Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Family That Laughs

Family is an odd thing.

In one since, we all have one, despite how dysfunctional yours may seem.

Even when you did not grow up with your family and do not know who your family is, you still have one, whether that is in the form of friends or your extended family. Its very similar to the six degrees of separation phenomenon, someone will be there for you, at times its just hard to find.

I was lucky enough to grow up with a family which was close, but yet had the fortitude to leave us with enough space to feel that I was on my own.
With the loss of my grandmother earlier this year, I thought it would be a great idea to chronicle my family and they whey in which they assisted me during my youth to help me to become the man that I am today.

Here is a snippet from the first few pages which I have written:

Tuesday June 11 1996

Today I was called a nigger. This is the first time that I can remember that I have been called this. People might have called me this behind my back, in fact, I am sure that people have called me this behind my back.

I was in the car with my mom and she was trying to merge into traffic. It had seemed like one driver was going to let her over because he has stopped his car with enough room to let her in, so we pulled out. At the same moment he pulls ahead, leaving us out of traffic and on the shoulder of the street so we had nowhere to go but push our way back into traffic in front of that guy. He honked his horn at us and then came up beside us and said “You fucking nigger!”

I did not feel the rage that I thought I would. I felt empowered. I felt this way because this man was so afraid of us that he almost hit another car while he sped away from us. I guess he was afraid of us. Ignorance will do that to you.

All through my life, I felt as if I did not belong, and the aforementioned entry from my journal is just one area where I never quite fit in. Not in the since that I was shunned, but in the since that I always felt that there was someplace where I was more suited to be, I just had not found euphoric place that you read about in books like Harry Potter or B.F. Skinner’s “Walden”. In the beginning of this realizations, I attempted to mask its reality and live the life in which was supposed to be living; that of an African American hetero sexual male. It was only after the realization of my family’s love, world travel and military life, that I had come to the realization that pretending only spirals into more lies, ultimately becoming an omnipotent aura in your life.

This document of my life is nothing more than an insight, a life lesson for those who are still caught behind the veil of their true self and want so desperately to unmask. I can’t say that the way in which I found self discovery is the right path for all who find these words, in hind sight, I am not even sure that if I had the omnipotent option to bend time and retrace my steps, that I would conduct myself in the same way. But I can say for certain that the path which created the man that I am today was the correct one, for me. Telling my story may help whoever finds these words to locate their own path.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bad Veins Rock Da Square

Fountain Square has in the middle of Downtown Cincinnati has down a great job with attracting different parts of the community and creating an inviting public space.

Last night, I hung out with a few of my friends, a virtual boys night out, to listen to the music that was scheduled to play on the Square that night.

I would pretty much listen to any type of music (sans county and very hard rock), but I love ad adore gospel and 90's R&B and generally only go out of my way to see this type of music live.

Ohh, I can't forget show tunes...I am a sucker for them as well.

But last night on the Square, the bad Bad Veins took the stage and I was intrigued. I have to say that I enjoyed them and I look to buy some of their songs in the near future.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Pride Cincinnati 2010

Before you get your panties in a wad about the lateness of this post, there is some method behind the madness.
In most cities, Pride has become a one stop shop, setting aside only one weekend to celebrate.
But this year, Cincinnati is bucking the trend by having three separate events.
It began with July 4th's celebration in Fountain Square.

It continues with this evening's Pride festivities in Northside.

And later this year, Northern Kentucky throws their hat into the fray with their first Pride Celebration.

These pics are from July 4th's Pride Cincinnati 2010.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The $10 Downtown Experience

In the 1990s, Main Street which borders Cincinnati’s Pendleton and Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods, between the blocks of Central Parkway and Liberty was a hot bed of vibrant night life, bringing all walks of life together.

Over the past few years, this area is in the process of seeing its economic renaissance which has yet to peak. The community of Over-the-Rhine has historically thrived on community togetherness, fostering a sense of urban unity.

Events like Grapevine, Second Sundays on Main and Final Fridays brings vendors onto the street and people to patron the many shops and galleries which brighten these blocks on Main and the addition of Joe’s Diner will do nothing but make the district that much more appealing.

It is not unexpected to spend a week night in this area for less than $20 and here’s how.

Meet for Coffee @ Iris Café $2

Located at 1331 Main, this small quite coffee shop is a great way has taken the place of kaldi’s, sans the alcohol, by providing a shelves of books, sustenance and a great place to socialize.

Eat @ Joe's ... Diner That Is $8

Move just a block and half east to Sycamore to find burgers which are reminiscent of what you would come to expect from a traditional diner, in addition to extra seasoned fires which are filling yet relatively light and not floating in a sea of grease.

Light Up The Night @ Neon’s $10

End your evening with spirit or two around the corner from Joe’s Diner. A $10 spot will get you a couple of Over-the-Rhine ales, but the outdoor experience is of outdoor social hour is priceless.