“I like [Carytown], I think it’s very cute. It’s very hipster, though,” says Madison Stewart (‘16). Carytown, a collection of shops and restaurants near the Fan district of Richmond, Virginia, is well known throughout Richmond as a center for a hip, often college-aged (think University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University) crowd. “Carytown is the hub of hipsters,” Allison Grainer (’16) agreed. But while exploring Carytown, I noticed a hidden side to the location. Among the brightly colored storefronts, the multitude of traffic signs, and the branching back alleys, there is an extensive and interesting collection of graffiti that refuses to fit into the prim, proper, and cute pattern of the rest of the street. I feel that the artistic vandalism gives the area character, existing as almost a subculture to the thriving hipster population. Without each doodle scrawled on a brick, word spray painted on a dumpster, or sticker slapped on a street sign, Carytown would not be the same. I created this photo essay in an attempt to document the existence of the less stereotypically charming, but still important and definitive, side of the well-known area.
All photos by Ellie Fleming.