One Day in RVA is a series on the fabulous folks who enrich our city on the daily.
My name is Julie Karr. During the week I am an over the hill college kid. On the weekends I sling popcorn and candy at the Byrd Theatre. I’m a research assistant at VCU and an intern at Shalom Farms– a rad non-profit dealing with food access in Richmond. I work a lot. I also play music when I can. Until recently I was just playing acoustic, but my friend Jimmy and I started a band called Bad Magic, and I’m having way more fun playing loud and singing fast.
7:55 am- My alarm clock buzzes. I hit snooze.
8:04 am- Hit snooze again.
8:13 am- I slowly get out of bed, and then quickly throw together my typical breakfast on the fly; frozen waffle with apple slices and tahini. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Today I added some honey and, aside from being super sticky, it was a great decision.
8:30 am- Run out the door. I have just enough time to grab an iced coffee* from Globehopper before work.
Iced coffee is the one constant thing in my life, even though it is 30-something degrees outside, I still prefer iced over hot. I am a regular at least three coffee shops in Richmond. And there are some days where I actually go to all three.
It’s all a part of my quest to become more “ALL-ular.”
9 am- This weekend at the Byrd is French Film Festival. it is without a doubt the busiest event of the year. It’s a great opportunity to see some truly beautiful films, talk with the filmmakers, and it bolsters local business in Carytown. It can also feel really claustrophobic and like something you just have to get through.
One thing that I love about working at the Byrd is that every shift is like a dress up party, and I try to really embrace that. On this day, I wore the pinnacle of my thrift store achievements- a black velvet dress with a pink silk blouse and a faux fur coat. I look luxurious as all get out. I’m ready to sell some movie tickets.
1 pm- Our boss is buying us lunch from Lamplighter. I order the TLT&A, my favorite sandwich there. It’s tempeh marinated in a plum barbeque sauce they make in house with mixed greens, lettuce and avocado. I know that I am in the minority here, but I’ve never really cared for avocado. In keeping with the TLT&A format I order my sandwich with apple slices instead of avocado and it’s really tasty. I also ordered another iced coffee.
4 pm- I get off work and need to do some grocery shopping.
I end up eating at Ellwood’s a few times a week, and it’s always tasty. This is the awesome salad I ate.
Kale, beets, carrots, pecans and dried cherries with miso dressing. Side of sweet potatoes and this crazy good raw broccoli, raisins and cashew dish. Tasty stuff. If you ever get there early enough, they have awesome vegan biscuits and gravy. Also, have I mentioned yet that I am vegan? Because I am. But, you do you.
4:45 pm- I leave Ellwood’s and head home. It starts snowing, which is magical to look at and terrifying to drive in. I somehow make it home to Church Hill.
5:15 pm- I decide that I deserve a nap.
5:25 pm- My bandmate, Jimmy, calls to let me know that he is on his way to the practice space. I hang up the phone with every intention of getting out of bed and heading to the practice space. I fail miserably.
5:45 pm- I finally get out of bed. I go to Globehopper again and get another iced coffee.
6:00 pm- I arrive at the practice space, ‘Garbers’. It is an institution as far as Richmond bands are concerned. It’s an eerie warehouse off Main St. in Church Hill. A lot of bands practice here, and there is a really nice sense of allegiance to each other and genuine enthusiasm for each other’s music.
8:15 pm- I’ve been told that it is bad luck to practice the day of a show, but I have a feeling it’s even worse to play a show without practicing. We finish up practice and are hopeful that the snow has let up. It hasn’t. This makes loading our equipment an exciting challenge.
Tonight we are playing with Canary oh Canary, at Bandito’s. I have lived in Richmond for about 5 ½ years, but have never stepped foot into Bandito’s. It’s a patchwork of 30-something punks, Museum District locals and avid smokers. We get free beer and free tacos. The show is free and they are paying both bands. I cannot overstate how friendly they were. They even put our names on a marquee! With all of the snow, I worried that no one would come out. I was really wrong!
I get home and lull myself to sleep with Magnolia Electric Co. This record was already on the turntable when I first found out that singer, Jason Molina, had died. I’m a sappy person, and decided that a week of mourning and listening to all of my Songs:Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co. and his solo work the most appropriate way to pay homage to a musician that left a mark on me both as a fan and, dare I say, a musician.
Sometime around 3am I fall asleep.
*- Globehopper doesn’t actually serve iced coffee, only iced americanos and they are fantastic.