Have you visited New Town’s Farmers Market? Hopefully, but just in case you haven’t, here are the hours of operation and how the market came to New Town.
Also known as Christopher’s Produce Market, it was previously located on Richmond Road by IHOP.
Christopher Starbuck was and still is providing fresh produce to local restaurants, including Paul’s, here in New Town. George Tsipas, the owner of Paul’s, approached Christopher and asked if he would be interested in setting up a produce stand on New Town Avenue between the restaurant and Iron Bound Gym. Scott Grafton of Iron Bound Gym supported the idea and so it all began! Christopher’s Produce Market is also listed in the Iron Bound Gym newsletter and on Facebook under Williamsburg Eat Local.
Hours of operation currently are 10-4 Monday-Friday, 9-5 Saturday. Closed Sunday. The second week of June hours will be extended to 5 pm during the week when Christopher’s son finishes school. There will also be more local produce available. So walk over to New Town Avenue and support local vendors!
Quick Getaways -- Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond covers more than 50 acres of flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, with a conservatory that is the only one of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic and a host of programs that make this place far more than a walk through an oasis.
Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours for special events, June’s calendar seems especially full and enticing. Through August 25, the Ginter is offering what it calls “Alfresco.” It is designed to be a relaxing evening for couples or friends to spend time together while socially distanced from others in Ginter’s magnificent Garden. Food and drink are available for purchase online or in person, though reservations are required.
The Ginter’s “Flowers After Five” programs feature food, music for background strolls and dining – and several special occasions. The second and fourth Thursday of the month are also “Fidos After 5 Nights,” when the Garden partners with the Richmond SPCA and leashed dogs are allowed onto the grounds.
There’s a Juneteenth celebration that is in partnership with Project Yoga Richmond from 9-11 a.m. on the Garden’s terraced lawn.
For those not familiar with Lewis Ginter, he was a prominent businessman, financier, military officer, real estate developer and philanthropist and fierce supporter of Virginia’s capital city. The city’s world-famous Jefferson Hotel was a project of his. Ginter hired renown architects to design the structure, investing between $5 and $10 million.
He also commissioned Edward V. Valentine – Richmond’s Valentine Museum is named for him and his brother, Mann S. Valentine – to create the life-size statue of Thomas Jefferson that is the centerpiece of the hotel’s upper lobby.
At the time of his death in 1897, Ginter had amassed a vast fortune, some of which went to his niece, Grace Arents. It was Arents who turned Ginter’s Lakeside Wheel Club into, first, a progressive farm known as Bloemendaal, then the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
Because of ongoing Covid-19 precautions, and Garden management’s desire to adhere to Virginia standards, admission and all events require advance purchase online, with customers choosing their arrival time.
The Garden is located at 1800 Lakeside Avenue in Richmond. The phone number is 804-262-9887. For a complete listing of requirements and events, visit this website https://www.lewisginter.org/
Home Maintenance Series: Stair Lifts & Personal Elevators
New Town has its share of innovative floor plans on 2, 3, and even 4 story levels. Style and grace have been our community’s hallmark, but multilevel living presents unique challenges for homeowners. For the elder New Town resident, stairs are an obstacle to easy living but trading off the energy and convenience of “life in town,” for a ranch or carriage home further out in the county may not be a viable option. For residents with personal elevators in their homes, a complex interior conveyor, while novel, presents a considerable undertaking in time and money to maintain.
Installation of a stair lift—or two—is the chief way for residents to age in place and a great alternative to moving to a more manageable, albeit, less centrally located home. Of course, the first question is cost. Stair lifts can be costly, but when compared to the cost of a house move or a senior care transition, it’s a downright bargain. Though not a hard-and-fast rule, some Medicare supplements will pay for a stair lift, in whole or in part, if the need for one is a medical issue and sanctioned by a physician. The homeowner may be able to take advantage of state grants to fund their lifts, as well, or tap into state assistive technology projects that are in place to help the disabled. In general, however, a lift will be an out-of-pocket expense for the homeowner.
If your home has a straight staircase with about 12-14 steps, you should budget anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 to purchase a new stair lift. The average cost usually ends up in the middle of this range, between about $3,000 and $4,000. Outdoor steps are more expensive, ranging from $5,000 to $7,000, with outdoor curved lifts reaching as high as $12,000, depending upon the company contracted, of course. These prices generally include installation as well as a one-year service warranty. It is possible to rent a stairlift if the need of the homeowner is temporary, for a convalescent period or when a short-term visit of a disabled friend or family member is anticipated. Rentals are not always cost-effective, however, as they can range from as little as $50 to as much as $250 to $500 a month. In a rental scenario, as well, repair costs thereafter may be necessary to bring your home back to its pre-lift appearance. Not surprisingly, the higher-end lifts offer a number of design options for the homeowner, from slim-line and/or collapsible designs and curved or customed tracks to color-coordinated fabrics for your home interior. A standard lift, however, will meet the needs necessary to tackle the dilemma of an aging household in a multi-level home.
Lifts are most often powered by a rechargeable battery which offers unbroken service if a home’s power is ever interrupted. However, some companies advise that you turn the lift off during an outage to preserve it from sustaining a possible power surge when the power comes back on. It is recommended, to reach maximum battery performance, to use your lift chair regularly, keep it plugged in to its wall outlet, at all times, and park your lift in the down level or up level space, never mid-track. When out of town, turn off the lift entirely by its power button. The track should be dusted and the seat and back portion sanitized, regularly; and a maintenance check by the professional installer, once a year, is highly advisable.
New Town residents with personal elevators have a lengthier maintenance checklist to address. To ensure a fully functional home elevator, there are specific rules the homeowner needs to follow for both safety and damage-control issues:
- Pay attention to the elevator’s weight limit — don’t overload it;
- Keep all contents at least 2 inches away from the cab gate and cab wall;.
- Always keep the landing doors closed unless you’re getting in or out of your elevator;
- Don’t operate your elevator if the car gate or landing door locking system seems to be malfunctioning;
- Never tamper, bypass, disable or remove door locks or any other safety features;
- Don’t operate your elevator if you hear strange sounds or if the ride seems unusual;
- Make sure the elevator completely stops before you get out or in and be sure to watch your step;
- Don’t open the car gate while the elevator is moving or put your hands or feet through the openings in a scissor-style gate; and
- Schedule regular maintenance checks with the elevator’s professional installer as well as perform self-checks between your services dates. By way of example, when you step into the elevator, make note of the following:
- Are all of the buttons working as they should be?
- Does the door open and close properly?
- Do you notice any interior damage at a glance?
Stair lifts and personal elevators. Not inexpensive or maintenance-free, but the best options for New Town residents who love their home and community and choose to age in place.