The first Evening at Morton's community conversation of 2010 went without a hitch and generated plenty of buzz. More importantly, it created a space for a diverse group of five engaged locals to come together and talk about Richmond as a destination for young professionals.
This year's series is a joint production of The Hodges Partnership, Morton's the Steakhouse, Richmond.com and Floricane. My primary role in the conversations is to act as the facilitator, keeping everyone on-track and awake. Fortunately, it takes very little work on my part.
You can revisit the online blogging and tweeting of the event at Richmond.com or read Trevor Dickerson's summary article, "Steak Wrap", excerpted below:
Two of the panelists, Julie Bondy and Joslyn Bedell, both hail from the city of Atlanta. Coming into town for college, they fell in love with the Capital City and decided to stick around after graduating.
Julie found herself unhappy amidst the hustle and bustle of the big city and opted for the "big small town" experience that Richmond offers. Two others, Eric Kim and John Sarvay, echoed their sentiments. Kim explained that the cost of living is low and standard of living is high.
"For every dollar I spend somewhere like Boston, for example, I can live for 60 cents in Richmond," Prenika said.
Sarvay brought up the point that many outsiders come to Richmond and think there’s nothing to do, but said that he feels that’s just not the case.
"Richmond’s a very ‘self-service’ kind of town," Sarvay said. "There are plenty of things to do, especially for the younger crowd; you just have to take the initiative to find them [as opposed to larger cities]."