Karla and Kelly Park, sisters hailing from Cleveland, called out to us couch potatoes to go on an adventure. After the success of our last trip to Eden Park, I decided to join this crew of Cliftonites to explore downtown and beyond. The plan, simple. We were to walk to Newport from Clifton through downtown Cincinnati. Let the journey begin! “Park” joke #7 of many. You’d be surprised how often you encounter the word “Park” in your daily life.
We made our way down towards Vine street, for those of you not from the area, Vine st. is something of a sketchy stretch of road. Luckily I was with Karla Park. She told me she’d defend me if the situation got out of hand. One of our first stops was a small abandoned park that we never found of the name of. It was covered in broken glass and looked interesting enough to take a closer look. Necia and Karla walking over a pile of glass on our first stop. Checking out the local art. Our first find. The Lost Cellular Device of… well someone lost it. It belongs in a museum!
One of the Park’s more interesting features was a large empty cage. We couldn’t get in (trust me, we tried) but we were able to climb all over and around it with grace and ease. Some kind of cage thing. Not entirely sure what it’s for but it’s cool.
With our first stop made and our first treasure found, we continued along down Vine Street. Along the way we found many other interesting things. Kelly was able to snag a handful of small broken Vinyl that we found in a parking lot near a school, a cool olde Buick, a mysterious cave, and some sweet stairs going who knows where! Apparently this is a recreation of a famous Necia/Karla photo. A cave of wonders! Unfortunately I don’t believe it goes anywhere. One might think this is a photo of the fearless adventurer, Karla Park. Well, it is, but it’s also a shameless self-portrait of the fearful adventurer photographer. A good photo op for Taylor with some epic stairs. Not to mention some epic stares. Challenge accepted!
We eventually got down the hill, still on Vine Street, and began to see things change and look more like downtown. We were witness to a departing Fire truck that drove all the way down 2 blocks to stop at what appeared to be some kind of accident or event in which the police were involved. Lots of people were standing around and trying to figure out what had happened. All I heard was that they had arrested some guy and after having had him in handcuffs, they tazed him. Not sure if that’s true or not but that’s all I heard. A Fire truck blazing out of the garage to answer the call of local Policemen.
We started heading towards Finley Market, a place I had never been to before despite having lived in Cincinnati for five years now. Chris Morbitzer exclaimed great distaste in my life choice for not having visited yet. Well, it was time to find out what all the fuss was about. Chris leads the way to the market. This place is…. This place is…….. Awesome! There’s all kinds of cool stuff to see at Findley Market, inside and outside too!
We made our way through the main stretch of the market, surrounded by a sea of crazed buyers and visitors. Vendors had lines and mobs forming around them selling all sorts of different color meats, baked goods, vegetables, and even spices. The noises and smells were terrific. I can see why this place is talked about so much. If only I lived closer or had a car, I’d be shopping here for just about everything.
Walking outside, we faced even more cool stuff. The outer strip of the market is home to street performers and some small shops, including a nice little tea shop we decided to visit. This picture was followed by my compliment to Kelly about how photogenic she is. Taylor getting a sample of some sweet creamy Irish Tea. What’s up with this group and licking? What sisterly love.
After a purchase of tea and some bread as a snack, we kept on going. Headed for the general direction of Kentucky, we allowed whatever to come our way to be our intermediary destinations. For instance, this lovely vehicle of Cincinnati: Pimp-mobile #2 of the day.
We stopped by a cool record shop on Main street where we found all kinds of cool stuff. They had a really sweet olde edition of “The Illustrated Hobbit,” Pulp Fiction” on VHS, and a laser disc edition of “Star Wars,” not to mention a crap ton of records; I was in heaven. I picked up a Thelonius monk Vinyl to add to my slowly growing Jazz collection. I actually had to go next door to purchase the vinyl and the guys at the shop were cool enough to trust me to actually walk out the door with it and pay for it. Great place.
Walking down Main street, we began passing some artsy places I had visited on Final Friday the year before. Final Friday is the last Friday of the month (go figure) and to celebrate, the galleries and artists of Cincinnati gather and have a collection of shows all up and down Main street. Anyway, we passed a shop with a familiar looking young lady working there. It was our friend, Regina Kazanjian! We had to stop by and bother her. A surprised and uncomfortable Gina, my work is done.
After bugging Gina for a good while, we were off once more! Getting closer to Walnut street, I had an idea. What better place to visit in Cincinnati than my favorite place of all? That’s right folks, it was time for a visit to Nicholson’s. I regret to say that I was so excited about going that I forgot to take pictures. But no worries, I’ll be there again soon. But back to business, Nicholson’s Scottish Pub is home of not only an extremely impressive collection of Scotch, but also a distributer of one of the finest beers I’ve ever tasted! Bellhaven’s Stout. I was alarmed and definitely hurt to discover that they were out and had been for awhile. My soul cried a little bit. No worries though, I was still able to procure a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, another Phil Didion favorite.
After Nicholson’s Taylor and I met up with the girls again at the public library. It’s a nifty place. After a quick look around the library we kept on a going. Walking down Walnut we got closer to the river as the Stadium and the series of bridges came into view. Four hours in and we’re still truckin’ along with smiles on our faces.
After Karla geeked out at the sight of the Ball Park, it was Taylor and I who began to geek and drool at the sight of the new Moerlein Lager House. We keep hearing about it and one of these days we will visit that as well. Perhaps a blog will be in order for the visit?
Soon we found ourselves on the blue bridge to Covington where we spent some time admiring the design of the bridge, attempting to climb parts, and of course, some window modeling. Crossing the bridge into Covington, almost there. Kelly, an avid fan of America’s Next Top Model, shows us how it’s done. Fierce!
The journey continued as the sun started to set and we were getting tired. Newport was close but we still needed to cross the gnat-swarmed Riverwalk. Kelly stands at the start of the Newport Riverwalk with Newport in the background.
The general consensus was that we were pretty tired and didn’t feel like walking back. We tried to look for a place to eat but since everything in Newport is so dang expensive, we were discouraged. Until, by some magical chance, we found this place…. A grilled cheese and tomato soup place? You lie!
No, no lie, this place is great. Even better, it’s pretty cheap too. Tom + Chee has quite the variety of grilled cheese sandwiches. We sat down and let the good times roll. Woah! Extreme close-up! Taylor sharing his skills. He’s single ladies. The curse of the photographer is lifted, here I am!
Tom + Chee was well received and we were well fed when we left. Our hope for getting home was the mysterious and allusive Bearcat Transportation Service/System/Some kind of word beginning with S that works with the former B and T. Well the “allusive” part was right. We were unable to find it and after waiting a decent amount of time past the website’s arrival time of the BTS, we decided to find an alternative route. And that good folks, will be shrouded in mystery merely because I feel like it. But long story short, we got home.
It was another grand adventure in Clifton with the Sisters Park. I enjoy hanging out with them greatly. Anytime they offer an invitation to an adventure, I highly recommend you join. So much happened during our five and a half-hour trip that it couldn’t all be posted here, but I hope the highlights were entertaining enough. Thanks for reading folks. Hope to see you all around Clifton or wherever else the Park girls lead us next!