Mayoral Candidate Michelle Mosby Wants Richmond to Be Better Together


Michelle Mosby has a great laugh. There’s a lot you can pick up on from a laugh. She arrived at the RVA Magazine studio for this interview, assistant and daughter in tow. They could have easily just been her buddies curious about the interview. Easy. Chill. Kinda chilled me out too. We’re taught to be suspicious of first impressions when we’re confronted with politicians (because, well, politicians) but body language and general courtesies usually betray their “Oh my God, everyone is watching everything I do” guardedness. I find the stilted pantomimes of humanity and good-nature so transparent in some (Ron DeSantis much?) that it tells you everything you need to know about what garbage is lurking about in the corners of their souls. There’s none of that here in this room right now. 

I’ve eaten dinner next to Newt Gingrich (gross), and Dennis Hastert (even grosser), attended dinners for Harry Reid (cool AF) and John McCain (funny AF), smoked a joint while discussing movies with Corey Booker (don’t worry, it was completely legal) and somehow attended W’s first Inaugural Ball in DC. If you’re wondering, I used to live on Capitol Hill. There’s been a number of other quick introductions and handshakes that run the gamut Left to Right, Bernie to Bush. No matter what though, there’s some things you can hide behind a podium or television screen that are obvious in person. I love the moment when the person inside the politician speaks up. I can confirm she’s human. Pretty damn decent one at that too.  

CD: Okay. Where are you from? And where are you coming from?

MM: I am a Richmond native. Born at the infamous Richmond Memorial Hospital. My parents bought their first home on the North Side, and then moved out to Chesterfield. As I grew older I became a South City kid. That’s kind of where I hung out. I went to Monacan High School. The Richmond I knew growing up was at the Coliseum, when we had the Harlem Globetrotters coming in, the Circus that my godmother would take me to. And then growing up, a little further of the downtown life that we did get to experience. We would go to (the legendary R&B and hip-hop club – now a Dollar General) Ivory’s Uptown Lounge. We did the Williamsburg SkateLand on Williamsburg Road (now Rollerdome) with Kirby Carmichael (iconic Richmond DJ who literally once wrestled a bear) and then we had Sundays in Byrd Park. Life was good. 

CD: I have an idealized, actually more romantic than ideal, version of Richmond in my memory too. I came of age in the blossoming of its’ counterculture. Taking its place in the art world, reinventing its music scene, and stuff like that. Richmond’s had a cycle of boom/bust that has always fed its identity crisis. It realizes something very cool or fun about itself, builds a reputation around it and then it completely destroys progress by doing something stupid. It’s like a manic depressive thing that Richmond has. I’ve seen it at its best. I’ve seen it stub its own toes to spite its own face. What does that do to your optimism, of what Richmond can be? Or for what role it can actually play in a larger economy or just zeitgeist? 

What is the disconnect or the conflict that keeps us in our own way?

MM: I think that we live between the two worlds, whether consciously or subconsciously, of the old guard, and what Richmond is trying to become. My confidence in Richmond’s future comes in seeing the gap where that bridge should be. I believe I can build that bridge. I believe that the two can coexist. I really believe that. If we’re very intentional we can keep the old good of Richmond, the historic places where you keep some cobblestones, some legacy. You keep what’s good. You build from what was bad, things that you can’t change – and there are plenty of bad things that have happened. The Highway coming through was awful, but you can’t go back and change that. I focus on what it is that we can do today as we move forward – to bridging “Richmond” and “RVA”. We can bring equity, even in this space. 

CD: When you discuss how the highway came through and busted up historically black neighborhoods. I’m not going to give them the benefit of calling them mistakes. It was intentionally cruel malice. That was done. You’re right though. We cannot change that. But if we are looking forward- It’s just that we accuse people of living in the past a lot. Conservatives that is. But we can’t smell ourselves sometimes. We’re also living in the past. We need to look forward to new joys and not cradle old pains so much. Know where you’re coming from of course but not at the expense of the road ahead. If we are going to fix anything, I promise the solution is not in the rear view mirror. 

Now I’m assuming when you say “old guard”, for the millennial Gen Z audiences, that’s a different caricature than the one we (Gen X) grew up with. I shudder to think of how they would have reacted to the “old guard” of the 1980’s. What do you feel the old guard brings to the table? Is there really anything over there worth building a bridge to? What perspectives are we not considering? .

