Sunday, November 04, 2007

A visit to Cincinnati

Last week I went on a work related trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. There's a lot to see and do in Cincinnati, and naturally, I didn't have the free time to do much of anything really. I did have a good time with what little there was though.

I arrived at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport at night in a driving rain storm. Finally got my luggage and picked up the rent car. The airport is not only out of town, it's out of state. So a drive was required to cross the Ohio River and pass through to Sharonville on the north side of Cincy.

When you crest the last hill in Kentucky on the interstate, Cincinnati shines like a golden city across the river below. It's a magnificent view. I can only imagine what it was like looking at that same view in the time leading up to the Civil War. Kentucky was a slave state and Ohio was a free state. The area was a part of the Underground Railroad and was home to Harriet Beecher Stowe.

We don't have White Castle in Oklahoma for some reason, so I made the mandatory visit. This one was right off the interstate just past downtown. There was only one employee on duty at the time, and he was working the drive-through lane. See the cars queued up below. After a few minutes of waiting, all of the other employees and the manager came in from a break, and ignored me and the other customers waiting in line. I eventually got four sliders, some fries and a drink.

The next day was a work day. Here's Gary with a tie. He had just taken a photo of me with my tie. There's C.L. from S.C. on the left.

It was Wednesday and the Cincinnati Art Museum had special hours, so I went over for a visit. They are open until 9:00 pm on Wednesdays and there were lots of people there. The admission was free. I wanted to see the two John Singer Sargent paintings in the collection.

'A Venetian Woman' is HUGE. She's life size and there's plenty of canvas above her head and below her feet. The dimensions are 93 3/4 in. x 52 1/2 in. (238.1 x 133.4 cm). It was painted in 1882. The artist was 26 when he finished this painting. Sargent's career would explode two years later when he exhibited the scandalous 'Madame X' at the Salon of 1884.

Sargent painted 'Two Girls Fishing' in 1912. It's much smaller [22 x 28 1/4 in. (55.9 x 71.8 cm)]. See how effortless and natural the work appears. Sargent worked to develop his skill and improved as he got older.

I've heard that Cincinnati is famous for its unique culinary delicacies, one of which is 'Cincinnati chili'. So after another work day, I stopped in at a Skyline Chili across the street from the Ford plant in Sharonville. This is their interpretation of a chili cheese fries. Marks for the presentation: shocking, splattered, and skidmarks. Marks for the taste: well ...

After having tried some of Cincinnati's best ... whew ... let me recommend a dish of chili cheese fries from that jumping little juke joint in Stillwater, Oklahoma - Eskimo Joes. For the straight up best chili cheese fries on the planet, you can't beat Eskimo Joes.

After all the work was finally done, I had a choice. I wait several hours to come home either in Atlanta, Georgia, or in Salt Lake City, Utah. I choose Atlanta because it is a much more fun place, even if you are stuck in the airport. I found this little bit of New York City in Terminal D. On the television to my right, they were running an advertisement for 'Gone With The Wind' on one of the cable channels.
The irony was so delicious, I went back for seconds.


Katie said...

Sounds like a blast. I love the pictures too. I'm so glad you started including those :)

Mel Odom said...

I've started packing a digital camera as well. It goes everywhere I go.

Cincinati was a blast for me. I went there, some suburb, and was in the hotel when I heard blues music.

I tracked it down and found they had a band playing on the third floor roof. The hotel was split so they had a roof atop the third floor while the other section went up to the 10th floor, if I remember right.

The music resonated between the tall buildings in a way I've never heard before. Totally cool.