Monday, March 16, 2015

A Cincy Sunday: Five Days Till Spring

 On our usual every-other Sunday schedule, this is my turn to drive to Cincinnati and spend the afternoon with Tom. It's a beautiful day - quite a change from only a few weeks ago - with the almost-constant sun driving the temperature up over 60°.

 It's a good day to be outside and re-visit a couple of sites.

 In front of Tom's apartment, this is Hamilton Avenue facing north. Northside is a beautiful community and still has many of its original Victorian buildings. It seems there are people coming and going around the clock. Just two weeks ago, this scene was quite different. Thick ice still stuck to the sidewalk and moving about was difficult. It's taken a few warm days and an early-week heavy rain to wash away all evidence of winter.

 To get to the door to Tom's apartment, one must unlock a metal gate and slip between two brick buildings. The one to the left of Tom used to be an A&P grocery. To the right, and between Tom and I, is the door that opens to stairs that lead to Tom's apartment. In the winter, the cold wind whips through this passage with some force. But also it offers some protection, depending on the wind's direction.

 Turn around and look back out towards Hamilton Avenue and this is what you see. That's my car parked there. This shot was taken later, on 3/29/15.

 We first drove to Findlay Market and made a quick pass through the interior before exiting on the opposite end and then making a complete pass around the outside where vendors have already set up shop. Vegetables will be sold there until fall.

 We then passed through the interior a second time. We were early enough that the market was only moderately busy. There's such a variety of unusual shops there - mostly food - and the people are so nice that it's a comforting place to visit.

 One of the reasons I wanted to go back inside was to buy a loaf of homemade bread. I chose a loaf of sourdough ... crusty thick on the outside and beautifully browned. The lady you see in the center of the picture is slicing the loaf on an electric slicer. In the foreground of the plastic case are loaves of salted rye. Tom tried a sample and thought it too salty. Of course that would be the main attraction for me.
 When we got back to the car, I sat the loaf behind us so it wouldn't be flattened ... and forgot it. Later, when I was already north of Cincinnati on I-75, Tom messaged me. "You forgot your bread!" he said. But it was already too late to turn back. Tom suggested he just enjoy the loaf himself and bring another to Pinehaven next weekend. That sounded like a good solution.
 Tom also bought a pound of Artichoke Pasta Salad, part of which he planned to send home with me. I (we) forgot that, too. Last evening Tom dug into it but wondered what he was going to do with a full pound of warm salad.. It must have spent the afternoon in his Prius.

 I've now visited Findlay Market twice and I hope we manage to get back there another time or two before this summer passes. For more information, click here. Tom and my reflection is in the right pane of glass.

 Then, while we were downtown, Tom suggested we check out the Contemporary Arts Center. Trouble was, there seemed to be a marathon or some sort of run going on and many streets were blocked. Police were everywhere directing traffic. We drove - slowly! - around a few blocks and did manage to pass the CAC on one of them, but it hadn't yet opened for the day. Tom said admission in March is free.

 Here we're following the Cinderella Carriage. We tagged it for some distance. It had no passengers, just a driver and the clip-clop of a horse. The horse plowed steadily along, generally weaving in and out among the stopped cars and making better time than the higher technology. I thought: does the horse know he's working? He seemed to be looking around and enjoying the tall buildings that surrounded him.

 Then to Listermann Brewing Company on Dana Avenue. We love their Nutcase Peanut Butter Porter. A "growler" is $15 which can be filled in their taproom. We've had several of them now. I thought they weren't open on Sunday but Tom said they opened at noon. Perfect timing ... and I had an empty, washed growler in the trunk ready for a refill.

 Tom's holding the door for me but I'm messing with the camera. What else is new?

 In their small parking lot, a well-painted Listermann van waits.
 Another great Sunday in Cincinnati, something I wouldn't have imagined doing even a year ago.

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