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The Top 10 Things Richmond Obsessed About in 2001

Objects of Our Affection

10. Baked goods

Don't get between Richmonders and their carbs. The smell from the Wonder Bread ovens is sorely missed when the factory is closed. Thank goodness an expanded, updated-to-look-old Krispy Kreme reopens. Sweet-toothed customers swarm like flies.

9. Flags

Sure, they're patriotic. But what happens when they're big and patriotic? If you're living in Wyndham, you get sued. Local lawyer Richard J. Oulton wallows in the publicity as his community association tries to enforce the rules (which, incidentally, he agreed to follow). He fights on.

8. Ecstasy

Oh little pill, how you intrigue us. Even inhabitants of the CCV learn about raves and the evil kids who attend them. And scary dance clubs, like Cafine's and Fahrenheit, become targets of drug-chasing ABC officials.

7. Breasts

Gold City Showgirls and Henrico County tussle about what naked is, exactly. Breastfeeding in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is narrowly declared OK. Henrico County grapples with online porn in its libraries and in its high-school students' iBooks.

6. Traffic diverter

The concrete slab at Grace Street becomes a memorial to inane ideas and slow-moving government, before it is finally knocked down. Now, there is nothing to do there but come to a complete stop. Again. And again.

5. The Ghetto Burger

Big burger. Big controversy. An East End burger joint markets its hunk o' beef, and the PC crowd is outraged about its name's potential racist overtones. But the African-American owner of the restaurant holds his own. People line up to buy it.

4. The weather

The snow is coming! Local weathercasters, trumpeting their accuracy in one television promo after another, fall short. They defend themselves, saying they cannot possibly predict the future. Summer is searing. Winter is warm. And dry. We talk rain.

3. Buildings that don't exist

Paying for a $2.8 million community center becomes the focus of a city councilwoman's fast. We dream about a baseball diamond by the river and protest Dominion's expansion by the river. Plans continue for a $100 million arts complex.

2. Fiberglass fish

Did tourism increase, as predicted? Who knows. There were fish everywhere, though, and we looked at them. Innocent people suffer as fish-related puns are produced in record numbers.

1. Ourselves.

Who are we, really? Easy to love, of course! No, wait, we're the Historic Richmond Region. Logos. Brands. This is it! We stamp ourselves and clamor for attention. By year's end, someone else has already come up with an alternate ad campaign. — Jason Roop

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