Monday, January 7, 2019

At The Carew Tower - January 5, 2019



"I knelt down to my camera bag to change lenses, but in the spot usually reserved for a wide angle, I had the ring that we had picked out together. I hadn’t been nervous until the elevator ride up. I didn’t know what to say, but hoped I had said it in letters, actions, and conversations prior. I simply asked her—this person who means more than anyone could know, who understands better than anyone could—to marry me."


- 2017.


The first time I found myself at the top of the Carew Tower, it was because of my dad. I was just starting to truly embrace photography and exploring the city. I don’t remember what caused us to be in Downtown that day or what compelled him to take me there. He hailed from a city that's no stranger to tourist-driven vantage points. In humble Cincinnati, though, we had only this one, and of course he'd be the person to seek it out.

- Observation deck entrance, 2012.


There are no queue lines to wait in, no up-charge features, and no glass floor gimmicks. You simply pay (cash only) and go outside. The price has varied from $2 to $4 in the time it’s been featured on this site. It was $6 when I went on a Saturday night in January of 2019. Still one helluva deal.

- 2012.


There was a comment left on QC/D here in 2012, at the bottom of one of the many Carew posts over the years (thanks, Bill): “the deck doesn’t get enough local respect in my opinion.” He was right then, he’s still right today. Maybe it’s one of the best kept secrets in Cincinnati, maybe it’s better off that way.

- Storms rolling in, 2015.


The Carew Tower (the city’s second tallest, but most iconic building), features an open air viewing platform. You take two elevators and one set of stairs. You’re then fully susceptible to the outside atmosphere. There’s no placards, no protective glass—just you, the city, the sky, and the view.

It’s wonderful.

- Views from the tower (shot and edited in 2006 in the ways only a high school photographer ever would).


I’ve been up here more times than I can count: Days when I planned to, days when I didn’t. Visits home from the first school I went to and quick trips across the river from the school I transferred to. I’ve been up there at the highest points in my life and I’ve been up there at the lowest. I’ve stared off into the midwestern abyss, I’ve looked down to the ground and explored its details. I’ve heard the sounds of the city waft up with the wind and be drowned out by the weather. I’ve brought people there for their first time and stood alongside veteran visitors with cameras. I’ve covered stories for publications and made photographs for personal work. I’ve been up there with purpose and at times when I simply didn’t know where else to go. I’ve chatted with first time visitors to the city and leaned on the handrails with locals. I’ve basked in the sun, baked in the heat, and shuddered in the cold. I’ve thought about the people who can be seen going about down below and I always keep in my thoughts the people who have used this deck to end their own struggles. I’ve glanced down at progress and I’ve peered out to think of what this city, and I, could be.

- Looking South, 2009.


The Carew Tower Observation Deck. It’s my favorite place in the City of  Cincinnati. It can be the loneliest place, it can be the happiest place. It’s been a comforting space in times that were simpler and times that were more complex. That physical area, grounded by a few square feet of slick-as-shit-when-it-rains cement, means a lot to me.

- 2017.


My name isn’t scratched into the stone via illicit graffiti, but my fingerprints are on the underside of the handrails and on the knobs of the telescopes. This is where I feel most connected to this city and often, to myself.

- Telescope, 2014.


Just over four years ago I brought someone here who I had just then recently met. It was her first time taking the elevator to floor 45, then another to floor 49, and then walking up one flight. Another countless visit for me.

She didn’t come back here until January 5, 2019. We were here because I told her I needed to get yet another photograph from this place, for yet another story I was working on. I knelt down to my camera bag to change lenses, but in the spot usually reserved for a wide angle, I had the ring that we had picked out together. I hadn’t been nervous until the elevator ride up. I didn’t know what to say, but hoped I had said it in letters, actions, and conversations prior. I simply asked her—this person who means more than anyone could know, who understands better than anyone could—to marry me.

- Photograph by Phil Armstrong.

And she said yes.

- Photograph by Phil Armstrong.

Thanks to the wonderful Phil Armstrong for making photographs of the moment.

- January 5, 2019, made a few minutes after we got engaged.

18 comments:

  1. Congrats man. Even though we only met once it's weird to feel connected to someone's life events by only reading what they post online, but I'm glad you shared this one.

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    1. Thanks, my man! Really appreciate you reading all these years. I think we need to meet up again soon.

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    1. Thanks! From Fort Wayne International? Who is this? We need to talk airports!

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  3. Congratulations!!!! What an awesome moment!! B

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  4. Congratulations, Ronny! Well done!

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  5. Congratulations. So appropriate!

    Nick

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