My wife and I love daytrips to forests, hills, gorges—there are plenty nearby, or at least plan-ahead-close. And there are quaint towns and areas of Cincinnati, our sprawling metropolis (OK, so it’s not exactly Chicago, but it has its share of, you know, sprawliness).
But when winter sets in, or, say, a worldwide pandemic (don’t you hate it when that happens?), daytrips tends to be greatly curtailed. Normal, oh, how I’ve missed you! Or at least the good parts–like daytrips.
So, last Sunday, the minute the sun came out we headed for a pleasant little community called, fittingly, Pleasant Ridge, which has just the right amount of charm and quirk–blend the two together and you get character (which, my wife says I’ve got).
Pleasant Ridge has blocks and blocks of charm on both the “wine and cheese” and “beer and pretzels” sides of town. We passed lots of socially-distanced-but-friendly folks, nearly all of whom waved. We saw restored Victorian homes, from quaint to Adams-Family-large (minus the goofy creepiness). We saw stately Georgians (are Georgians ever not stately?) and cozy Craftsmen with big watch-the-world-go-by porches. Ah, Normal!
And there was just enough quirk to give it character (like me).
We snapped a shot of a white squirrel, only the second one we’ve ever seen, no doubt a major celebrity in his neighborhood. Plus an even bigger celebrity: Elvis! It turns out he’s been in quarantine all these years, disguised as a lamp in a window, longingly looking out at the world he used to own.
Finally, we met a dad and daughter doing sidewalk chalk-art. Dad was executing a perfect reproduction of Westminster Palace, complete with Big Ben, and his little girl (age 4 or 5) was… Well, we weren’t sure what this budding artist’s non-concentric squares represented. So my wife asked.
Trudy: “What’s that?”
Girl: “A restaurant!”
Trudy: “Oh. Well, it’s very nice.”
Girl: “I know!”
Trudy: “What do they serve?”
Trudy: “I see, and why is that?” (Due to the lockdown?)
Girl: “Because they’re made out of chalk…”
Girl: “…and because I can’t draw food.”
How I’ve missed you!