Residents of Richmond, some of you may expect to be without power for up to two weeks following the storm, but keep in mind that you are not alone — Over 75 percent of people in Richmond, and 1 million in Virginia, experienced power outages as a result of Hurricane Irene. Hang in there, all.
Into Tuesday evening, according to MSNBC:
- Irene’s death toll is up to 43
- Three million Americans are without power, including 500,000 in just Connecticut
- Thirteen communities in Vermont alone are still cut off due to flooding from the Category 1 storm
- The Outer Banks, as feared, have been altered, again, topographically
- Seven hundred boat rescues were made today in just New Jersey
Suggestions for last minute hurricane preparation:
- Battery-powered radio + batteries
- Flashlight + batteries, candles (Watch out for wax — Isabelle ruined my parents carpet, and don’t burn your house down — please.)
- Quarters for payphones, in case cell reception is gone (You may want to locate these ahead of time because it will be harder to ask around for payphone locations once a hurricane has hit and your cell phone is out. Ask people you know and check gas stations. College campuses usually also have them, as well as public transportation places like train or bus stations, or airports. You might also try shopping centers, malls, or large retail stores.)
- A full tank of gas in your car
- Non-perishable foods if you do not, and foods you can heat on a stove if you do have a gas stove. (Also, if you have a gas stove and your power goes out, make sure you have a match or a lighter to light the burners. They will also come in handy when lighting those candles.)
- Cash, before the storm hits, in case ATMS are down in a power outage
Like Jill and her yoga, I get a lot of stress-relief from physically writing things down. You name it — grocery lists, to-do lists, schedules — essentially removing the responsibility from my brain of keeping track of everything.
Two women from Australia are staying at the bed and breakfast this week. It is the sheilas’ first time in the U.S. and they are here in Richmond doing research on their family tree. I gave one of them directions to the Virginia Historical Society today while the other left for downtown. Believe it or not, when I was refreshing their room, I noticed that they had packed Vegemite for the trip. They also brought it with them to the breakfast table.
Prepare mostly for power outages, but also consider making ready for an emergency situation in which help will not arrive immediately, e.g. a battery-powered radio, fresh batteries, a flashlight, water and non-perishable food. Make sure you’re buying the right food, and amounts of, here: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/06/06/Food/Your_hurricane_grocer.shtml
Every last Wednesday of August, the town of Buñol, Spain kicks off one of Spain’s many tremendous festivals. The week-long festivities include parades, fireworks, a paella cooking competition and dancing, but the main event, by far, is an enormous food fight… with tomatoes. The entire festival is called “La Tomatina” and it begins this WednesdayAUGUST 31*, so book your plane tickets now, and pack goggles. (Yes, that’s right, I did say “paella cooking competition.” It’s pronounced PIE-AY-UH and it’s delicious in every way it’s made.)
Store owners will cover their shops in plastic tarps to protect them from over 100 metric tons of flying tomatoes. Each year, La Tomatina doubles and sometimes nearly quadruples Buñol’s population.
BCK will be following the event starting Wednesday.
Fun fact: Spain also has a wine-throwing festival and a grape-throwing festival.
In an older “Name the City,” BCK brought you an interactive aerial view of Paris, France, from the vantage point of: directly above the Eiffel Tower. Several followers enjoyed it, so here it is again, accompanied by seven other hot spots.
If you haven’t heard, over the summer, VCU installed three new parking decks, which will be available for commuter as well as housing students for this fall semester. The cost of parking decks for commuters will be $130 per semester, a $50 decrease from a year ago, and housing students will have the option of $276 per semester or $310 for six months. For more information about parking, visit bsv.vcu.edu/vcupark.
Also new this fall: Six new restaurants — Wendy’s and Einstein Bros. Bagels on the MCV Campus, and IHOP, Raising Cane’s, Zoca and Croutons, Salads & Wraps on the Monroe Park Campus. That is, if you are lucky enough to have RamBucks provided by your parents or can somehow afford the on-campus food.
It’s definitely moving season in RVA. New students are somewhat beginning to arrive and it seems all current residents surrounding VCU are simply switching places. If you are one of those movers, the letter above is addressed to you.
Hey there! I'm going to be a psychology major down at VCU in the next couple of weeks, and I'm just curious, I don't know if you know anything about it or not, but is finding a job down in Richmond terribly hard? That's thing that's making me anxious, haha. Sorry to bother ya dear, I was just wondering if you had any experience in the job market down there. Thanks for your help!
To be quite honest, and I speak from experience, it may take months in Richmond to get a job if you are very picky. However, this is coming from someone who was very picky. I didn’t break into any more humbling jobs, or the restaurant market at all. Best of luck!
'Tis the season for RVA newcomers as the school year fast approaches
Tip #1: When in doubt, don’t park there!
New VCU student tip #2:
If you’re new, or will be new to downtown Richmond, VA, one thing you must be aware of is how many times you’re going to be asked for money whilst perusing about — no matter how long you stay in this old city. Really, this goes for just about any urban environment. I’m not saying to never help a person out and be totally insensitive to the world, but I am going to be honest — it would be quite an investment if you were to help each person who asks. So, you should be prepared.
My advice to you a month ago would have been: “Always say you don’t carry cash.” However, I realized that they’ve found a way around this excuse too, as a woman with strangely no emotion about her purse having just been stolen was asking me to use my “plastic.”
You can get creative all day long with excuses about why you can’t help, but it seems that the best way to avoid giving all your cash away — at least to those with obviously bogus stories is: be - honest! Briefly tell them you can’t afford to give them money, and most importantly, keep walking. Walk away before the man with the nice shoes asks you for “just a quarter” (You are a college student after all. There are wealthier folks to beg to.), and be kind to the homeless in other ways.
FUN FACT: The Shark Week kitty in BCK’s most recent post is the spitting image of the cat this blog was named after!
Still out of the loop with all this shark talk? Tune into the Discovery Channel any time between now and the end of the week at 9 p.m ET. TV shows not enough? Visit http://sharkweek.com for games, clips, photos, a virtual shark dive, info about the Shark Week charity auction and more!
As a new school year approaches, I will share with you all a small amount of wisdom that I hope you can use during your experiences in downtown Richmond, VA.
My first piece of advice applies to those students with cars:
Make sure you read all posted signs regarding times and days of the week, don’t forget to feed the meter [Not following these guidelines may result in parking fees and the even more expensive returning-to-realize-your-car-has-been-towed.] and, coming from someone with a now-missing side-view mirror, try to park as close as you can to the curb.