Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Stayed at the 21c Museum Hotel in Downtown Cincinnati recently, electing to spend our anniversary/New Year’s Eve as a “staycation” in the Queen City instead of traveling elsewhere.

- Barry McGee at bottom right as seen from the hotel window.

Despite the overwhelmingly familiarity of home, it was nice to feel like a foreigner for a few minutes. I wanted to lie and say “from Milwaukee” when they asked “where you from?” but no one in the elevator pondered. It may have seemed counterproductive to pay for overnight valet parking when already paying for a city garage, but what’s vacation without utilizing some expendable income?

Laying in bed with the blinds drawn as the 2020 fireworks rang out from nearby, Cincinnati felt like a new destination. The perspective from the windows, the sounds of the streetcar bell, and the hum of traffic made this city seem larger and more provocative than it really is. For a bit, I could pretend that it had developed differently, that it was a larger destination—even though I was just around the block from the usual watering hole, seeing sights I pass daily, and had been running into people I knew.

Maybe those reflections were inspired by the new-to-me surroundings of the 21C, or, they’ve been there for awhile. Growing and evolving with time.

Either way, MetroBot was still there to greet us in the morning (and his payphone still doesn’t work).

Happy New Year.

- Metrobot.