Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My kind of (baseball) town

It’s great to be living in another baseball town. With the Cincinnati Reds clinching the NL Central Division last night, I remember the excitement of a postseason berth from my Boston days. Of course, right now, I have the song Tessie (the Red Sox unofficial fight/victory song) playing in my head.

My first Reds game in August 2010
I’ve been meaning to write a post on the Reds. I don’t have any real good reason why I haven’t yet. However, last night’s big win has proved to be a catalyst to write that blog post.

I don’t intend to offer any major comparison to the Red Sox here. Instead, I simply reflect on a tremendous and exciting season, slightly reminiscent of the 2004 Red Sox World Champions. A young team with a variety of stars all contributed to the 2004 World Series win. I was lucky enough to attend Game 2 with my Dad, uncle, and brother. Remember Curt Schilling and the bloody sock? Yes, that one. It was thrilling, to say the least, given that the last time the Sox had won the World Series was in 1918…as Yankees fans loved to point out.

But back to the Reds. I’m excited for them and hope for the best. I look forward to the fervor that will soon envelop my new town. I didn’t realize that Cincinnati’s last appearance in the postseason was in 1995 so I can understand the crazy celebrations on television last night.

One final thought. I love the fireworks that crown Great American Ballpark throughout the season. At my first game, I quickly learned that fireworks are deployed on two occasions during a game. First, if a Reds player hits a home run. Second, if the Reds win the game. I made a glib comment months ago that the Red Sox could never maintain that policy as they were always hitting home runs and winning games…until this season. How fitting that last night’s fireworks emerged over the Ohio River to celebrate a home run AND a victory at the same precise moment, courtesy of Jay Bruce!

Happy Postseason, everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Autumn Musings

Today is September 21, 2010. My grandmother would be 90 years today, and I only wish that I could pick up the phone or drive up to Glendale to say “happy birthday”. I know that she would love the fact that I live in Cincinnati and that I plan to marry the grandson of one of her childhood friends. I’ll have a Dewars on the rocks in her honor tonight.

Today is also two days before the official start of autumn. Like many of you, I am asking that same, old question: Where on earth did summer go? Instead of searching for an answer, I plan to look ahead and not “fall back” although the time change will be here before we know it.

Having lived in Boston for three years, the advent of fall always brought a feeling of beginnings. I attribute that to all of the colleges and universities in the greater Boston area that welcome back students in September. The feeling of starting anew permeates the air, even for those who are not in academia. I always found myself thinking about resolutions and goals in the fall, and this year is no different. The way I see it, you can look at it two ways. One, fall is an opportunity to put the rest of the year behind you and embrace life in a fresh way. Two, we now only have a few short months before the end of the year. Time to dust off those resolutions we all made for ourselves back in January and see if we can meet those goals before December 31. For me, that means dusting off my blog and making the most of what Cincinnati (and life) has to offer.

This fall is particularly meaningful as I celebrate one year of Cincinnati living. Forget summer...where on earth did this YEAR go?!? Things have certainly changed since September 2009. Aside from creating an often-neglected blog, I’ve developed a sense of belonging in Ohio. Everyone I’ve met over the past year has been gracious and welcoming, and there have very few moments of homesickness. The the chance to learn more about my family’s history in southwestern Ohio and the opportunity to visit some of the places that featured prominently in my ancestors’ lives has been engaging and rewardng. I've reveled in the comparatively affordable cost of living in Ohio - a living that certainly doesn't sacrifice the good things in life for the sake of lower prices.

September 2010 and beyond excites and energizes me. Cultural events in Cincinnati, dinner parties and dates with good friends and family, wedding planning and celebrations, and more fun activites yet to be discovered. I hope that everyone out there will also seize the opportunity to enjoy all that is out there and embrace the final months of 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

NE meets MW...the restaurant??

Here's why impromptu roadtrips are so much never know exactly what you are going to find.

