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  • Writer's pictureTuananh


July 7, 2015

Down the 2, as the sunrise caught the flagpost of the Rockefeller skyline, the clouds glistened with a soft touch against the fluttering sailboats that lined the Great Erie.  As the pairing chimneys of the Powerhouse and her amphithetre danced along the narrow peninsula off the Flats.  A short while to Ohio City's West Side Market for a quick grab of the Chevre crepes and the McNulty juice grandiose.  The market was full of bustle like that of the lower Manhattan or along the Pike.  I am always at ease as a visitor, especially in a place that yields the hearts of red-blooded Americans and the powerful soul of conviction of the human condition.

Here I am sitting in the courtyard at the Museum of Arts, reflecting on my day on the streets as a Cavalier.  From the Flats to the old Victorian gentrification of Ohio City, beyond the bridges that linked the foundations along the Cayahoga River.  Over-passing the Warehouse District and the barren harbor, we approached Playhouse Square, where a beautiful chandelier engrossed the Cleveland sky above our trolley.  Down Euclid Road, once known as "millionaire's row", for 250 mansions once lined this golden street; Mark Twain once said it was "the most beautiful street you will ever see", but now only four lacklustered mansions lied scattered along the urbanized road towards the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve, and the University Hospitals.

Around the bend was the gorgeous University Circle, with all of the grandeur and mystique that earned Garfield's home as the "city of trees".  Amelia Earhart's wings along the shore, while the cultural gardens filled the horizon with distinct tributes to the various ethnicities that make up this American quilt.  The reggae music that echoed in the middle of Rockefeller Park truly was an inspiration for a thoughtful day here in the Midwest.  I finished off by missing my best friend, without her to inspire me - all is with only cookies & coffee for company for now. 


Cracked Rear View milking the volume out of the old sedan as we crossed Columbus and westward to Indy.  The foliage covering every narrow path and skylight view was rather refreshing and a yearning for my toes to feel the green overlays that surrounded this place.  A short stop at Yats for some creole treats and  it was off to Noblesville's finest Klipsch Music Center for a rendevouz with an old friend - Hootie-ya-love!  The trucks were in, the daisy-duke shorts on a pair of long tanned legs, crowned by those American blonde twirls and fancy gator boots, and parked red-neck'd style on the open prairie...I AM AN AMERICAN, Ya'll!!!  Beer in hand, I stepped in for some vocal memories and a few lines across the aisle with a little lady. 

Morning came and so did a beckoning for a stroll down Indy.  Lining the streets of Indianapolis were your usual war memorials for all of the fallen heroes that bestowed this place, The White River splits the city, while Orville Redenbacher's abandoned plant stood solace against the afternoon shadow.  The NCAA Halls with Lucus Oil Stadium, Arts Garden, Motor Speedway, and IUPUI/Perdue University to accompany were just a few stops on our quick visit.  The Canal Walk lined the short bridges that stood the financial and governmental buildings of this small metropolis.  There were gatherers from all walks of life, those off foot, some on wheels, and still others by water...a beautiful backdrop to any memory and even better to have shared it with the one you love.  Loving St. Elmo's was easy, the oozing raw flavors, the red Alexander Valley Jesus' juice, the historic dim lighting, and the romantic mood of any can you not skip a beat!  Onward.


The Amish.  Who would have thunk there were anything but English outside of Lancaster...I stand corrected.  The corn husking fields, the perfectly cleansed souls of each structure that stood upon the horizon, the gentle minds that frolicked on the arse of the dark beast by carriage, what can be more simple?   A short stop at the local shops and flea market, then it was down to Millersburg and back to Berlin, where a short stop at Queen Anne's Lace Victorian home, while Boyd & Wurthmann's fried chicken and corn-on-a-cob kept the belly stretched and content.  Some coffee and Min & Jim's Country Cupcakes to finish off the cravings, but all that festivities gave no time for the usual furniture and craft shopping that was to be expected. 

The drive was rough, winding roads and pouring rain across the Tappan Lake region and onto Pittsburg.  Tessaro's and its legendary smoked patties were devoured without thought and finally D.C. was just a few hundred wind-shield wipes away.  The Potamac greeted us with lobster rolls from Coastal Flats, but it was Eden's delicacies that inspired us the whole trip through.  A short visit to Gunston Hall, where George Mason's disobedience to the Constitution was replayed to a dim; although spanding of 5,500 acres would leave anyone exhausted, it left few impressions like the manor and his slaves.  Perhaps it was in his accordance or perhaps he had weaved his fate that way, as the man of Mount Vernon stood nearby with never a nod but rather a shook instead. 

It was finally time, the thousands lined the Constitution Mall, hundreds were seated along the steps of the Capitol within their private concert, and we were all here for one single get muddy!  My Tom's were seeping with rain debris, but when it was time, the skies opened, the crowd appeased, and behind the Washington Monument phallus were beautiful blossoms of colors and light.  It was that moment.  The moment that only can be lived and in no other form.  The Leica stood side-lined for what a beautiful sight, in this one beautiful life.  Although my stay was brief, as any stay would be, I am completely mesmerized, realized, and exercised all of me...I am pardoned by these places, but a piece of me will always be in the heart that lives there.  Nando's, yum!

Cleveland & Columbus

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