The streets of Norfolk, Virginia

The streets of downtown Norfolk are not very crowded.  Aside from a few blocks bustling with white collar types and the hand full of locals there’s not a lot going on.  Decisive moments are few and far between.  Norfolk wasn’t always like this but suburban sprawl, strip malls and a number of other factors have resulted in a downtown that doesn’t have a lot to offer outside of a few retail shops and restaurants.  And then there’s the mall.   The mall is climate controlled, has ample parking and pleasant music.  It’s a pleasant bubble of chain stores and plastic.

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If you’re willing to venture a few blocks east, you’re greeted by the Cold War exterior of the Greyhound Station, a pawn shop, tattoo parlor and a bar, but what most people notice is the murals that adorn most of the walls of buildings, the biggest and most notable being the mammoth mural on the exterior of a gun shop.  This is the NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) arts district.  There’s a few art galleries and a lot of run down vacant buildings scattered in between.  In the epicenter is The Plot, an open community space on the foundation of a demolished building.

tbc…

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