our version of break the chain day took us back downtown (is it remarkable to note that i’ve driven to and parked downtown exactly three times, and each time i’ve parked in exactly the same spot?). our best bets for christmas gifts:
at park & vine:
for your too-cool auntie: super-absorbent flour-sack tea towels, 2/$18
for your mobo bicycle co-op loving bff: “i rode my bike to work today” t-shirts, lusciously soft and surprisingly thick: $5
for the garden-loving friend: greeting cards with wildflower seeds embedded in the paper. plant the whole biodegradable card for a cornerful of cheer next summer.
at mica 12/v:
the most gorgeously luxe felted scarves (felted but, i’m pretty sure, not knitted) from super maggie: $58 (and worth every penny!)
for your upscale holiday party hostess: porcelain-like tree ornaments in the origami shapes of a reindeer and a swan: $6
for your bare-walled iconoclast: b&w photo of “the god squad” — a funny, funky and slightly freaky collection of jesus and mary icons: $300 (unframed)
for the tot you know: the cutest, locally-made socks you can find. i can’t remember the name of the company or the price for a box, but just go in and ask. the staff is friendly and will be happy to help.
but the real highlight of our adventure was finding the coffee emporium on central parkway. i did not expect it to appeal to me even as much as the location on erie and victoria, but i like it even more. it is big. wide open. comfy-industrial. and the aztec moka — hint of coffee, hit of chocolate, and a tongue-zap of spices — can not be beat.
the service will be slow, however, if while you are waiting for your coffee the mayor of cincinnati comes in. we ordered. the barista started our order. the mayor came in. the mayor chatted with the cashier. the mayor ordered. the barista tried to give the first drink of our order to the mayor. the mayor politetly noted that it wasn’t his drink. the barista tried to give the drink to me. i politely noted that it wasn’t what i had ordered. the barista tossed it. the barista started working on the mayor’s drink. the barista chatted with the mayor. some more. the barista finished the mayor’s drink. the barista chatted with the mayor, again, some more. the mayor left. the barista made my drink. the barista took a break to chat with the cashier. the barista returned and made s’s drink. twenty minutes later, we had our two 90-second drinks.
still, i’ll go back. on my bike. with my shopping list. if for nothing else, to see what else the sign will say.