pale beneath the blue

Road stories and more from singer/songwriter, pale beneath the blue.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cincinnati's real problem

While I was downtown this weekend for MPMF, I was told that the city of Cincinnati is spending 40 Million to revitalize downtown...what!!!!! This is hearsay, but I was told that they are taking out the skywalk and bringing things back to ground level so that people will start going downtown I don't really think the Skywalk is keeping people away.

My frustration for the weekend was having to deal with stuff that the city should have handled well before anyone made their way downtown. Things like handicap parking, aggressive pan handlers, and Main St. not being blocked so that festival go-ers could easily get from one club to another.

Why is there no handicap parking? I guess they don't want to encourage handicap folks to go downtown? I spent $18 on parking on Friday to attend the conference and go to the entertainment district. I spent more than most because I needed to be close by. I didn't have the energy to walk 7 blocks and there are limited choices in parking near the CAC. This is the thing, I've spent $19 to park in Chicago for several hours, but you know what? There was great pizza involved. Unfortunately, Cincinnati doesn't have anything so cool.

My friends from NYC were appalled by the number of folks asking for money and couldn't believe their tactics. Personally, I'm sick and sickened by it (photographer Dale Johnson told me of a situation where an elderly lady asked him if he takes nude photos, and wouldn't leave him alone.) There's a guy this year who was going around doing a spoken word kind of thing and at the end would ask for cash. I gave him the thumbs up for originality, but explained that I didn't' have any money and he wouldn't leave. Again, I explained, and he started with a new rhyme. Maybe the problem was exacerbated by the fact that the normal drunken YP Cincy crowd wasn't down there handing over cash. The musician's and music lovers in the streets this year didn't seem willing to part with even pennies.

Or maybe it has to do with the contact buzz I got from all the losers standing around smoking weed on my walk from the parking garage to the CAC. I'm a musician, but I'm not that kind of musician. I really didn't need to smell like that to go meet new folks.

I realize that the Cincinnati Police have some PR problems, but they need to get over it and start doing their job (which, by the way, does not include shooting people). There is no reason that a few officers couldn't have been downtown to block off Main Street so that folks could get from one club to another. Many times I got stuck walking in the road because there were so many folks blocking the sidewalks trying to get into clubs. The cops didn't show up until after 1a and then just made the traffic situation worse by blocking off 12th. Is the idea to force us to drive into the really scary part of town to see how everyone else lives? Well, it worked. It's dirtier than China town in NY. I was really frustrated and wish I new how to fix it. I highly doubt that folks want to live in the filth. At least, I hope not. Maybe we should get some HazMat suits and spend a Saturday picking up trash. Anyone in?


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