Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cyburn Manor to Urban Park

A not-so-modest proposal to improve South Parks boundaries, remove public housing, clear out blight, and provide a big urban landscape park.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Drive

Though I post on Dayton City a lot I really live in south suburban Washington Township, so Sunday drives out into the country are a pretty easy thing. It's also a good way to measure the suburban growth out here, taking rides out US 48 or Springboro Pike and the backroads to see how suburbia is creeping out into the countryside.

This time was more out US 48. Lots more signs and platting activity than in the past, though I think it will be a few years yet before we see the kind of intense development activity to kick in like along Springboro Pike south of Metlife. This area is taking awhile to really catch on.

One of the things I'm just now realizing is that the landcape here sort of masks the growth, as there are a lot of woodlots and treelines that hide subdivisions. You can't see too far before your line of site is stopped by a teeline.

And the landscape here is sort of flat and bland. I think 48 follows the watershed divide between the Great and Little Miamis so its not that hilly, sort of this flat country. The closer you get to either rivers or their tributaries like Clear Creek or Holes Creek and so forth, the more rolling the land gets.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

All Celticed Out (not really)..a busy music weekend

It was Celtic Fest weekend and unfortunatly we had some dismal weather for it. This year I passed on the festival, except for Friday night to catch Dulahan (you probably know someone who knows someone in this band!). I just wasn't up for the festival this year, and I also noticed they were missing their little beer garden tent, which was always a fun venue, with that little portable bar they had there. One wonders if this festival is being cut back if they only have two stages this year. It seemed they had fewer bands, too, than in the past.

In any case Friday was just a great night for live music. They ALSO had Counting Crows (one of my favorite bands form the 1990s), Live, and Collective Soul at 5th/3rd Field. AND that Rev Cool character from WYSO was promoting a show at Gillys, which I went to see after spending time at the Celtic fest. Three bands: The Libertines (a fairly tight rock outfit from down Cincy), American Static (local new wave retro band), and an import from NY "Ruby on the Vine", which got a good write-up from Thrasher in GO.

Apparently the lady lead singer was part of the Ohio music scene back in the heyday of new wave, early 1980s. Way before my time in Dayton. In any case a tight act, good tunes, sort working a folky/country take on alt-rock. I like female vocals, too, though she was a bit weak.

After all this, a beer at the Century and then back home to Centerville. And for Saturday there was even more fun, which i skipped, like Richard Buckner at Nightowl, and even more celtic stuff, including an aftershow party at Canal Street Tavern, which has been a real riot in the past!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Suburban Parochialism in Kettering.

The Ketteringites have collected 4,000 signatures opposing a consolidated emergency dispatch center(where the various city and suburban dispatch centers for fire, police,EMS, would be consolidated into one central center.

Sounds reasonable and a common sense thing? Maybe just some technical details to be worked out?

Apparently not to the Kettering folks, who want their own little dispatch center. Anything that smacks of consolidation is scary to them. Common sense and cost savings are irrelevant.

So, something that seems innocuos becomes a controversy, leading to a grass roots movement and petitition drives.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Twin Towers Appalachian Festival

My third visit to the Appalachian Festival off of Xenia Avenue.

I can visualize this being developed into a larger neighborhood festival like the ones I remember from Louisville. There, smaller neighborhood festivals became draws for people from all over the city and suburbs, and grew to citywide events. One could say the other Appalachian festival in town, Mountain Days, is this kind of event, but It’s a pay-event, which I disagree with. City or community festivals should be free to the public, without admission charge.

It seems the basics for a great neighborhood festival in Twin Towers are there, even though the site is somewhat stark. The location is the parking lots of the East End Community Service, which isn't too pleasant, though the twin towers of St Mary's provides a great backdrop.

The festival usually has a good bluegrass band on the playbill, and they could perhaps bring in more of this kind of entertainment (such as Anne & Phil Case, who do trad pre-bluegrass music).
This year they have a clogging group and the Sol Azteca dancers returned. Sol Azteca is a cool addition to the local scene, reflecting the growing Mexican community here, and are based out of this neighborhood, too. Maybe some more Latino stuff, like a mariachi band.

There is supposed to be a Mexican population coming in here, but they don't show up much at this or other festivals. The immigrants' thing is their soccer meets on Sundays up at a park up near Wyoming & Steve Whalen. I figure since a lot might be illegals, they want to keep a low profile.

I also noticed this time the fest had more crafts tables set, up bringing in some new vendors. This could be developed a bit more, perhaps. I wonder if the local quilting society (I think they are called the Miami Valley Quilters?) could be persuaded to show here, or they could bring in some craftspeople who are based in KY, WVA, or TENN, or even Appalachian Ohio. Or local businesses in the neighborhood can set up, like Smales Pretzels running a sales table. Perhaps the festival can grown beyond the confines of the East End Community services and extend out onto Xenia Avenue a bit, around St Mary's.

Yet this is just my daydream for this event. In reality it is just a neighborhood thing, similar to a parish carnival, but without the carnival rides (which they should try to get). So it is not really going to get much larger or draw from outside the neighborhood, except for the odd music fan such as myself.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Hungarian Program: lost ethnic Dayton.

It was both Findlay Market and the Appalachian festival yesterday.
For some pix of wonderful Findlay Market click here.

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Some people (probably most people) go to church on Sunday morning. I listen to the three hour Hungarian Program on 89.5 FM. I'm not Hungarian ancestry and can't understand a word of it. But it is sort of a audio window onto a different culture, and the music is pleasant enough. There is a guy and a gal doing the programming and the guy can speak Hungarian, which he does while announcing songs and so forth. The show is broken into three segments, more folk stuff, sometimes light opera, and modern Hungarian pop .

It is somewhat melancholy listening to the show, though, to the announcements, and to think this was once a geographical community, concentrated in two city neighborhoods. The West Side neighborhood was the strongest, it seems, with a two or three churches, as well as stores, bakeries, and restaurants. I did an analyses of it via pix and maps, recreating this lost ethnic world. You can visit this lost bit of the city at Magyar Dayton.

The Hungarian neighborhoods dissolved away with time an assimilation, people became Americanized, and moved to the suburbs after WWII (thought this was
already happening in the 1920s).

There are no Hungarian food stores, bakeries, or restaurants anymore in the Dayton area. Just two churches and this radio show.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Appalachian Festival or drive to Cincinnati?

A sunny Saturday. What do do? Today is the Appalachian Festival in the icky but architecturally interesting Twin Towers neighborhood, which is always fun to visit to people watch. Yet there really isn't much to do there, except listen to some bluegrass music, if they have a band this year. This could be a good urban/neighborhood festival, but leave it to Dayton people to not see what could be done. What IS it with the people here to never get it right? To never really support things that could be cool?

Shopping has to be done, so perhaps an execuse for a road trip to Cincinnati, to Findlay Market. Food selection is good and cheap, though, and I like that gritty old built-up feeling of Over-The-Rhine. One always feels one is in a true city when one is in Cincinnati, just by the physical form of the place.

Or maybe just skip the slumming and head on over to Cub Foods or the incomparabe Dorothy Lane Market.

Friday, July 13, 2007


can i post pix?

First Post

This is a test. This is only a test.