Ohio – Days 1-4: The Three C’s – Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland

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My first evening in Ohio I was in Cincinnati. My host and I made dinner together. I contributed a Zaza inspired salad with romaine lettuce, cranberries, almonds, goat cheese, and strawberries. It was tasty. My host made quinoa and mushroom and onion stuffed peppers. Best/healthiest dinner I’ve had in a while.

The next day we joined a friend of my host’s and went on a bike ride to and through Spring Grove Cemetery. I realize that sounds a bit creepy, but it’s also an arboretum and it’s beautiful.

Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH.

Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH.

It started to rain so we headed back to my host’s house and had a great conversation about feminism and social justice and activism while we had lunch. After a while my host’s friend had to meet her daughter at the bus stop so my host and I tagged along. It ended up being quite the ordeal. The bus was early so we missed it. The mom called the bus company and they asked her to meet them back where we’d started. So we walked back the other way and eventually she and her child were reunited. Whew.

The next morning I went to the Purple People Bridge and checked that out. It wasn’t as purple as I thought it’d be. I didn’t even walk across. There was a nice view though.

View of Cincinnati from near Purple People Bridge, KY.

View of Cincinnati from near Purple People Bridge, KY.

Next I went to Findlay Market. I parked around the corner and as I was walking over a guy across the street from me was walking the opposite direction. He said something to me. I, again, did not respond. Then he turned around and started walking in the same direction as me. I cannot even begin to tell you how terrified this made me. There weren’t any other people around. I tried to remain calm and just ignore him so as not to give him an invitation to continue trying to engage with me.

A couple really tense minutes later I made it to the main Findlay Market parking area and walked really close to an older couple and the guy stopped following me. Public Service Announcement for any men reading this: NEVER. EVER. FOLLOW A WOMAN. It is ridiculously sketchy and uncool. And you should never intentionally make anyone feel that uncomfortable. Ever.

Aside from the walk there I liked Findlay Market. I got lots of free samples. I tried some fruits, chocolate at Maverick Chocolate Co., and salsa at Salsa Island. I bought a cookie from Donna’s Gourmet Cookies. I went with chocolate chip; it was buttery and delicious/diabetes inducing.

After Findlay Market I went to the Contemporary Arts Center. I accidentally parked in a limited time parking spot so I didn’t get to spend as much time there as I would have liked, but I did see everything I wanted to. My favorite part was the unmuseum on the top floor. On the unmuseum level I got to interact with the art installations. I loved it because usually museums are all “don’t touch,” so it was really nice to get to sit in and touch and play with the art. When I’d first arrived the lady at the counter had said there was a ball pit upstairs on the unmuseum level. I was BEYOND excited. I was a kid once. I remember what ball pits are. Imagine my disappointment then when this is what she meant by ball pit:

The unmuseum's "ball pit" at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH.

The unmuseum’s “ball pit” at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Sorry, but that is not a ball pit. Not even a little bit. Ok, maybe a little bit, but ball pit is definitely a misnomer. Another exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center that I really liked was Passage by Do Ho Suh. Do Ho Suh recreated furniture and hallways from places he had lived using really thin fabric. It was super cool and like nothing I’d ever seen before. Here is an example from the Specimen Series:

From So Ho Suh's Specimen Series, Passage, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH.

From So Ho Suh’s Specimen Series, Passage, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Despite the parking time limit, I felt like I’d had enough time at the Contemporary Arts Center so I moved along and went to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. I could have spent the whole day there, but parking downtown is expensive and it was a beautiful day. So, again, I saw what I wanted to see and then I headed on my way.

On my way to Cleveland I stopped in Columbus and checked out German Village. It wasn’t as cool as I’d expected. I ended up just taking a nap at a park. I subsequently freaked out when I woke up. First, I panicked because I thought someone had stolen my bag, only to remember I’d been using it as a pillow. Then, about five seconds later, I freaked out because I thought someone had stolen my phone, only to realize it had fallen out of my pocket and I was sitting on it. Needless to say, I decided maybe napping in the park wasn’t the best idea for me anymore… Though it was quite pretty and spring like.

Schiller Park near German Village, Columbus, OH.

Schiller Park near German Village, Columbus, OH.

When I got to Cleveland my host and her roommate were planning on going to a potluck party at the Couch House, a big Couchsurfing place in Cleveland. That sounded fun, so I tagged along. I met some really awesome and interesting people. We had a bonfire and made s’mores and one of the surfers was a musician, so he played guitar for us. It was wonderful. Bonfires are the best. Especially when they involve music and s’mores.

The following morning when I was Googling directions to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I noticed my hosts lived really close to the A Christmas Story House. I love that movie, and watched it often as a child, so I had to go check it out in real life. I didn’t take a tour of the house or anything, but it was still cool.

A Christmas Story House, Cleveland, OH.

A Christmas Story House, Cleveland, OH.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was great. I had an awesome time wandering around and learning more about different musicians throughout the decades. It’s a wonderful museum and I highly recommend it. Though, be sure to give yourself plenty of time because it is a bit pricey. Thankfully, I got in for free with my reciprocal museum pass. That thing is like gold.

I was bummed the new exhibit wasn’t open yet. So, if you happen to be in Cleveland after May 20, and go to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, let me know how the new exhibit is. It’s called Louder Than Words and it’s about how Rock and Roll music changes attitudes about peace, equity, patriotism, and hope. It sounds really interesting, I’m just curious how well it’s executed.

On my way to Michigan I stopped and checked out the Toldeo Museum of Art, though I missed the Glass Pavilion, which was a bummer. Somehow I hadn’t written down that the Glass Pavilion was why I wanted to go to the museum in the first place. Lame. Oh well, the rest of museum was fine and there was a live string quartet playing in one of the rooms which was pretty sweet.