I really wish this blog could be an audio file.
Right now I'm rockin' this sweet, smoky-deep Kathleen Turner voice that's more appropriate for 900 line talk.
It's a circumstance I cope with annually this time of year. Something about the seasonal allergies bringing on a change that affects my vocal cords for One Week Only. I remember a news director years ago discussing (dangerously close to Lawsuit Territory, I might add) at length about how hot he thought my voice was.
Oh well. You'll just have to imagine it, I suppose.
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Was the weather stunning in your neighborhood this past weekend?
Cincinnati was blessed with a truly glorious weekend. I spent most of Sunday batting around in my car (I cannot tell you how strongly I now appreciate having a personal set of wheels) with the sunroof open, the music blaring and the sunglasses on.
I drove downtown Sunday with the express wish to sit outside on a patio or bench and sip on something cool and sweet while reading my Thursday book club assignment (Beloved by Toni Morrison. I am so behind...) I was terribly disappointed when I noticed the sheer upheaval that's taken over Fountain Square. I know the good 3CDC people say the Square is done (and perhaps, on a technicality, it is) but the surrounding construction involving the Fifth Third Building is a dreaded eyesore that detracts from the Square renovation.
On the plus side, though:
Thousands of potted plants were up for grabs courtesy of the Cincinnati Parks Board. People dragged little red wagons and carried cardboard boxes bursting with the maroon, yellow and purple pansies. I managed to carry six potted flowers in my two hands... perfect for sprucing up my front porch.
I was pleased and rather surprised by the generosity of a city giving out flowers to its people. What a kind gesture to help neighbors of all economic backgrounds take pride in their corner of the world.
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Since the downtown area didn't have what I was looking for in the way of patios and refreshment, I headed up to my old stand-by, Mt. Adams.
There are few things better than a cold beer and great conversation, and I managed to find both at Longworth's. The old-as-dirt bar now carries one of my favorite Northeast beers and so I enjoyed a couple pints with my friend, Lenna-Lou as the afternoon sun washed over one of Cincinnati's most eclectic neighborhoods.
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The night before I was struggling with an unusual bout of loneliness. You know - the kind of feeling where you'd rather not embrace the world alone? I was dying for an evening out-and-about with friends, and unfortunately most of my friends (at least, the friends whom I called) were spoken for that evening.
After a couple hours of batting around in unfamiliar territory (I finally got a chance to check out Northside and it looks darling. I need to plan an excursion to explore the neighborhood on foot) I headed back to Oakley, practically licking the wounds of solitude. It was then that I hackneyed a plan to have a drink out and not look like some pathetic bar-fly trying to reel in Big Game.
Dinner to-go from an establishment that has a bar and a great wine menu.
I walked to the neighborhood bistro and had a magnificent glass of Sokol Blosser Evolution (zippy and enduring, and apparently so popular that Kona orders extra bottles to sell retail) while waiting for my grilled eggplant and roasted red pepper on ciabatta sandwich amazing.
I think this is the perfect technique for going out alone. You don't appear so desperate sitting at the bar by yourself and then you have the perfect out to leave when your dish comes prepared and wrapped in a nice to-go box.
I'll have to try this more often if I ever feel like I need to be among the masses without a companion.
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Final thought: My brain is starting to think it just might be ok to grow up and buy a condo.
Right now I'm dreaming of Downtown Cincinnati, exposed brick, hardwood floors, stainless steel, open floor plan, vaulted ceilings.
It's surprising how affordable that can be in the heart of town.