Eating

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Welcome to Cincinnati, “the best city in the world” according to an old friend (Mike, are you there?). I can’t really speak to it being the best, as our visit was only a few hours, but this, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, was pretty snazzy. As our dumb luck would have it, as we were neither looking for cool or interesting, just eager for lunch, we found one special place, and quite important historically, with the majority of the buildings of Italianate Architecture, magnificently intact, and easy on the eyes.

Not the best idea I’ve ever had, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of the Holtman’s doughnut sign. BEFORE lunch. They were still warm!

The hubster going big at Pontiac (no website, sadly). Most excellent barbeque and a super friendly server, always a great combination. In keeping with my healthful doughnut before lunch choice, I noshed on pimento cheese. It was awesome. I do not regret it!

This neighborhood is chockablock with fabulous murals. Wowie!

He thought I was shopping…

Narrow. Very narrow.

Thanks for a terrific afternoon, Cincinnati!

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Friendship Way, 1998

Cork Marcheschi, Neon Sculptor

Zaharakos, largely unchanged since 1900, with stunning woodwork and marble, is the coolest ice cream parlor I have ever visited. Not only do they have delicious treats, a cherry float and hot fudge sundae for us, but they are also a museum dedicated to the mostly lost art of ice cream parlors. Utterly unique and wonderful with super friendly staff, this place is fun for the entire family.

Bartholomew County Courthouse, 1874

Isaac Hodgson, Architect

The Commons pictured in the foreground, 2011

Koetter Kim & Associates, Architects

Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans, 1997

Thompson and Rose, Architects

Bring a tissue, friends. The monument has excerpts and entire letters written by fallen personnel carved into the stone.

Republic Newspaper, 1971

Myron Goldsmith, Architect

Columbus City Hall, 1981

Edward Charles Bassett, Architect

Bartholomew County Jail, 1990

Don M. Hisaka, Architect

Miller House, 1957

Eero Saarinen, Architect

Dan Kiley, Landscape Architect

Here we are. This is the house that gleefully sent me down the Columbus, Indiana architecture rabbit hole. Beautiful. The only way to see it is to take a tour, and, rather unfortunately, they do not allow any photographs of the interior, so if you would like a glimpse and don’t have time for a journey to Columbus, watch this short video. If you’re still intrigued and would like a more comprehensive look at the house, J. Irwin Miller, and the history of Columbus in regards to its marvelous buildings, here’s another video. As for the house, believe me when I say that it is an awe to behold and well worth the price of admission.

St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, 2002

William Browne, Jr. and Steven R. Ristling, Architects

North Christian Church, 1964

Eero Saarinen

Parkside Elementary School, 1962

Norman Fletcher, Architect

First Baptist Church, 1965

Harry Weese, Architect

After a long day of walking and photographing, and walking and photographing some more, our reward was a beyond delicious meal at the Henry Social Club. Everything was superb. We chatted it up with our neighbors; they shared their bread with us; and we discovered how small the world is when we realized we’d lived near each other decades apart.

Next up, Cincinnati!

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On our way to Columbus (Indiana, not Ohio) I spied a sign for Bloomington and went into paroxysms of glee. For, though I don’t recall if I have ever mentioned it here, the fine fil-um Breaking Away is among our favorites of all time, and was made in and around Bloomington. So seeing that sign, and taking that 45 minute diversion, was like winning a lottery I never even entered.

We tooled around, looking for places we remembered with fondness and finding other cool sights, too. Bloomington is a great town. We wandered the Indiana University Campus, admiring the beautiful buildings, many of which are made of limestone quarried locally (go Cutters!). We were mistaken for parents, which was fine by us, especially since we’d be super proud of our fictional son or daughter attending such a fine institution. They have an observatory! Any school equipped for serious star-gazing gets the Colleen Sohn stamp of approval. Yessiree.

Oh, and the yummy cupcakes, strawberry and chocolate, were from a most excellent bakery, The Scholars Inn. Do stop in if ever you find yourself in the neighborhood!

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Belated Greetings from the 502! I had every intention of posting yesterday but got caught in a whirlwind of errand after errand and a super fun St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Life is good!

The fact that the Louisville area code is one digit away from Portland’s 503 seems to be more than an interesting coincidence, as they have a very sisterly feel to them: open, friendly, creative, lovely river cities, of which, if you haven’t noticed, I am a rather big fan.

This is Butchertown in NuLu, our most excellent home away from home, with that top photo our abode, a 125 year old building on Main Street. Take a look at those giant doors; the ceilings were twelve feet high. We walked and walked under mostly sunny skies, the rains only coming in earnest, with a most spectacular downpour, on our way to our next destination in Indiana. Heaven!

We ate and drank v e r y well, with bourbon of some sort at nearly every meal. One place put it over pancakes(!), most others by the glass. The jelly jar was a bourbon slushie, a.k.a. the best adult version of a kids drink EVER.  Our favorite restaurants were Rye and Feast, with Rye having the most creative and delicious menu we’ve seen since leaving Portland (sorry, Pittsburgh! We’re still looking!). Those are the best rolls I’ve ever had the good fortune to eat, soft, buttery, wow. And that kind of wild looking mess with meringue? A banana crepe! A m a z i n g. Feast was crazy good barbeque and the home of the yummy slushie. It is wonderful to be spoiled by marvelous food and service, peeps. Indeedy.

The neighborhood is super cool, dare I say hip, and full of shopping (check out Why Louisville) and fun; Colonel Sanders and Abe Lincoln photo opportunities, squee-ee; an alley called Billy Goat Strut. Then there are the aforementioned eateries and really great architecture! My goodness, I love beautiful buildings. Oh, and murals and iron work! Choice examples lined the streets. It all makes me so happy. I want exclamation points everywhere! Then to see little bits of history, like the Thomas Edison brick house, and the world feels a bit smaller and more personal. I’m here, and he was here, and think of all we can be and do. It makes a body grateful for the privilege of travel.

More of Louisville on Friday, I hope!

 

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Wild and wonderful West Virginia fog. I love the way it whispers and hugs the landscape. We could not have asked for better weather on the first leg of our inaugural Pittsburgh based road trip. We left in darkness to beat the traffic, and boy, did we! There was hardly a soul on the road.  I still can’t believe my dumb luck to be born in this great nation, with beauty at every turn.

Lexington is a fun town, with much to admire and try. The Parkette has been on my list for some time, mostly because of that fabulous neon sign, though I was terribly sad not to see it in full regalia. In the sci-fi future of my mind, travelers will have the ability to see monuments just as they like, no matter the hour. Sunset? Yup! Bright neon? You got it! Without utility poles and wires? No problem! Anyhoo, the fried chicken, according to the hubster, is good, but not #1 in his book. He likes super duper extra crispy, and this wasn’t that. I can’t fault the man for knowing what he likes. I was charmed by the friendly and fast service, y’all. I must admit that I never imagined Kentucky would sound sooo Southern. Just look at it on the map, the way it skirts that center line.

Being westerners with few original reminders of just how old our relatively young nation is, the hubster and I find ourselves reeling at buildings well over the century mark, with the majority pictured in that category. This last one is also quite historical, being the home where Mary Todd Lincoln was born. Hello Abraham, let’s go back to my house… There’s another of her family homes a couple of blocks away, but, rather sadly, I could not get a decent photo without a garbage can in it, which seemed terribly unseemly, so you will not see it here. I’m sure Mary would approve.

Tomorrow, Louisville!

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