First visit to the south (except for Florida, which doesn't count) was pretty interesting. Babe and I spent most of the time in Richmond, VA. I liked the city. It had an Oakland vibe, lots of peeps of color, some grand old architecture, and lots of history.
Lots of poverty, too, and massive disinvestment.
Went to a great little museum, the Black History Museum, which was in an old house right in the center of a residential neighborhood. The story of Black Richmond was really inspiring and interesting. The first black bank was started in Richmond, and there were all sorts of Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and retail shops.
There was also a cool Michael Jackson memorabilia exhibit downstairs and a really nice exhibit about domestic workers. I learned, for example, that it used to take a woman 12 hours to wash 8 dress shirts. Let's hear it for technology, people.
Other highlights of Richmond included:
Legend Brewing Company (best place in Virginia, as far as I'm concerned).
Pearly's restaurant (where I learned that Hipsters & Richmond go hand in hand and where I had the best biscuit I've ever had.
The people - everyone I talked to was friendly and helpful. Way to go, South! Way to deliver on that Southern hospitality.