To Cincinnati

I’ve made the drive from Feasterville to Florence a number of times and it consists of three distinct segments:

My driveway to New Staunton – I’ve driven this segment so many times that I don’t really have any good benchmarks. I get gas at approximately the same place every time and take breakfast at the same Wawa.

New Stanton to the Centennial Barn – PA, WV, and Ohio progress in a 200 mile blur of unremarkable America. The area around 70 and 270 is invariably a clusterfuck unless it’s before 6 AM or after 8 PM. Here regionality between Appalachia, the High South, Coalville, and Rusttown blend varying strips of the forgotten with the forgettable.

Centennial Barn to Florence – The Centennial Barn is about 75 miles out from Cincinnati and is painted to commemorate the bicentennial of Ohio. It’s my “Almost there” mark and near there I stop for lunch at McDonalds. I’ve never passed it in the rain and I’m unsure of why I always notice this.

The above is a little over 600 miles and I usually have it done by shortly after lunch.

This time I met up with Suzie and Brad and we went to the Cincinnati Union Terminal.
Cincinnati Union Terminal

The Cincinnati Terminal is bathed in golden light at dusk diffused through a Brobdenagian American flag and soft boxed by murals.

Museum Center Flag

It is bright without being garish and the empty fountain outside waits more than being victim to disuse. I’m curious if it acquires a sense of bustle at some point and what it feels like.

Dinner was at The Melting Pot, a fondue place that was a bit costly but still tasty. One chooses a dish selection and a number of people to serve and the server provides instruction, refills consumables, and proffers light banter. The three of us ate for around $100 and I’d say a 1/3 of that cost was because it was “neat”. While there is some value to a showy presentation like the flaming column below, I guess I find it underwhelming as someone who regularly uses a blow torch in the kitchen.

Notes on Melting Pot

  • The three course set for two will serve three people who aren’t incredibly hungry.
  • Oil fondue is not for the neophyte but will probably produce better results along most spectra of taste.
  • Potatoes take a month to cook.
  • Some items receive free refills.  Slam on those like a 10 year-old playing Street Fighter II.
  • Each course has a set up so plan on more time between courses than at a regular restaurant.  Where I saw this apply was with tables that purchased alcohol.  I’m used to someone going through 2-3 drinks in an evening, here 4+ seemed to be common.
  • Overcome the pronunciation barrier.  While listening to other tables order, I felt that people were shying away from foreign terms.  Caribbean jerk is good, but the real home of veal is bechamel sauce.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Brad.  He seems like a sharp fellow and is nearing graduation and lacked a concise answer to “what do you value”.  He doesn’t need one, as I think we’re entitled to a quality quarter century before one needs an answer.  He seems about 10% unsure of himself at almost all times and this can be a useful attribute in the hands of the considerate.  I look forward to (possibly) seeing him again.

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