Riverside: New Home, First Adventure

Moving to a new city can be a daunting experience. Some people see it as a chance to discover new places and meet new people. Others, like me, prefer to avoid the hassle of readjusting to a new city. Let’s face it no one likes feeling lost while they’re trying to find a grocery store.

Living in Pomona for 20 years, I knew everything about the city. I knew that it would take me 15 minutes to get to school. If I wanted to avoid traffic I had to take all the small streets no one knew about. Over the summer we bought our first house and moved to Riverside.

Now I’ve decided to embrace the change and get out there. I want to exlore this new city and feel like a local not just a tourist passing by for the day.

Riverside is such a big city and there is so much to explore. Downtown Riverside is full of tourists everyday. The Mission Inn and Fox Theatre are a few of the attractions in the area. The Riverside Metropolitan Museum is also located in this area. This was the first stop on my long list of places I want to visit.


Outside the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum or RMM is located in the historic Mission Inn District. It is a historical, anthropological, and natural science museum. The RMM is home to more than 200,000 artifacts. Walking in I was amazed at how much there is to see. I will admit I was expecting some crappy little museum with nothing really interesting to see. I was wrong! They have animals in jars or “Spirit Collections” that include two-tailed chuckwalla’s and Cyclops cats among other creatures.

Wildlife from the Riverside region is displayed throughout the RMM.


The “Spirit Collection” inside the museum.

There are permanent and special exhibits housed throughout the year. The Cahuilla Continuum is a special exhibit that will run until August 2017. It tells the story of the Southern California Native people – the Cahuilla. As you make your way through the museum displays are set up explaining the life of the natives who lived in the area many years ago.


Exhibit depicting the life of the Cahuilla natives.

Rising Above-Entertainment and the struggle for African-American identity was also one of the exhibits available to the public. The exhibit depicts the struggle that the African-American community faced within the entertainment industry.


The Rising Above exhibit.

Not only does the RMM house thousand of artifacts, the museum also owns and operates two historic houses. Heritage House and Harada House. Heritage house is a Victorian style house that depicts life in Riverside back in the 1800’s. While Harada house is an important civil rights landmark in California. Tours are available to the public throughout the day Friday-Sunday.


A collection of documents published in the 1900’s.

The RMM was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with the family. The museum is appropriate for adults and children. For two hours I was there and many parents walked in with their kids ready to discover what each exhibit had to offer. Now that I have started I can’t wait to discover what else this city I now call home has to offer.

All images author’s own. 


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