Over the weekend we took part in a tour of some of the new rehabbed apartments and condos in an area of Cincinnati called Over the Rhine.
I have a deep love for that part of town. I think I'm drawn to its story of fallen beauty. Once created for great things as the center of art and music and architecture. Then decades of neglect, ruin, crime, hardship, riots. Now 2/3 of its grand, ornate buildings stand abandoned....crumbling, filled with trash, peeling paint, boarded windows. It reminds me of OUR story---Creation, the Fall, finding beauty amongst ashes, hope of restoration.
I'm down there at least once a week. Over the Rhine is home to my favorite art store, my favorite coffee shop, Findlay Market, Shadeau Bread, Atomic #10, the creative arts school where we're thinking about sending Hudson next year.... These places are little pockets of beauty that have either weathered the dark decades or popped up recently as new signs of life.
Now a lot of those empty buildings are being bought and restored which is cool. But when you walk around down there, the tension between destruction and restoration, hope and despair, beauty and ugliness, life and death is tangible.
I think that's why I love it. It's very real. It stirs something in me that the suburbs don't. It makes me want to paint.
So who knows what our relationship with this place will be like in the future. We'll continue to go on dates there, support the businesses there, meet the people who live there, take our boys down there, and watch its transformation. And hopefully we'll be a part of that in some way or another : )
Music Hall where the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra plays...probably one of the biggest signs of what Over the Rhine used to be.
Hope your week is off to a good start!
Arian : )