MM: I believe the experienced bring wisdom. We have the wise on one hand, that sometimes get complacent in their space, or seat, and we always have a new generation that wants a seat. But nobody is having a conversation about what the seat represents. We’re not talking about Richmond; we’re talking about protecting our seats. We’re talking about elections. We’re not talking about big pictures. We’re not talking about how we bring equity to places where it’s been torn from people. We’re not talking about how we build housing in spaces where housing has been broken, not just the house but the family unit. We’re not talking truthfully about our big six housing projects that are obsolete. They can’t be put back together. So what are we doing to have a real conversation about that? How, together, do we begin to push ourselves forward?

CD: Do you find that there’s enough spark on both sides? I’m much more familiar with the activist nature towards equity and relief from oppressive systems. That happens on our side of the fence. I’m not going to pull punches about that. This is not a bipartisan endeavor and I’m not going to pretend it is. 

Who should we be paying attention to on that other side? Is there someone that deserves our attention and cross-the-aisle help? Any Conservative organizations that are sincere about keeping some of the “cobblestones” while allowing today’s Americans to deal with today’s problems instead of long-dead slave owners or Bronze Age mystics? Who is waiting on the other side to receive this bridge you want to build?

I’m in agreement that our history is important to reflect on. For instance, I think there’s enough people on both sides of the political fence that understand the need for the statues on Monument to come down. I was disappointed that they’re gone from view like they never existed though. We should have to confront that past. Not honor it, but contemplate it for what it was. Understand our struggles through time to deliver justice. We don’t bury our history. Because you’re never going to learn from it if you ignore it. Who do you have over there that you feel you can work with on the other side of the aisle?

MM: As it relates to the wisdom side of things? 

CD: I mean, on a general, good faith level. You don’t have to agree with them all the time. They may come to different conclusions based on data and experience, but are sincerely fighting for our collective futures. 

MM: There’s folk that I served with I can respect. There were a good few of them, that if they had made it somewhere in government, I believe they could have done a great job. But you know what gets me? There was an election cycle in 2016 where there were 18 people running for Mayor. Obviously 17 of them lost. Then they disappeared from the conversation. My question is, where are they now? Did their ideas die? Just because they didn’t become Mayor? Their voices went away. Their involvement dissolved. 

I don’t know if I believe being Mayor was the best job for them, but I believe that they have a significant role in Richmond’s move forward. These were executives and leaders with a mind for government, for administration, when put to the task it’s  what they do. I find it to be disheartening for us to not continue to chat after the election results don’t go our way? “I lost so I’m over here. You won, so you’re over there” and we’re never having a discussion about the piece that you’re really good at in complement to the piece that I’m really good at.  We’re already setting ourselves up for failure with that silo-ing mentality. There has to be a conversation that acknowledges what we all bring to the table, regardless of those differences of opinions that divide us. If we’re not having a conversation, then we’re missing out on all the things we agree on, and what can help our city grow and be really great.

CD: So let’s imagine we’re sitting here a year from now with some champagne celebrating your win. You’re Mayor of Richmond. What’s the first bridge under construction? I think you do hit on something there but it’s hard not to feel hopeless about these types of conversations. There’s so little faith that anyone over there has the mental capacity for the assignment (sorry, not sorry), or that or they’re so deeply entrenched in their cultural or religious traditions that they can’t see past their own noses. It’s hard to imagine having a conversation with people who cannot leave their personal mythologies out of civics. You can talk at them or through them, but never to them. So where can we expect you to start this convo? It doesn’t have to be the thing that changes the world, but where would you like to start?

MM: So I’m a big proponent of rebuilding the village. I think our village is broken. I believe that we make minimal impact because we are a siloed people. So sometimes it takes a leader that doesn’t mind making that call across the aisle. Like “Hey, we need you. Being a solution to this problem is what you’re good at, we need your insight.” So, I’ll be making calls to the best out there to figure out if it was a position or a real concern, and if real will folk step in? I’m looking for collective impact.

CD: Oooh, I like that. It’s like building your Ocean’s 11. That’s important. Letting specialists be specialists. You don’t hire a ninja and then put them on kitchen duty. 

I have to laugh, but this is how boring I am. I envisioned this scenario in where a candidate starts their campaign with all their Cabinet Secretaries picked out already, Joint Chiefs, etc. Like a football team. Like, we’ve got so and so over here at Tight End (Energy Secretary or whatever) and these massive Linebackers (other intensely qualified and eager professionals), you know? What if a Presidential candidate had his entire cabinet picked out? We could have a civic draft season. We could recruit titans of industry, genius philosophers, physicists – an all star team. They could come to the table with that. Haha, I don’t know why I do this to people, because this isn’t even a question. I’m just telling you. I had this thought but I thought it was interesting. 

