It is not unknown that Richmond is a unique city in multiple respects, and the inclusion of Carytown is one of the many contributing factors to this eclectic city. Carytown, a quick ten minute car ride away, offers students a unique shopping, dining, and living experience. The streets boast beautiful graffiti art, a compilation of many different foods, and widespread shopping opportunities. Though walking there would be a bit of a hike, those who have not visited should try to budget a trip into their schedule. I’ve been lucky enough to visit several times and each time I found something new.
On my first excursion with a group of friends, we dined at Mom’s Siam, a delicious Thai restaurant that offers outdoor seating to fully appreciate the atmosphere. After completely overstuffing myself with Pad Thai, we decided to gorge some more on ice cream down the street. The ice cream, albeit expensive, is hand made with a quality rarely found in ice cream shop chains (the line out the door attests to this!)
On our next trip, the same girls visited to see if housing was offered nearby (already preparing for next year). Much to our surprise, the housing development adjacent to Carytown was filled with students decked out in VCU gear buzzing around. Initially, it seemed silly to live far enough from campus that you’re practically forced to bike, however, considering the different lifestyle (much more laid back) that would ensue from living there it become clear that those residents had the right idea in mind. Another positive to living by Carytown is that the area in between the apartments is completely covered in art, something I doubt anyone could ever get tired of seeing.
On my most recent trip out, I dedicated it almost entirely to discovering new shops. After stopping in at a homely diner for a quick breakfast, my boyfriend and I went on a search for unique goods, and we were not disappointed. Like most of Richmond, Carytown is a mash up of multiple cultures each speaking their culture in different ways. We happened up a home decor store where most everything was handmade and inspired by African Culture. The retailer spoke about these tall wiry giraffes where the designer could pin point exactly which of her many artists created the piece based on small stylized differences. Of course there were a spattering of chain retail shops, but they were tastefully broken up by one of a kind stores, family owned businesses, etc. It makes me so proud to live in a city that offers something unique for everyone, rather than a regurgitation of everything else that’s currently in style.
I 100 percent recommend anyone and everyone to discover something new at Carytown. The experience, if you choose to take advantage of it, is unforgettable.