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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Lolo Parties: Something About Lynchburg

Lynchburg like so many other places is not perfect. It has its fair share of secrets and ugly parts. I have to admit when I first came here I hated it. I know hate is a strong word, but that is how I felt about the Hill City. I was here for a television job, but I desperately missed my friends at VCU, I missed the Richmond lifestyle, and I missed being close to Hampton Roads. Needless to say my first year in Lynchburg was miserable. Except for my boyfriend at the time I hated every minute in Lynchburg. I remember counting down the days until my tv contract expired.

Something happened to me in Lynchburg around my second year of living there, I started to find things I liked. I liked getting up and seeing the sunrise over the mountains, I liked that people said, “Hello” and “Excuse me”, I liked the coffee shops, and small town feel. Before long I found little places to find peace: the balcony of my Rivermont apartment, a restaurant called Mangia on a Saturday morning ( I know it is gone now but I loved that place), the church I fell in love with off Fort Avenue. Towards the end of my television contract  I found I had fallen in love with the Hill City. Love creeps in on you like that sometimes. Then one of my very best friends started working at the station and life got better. Love you Ivory.

Me & Ivory at a wedding


 
There are too many reasons to list why I love Lynchburg  but I do. I have tried so desperately to move back, but I could not find a media job worth fighting for so I instead I have opened my business in Chesapeake. But, thanks to some amazing new friends in the Hill City I was invited to come back to the breathtaking mountains, and party a little. This is my story of partying in downtown Lynchburg.

Partying in the Hill City : Glasshouse/Jefferson St.
This probably was not the best time to come party in the Hill City. (They call Lynchburg the Hill City because it literally sits on hills or at least that is what I was told when I first moved here back in 2009) Hinderances to the party scene this weekend: it is Easter weekend and the Liberty University students were off for the holiday. I came nonetheless because my business in Chesapeake (Good Girl Chronicles) is tough and I wanted a breather. Jack Edma, a friend I met during my last visit to Lynchburg suggested I come experience one of Lynchburg’s party spots, Dish at 1120 Main Street on Saturday nights after 10:30 p.m. I'm told the Dish restaurant turns into a hot little dance scene late at night. I have not partied or danced in a long time so I jumped at the chance. A receptionist in Richmond messed up my reservation Friday night so I decided to come a day earlier and experience the party scene at Glasshouse at 1320 Jefferson Avenue.  (The building is made of glass people. You can see people dancing when you drive by.) 

This is an account of my night at Glasshouse.

Arriving at Glasshouse
I arrived around 10:00 pm. I was surprised at how beautiful Jefferson Street looked. I left
Lynchburg in 2012. Since then the city has done amazing things to revitalize downtown. As I drove my Beetle down the cobblestone streets I marveled at the new apartments, and businesses that lined the area. And to my amazement the city had finished the Bluffwalk. The Bluff walk is gorgeous. It is a basically a HUGE staircase that connects two streets in Lynchburg. As a reporter I saw how the city fought back and forth over the funding and necessity of the Bluffwalk. But looking at it now I wonder why they ever fought. It is so great. As a single woman I was impressed with how well lit and safe the area looked. I could totally see a group of my girlfriends and I taking the Bluffwalk down to Jefferson Street, partying, and then go back to our parking spaces on Commerce Street. Learn more about the project here.


Don't Get Datelined
I am not a paranoid person, but I am nervous about getting Datelined. That is my expression for the unfortunate possibility I could be kidnapped, murdered, raped, or hurt. I get this feeling on first dates, going to new places, traveling alone, and going dancing alone like I did last night. I know it is silly. But I lived in Richmond, Virginia for a long time and at one point that city had the highest murder rate in the state. I also lived in Hampton Roads during a time gang violence was prevalent in my neighborhood of College Park. I’ve been afraid of being Datelined before I knew what that meant. Not to mention one of my tv crushes Keith Morrison voice and tone tells me every Friday it can happen to anyone. Love you Keith. Hope we meet one day.


Anyway, as I drove down Jefferson Street to go to Glasshouse I noticed there was a Lynchburg Police officer walking the area and that brought me comfort. I asked him how long he would be patrolling, and he said not long.


“If you feel unsafe I will come back and escort you to your car,” the officer said. 

Now people I have not ever experienced this in Virginia Beach or Richmond both places I have partied. I was taken back. And, I don't think this man was hitting on me. As a former Lynchburg resident I know that this is typical Lynchburg behavior. When I lived here people did kind things like this all the time.


