A Day Full of Fandoms
This past Sunday, February 9th, 2020 was a day to remember for various reasons. It was all brought on with the idea of the RVA Environmental Film Fest. This festival is an event where many non-profit organizations and businesses come together for the awareness of the environment. The film fest had a strong message for their support for Mother Earth especially in the films specifically showcased at the event. The message was apparent but the strongest ideology came from sightseeing on W Cary Street and being exposed to many fandoms along the way.
The day began at the Byrd Theater where the RVA Film Fest kicked off and lots of people joined in. The Byrd is an iconic theater in Richmond and is a historical landmark. I went to the theater for the second movie of the day, Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf, with my friend Kaitlin. The Five Seasons was about Piet Oudolf whose aspirations for gardens and art go hand-to-hand with one another. He expresses this in his film where he practices art through gardening. He takes into account the beauty of plants and how they change in the seasons. I loved the strong visuals of nature and the vibrant narrative of his passion. The documentary style of the Five Seasons captures the true essence of Piet Oudolf so much that it is like an autobiography of sorts. Piet Oudolf is an artist in his own right and deserves the recognition in a medium where it makes people grow closer to nature and act in awe.
After the Five Seasons, I was able to experience the Chop Suey Books store on W. Cary Street. Chop Suey Books is a shop where books are ever-present and pop out at you literally at times. I went with the intention to look around and somehow looking around more made me reconsider. The first book to catch my interest was Japanese decor and the interior spaces of the houses. It looked interesting for Japan stuck out and most of their culture is heavily in their homes. There was also the Golden Age of DC Comics which had a gold-like appearance on the cover. It had images of various DC Comics like for example the infamous Action Comics about Superman and among others. Though the covers were striking down memory lane, I did not buy it because the book was mostly comics and it gave the feeling of a yearbook.
I bought a book while I was there but had to go up a floor for a specific cause of why. I went to the second floor in search of reference material for a particular essay about The End of the Samurai with traditional values clashing with the counterculture of modernization in Japan. It got me intrigued; however, the book I bought was Japanese Aesthetics and Culture A Reader. Nancy G. Hume is the editor and works as an Associate Professor in Baltimore, Maryland. She does a good job of explaining the book in a scholarly fashion and understanding of Japan as a whole. There was only one book that had a similar effect on me like the Japanese A reader which was Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. This book is about Chef Anthony Bourdain who wrote a memoir of his experience in his cooking career. According to Chef Anthony, the book describes “twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior, and haute cuisine.” It was never published due to his passing before the book went on the market. The book tells a story and holds the power to appeal to someone’s human side.
Chop Suey Books was a place to remember while Tokyo Market was kind of planned. Tokyo Market is a Japanese Grocery Store and has various aspects of Japan in the place. The place had things from Japanese merchandise (Pokemon Gum and the Lucky Cat collectibles) to Japanese exotic drinks and other foods. I really liked seeing mochi (ice cream equivalent in the United States), seaweed, and drinks from that culture. The funny thing about this store I was trying to find it earlier when I thought it was the Sushi Market for some reason. I struggled to find a product that I would satifised with until I stumbled across Banana Milk from Taiwan. Though, the only problem was the can did not meet the minimum price for debt so I was yet again looking for more items to buy. I frantically searched and remembered the crackers. Somehow, I bought two packages with twenty-one rice crackers and I am now planning to share them with Reynolds Anime Club. The best part was buying Banana Milk and when I drank it at lunch.
The Tokyo Market might have been short-lived but Bits and Pixels sure fixed that issue. Bits and Pixels is a Used and Metro Gaming Store. We start looking around and see many items like holographic posters with the original Kanto starter Pokemon and Fairy Tail characters (Erza, Natsu, and Gray). At different angles, you could see the Kanto starters combined between an angle of Bulbasaur and Squirtle in mid-transition of angles. I asked the clerk if they had a Pac-Man Party Wii game and the woman said she remembered it recently. I was so happy when I received Pac-Man Party, for it was one of the few games that I repeatedly played on the Wii. We headed out and reached the Byrd Theater when Kaitlin suggested them to be a possible vendor. I went back, and they are thrilled to be a vendor for ReynoCon 2020 hosted by Reynolds Anime Club. I explained the details to them to be a vendor and scored their business card to contact them.
My day was one of those days that a lot happened in a short period of time. I went to these places in 4.5 hours which included 3 stores, one restaurant, and a historic landmark. I can say that W. Cary Street has various fandom related businesses and other entertainment options. One last note, I ended the day by watching The Farmer’s Footprint at the Byrd Theater. The Farmer’s Footprint is a 20-minute short film but discusses crop yielding. Basically, it goes against the chemical treatment of their corn crop and keeping the family up and running for a fifth generation. Just as they are taking control of their farm, I am taking control of my blog and hope for the best.