To what you were getting at though, the ability to delegate well is very important. In your experience, have you found that a lot of opportunities are missed because we’re not putting those responsibilities in the hands of the most capable people? Because I’ve run up against this a couple times in these conversations recently. John Baliles, Andreas Addison, Susanna Gibson – they’ve all mentioned how hard it is to recruit the best people here. That’s what I’m hearing anyway. Do you have any insight as to how we dull the edges of that problem?

MM: There are so many folks that love our city. I believe that I won’t have to look hard, because people want to feel like they are appreciated. Again, it goes back to making the call. Knowledgeable, competent, committed individuals with the best insight, the best practices, know their city needs them. It starts with the leader. I appreciate the people who work for me and I express that often. I believe they’ll want to do their job at City Hall. I don’t believe that it’s all about dollars. I just simply think some people just want to feel seen, appreciated, and encouraged.

CD: I can second that. I think that the impulse to be appreciative and encouraging either comes without any thought to a person, or it just runs perpendicular to a management style. The results you get from a committed, cohesive team with their dignity and expertise engaged is inimitable. When that is a leaders’ priority, it’s obvious and pays off in spades.

I wanted to come back to the concept of leadership, so thanks for the easy prompt. And because you mentioned it several times. Something I know from your backstory is that you opened your own hair salon in 2001. Then you went into real estate in 2006? And then city government?

MM: I started a nonprofit in 2008 called Help Me Help You.

NOTE: Help Me Help You Foundation Providing navigation continuum of care to those who have been justice involved through high fidelity wraparound care coordination where the individual and their identified natural supports exercise choice and control over their care and supports.

CD: And then in 2012 you started exploring government. Were you encouraged to do this? Did someone kind of nudge you? 

MM: Hahaha, oh no. My family was like “Wait, what are we doin’?” It was my passion for those who have  barriers like workforce and other services that made me reach out to the city government for help. I called my councilman on behalf of the non-profit and was promised a return call. I never got a call back. So you know how that goes. I’m a woman, hahah, that was not the end of that. 

CD: Bet. You know, I can see it in your eyes. Leadership qualities are interesting. In my career, especially at RVA, I’ve met dozens of capital L “Leaders”. You know they’re going to fight towards their goals, but not only that, they’re going to be in charge of it. Right? And when that monster is slayed, they’re gonna go do something else because they’re not in charge of that thing. They devour responsibility. On purpose. It’s exhausting to watch haha. It can be endearing. It usually is. But it could also be malicious – which I’m obviously not putting you in that category. I’m just saying that it is something you can see pretty clearly when you’re speaking with somebody. So I guess the following question is do you challenge yourself because innately you have to? Do you play chicken with yourself? Or is it “I hate this problem. I’m going to fix that problem. Nothing’s gonna stop me from fixing that problem.” Driven for results and driven for glory can mete out the same outcome, but one definitely smells better on you than the other. 

MM: That’s exactly it. The burning desire to fix the problem. While we are doing that, we identify and give leaders room to lead. You have to help elevate people when you can see leadership in them. You have to help cultivate it and together we solve problems.

CD: Ha, with a lot of those people I’ve met, you can’t take it away from them. It’s intrinsic to their natures. Those motivations can go awry though. Focusing on solutions rather than egos and showing by example that that approach yields the best results is key.  I love those people. I’ve loved watching my Production Managers/Coordinators and Line Producers, usually the most ambitious people on set, doing their absolute best because they are matriculating themselves into a leadership position. Just persnickety and detail oriented. They know how to kick you in the butt and give you a hug at the same time. I have a bit of an admiration for that. Your leadership style as you describe it, starts with a lot of intentional and intelligent delegation. You want to bring people up, create new leaders. 

MM: It is having the right folk in place to help us get to the solution. 

CD: This is where I wanted to go with this. So you’ve got like, you know, you got your dream team. You have your Avengers assembled. They’re doing their thing and you’re calling audibles, rallying, strategizing. What or who are the villains to that group achieving their goals? I know many people have sincerely tried. What’s keeping the Avengers from getting that glove off Thanos’ hand? 

