I got little thing in the August/September issue of Richmond GRID:
Outside in the East End
Church Hill has gotten a lot of press recently for all of its new restaurants and bakeries. From Alamo BBQ to WPA Bakery, there are many, many ways to get your eat on in the East End. Some folks are even half-jokingly calling it the Bakery District. Balancing out these temptations, the area also has a great network of public parks which get put to good use. All kinds of folks get out for a myriad of activities, from basketball to yoga – all with a spectacular view of the city skyline.
Gillie’s Creek Park in Fulton is a dense multi-use community center of a park. Perhaps best known across Richmond for it’s now 20-year-old eighteen-hole frisbee golf course, Gillie’s Creek also regularly hosts horseshoe tossing, soccer playing, and BMX riding. The Richmond Horseshoe Club has held down the courts at Gillie’s Creak since 2002 and are out almost every day of the year. The park’s BMX track is the only such track in the city and hosts weekly riding clinics and races.
Community fields like Lucks Field in Brauers and Powhatan Park in Fulton host neighborhood teams (with awesome names like Chimborazo Chargers, Mosby Spartans, Powhatan Chiefs) who compete in the citywide youth parks and rec league in football and baseball. You don’t have to get too deep into the neighborhood on a Saturday in the fall to find 12-year-olds in cleats and helmets trooping off to a game somewhere.
Just west of historic Chimborazo Park and tucked in off of Broad Street, Chimborazo Playground is home to Les Boulefrogs, Richmond’s premier petanque club. The basketball courts at Chimbo, recently refinished, are home to great neighborhood pick-up games (and sometimes skateboarders). Chimborazo Playground is also home to one of the area’s collection of community gardens (with at least 3 others scattered from Woodville to Jefferson Avenue).
People on the hill do get out for cycling and running, too. The East End offers great access to Varina’s network of rural roads and the battlefields out that way for cyclists looking for some good miles. The area also hosts two yearly runs/walks. Fulton’s Neighborhood Resource Center and Rocketts Landing host the dual-course Run to the River 10K/5K, which loops from Fulton to Libby Hill to Rocketts Landing. The Hill Topper 5K, part of the annual Church Hill Irish Festival in March, winds around St.John’s, Chimborazo, and Church Hill North.
The newest addition to playing outside in the East End is yoga in the parks. Nava Life Yoga has returned for another summer of Saturday morning yoga at Jefferson Park in Union Hill and Richmond Balance has been hosting yoga classes this season at Libby Hill Park. Namaste, y’all.