vol. 79 / paradise here

vol. 79 / paradise here 🏝️


Paradise is where you make it. It’s not a place, but rather a sense of freedom to explore yourself and the world around you. This week, we dig into a few ways to create your own paradise in this place we call home. 

Because, there's no place like here. 



Nothing says paradise like your own private island. Just last year, Andy Thompson, founder of Richmondoutside.com, rounded up a gaggle of local nature lovers to purchase a 1-arce island in the middle of downtown Richmond. When this rare little spit of land, called Sharp’s Island, appeared on the market Thompson quickly snatched it up in an effort to carve out his own slice of paradise. This spring, Thompson is making the entire island available for rent in hopes others will create their own adventure here in RVA. You can easily motor up to the island from Ancarrow's Landing in a john boat, canoe over from the trail just below Mayo Bridge, or make it the final destination on your next downriver kayak trip. How you get there is up to you! The location of Sharp’s makes for perfect fishing conditions this time of year or simply a good place to enjoy a frosty beverage in a hammock, a book on the sandy beach, or storytelling by the fire pit. And during the summer months, the river levels produce dozens of swimming holes scattered along the banks. 

Perk: Shine on. What’s a private island in the middle of the James without a bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine in hand? We'll greet Here. members that book a Sharp's Island experience in May and June with a bottle of Belle Isle Moonshine upon arrival! 



Sharp’s Island / $65 per night / 12 guests



While everyone is in charge of creating their own paradise, we’re fairly certain that adding burgers and beer by the river can help make things extra special. At the Lilly Pad, a hidden gem on Osborne Turnpike next to the Richmond Yacht Basin, you can order up a burger & basket of beer, enjoy tiki drinks served in pineapples at picnic tables, learn some bartending tips and tricks from guest mixologists, or belt out a classic tune during karaoke on the outside patio. It’s also the prime spot to watch a storm roll in over the James near Dutch Gap. And be on the lookout for Lilly Pad Luau's on Sundays, which will kick off in June with guest DJs and all the tiki themes you can handle. 


Lilly Pad / 9680 Osborne Tnpk.  
Guest bartender from Sticky Rice and Cobra Cabana / Thursday, May 2 
Karaoke / Friday, May 3
Live music by Jack Ruby & Co. / Saturday, May 4 


by Ed Trask

Ed Trask is back in May at Glave Kocen Gallery. Things kick off on Friday night with an opening reception for “Transitory” New Work by Ed Trask. As one of RVA’s most celebrated artists, Trask is known for pushing our little city by the river forward. In the mid 80s he made a name for himself on the punk scene as a drummer for bands like AVAIL, Corntooth, and Kepone. When he wasn’t performing, Trask turned Richmond (and many other cities he visited around the world) into his canvas as he painted directly on dilapidated buildings … perhaps a bit illegally, at times. Though Richmond is today flush with murals, back then large public displays of art took on a bit more of an outlaw vibe with Trask often leading the charge. Today, his work can be found in permanent collections at the VMFA, Gap, Capital One, Fortune Magazine, and more. And as the co-founder of RVA Street Art Festival, he has made it a point to support arts education, fellow artists, and good causes along the way. 
Despite the accomplishments, Trask knows all of life is transitory. There are fleeting moments of change, love, light, and color. Even our own version of paradise here in Richmond is in transition. Stop by Glave Kocen Gallery on Friday night, and throughout May, to view “Transitory" to see what we're talking about. You’ll find paintings of some of your favorite Richmond spots in flux – such as a flooded Pipeline, fog rolling over the James River, a storm creeping on the old Skateland on Hull Street, Belle Isle ruins, a eulogy to Fulton Gas Works, and a Red Maple in full bloom at Maymont, just to name a few. And there are unlikely surfaces too, such as dramatic works painted on surfboards (yes, actual surfboards that can be used in the water!) and several skateboard decks etched by Richmond laser artist Big Secret. Take a moment, pause, and consider that everything is transitory. We must live accordingly. 

Perk: Our friends at Glave Kocen Gallery love Here. readers. And as a Here. member, you’ll receive 10% off any non-exhibited work at Glave Kocen Gallery. Just let them know Here. sent you! 


Transitory Opening Reception at Glave Kocen Gallery / 6 p.m to 8 p.m.

Cheers to Paradise

Seeking your own paradise sometimes requires a good vessel. The side arm flask, boasting the Richmond flag, is an essential tool for anyone hell bent on getting spirits where they need to go. Check out this Richmond Grid and Shine Vessels collab. 
RVA Side Arm Flask