MM: So, first and foremost. Thanos is poverty. Thanos is gun violence. Thanos represents the thing that we need to fix. Not a person or a “people”. The problem with our people is the same as those in Avengers (Infinity War). They were heroes, yet siloed in their minds as if this was their own movie. Thor is that dude in Asgard, Black Panther that dude in Wakanda. They have been the star of their own movie trilogies. Now we’re asking for the team to get together to beat a common foe. We all need to work in this one movie. When you watch it many of them spend so much time debating who they are individually… We need to realize that Christian is great at what he does (thanks *blush*) and someone else is great at what they do, and we need both to be great at the same time or Thanos wins.

What kept the Avengers from winning at the beginning was that they were so stuck being ‘the star’ of their own story, consumed by whatever was in front of just them. Tony Stark was being Tony Stark. The Hulk was over here being Banner and the Hulk. Everybody was stuck in their own movie and Thanos was kicking their butt. The leader has to help them understand that until you realize that Richmond is our space, our home, and that this is a team-up movie, Thanos will continue to kick our butts. 

CD: Well put. Agreed. One thing I really wanted to get to was compartmentalization of our Richmond neighborhoods. So, we didn’t build the casino. The piece I wrote about that, the day after the vote, went hard in the paint (if not a bit dramatically) on the ethics of leaving that area spent and abused after denying such a massive development. I want to know specifically, what are we doing there? It would be obscene to have taken an opportunity away and replaced it with nothing. Walking away, consigning them to being ignored for another couple generations, is unacceptable. What would you like to do there? Do you have ideas? Do you want to build a committee that has ideas? 

MM: I was a part of the Richmond 300…

NOTE: The Richmond 300, if you don’t know, is a comprehensive renewal plan for Richmond that imagines economic and architectural invigoration to many of our iconic neighborhoods in anticipation of Richmond’s 300th Anniversary in 2037. It focuses on equity and sustainability – kind of a no-holds-barred, all-in approach to reinventing ourselves.. 

MM: …but I don’t think that it was as inclusive as it should have been for this particular area. I think we have great ideas, but I think that there needs to be smaller nodes of what the master plan and Richmond 300 is designed to do and be, and in my opinion I don’t think that true Southsiders got an opportunity to really chat about their area. When given the opportunity I’d like to really help Southside understand what the overall plan says. I had an opportunity to be a part of expanding the port into a logistic hub and yet there is still work to do..there needs to be clarity as to what our port can be.  If there is a clear articulation of the cities plan, perhaps the next proposed development can move forward. If leaders have been listening there is certainly a resounding voice from Southsiders that we are ready for development, it’s long overdue. I believe the right leader can bring out the culture, the equity, what’s good in the 300 plan for south side, and so much more. 

CD: I agree. I think probably about 30% of why I do this is to be able to share my stupid ideas. I wish there was more, like, journalistic intent involved haha. I have all these ideas and I have a chance to share them with people positioned to do something about them, so I’m gonna have at it. 

So, I’m leaning in on the many cultural microcosms there are in Richmond, particularly the Southside. Whenever I go to a city with global relevancy, there’s always a Chinatown, Little Tokyo, or Little Mexico/Italy/Ethiopia etc. These happen organically, and without any city intervention, become destinations for authentic experiences in an “exotic” space. They’re transportative. We love these places. They persist in two ways though. By neglect or by celebration. I choose celebration. Put up a sign on 60 that embraces the heritage of the actual residents of the neighborhood. Build a bandshell that programs music they create. Create a park or erect statues to their heroes, local or traditional. Name streets, and schools, and plazas for their leaders, their inspirations. We’re sleeping on one of the most intrinsic qualities of the true melting pot. The real America that so many other cities have honored.

I still remember when there was only two Pho restaurants near Tan A on Broad. Before Mekong existed. That is our Little Vietnam. If you want perfect tacos, real Mexican tacos, you are going to the Southside. The suburbs and ex-urbs are starting to overtake this paradigm though. We are missing a window to capitalize on welcoming these joyful places.

When I have people visit here, they ask “where’s your Chinatown?” There’s all this diversity and incredible variety and we’re not excited about it. How? I think sometimes it’s demoralizing to the people that are in those communities. There are cultures waiting to be express themselves fully, and the city government can do a lot to set this in motion. 

