The past couple of weeks have been busy with house work, holiday stuff, motorcycle builds and a lot of time in the leather shop. Just plain exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten so much stuff done, but there’s always one more thing that needs attention. So, every now and then, you just gotta hop in the truck and go for an adventure.
I’ve been to Cincinnati at least a dozen times, but it’s always been to the same places, again and again for scooter rallies. The same bar. The same awful burritos. The same lame DJ with the same lame jokes. It was a little tiresome, and I hadn’t been back for a few years.
But, when my wonderful travelling companion, Meggan, suggested the we hop in the truck, head to Cinci, check out the riverfront park and the onsite brewery just for the evening, I figured, “why not?”
We didn’t leave Indy until 5:30, so it was after 8 o’clock when we pulled into the parking garage next to the Reds’ stadium. The drive takes about 2 and a half hours each way, and it flew by while we shared stories about our lives, stopping every 11 minutes so she could pee. Life lesson: Small females have small bladders. Maybe it’s a Midwest thing, but massive downtown urban spots are always ghost towns after eight on a Wednesday night, so we had the whole place to ourselves to explore.
We started out by wandering around Smale Park, with it’s unique blend of vintage, modern and industrial design. Some of the things we stumbled upon seemed genuinely interesting, like the embedded railroad tracks with handcart picnic tables and bicycle grooves on all the stairs. Yet, it came off a little too corporate and bland in my opinion. Of course, it’s the piece of land between two major stadiums, so I don’t think pushing the envelope was high on the agenda when the city planners broke ground.
The park grounds play host to a beautiful modernist brewery called Moerlein Lager House, and they are definitely good at what they do. We shared a couple pints that can only be described as liquefied birthday cake and took in the beautiful view of the river. Much like the park, the joint lacked that integral unique character that I love, but the beer did not. It was divine.
We strolled around the downtown area for a while, but everything had been closed for hours. It wasn’t long before we headed back to the truck with another agenda on our minds. All evening long, we were mystified by the Roebling Bridge. It looked magnificent and bright and totally out of place from our side of the river, fashioned with ultra-corporate styling. We took a couple wrong turns, but finally found our way onto the magnificent river crossing, and it was just beautiful. Even better was what we found on the south bank.
Of all the times that I’ve gone on guided tours through Cincinnati on the bikes, why oh why haven’t our leaders taken us through the old bit of town, just south of the river? It is, in my opinion, the best part of town. Each little neighborhood was like travelling through little urban themed pockets, and all of them had a different setup for the holidays. The architecture was dazzling and completely bizarre. We did the best we could to take it all in without annoying the folks in the car behind us.
In all, it was a great little adventure for a Wednesday evening. Way better than sitting on the couch, watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.