One of my former bosses used to say perception is reality. I’m not sure I agree with that statement, but I do know that misperceptions have a way of creating hard feelings.
Take the misperception that some folks have about life in east Richmond and in eastern Henrico County. For some people east has become the ugly stepsister of west.
Reasonable people know that each part of our region has good things to brag about. So allow me to brag some about my neck of the woods. Then I hope you’ll feel free to jump in and share what’s great about where you live.
I’ve lived in eastern Henrico since moving to the Richmond area four years ago. We had a choice of where to live and we chose here.
Sometimes when I tell people where I live, I can almost see them thinking “Why do you want to live THERE?!” And some of them come right out and ask me why I chose east over west or any other place.
My part of far eastern Henrico is rural without being remote. We’re surrounded by woods and we’re not too far from the James River.
I can leave my house, drive about 15 minutes on Route 5 to the edge of Richmond; and have a fabulous Sunday brunch at The Boathouse Restaurant.
Or I can head west and be in Williamsburg for a little history and shopping within 30 minutes or so. It takes a bit longer if I avoid I-64, which I usually do.
I can easily take advantage of the cheaper early morning flights out of Richmond International Airport without having toget up before the crack of dawn. And I don’t have to pay any tolls.
In case you don’t know, eastern Henrico has some neat little communities. Varina is one of the most well-known. But there are lots of others tucked among the woods, hills and horse stables. Sandston. Highland Springs. Seven Pines. Glendale. Elko and others.
About two months ago as I started exploring how I could better connect with my community, I met Mark Romers, president of the Eastern Henrico Business Association.
It turns out Mark and I share a similar goal. One of my missions is to help others learn about some of the good people and places in eastern Henrico. Mark said that’s also one of the association’s missions.
He said while he doesn’t have anything against the east end of Richmond, he wants people to know that eastern Henrico has its own character and its own identity therefore the two geographic areas shouldn’t be considered the same.
I’m not trying to pit one part of the region against the other. I have friends all over the area so I know that every community has good things going for them. I also know that my little part of the world isn’t perfect. No place is. I know what I like and that happens to be right here where I am.