I would love to see some some effort being put into not ignoring them. In fact, we should be proud to have them. We’re proud they’re here. We want to come and direct people to enjoy what their cultures brings to this city. If we want to talk about creating equity, let’s take our most valuable asset as a destination for tourism, business, and opportunity – a myriad of unique experience options – and promote them. Not hide them. 

MM: I have had these thoughts when I look at Carytown and how that experience is delivered so well. I say the same thing about Hull street. I keep saying why can’t there be a Hull Street plan that is intentional and indicative of the people there? Yeah, with the type of stores that are open at night, gathering places, celebrations, with a more intentional feel.

CD: Just as long as it’s not Carytown the Sequel. 

MM: Carytown has its own character, its own feel that should remain its own. But yeah, there are many other cultures represented in Richmond in their specific neighborhoods. Let’s be intentional and build up other cultures’ presence and profile throughout our city. 

CD: We should find out who the community leaders are in those neighborhoods and listen to them. 

MM: Yes. And then you engage who you know to call to advance the issue, and get momentum. That’s the point I was making about the Richmond 300. But we’re not having direct contact with the folks we need to in communities, so that we can build these spaces out. We need to get the ideas from folk that can say, “this is what I like to see on this corridor. I’d like to see it lit up, or this, or that.” I don’t think that those conversations have been had enough for us to get going, but if given the opportunity we can begin making those changes.

CD: What’s getting in the way of that?

MM: Other things.

CD: That simple? Just, other things?

MM: Yes. Just other things. It’s that simple, I think moving forward, Richmond needs leadership that’s more intentional and focused on Richmond holistically. 

CD: I would imagine that the brevity of a term in office and the demands of campaigning to retain that office leave a lot of these initiatives flapping in the wind. 

MM: You know, that comes with an understanding of the time that you have. Four years on City Council. That’s all I had so I had to be intentional. So in four years, we got a new community center that our constituents wanted in the 9th District. It had been on the wish list since a previous council member, Gwen Hedgepeth. We were the first to use the affordable housing initiative. We got 40 new townhomes, two and three bedrooms. Development negotiated and even a Starbucks came from intentional conversations. It’s  being focused, because you can’t count on being elected again. You can only count the season in which you’re in. So for me, I have to make a dent in the four years.

CD:  So what do you say to the situation where you maybe solve four problems versus advancing 20 issues? Not solving any of them, but leaving us better off in each column.

MM: No. When Michelle takes office 2025, and I’m claiming it haha… 

CD: Well you should I guess. This is no place for uncertainty hahaha

Richmond city council president Michelle Mosby interview by Christian Detres 2024
Photo courtesy of Michelle Mosby 2024

MM: When the four years are over, I want you to come back and say, Michelle our city systems are working on all cylinders.. utility bills are not estimated, permits are being processed in a timely manner and our restaurants are still in business and thriving.

“Michelle, you put a dent in affordable housing. The young professional can comfortably live here; the senior can have safe housing; the college student and low income can find housing…” That’s when I’m happy. I want to hear “you made affordable housing a reality in Richmond.”

CD: Isn’t there a conversation happening right now? About rent, like rent controls or, again-

MM: …rent increase controls? I didn’t say you said “Michelle, you had a conversation.” I said “you put a dent in it. You made a real difference.”

CD: You see? I love this. When I see the joy I see on people’s faces that sit across from me when I talk to them about this type of thing, it gives me hope. Cynicism can easily take us all. Distrust is cheap. Watching a civil servant nearly vibrate from passion about solving society’s puzzles is incredible. I can see what’s in your eyes. 

Putting a giant dent in one problem or four problems that are noticeable? Yes. I think that’s worth it and how legacies are built. Take Obama as an example. There’s very good reasons to be frustrated on some level or other about things that did or didn’t happen under his watch. Even with what he was up against in an intransigent Congress. The ACA however, will be known forever as his slice of the New Deal.  Especially with the pejorative that they tried to put on him, calling it “Obamacare”, mocking his ownership of what Congress hoped would be a failure. For their own vanity. He can own that right now, because you know what? It’s law. And it has lifted millions out of daily dread that their next injury or illness is a one way ticket to bankruptcy and dashed dreams. 

Call it however you like, but here’s the thing that matters. It got done. I have health insurance, or, I have had health insurance because of that. I didn’t have it before the ACA. I have had physical issues that if I did not have health insurance, I’d be messed up. 

Now that I’m all sweaty about it, let’s chill down a bit. I like to have some kind of levity. What are the things about Richmond that you would never change? That whatever growth and progress happens, what are the things that you hope never change?

