Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cincinnati Part 2

So uprooting the family for a month wasn't all fun and games, there was definitely a learning curve and I felt it a lot that first week. We had to learn how to deal without a yard and how deal with less space and less things.  We had to learn the best way to get around the neighborhood.  We had to learn what was the best place for us to go to as family just to get energy out as my three bigger kids have a lot of it. And we had to get used to just a more urban living style than we were used to in Cleveland.

Surprisingly, we didn't actually eat out more than a few times there in an actual restaurant.  But honestly, our family isn't in an eating out in a restaurant state.  We have a baby that barely lets you sit down and a toddler who doesn't really eat full meals and bigger kids that get restless if there isn't somewhere to run immediately after eating.  So we did eat out I think 4 times, and one of those was to Jimmy Johns. We did however, do a decent amount of take out, much more than we would normally because we usually like to keep the budget in tact on a normal month, but we wanted to experience the food the city had to offer, so we did.  I'd like to say I had a particular favorite, but I think we are dessert people so Holtman's Donuts on Vine, and Graeter's Ice Cream, Green Man Twist and Brezel were our favorites for sure. Maybe its just that its easier to do a treat from a shop and eat it in the park for us that these were our destinations of choice.

Being where we were a grocery store like we were used to wasn't in the neighborhood.  There was a small Kroger however, and an open market.  The open market was great for fresh produce and we used it often for that, and fresh baked bread. I think my one regret was not using the open market more for things like meat and cheeses. I have a routine to shop on Mondays and the market was closed on that particular day each week. A lot of things were closed Mondays in Cincy, it was interesting learning that for sure. I probably could have broken my routine, but for some larger buys we checked out Jungle Jim's or went across the river to Newport, KY to where a newer shopping area, containing all the standard box like stores, was.

Something that we looked for right away being the practicing Catholics that we were, was a church to worship in for Sundays. We ended up trying four different churches, there were at least 5 within walking distance of 20 minutes or less, so about 1 mile or less radius of where we were. The first Sunday we ended up at St. Francis Seraph, which was church attached to a friary. It was the closest church to us so we figured why not. Ben enjoyed it the most because there was little boy the exact same age as him and he is a people person to the max. I was sad there wasn't any kneelers in the pews anymore, though the church besides that was beautiful architecturally. The next week we ended up at the cathedral St. Peter in Chains, it was a Saturday mass so it was low key and not very chatty parishioners, but again a beautiful building. The third week we ended up at Old St. Mary's which was by far our favorite church, and we realized that we had attended here a year ago on our passing through.  This time, however, we attended a mass in German.  I thought of my dear friend who just moved to Germany the whole time and how we really are a universal church being Catholic. I highly recommend this parish if you are ever in Cincinnati for a Sunday and need a place to go to mass. The last church we checked out we actually drove to, because it came recommended in its beauty by a friend.  But honestly, I don't think we saw an ugly church the whole time. There was so much richness in the architecture of the churches there, architecture nerd me was pleased to say the least. The last church was called Mother of God Catholic church and it was in Covington, KY. It was covered with art on the inside and was gorgeous, we even had a Stellamaris sighting in it. The only thing I wished we were able to do was go to the earlier mass because somehow we ended up with a contemporary mass, which when Catholics do contemporary means its 1980's all the way with he music. It really didn't fit the grandness of the place and I kept thinking about the great organ not be touched while the guitars in the front took its place.

So I'll leave it at that. Tomorrow is our tenth anniversary, so I'll want to post on that for sure. Peace.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cincinnati part 1

Here goes!
We decided to live in Cincinnati for a month. Keith had recently taken a fully remote job and well, we were planning on the adventure even before that happened. Keith has never lived outside Cuyahoga county in his 34 years of life, and I've lived in at least four different states and in multiple locations inside some of those states. We wanted a bit of adventure, but also more of an experience of something else, but my safe playing husband wasn't ready to pack up on a whim and move us all permanently just yet.

So we settled on a one month stay on the edge of the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. Basically I searched for AirBNBs that could house a family of six in a walkable area. This was that. What I didn't know was the history of the area or really what it would be like. I tend to be a jumper in those things, my husband the opposite.

We had a three bedroom first floor apartment in an older row house. It probably was built mid 1800's. I'm a sucker for old houses so I loved it instantly, the uneven floors, the block door stops, the beauty of the street appeal of the brick. They modernized a good deal of the inside, which is fine, but the old charming bits are what I liked. Here's a tour of it all.

So we learned being on the edge of Over the Rhine, that this neighborhood is very divided between rich and poor and has a history of racial riots as well.. And where we were was the edge of the renaissance of the neighborhood at large. Many of the original housing structures were being preserved and renovated to be reused Amongst the renovations, they were creating government subsidized housing right next to much more pricey houses, though you really couldn't tell the difference, at least from the street view. It seemed like the people in the area weren't trying to completely gentrify everything but just make things more livable again. Within the area, there were many things that were made for all no matter what status in life one was. 

Originally our trip was to be a Sunday to Sunday thing, a full four weeks, or approximately a month. However, it got moved up a bit due to the job change and Keith needing to meet his co workers on retreat. They agreed to meet up in Cincinnati, so it just moved up departure by 4 days. Which all in all was fine. The only thing was I was completely on my own for those first three days. So it was the four kids and me, ages 7 through 2mos getting to know the city on our own. There was a sharp learning curve but we did it somehow, by the grace of God most likely. I packed the baby in the carrier and the middles in the stroller and Ben walked or scootered along.
Here are a few photos from those first few days, all from Smale Park on the riverfront.