So, things are winding down for us here in Cincinnati. I’m probably headed to Tampa, mid-June, to take occupancy of the home we are buying down there. Debi will be following me shortly thereafter.

After 6 years in Cincinnati we’ve been thinking of things we’ve wanted to do but haven’t done and have been trying a few of them. Monday, for instance, we went to Taste of Cincinnati, downtown, to see what we’ve been missing. We aren’t frequenters of large social functions like that, but the manifest purpose of this one made sense – try a bunch of different food for relatively cheap (technically, you probably pay more for it than you would in a restaurant, but since you only have to order a sampler, you’re kind of paying less). We had never been to Taste of Cincinnati and there was something we wanted to try because so many people in Cincinnati rave about it – Montgomery Inn’s BBQ ribs.

I think my months eating meat over the last year for research have kind of softened my attitude toward vegetarianism (that and I’ve realized that it isn’t, technically, the healthiest diet – one light on meat is). So, we were willing to give it a try. We plopped down our $5 for a sampler of the ribs and dug in. The verdict? We aren’t really missing much… Ribs are mostly fat, filled with gristle, and very greasy. The BBQ sauce was admittedly good, but not something so amazing I’d consider giving up being a vegetarian for it. So, one more thing we can cross off our list of things to try in Cincinnati. If you have any suggestions of “must-do” things in Cincinnati, feel free to post them as a comment to this post. (Note: We probably aren’t going to go to the new Creationism museum because it costs so damn much. I just can justify spending $40 for the 2 of us just to laugh our asses off at the idiocy of creationists. At that price, I really would be supporting their anti-science agenda, which I can’t stomach.)

We tried a few more things while at Taste of Cincinnati, but they weren’t as unique (for us, at least) as the ribs: Debi got some frozen lemonade (which was okay, but not worth $3.50), I ordered some mushrooms and escargot from Le Petit France (escargot doesn’t really taste like anything; at least, these snails didn’t), we also got some samosas (not great; had better) and some baklava for dessert (the baklava was good). It was pretty warm Monday afternoon while we were there, so we didn’t stay very long. But it was fun and a good chance to try some things we wouldn’t normally try.

We did notice one thing while we were there that was kind of intriguing. A man was walking up and down the street where the booths were wearing a placard that said “Bush Killed Saddam” on the front and something like “end the war” on the back. Debi pointed out the obvious problem with the sign – most of the people in the U.S. won’t care at all that Bush is in some way responsible for Saddam Hussein’s death. If anything, that’s a nod in favor of Bush (I’m not saying it is for me, but for people in the U.S., generally). If he really wanted to get people’s attention he should have put something like “Bush is Killing Our Soldiers” on the placard. That would have at least gotten him some attention.

Which leads me to the thought I had while there: No one was paying the guy the slightest bit of attention! Granted, he wasn’t saying anything, just handing out flyers and walking up and down. But, seriously, no one even batted an eye at his placard. It was as though he was wearing a sign that said, “Hi, ignore me.” (Which, ironically, probably would have gotten more attention as people would want to know why they should.) No response whatsoever from the crowd. The lack of response got me to thinking: What is it about an event like this that makes that kind of protest disappear into the background? I don’t know, of course, the actual answer, but I have to think it has something to do with the reasons why people go there in the first place – to forget about “life” for a while (to quote the famous Cheers tagline). Like I said, I don’t know if that is true, but I’d be interested to know why others think people go. For Debi and I it was strictly to try some new food and have lunch/dinner (that was our lunch and dinner on Monday).

As a sociologist I can’t help but people watch at an event like this. There were a lot of young, single people cruising – both guys and girls. I wonder if anyone actually meets a potential partner at an event like this? There were also a lot of families and couples there, and they seemed genuinely engaged in walking up and down the street perusing the booths. I wonder if they were thinking what I was thinking, “Why is everyone else here?” Or were they really just forgetting about normal, quotidian, day-to-day life for a while?

(Note: We also went to the Krohn Conservatory butterfly show the weekend before last. Having been to a number of butterfly shows because of Debi’s interest in butterflies, we were a little disappointed. The butterfly conservatories in Niagara Falls, Canada, Hershey, PA, and Grand Cayman were all better. Plus, they weren’t nearly as crowded (and people weren’t allowed to touch the butterflies, which effectively kills them by stripping the scales from their wings).)

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