On Saturday, I spent the majority of the day in the car, driving all around Southwest Ohio as well as a tiny sliver of Indiana. We drove by the Pier 27 Beer Garden & Grill, just outside of Hamilton, Ohio, and I immediately asked my travel companion to turn around when I saw this building in the rearview mirror. Tip: Always bring a camera on roadtrips.

While we didn't have a chance to go into the restaurant (it was only 11:00 am), I did find the the Pier 27 website which makes me want to head back there as soon as I can. Apparently the owner is a native of Maine and his motto is "Northeast Meets Midwest". The restaurant is also billed as a taste of New England in Ross...according to a review in The Oxford Press.

Who knew that a taste of Maine is only 30 minutes away?

Friday, July 30, 2010

What happened??

I had a realization last week as I drove up to Middletown (about 45 minutes north of Cincinnati) for dinner. I have always had a fascination with history, historical spots, people, you name it. When I moved to Cincinnati, I continued that love of history but with a certain zeal. The history of my family could be found in Cincinnati! There are unpublished blogposts in my head about all the interesting tidbits I've found, but for now, I had one of those real moments in which you understand something about yourself.

I am an observer. Over the past few months, I've found myself looking at maps of the area, surveying the landscape, and reading up about the area as much as I can. There's not a moment when I'm driving that I don't turn my head to see a rusty train track, a forsaken canal, or an abandoned factory and think "what happened"? My realization (or generalization?) was this: In New England, anything historical is either preserved or used. Call it New England frugality, but there isn't anything out there that we DON'T use. Yet, Cincinnati is a veritable graveyard of "things that were good at one time no longer seem to be useful". I've had these feelings for a long time but it wasn't until I drove across the now-defunct Miami-Erie Canal in Middletown that I was able to put words to these sentiments.

Is it a New England superiority complex? Maybe. Is it the fact that so many industries that once formed the backbone of Ohio life have left the area for greener and cheaper pastures? DEFINITELY. In any case, it was interesting to come to that realization. There's something about Cincinnati that pulls at the heart-strings. Surely a region that saw such an economic and social boom must still have something to offer to the masses, right? And even if those industries are no longer in town, isn't there a way to better preserve the history of the area outside of museums and historical societies? Being somewhat new to town, there's a really good chance I haven't spent enough time focusing on what the area does have. Yet, I can't get the sight of neglected railroads and buildings out of my head.

More thoughts on this issue are sure to emerge. In the meantime, I would love to hear from the native Ohioans out there.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Finally back from my adventures in Northern Michigan and looking forward to the future more than ever. Many of you probably know that I answered "yes" to a very important question that was asked of me on our dock at precisely 8:45 pm on June 24. Here's a picture of the idyllic setting.

Definitely a blogpost for another day but for those who aren't familiar with Northern Michigan...think Cape Cod, the Islands, Maine, etc. Now picture something 10 times more beautiful. Now you have Northern Michigan.

Looks like Northeast TRULY meets Midwest...stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The 20's are winding down

At approximately 5:30 pm, I'll be cruising down this road...

Happy birthday to all the other 22ers out there!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello summer...and blog

Summer is here although with the weather we have had thus far in Cincinnati, I feel like we are in the middle of August. It is HOT here!

Life has been busy. Work has been busy. This poor blog has been somewhat neglected. With the advent of summer, I hope to be a bit more diligent in my posting and will try not to complain about the weather too much. It is HUMID here!

June 2010 highlights:

Housewarming party
Tornado sirens (not a drill this time) and subsequent panic attack
Learned how to tap (and untap) a keg
New spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A
Birthday dinner in Cincinnati with a CT friend!
Drove by the remnants of Big Butter/Touchdown Jesus in Monroe
Business trip to Boston with a special trip up to Salem (my birthplace!)
Dinner in Beacon Hill with two very close friends
Family research at Cincinnati Historical Society

Next stop: Walloon Lake, Michigan for 12 days! For those back east, northern Michigan is THE spot for a summer respite. Pictures and posts to follow.

Even Poppy the dog from CT loves Walloon Lake!