16 June 2009

Quiet Night Sounds

I'm surprised how cool the evening breezes are even this far into summer. I don't remember it being this cool in June last year. Did you know that we fall asleep to the sounds of crickets downtown? Where I was little, there was a pond not too far from my bedroom window. The sound of the frogs on summer nights was constant and loud. The sounds after midnight downtown are: the cottonwood leaves rustling, midnight church bells, a guy calling to his friend, bike brakes squeaking and the chain rattling as it changes gears, moths fluttering around the sashes, car tires on cobblestones, a ticking engine that needs a valve job, aluminum cans being collected, bats echolocating, and of course the squeal of steel on steel at the rail yards a mile away. Sometimes I can hear the highway, but not tonight. Not sure if it is the vegetation, the humidity or what.

And BTW, there used to be this overwhelming sweet sour yeasty smell that coated the Millcreek valley most days. It was the FL Emmert Company, on Dunlap Street. They take all the spent grains from the breweries and air dry it and sell it as cattle feed. They either stopped processing in OTR or they figured out a way to trap the smell, because our air has been odor free for several years.

Later, past 12:30, I hear a crash. It sounded like a storefront window maybe. I look out and all I see is a cat ambling down the sidewalk. Then two scraggly guys come running down the street with full sacks. They split in different directions. Less than a minute later police come, but find no one. I think they smashed the window at the corner bar and grabbed some bottles. I'll see the damage in the morning.


VisuaLingual said...

I love the sounds of the city, except when the phone rings in the middle of the night!

BTW, there seems to be a little girl named Maya who lives on Republic. Her mom and friends are always calling her/my name. That's the best city sound.

Quimbob said...

I used to have a black car & worked a couple doors down from Emmert. They used to spew out a fine dust that would cover the cars in the parking lot. It made white cars look dirty but it made my black car look like it had a kind of gold metal flake thing going on.
Anyway, I think you do hear the highway all the time in Cincinnati, it just kinda gets into the background & you don't notice it til you get out of town & into the country somewhere.

Unknown said...

I think the sounds from the train yards are the best, though we also have an owl up here in Clifton who has a quite handsome sound.
Funny, the first year we went to Montana we couldn't sleep the first few nights for lack of traffic sounds, especially the sirens:>)