With the officer’s reassurance I parked about two blocks away from Glasshouse. (Parking was
tight) Glasshouse caught me off guard the minute I walked up. There was a little red carpet area, a grassy outdoor patio area for lounging, and you can literally see right through it. I could see the party was lit. Girls were dancing (always a plus) , the DJ (Jack Edma, and Tony Camm) were killing it, and the energy was great. I wanted to dance. The cover is $15. A little steep for my wallet but I honestly did not pay because I am blogging on the venue. 

First impression: I loved that the venue was clean, and not smoky. I have been to clubs where that was an issue and it made the experience unpleasant. Who wants to breathe in stale smoke when they are dancing, or step over used plastic cups? I also loved the music. It was a great mix of Top 40, hip hop, oldies, reggae, West African Music, and EDM. I am a music buff but I do not know West African Music or EDM. The DJ Jack Edma says its groovy to dance to. I’ll take his word for it. 


The kids in this place were on fire; dancing, hugging, laughing, and having a good time. I can say kids because I am pretty sure the average age in that place was like 23. I am 31. I have earned the right to call them kids. Anyway, I loved the vibe in this place. I decided to wear some Bebe jeans and my COMPTON shirt. (that is my last name and I love that the city of Compton is cool now). I did not feel undressed at all. Some girls were wearing booty shorts others were covered like me. It was all good. None of the guys were trying to grind on girls who didn’t want it (Ive experienced that too many times), and the PDA was appropriate. Maybe it is because they do not serve alcohol. I don't know, but everyone was on their best behavior. I loved that. When I party I want to have a good time without someone being rude, touchy feely, or aggressive.


I felt a little naked out there on the dance floor all alone. I needed some fun girlfriends to pull me on the floor and make me dance. That was not the case last night so I did not dance. Instead I talked with some young professionals about their desires to bolster Lynchburg’s night scene. It was a great talk and I loved hearing people talk about improving a city I loved it. I sincerely believe this group of young professionals will make downtown Lynchburg a hot, safe, electric place to party in a few years. 


The party closed down around 11:00 p.m. so I headed out. Just as I was leaving I saw my one of my favorite Lynchburg celebrities, Tony Camm. I knew him when I was a reporter in Lynchburg. I call him the P.Diddy of Lynchburg because he does everything!  He is a performer, he does music videos,  movies, his kids are all talented, he has a gorgeous wife, he has a big time job, the list goes on. I am honored to know him. As Tony and I wrapped up our stop and chat (Curb Your Enthusiasm Reference)  a young whimsical man approached us. I don't remember his name but I know he made me laugh so hard. We posed for duck face selfies and I left. What a good night.

Handsome bearded dude I met. He's engaged. Lucky woman.
My whimsical friend who loves duck face selfies


Like most club nights I was not ready to go to bed at 11:30 p.m. so I got a book, and headed to the bar of my hotel. Yes I took a book to the bar. It’s Grace Helbig’s book called ‘Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It’. She is a big time Youtuber and I follow her because I want to be a big time Youtuber. Anyway I didn't end up reading the book anyway. I spent about two hours talking with this great bartender I will simply ‘The Bartender’. We talked about love, sex, and relationships; everything my blog is about. It was mad cool. He had a lot of great stories and we connected over our similarities. Don’t worry I am still very smitten with City Hall and 'The Bartender' has a girlfriend.

City Hall Update: I Trust No Man
SIDE NOTE: City Hall said the sweetest thing yesterday here’s the exchange.


Me: I am a detective. I will find something on you online. Trust me.

City Hall: A detective? Lol

Me:I am . I research everyone I date, and trust me I will find something on you. (clearly I have been burned) I always find something. Like the married man that tried to get me to sleep with him. He didn’t know I knew his wife. I busted his ass too. 


City Hall: Lol you won't find anything on me trust me. (He’s right so far I have only found speeding tickets. Can't knock him for that.)


Me:I trust no man until they show me otherwise. I have been burned too many times. I have to love smarter now. It’s not you City Hall - it’s the world.  People are hady as fuck! My own friends have thrown me under the bus City Hall.


City Hall: Lol I feel you I'm the same way. 

Ha! Made me think of an old Beyonce song--- called Upgrade you. I believe if you do me right I do you right. You love me hard and I will do the same. I will upgrade you boo. The bible says a woman should support her man. So if you mess with Lauren Hope trust me I will go to bat for you. Beyonce and Jay-Z know this.



Ok City Hall—- we can do this. I see a great friendship forming here and maybe just maybe a great love. We’ll see but I am not putting all my eggs in that basket until he proves he’s worth it. 


So that was my night y’all. Tonight I will go to Dish on Main Street. I was told to dress pretty! I plan on wearing a Bebe jumpsuit I love. 

 Let’s hope I don’t see any ex boyfriends ( I dated some dogs in Lynchburg too) or ex loves there tonight. I seriously wanna look hot, drink, and people watch.  Please Lord let this happen.