Shockoe Bottom, on the other hand, is a community of it’s own design. The real deal, baby. It hasn’t been dolled up by the city, and the businesses here have chosen it instead of vice versa. Consequently it has the elements that a collective prejudice tends to prey on: It has a rich nightlife culture that’s predominantly working class. It has some empty storefronts that “must be vacant for a reason”. It’s businesses are small and, with that, the margin for error is fragile. It isn’t yet filled with expensive boutiques to make people feel the false security of life- improving knicknacks . In short, it’s a very REAL snapshot of your average American city. Pretty badass if you ask me. But instead of receiving support, its merchants get put under the microscope, the media trying to glean some greater story from the everyday struggles of small business.