die with the hammer in my hand
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