Now that’s more like it!

Hey avid, and not so avid, readers, sorry I’m running a little late today. Normally I try to do this in the morning but I got busy with a little project of mine. Yesterday I cleaned up the outside of my living space and got ready to do some planting. Today I did some planting. I made my way down to City Roots and, with the help of the owner, picked out some good things for my little stretch of dirt. As proof of my hard-work (I don’t want you to think I’m lying to you) I present exhibit “A”:

I’m sorry, I’m just a little proud of that at the moment. I don’t like making this a excessively personal blog, but I’d never planted a rose bush before, so deal with it for today.

Anyways, I thought I would tell you a little bit about my weekend. Again, generally I’d rather this not be a blog simply about me, but I thought this weekend stood as a nice capstone to what many of my posts have been about lately, namely, living downtown and Cincinnati in general. This was the first weekend since I’ve been back where I was downtown the entire weekend, and I wasn’t even trying to make some point. No, I was purely kept busy downtown all weekend. This was something that was always possible, I won’t disagree with you there. Many times though, when I would end up doing that, most of my friends from other neighborhoods would not be there to share it with me. Thankfully, and wonderfully, that was not the case this weekend. So join me in this brief post-facto diary.

Before I get started on this you should know, I forgot my camera every step of the way this weekend. Sorry.

Friday – Here was the kick-off. Once my house-mate got home from his day-job, we head on down to Fountain square for their weekly concert series. On this particular night we were treated to sets by Koala Fires, Pomegranates and Bad Veins beneath the loveliness that is the fountain which provides the square the first half of its name. While the show was great (surprisingly good sound for being both outside and in a fairly open space), what really made my night was seeing how many people were out. I know some people like to sling arrows at 3CDC, but truth is, that revitalization, both looks-wise and with holding events, really has brought people back into the city. Seeing so many younger people, older people, families etc. all just hanging out downtown on a beautiful night really gave me a lot of hope for things to come.

After the concert a large group of us head on down to Shanghai Mama’s for a bite and then back up to my street where we spent the remainder of the night hanging out on my neighbor’s roof top deck overlooking the city and playing with their mass amount of dogs. Just to give you an idea of what view we are dealing with here, look at this picture and pretend it’s night (thanks Aileen!):

It was so nice not having to drive back from Northside at the end of the night. Nope, just had to walk two doors down. That hasn’t happened in ages.

As a side-note, I was happy to see that Grammer’s parking lot was totally full on Friday night!

Saturday- After sleeping-in a little late, a run was made down to the totally wonderful, and fairly new, Avril Bleh grocer to get a few things for a homemade brunch. I have to say, I really love that place. I’ve been a couple of times now, but I’ve noticed how much I appreciate how small it is. There, instead of walking into a behemoth of a store and then spending a ton of money on a lot of random things I just happen to see, I can walk in pick up a few things for dinner, my decisions being made in terms of what looks good that day, and be out the door in 10 minutes. We’ve been on a pretty huge sweet-corn kick lately, and Avril Bleh is our main supplier.

Later that night, after a delicious meal of homemade meatballs, penne and corn on the cob, we trucked it up to Mt. Adams where Bad Veins and Buffalo Killers were playing a private show (I had to say private, I so rarely get to go to private functions, I’m sorry) at aliveOne to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Now, I know Mt. Adams isn’t technically downtown, but considering I can see it from my porch, I’m counting it. I rarely go up there and it really is a beautiful area, but I really can’t imagine wading through that many people every weekend for more expensive drinks. Doing it once a year is always a pleasure though.

Sunday- The final day of the weekend, in general can always go one of two ways. Either you are burnt out from the rest of the weekend and bummed tomorrows Monday or you can turn it into an extremely restful day. We chose the latter. One we rallied the troops we moved on down to Findlay Market where we spent a good 3 hours having some coffee, buying food for the week, grabbing some lunch and just enjoying being out. Now, Findlay Market is normally hopping on the weekends, but I’ve not seen people ever just hanging out so much. Purpose and grocery lists were thrown to the wind and people were just lounging about, having some food and listening to The Tillers play. (They were a nice surprise)

Once we got home we spent the rest of the day doing whatever it was we felt like. I chose to use my time to tend to my unfortunately untended garden. I don’t love weeding, but it sure is a good feeling when you finish it up.

I’d have to say I fell in love with downtown all over again this weekend. Up until today, I hadn’t touched my car in about a week. (I couldn’t carry all the flowers home, I would have been found dead and severly dehydrated on the steep Liberty Hill incline) It felt good not only being out and centralized all weekend, but also seeing so many other people doing the same. More people should be planning to move down here, it really is an amazing community and will only be suprising you more and more in the future.

Oh man, that was long, don’t worry you don’t really have to read it all.

Love,

John

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