30 August 2011

Old Phone and Old Light Switch


[where: 1305 Main Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

28 August 2011

1833 Sycamore

Peeking in Keyhole
Condemnation Orders

15 August 2011

Infrastructure Cult

We need smart infrastructure, not just wider roads:
...we want our infrastructure maintained. In fact, it's the common denominator of a Strong Town. But the reason why we can't maintain our infrastructure is not because we lack the money or are afraid to spend it. It is because the systems we have built and the decisions we've made on what is a good investment are based on the kind of ridiculous math you see reflected in this ASCE report. We spend a billion here and a billion there and we get nothing but a couple minutes shaved off of our commutes, which just means we can build more roads and live further away from where we work. - Charles Marohn

13 August 2011

Jewel Weed

Often while exploring in wooded urban areas you will find this weed. I remember it from my childhood, and the kids love the exploding seedpods which explode at the slightest touch. The seeds have a good nutty taste:

Frayed Window Ropes

Time to make some repairs:
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12 August 2011

End of Another Summer Means Change

Summer break from blogging is over. The air finally cooled somewhat and the kids are preparing for the first day of school next week. Our children had a memorable summer full of exploration and swimming. I am so thankful I get to relive some of my childhood with them. Unfortunately much of our summer was NOT spent downtown. Our swimming hole is not downtown anymore and we took a looong vacation to the beach. In addition, there is major construction all around our house this summer in Over-the-Rhine. I love construction, and it is fun to watch with my kids, but when the construction is right outside your window and is everyday, very early and very loud and dusty, and when that construction goes on and on and on for months, you tend to spend even less time home.

And the continuing transformation of Over-the-Rhine and the over-saturation of coverage of this change in various blogs and on Facebook/Twitter leaves me feeling a bit like an outsider in my own hood. Well, maybe not an outsider, but definitely not an insider. I have no insider information about what is going on here, and other people seem to have a lot more interest and knowledge of the developments of 3CDC or what new shop is opening etc…

And… I have changed. I don’t find myself pondering the same questions that once crowded my mind. For example, I am much less interested in politics. I know my political beliefs and I am very comfortable and solid in my beliefs but I don't really want to write about them. Similarly, I am as much interested in discussing the pros and cons of raising children downtown. I already know it is great raising children here, it is a settled matter in my mind. My kids are getting a fantastic education in the public schools, and they are loving their city and their neighborhood. I liked writing about those things more when I was still figuring it out.

Interestingly, my son was resistant to our looong summer vacation. He is a lot more connected to OTR than you'd think a 10 year old would be. He was upset that he missed the Downtown Dash. His loves to run… and take long exploratory walks. He says his favorite activity is when we take these long exploratory urban hikes. And he likes to work and be helpful around the house. When we miss our regular activities, like our walk to church, both the kids are upset. It is strange, because they just love regularity, our neighborhood and walking more than I would have ever imagined.

I'm hoping the blog will evolve to include more creative writing like yesterday's post, hopefully some longer pieces. Thanks for reading.

11 August 2011

A Child Forgotten

We only wanted the best for you.
Truly, but time was too little and
Spaces too big, and the driving too fast.

And where is your father?
Where is everyone?
Each is alone in a tin box.

I had a nightmare that I was boiling,
Boiling in the sun.

The pool was empty,
And the trees were bare.

I work in a windowless box,
Learn in a flat warehouse.
Can you see the birds sing, from your classroom?
Can you hear the leaves, as they fall in hot August?

Why do we live with so much space between us?
Its impossible to navigate this nameless space.

Can we go back to the womb together,
Mother and daughter, like twins
Arms around each other?

Before you were born, when I was still a child
I knew what mattered then.
Glimpses remain deep in my brain.

Why don’t we embrace,
Embrace like the days before you were born?

It takes a strong muscle to keep us together,
The muscle of the forearm or the womb,
Or the tongue.

And your name remains on my tongue,
But my arms and womb are empty.