45 degrees. Cloudy.
Thirty. This photo pretty much sums up how I'd been feeling about this day in the ones leading up to it. Bewildered.
I started my thirtieth year the way I wish every day could begin—a half hour on Pinterest and eight cups of strong, black coffee.
At ten I drove to Mason to meet Jennie for a Pure Barre class. For my birthday, I had given myself the luxury of a day off work and I felt the rush of not working on a weekday. I took a picture of myself pretending like I was independently wealthy and could go to exercise class in the middle of the day any time I pleased:
After Pure Barre I changed out of my yoga pants and into my running tights. Donnie and I parked near Short Vine and took off. Not ten feet into our run, Donnie shouts, “Crap I’ve got my shorts on backwards.” Yes, he did:
We ran down Short Vine and were happy to see that Café de Wheels now has a proper restaurant with tables and chairs. I love the idea of food trucks for the flexibility and vitality they bring to an urban area, but honestly, they’re just not for me—I need to be seated to properly enjoy anything that takes two hands to eat.
At one end of Short Vine is the Corryville Library—another Carnegie. As Donnie mentioned when wrote the route for this post, Maggie and I once came to the Corryville Library during a summer break from college to attend an informational session for the Peace Corps. Obviously neither of us were cut out for this.
We ran through several residential blocks which are dense and lined with housing that is a good mix of turn of the century single-family homes and new student housing for undergraduates who want to be close to campus:
We passed the Highland Café where Donnie and I once attended a poetry reading in our more literary days:
And the Corryville Recreation Center:
Set back a bit from Martin Luther King is the award-winning Stetson Square development:
Note that here Donnie has turned his cap around to match his backwards shorts.
We passed several healthy-looking medical students crossing MLK to get from Stetson Square to the UC Medical School campus across the street. On the corner is Frank Gehry’s Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, the form brilliantly alluding to the function:
We made a loop through the medical center, where I once received and subsequently talked my way out of a parking ticket.
Donnie had a small park mapped on the route, but when we got to the spot, we found that either 1) our geography skills had failed us, 2) the park is soon to be something else, or 3) world's worst park:
Back on the other side of MLK, we were perplexed by this building and its advertisement for –wtf—“Aviation Medicine”?
I took Donnie’s picture in front of the old (before his time old) Public Allies building:
And then Donnie took my picture in front of the Corryville sign. Notice how the dry winter has had the same effect on the landscaping as it has had on my hair. Also, I learned this pose from Toddlers and Tiaras:
On Burnet, we ran past the bright, new murals in front of the school board building:
And then we made a quick loop through the triangle park before wrapping up our shortest Run 52 to date:
Back at home, we found that an intruder had broken into our apartment while we were gone and decorated our living room with a lifetime’s worth of photographs that showed my many looks over 30 years. The good looks:
And the not so good ones:
Maggie had also left me a large Diet Coke, Big Mama’s new book, and my own pair of “Sparkly Green Earrings”:
Later that evening we left the city limits (gasp!) to visit the Rivertown Brewery in Lockland, where I was granted my wish of spending my birthday on a factory tour “like Mr. Rogers.”
Although Mr. Rogers probably would not have worn his snakeskin booties. Or made the tour guide take this photo:
In the end, I understood about 71% of what Randy taught us about the art and science of beer making. This is pretty good because while I never scored so low in my actual art and science classes I also never had the distraction of a delicious “Unit 6” wheat beer or a spiced winter seasonal during the lecture.
This was a great birthday and mostly made up for the dread I was feeling about leaving my twenties behind.
At twenty I could not have guessed where the next ten years would take me and where they would not take me. I could not have imagined leaving New York, moving to New Mexico, then back home to Ohio. I would not have guessed that a Midwestern city could hold me. When I was twenty, Cincinnati didn’t tug at me madly like the places I imagined I would live: Cincinnati felt gentle and familiar and I wanted something wild.
At twenty I did not foresee what running would do for my mind and my body. At twenty, I plodded tediously on the treadmill—four miles in forty minutes a few days a week. I was only beginning to understand that running could cure me of the hypochondria that kept me up at night, that it would give me confidence and focus.
At twenty Donnie and I had not met and when I thought about my future he was there in theory only.
But at thirty, this city is home and every evening Donnie and I run through it together.