MM: Ummmm..

CD: Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

MM: No, because I think I take it for granted. Yeah, I’m just kind of here and in it. I think it’s Broad Street. Broad is always Broad. Whether it’s good or bad. It’s Broad Street. It brings back memories…

CD: It sparks joy.

MM: It does! Haha, it really does.

CD: I don’t know why, but the Mr. Submarine on Broad always sparks joy for some reason for me. I have not been there in probably 20 years. But every time I drive past it, I’m like, “ahhh, that’s still there.” Yeah. The weird little Subway at the corner of Broad and Arthur Ashe. The mini car dealerships. Or, closer to where I live in the Fan, it’s Rumors Boutique, the corner of Laurel and Broad, Aladdins. So many things. 

MM: That’s what Broad does for me. 

CD: All right. Oh, that’s interesting. I haven’t had anybody really express joy for Broad in a long time, maybe ever. 

MM: Broad Street represents the connectivity of the city for me. The East, the West, the North and the South and it makes me dream of  bringing her back to life. 

CD: That’s a great answer. I wasn’t anticipating that. For me, it’s the river. I don’t ever want to see a hotel on that river – ever. I cannot tell you how incredible it is to still fear for my life when I want to go to the river. And that’s a weird thing to like, but I know you understand what I mean. You know, like I could step wrong on this rock and skkkrrrt, I’m stuck on a riverbank trying to crawI back to my car. 

MM: But I want the rock there haha

CD: Yes! I think there’s a certain amount of freedom to be able to take risks that’s very important for us to fully realize our potential. I don’t think that concept gets enough ink. I think that it’s part of what makes America American. At least it’s a part of the American fable I find compelling, despite the bloody reality of expansionist.

There’s a wildness to the river that embodies what RVA at its best really is. Unpredictable, unpretentious, always ready for a good hang and surprisingly good at a great many things. I think sometimes, especially on our side of the aisle, we get cowardly about trying things. I feel we could be pushing the envelope a little bit more, being bold. 

If I have a criticism of our leadership’s efforts so far, it’s that we seem to be in a race to the middle. A race to mediocrity. “Milquetoast” does not describe the people of this city. It’s not becoming of us. It threatens to make us forgettable. How do you feel you could take something ordinary about Richmond to something that’s remarkable? 

MM: It’s bringing us together, building those bridges we talked about, that’s going to bring us to greatness in economic growth. Until Richmonders can see their basics work for them there will always be a complicated development conversation. People need to feel like they are getting a return on their investment, feel that their dollars put in the city are making sense. Until then, it’s hard to see anything else. So the leader has to walk and chew gum. Lead by focusing on Richmond, show Richmonders wherever they reside that  “she’s really fixing this! I don’t feel like I’m being robbed!” It is then that we can move positively forward together. Development is a given, it’s needed for our city to grow, and a great leader will lead us to economic greatness.

CD: I want to challenge you. I want to have this conversation again in a year. We’ll sit down with you again in a year and see what’s up. Deal? I want to follow up because I really am fascinated with the personalities that have stepped up to the plate and actually try to do something good for Richmond. Let’s see if we can build some bridges and make sense of our ridiculous arguments. 

Well, then, I wish you the best of luck. I think you’re in a good space at a good time. There is some optimism in the city right now. I think people are taking moving forward seriously. We have a lot of opportunities right now. A lot of NOVA, New York, whatever, people are carpetbagging. It can be annoying but there’s a lot of money getting spent here. We’ve got a reputation that’s preceding us. We have to protect that reputation. We have to grow that reputation. 

Thank you so much for your time. See you on the other side of the vote.

You can find more information on the Michell Mosby campaign HERE

Christian Detres

Christian Detres

Christian Detres has spent his career bouncing back and forth between Richmond VA and his hometown Brooklyn, NY. He came up making punk ‘zines in high school and soon parlayed that into writing music reviews for alt weeklies. He moved on to comedic commentary and fast lifestyle pieces for Chew on This and RVA magazines. He hit the gas when becoming VICE magazine’s travel Publisher and kept up his globetrotting at Nowhere magazine, Bushwick Notebook, BUST magazine and Gungho Guides. He’s been published in Teen Vogue, Harpers, and New York magazine to name drop casually - no biggie. He maintains a prime directive of making an audience laugh at high-concept hijinks while pondering our silly existence. He can be reached at

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